The most successful founders Barbara Corcoran invests in share one personality trait

  • Barbara Corcoran is a real-estate mogul and an investor on the ABC series "Shark Tank."
  • She's found that all the most successful founders she's invested in are street smart.
  • They also take responsibility for their own failures.


After nine years as an investor on the ABC series "Shark Tank," Barbara Corcoran has learned certain qualities contribute to an entrepreneur's success or failure.

The No. 1 trait of the most successful company founders? On an episode of Business Insider's podcast, "Success! How I Did It," Corcoran told US editor-in-chief Alyson Shontell that it's simple: street smarts.

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GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Barbara Corcoran of ABC's 'Shark Tank' is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Tuesday, November 28, 2017, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) BARBARA CORCORAN
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 21: Real estate mogul and 'Shark Tank' panelist Barbara Corcoran poses at 'Dancing with the Stars' season 25 finale at The Grove on November 21, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) TV personality Barbara Corcoran visits 'The Elvis Duran Z100 Morning Show' at Z100 Studio on November 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Businesswoman Barbara Corcoran attends the premiere of ABC's 'Shark Tank' Season 9 at The Paley Center for Media on September 20, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Real estate mogul and 'Shark Tank' panelist Barbara Corcoran attends 'Dancing with the Stars' season 25 at CBS Televison City on September 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Barbara Corcoran attends the premiere of ABC's 'Shark Tank' Season 9 at The Paley Center for Media on September 20, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Real estate mogul and 'Shark Tank' panelist Barbara Corcoran attends 'Dancing with the Stars' season 25 at CBS Televison City on September 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 15: Barbara Corcoran partnered with T.J.Maxx to host The Maxx You Project Workshop, encouraging women pursuing their dreams to let their individuality shine, on Saturday, July 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for T.J. Maxx)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 17: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Author/TV personality Barbara Corcoran visits 'The Elvis Duran Z100 Morning Show' at Z100 Studio on May 17, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Barbara Corcoran attends the Housing Works Ground Breaker Awards Dinner at Metropolitan Pavilion on April 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Barbara Corcoran attends Housing Works' Groundbreaker Awards Dinner 2017 at Metropolitan Pavilion on April 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Businesswoman/TV personality Barbara Corcoran visits SiriusXM Studios on April 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 08: TV personality Barbara Corcoran attends the Build series to Discuss 'Shark Tank' at Build Studio on February 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10: TV personality Barbara Corcoran attends the 'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them' world premiere at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on November 10, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: Barbara Corcoran attends The Paley Center for Media Presents Shark Tank: Pursuing the American Dream in Prime Time at The Paley Center for Media on September 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Barbara Corcoran attends the 'Shark Tank' season 8 premiere at Viceroy L'Ermitage Beverly Hills on September 23, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)
SHARK TANK - 'Episode 901' - Chris Gronkowski from Colleyville, Texas, his brother Rob Gronkowski from the New England Patriots, and the rest of the Gronk brothers bring an insulated sports bottle to the Tank. Mark Cuban and Alex Rodriguez offer sage advice to a 17-year-old from St. Louis, Missouri, who devised a tool to quickly soothe foot pain; an entrepreneur from Phoenix, Arizona, with a nutrition and culinary background, has a sweeter way to eat a popular snack; and a man from Los Angeles, California, hopes to lock up a deal with his innovative way to keep belongings safe, on 'Shark Tank,' airing SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Michael Desmond/ABC via Getty Images) BARBARA CORCORAN
SHARK TANK - 'Episode 801'- 'Shark Tank,' the critically acclaimed and Emmy Award-winning reality show that revolutionized entrepreneurship in America, is back for an eighth season with the Sharks continuing the search to invest in the best businesses and products that America has to offer. In the season premiere and for the first time, the feeding frenzy begins with six Sharks instead of the usual five circling the Tank, airing FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 (9:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Michael Desmond/ABC) DAYMOND JOHN, BARBARA CORCORAN, KEVIN O'LEARY, LORI GREINER
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: Barbara Corcoran appears to discuss 'Shark Tank' during the AOL BUILD Speaker Series at AOL Studios In New York on May 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 17: Barbara Corcoran attends Robert Herjavec In Conversation With Barbara Corcoran at 92nd Street Y on May 17, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Steven A Henry/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: Businesswoman and Investor Barbara Corcoran attends 'Shark Tank' and 'Beyond the Tank' at AOL Studios In New York on May 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Adela Loconte/WireImage)
BEYOND THE TANK - 'Episode 206' - Barbara Corcoran's very first deal in the Tank helped Washington D.C.'s Heath Hall and Brett Thompson grow Pork Barrel BBQ spice rub into a national brand. But barbeque is a seasonal industry, so the two successful entrepreneurs created a new product that could be a culinary hit, but they must first get government approval, on 'Beyond the Tank,' airing FRIDAY, MAY 20 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Donald Rager/ABC via Getty Images) BARBARA CORCORAN
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 02: Barbara Corcoran attends the 141st Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 2, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Churchill Downs)
BEYOND THE TANK - 'Episode 103' - One of the youngest entrepreneurs to get a deal in the Tank was then 11-year old Ryan Kelly from Stamford, CT in Season 4 with shark Barbara Corcoran for the dog treat business now called Ryan's Ruffery. While the company experiences healthy growth, young Ryan focuses on his schooling and his mother, Daniela, takes care of all the business's needs, despite having suffered two strokes. An understandably concerned Barbara meets with Ryan and Daniela to strategize how to keep the business on track, on 'Beyond the Tank,' FRIDAY, MAY 15 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Giovanni Rufino/ABC via Getty Images)
BEYOND THE TANK - 'Episode 107' - During Season Four, Barbara Corcoran invested in Cousins Maine Lobster, a food truck company providing fresh Maine lobster rolls to the Los Angeles area. Founders Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac from West Hollywood, CA hope to expand into a brick-and-mortar space, but Barbara has her reasons for wanting to hold off on that idea. 'Beyond the Tank' airs THURSDAY, JANUARY 21 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EST) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Gilles Mingasson/ABC via Getty Images) BARBARA CORCORAN
BEYOND THE TANK - 'Episode 110' - Barbara Corcoran invested in The Coop from Los Angeles-based Juliet Boydstun & Lucinda Lent during Season Four. She was surprised to discover that the two longtime friends and moms were not making any money or expanding and gives them a perfect plan to grow The Coop, a kid's indoor/outdoor play and party space. The season premiere airs TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: Barbara Corcoran speaks on stage at NAPW 2014 Conference - Day 2 on April 25, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for National Association of Professional Women)
SHARK TANK - 'Episode 513' - A former pro football player from Avon, Ohio tries to sell the Sharks on his delicious boneless baby back ribs which can be cooked in 2 minutes in the microwave-but will a strong pitch and tasty food be enough for the Sharks to bite? Two moms from Bayonne, New Jersey have a line of detachable mohawks to dress up kids' safety helmets and entrepreneurs from Los Angeles sell whimsical animal themed hat/scarf combinations on 'Shark Tank.' Houston entrepreneur has a first-of-its-kind reality interface for video gamers, allowing users to be completely immersed in their game experience--and Shark Robert Herjavec can't wait to try it out. Plus, Sharks Mark Cuban and Daymond John travel to Washington, D.C. to be panelists at the Kingonomics Entrepreneurship and Investment Conference, an event for minority-owned businesses which also includes a casting call, on 'Shark Tank,' FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Michael Ansell/ABC via Getty Images) BARBARA CORCORAN, ROBERT HERJAVIC
CORPORATE - May 14, 2013 - ABC talent, executives and executive producers attended the 2013 Entertainment Weekly After Party during upfront week at The General in New York City. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) DAYMOND JOHN, BARBARA CORCORAN, KEVIN O'LEARY
SHARK TANK - Barbara Corcoran is a 'Shark' on ABC's 'Shark Tank.' (Photo by Richard Cartwright/ABC via Getty Images)
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Another quality that helps company founders succeed, according to Corcoran: "When they're slammed they don't feel sorry for themselves."

She told Shontell:

"I've talked to more entrepreneurs after I've invested within the first of maybe eight, nine months, after the shine of 'Shark Tank' is gone, after the rush of sales is behind them, where something goes wrong and then I'm on the phone or on a Skype call with them and I hear them blaming it on someone else, like, 'The shipment never came in! The guy didn't do this such and such.'

"Right! It's another version of 'Oh, poor me.' The minute I hear that, I go right to my wall where I have all my entrepreneurs and frames, beautifully matted, and I hang that picture upside down. And why do I do that? Just to remind myself that I shouldn't spend any time with that person, because they're never going to succeed. Every one of my successful businesses are run by entrepreneurs who are so good at taking a hit and getting back up. They just don't feel sorry for themselves."

Corcoran's feelings about blaming other people aren't unique. According to Darlene Price, president of Well Said, Inc., and author of "Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results," leaders should avoid the phrase "That's not my fault" at all costs.

"While no one likes to feel blame, a great leader absorbs the hit, demonstrates accountability, and rallies the team toward a solution," Price previously told Business Insider. "Instead of blaming previous management, the former administration, other departments, or the economy, say, 'Let's talk about what we're going to do next to ensure success.'"

NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' star Barbara Corcoran: How I went from a 10-kid household and more than 20 jobs to become a real estate mogul

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SEE ALSO: Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran reveals how getting dumped for her secretary and sending 1 gutsy email helped turn her into a business mogul

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