Behind the Scenes: My CNBC Panel at SXSW

If you ever wanted to know what Mr. Wonderful (Kevin O’Leary) from Shark Tank is really like, I can now tell you.

He’s just as intimidating and straight-forward as he is on the hit show.

But he’s also really lovable.

I had the incredible opportunity to spend some time with him, along with CNBC co-talent Tim Love of Restaurant Startup and Rooster McConaughey of West Texas Investors Club at the 2016 South by Southwest Festival.

(My show Follow the Leader is now premiering April 6 – not March 23. Please re-set you calendars and DVRs!)

This was my first time attending SXSW. Did you know the festival is in its 30th year?

I quickly learned there’s an event or panel for every topic.

I mean…

“Life After High School Football Concussions”

“Tiny House Movement MeetUp”

And the one that really got my attention: “If You Are in Advertising, You Might Be a Racist!”

My panel wasn’t as controversial, but still packed a massive crowd (obviously, with Mr. Wonderful there).

It was called, “When Everybody Wants to Be an Entrepreneur.”

Some of the key takeaways for any aspiring entrepreneur or business owner:

  • Know your numbers. Seriously. If you can’t explain how you make money and your valuation, Mr. Wonderful will eat you alive.
  • If you can’t sell your idea, well, hire someone who can. You may have a great concept, be the brains behind the idea… but are terrible at marketing and public speaking. That’s fine. Hire someone who can make your idea sexy and talk it up to investors and customers.
  • Be able to explain what makes you stand out. Because there’s no such thing as a new idea. It’s how you position it and differentiate yourself and your story.

Now, go get ’em!

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