Staying Passionate: Advice From Shark Tank Entrepreneurs


Join Tank Talkers at QuickBooks® Connect 2017 for “Staying Passionate: Advice From Shark Tank Entrepreneurs Share Their Secrets to Help You Drive Your Business Forward,” with Shark Tank alums Dr. Amy BaxterJulie Busha and Julie Goldman. Moderated by fellow alum Romy Taormina, hear how these savvy business owners stay passionate in their businesses and offer up their secrets so you can do the same to drive your business positively forward.

Each of their stories is unique. Yet, there is a common thread that CONNECTS all of these business owners. They are all passionate about what they do, which helps them stay motivated:

  • They understand they must give to receive, so they are effective in relationship building and networking.
  • They research before they “jump,” so they make strategic business decisions.
  • They are all hard working and demonstrate that work ethic by example, thus inspiring their teams to do the same.
  • They are agile and can quickly pivot when necessary.
  • They are all CEOs and understand the importance of making sound financial decisions; some of them have had to learn to make numbers their friends.
  • They clearly have larger than life personalities and/or stories that have earned them each impressive (and free) media coverage.
  • They are made up of extraverts and introverts; one doesn’t have to be gregarious to be effective in business. “QUIET” can be very powerful.

Their impressive and unique product innovations range from medical devices, including cool and buzzing pain control solutionsnausea relief, a healthy reinvention of a traditional condiment and the the world’s first nonslip fabric aisle runners. Their media portfolios include Inc., Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Oprah Magazine as an “O” pick and, of course, Shark Tank, just to name a few. Some are parents and Huggies MomInspired Awardees, dog lovers, and one of them even owns a snake … well, her son does.

During their Quickbooks Connect presentation, the panel and moderator will cover various topics, including how they found their passion, how they knew they wanted to turn their passion into a business, and how they have actively maintained their passion through the ups and downs of running their businesses. They will discuss setbacks and how to pivot in business, and will provide resources and tools so you can leave with tangible takeaways. There will be a Q&A near the end of the session.


Tank Talker Tuesday- Neal Hoffman of Mensch on a Bench named in 40 under 40

Neal Hoffman named 40 under 40 by the Business Courier- Congratulations, Neal!


The Business Courier has announced its 2016 Forty Under 40 class. This annual awards program recognizes young professionals in the Tri-State who have reached major milestones in their careers and also made significant contributions to the community. They come from professions as diverse as our own business community, from physicians and nonprofit leaders to startup owners and CEOs – there's even the co-founder of a local brewery.







Tank Talker Tuesday- Tracey Noonan of Wicked Good Cupakes- Serves Up Her Take On Female CEO's

Female CEOs. Where Are They?- By Tracey Noonan- CEO Wicked Good Cupcakes

Our mentor, investor and friend, Kevin O’Leary loves female CEOs. He says they make him lots of money.

I don’t doubt that. I’ve never understood why men and women were always judged based on sex rather than on achievements. Thankfully that trend is changing. Long gone are the days of command and control types of leadership. Collaboration and team work are the new model. And as a woman, I couldn’t be happier. No more pant suits and short haircuts!

As a woman CEO myself, I have to agree with the musings of other reporters who have written about this subject.

First, women are just better listeners. We have to be. Especially if they are moms. Negotiating, refereeing and imparting their wisdom when necessary has been a woman’s job since the beginning of time. King Solomon ain’t got nothin’ on any Mom.

Second, women naturally nurture and inspire.  This is a critical trait to possess when working with younger employees eager to make their mark. Women are wonderful at developing a mind as well as the fine art of relationship building. Both key elements to a happy and healthy work environment.

Women tend to do twice as much to be noticed half as much. There’s no room for mistakes here. Women are more detail oriented and willing to put in the extra hours in order to get the job done.

But the facts are the facts and there are still not enough women in the C level ranks even today.

According to Fortune Magazine, there are 24 women CEOs in the Fortune 500 and 27 in the Fortune 1000.

This is fairly abysmal.  But why is this the case? Are companies till afraid to take a chance on a woman? Even in this day and age?

Or do women simply feel unworthy? I know for me, the fact that I didn’t graduate college, never mind get my MBA was something that held me back for many, many years. How stupid. The same article by Caroline Fairchild notes the following;

39% of Women CEOs in the Fortune 1000 have MBAs

Encouraging!  But it doesn’t answer the question as to why there are still so few.

80% of women CEOs in Fortune 1,000 companies have families and children. So that can’t be it.

Maybe we’re just lacking in role models. The number of women CEOS who could act as a role model simply isn’t there.

This past year I made the conscious effort to mentor. I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to take part in Babson College’s WIN lab, MBA mentoring program.  I’m so glad I did. I was blown away by the quality and ambition not only of “my” mentee but of all the other young women participating in this highly sought after program. There were women from all walks of life participating. It was truly inspiring.

Selfishly, it was really great for me as well. I learned that a women without an MBA, who has started a successful business can be as motivating and inspirational as a woman who has graduated from Harvard Business School. I gained a lot of insight about myself and what people really need in order to take their passions to the next level.

Here’s a link to Babson’s program.

I’m ending this post with no real answer to my question. But I do feel hopeful as the next few years pass, we’ll see a growing trend of female CEOs hitting the business scene.

Until then, I’ll continue to do my part to help motivate, mentor and encourage our young women as they make their way up the corporate ladder.

I ask all of you to do the same. It’s just as easy to encourage as it is to discourage. Young women need more positive role models.  Our daughters’ futures depend on this.

Tank Talker Tuesday- Listen to Tank Talker Ashley Drummonds Tout The Entrepreneurial Gospel

The Shark Tank Deal That Brought ABS Pancakes a Year of Sales in a Single Month-

Ashley Drummonds is the Founder of ABS Pancakes, gluten-free pancakes with 26 grams of protein, 8 net carbs, and under 200 calories per 4 pancakes.

On this podcast, you’ll learn how she started by selling digital products and then transitioned into physical products, and the story of the Shark Tank deal that skyrocketed her sales.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Why you might want to start with a physical product instead of a digital product for your first business.
  • How this entrepreneur was able to start a business simply through hashtags on Instagram.
  • How to connect with influencers and get them to work with you to cross-promote.

To hear the Ashley's Podcast on Shopify, click here:

Tank Talker Tips For Tuesday- CEO, Lindsey Laurain of ezpz

Tank Talker, Lindsey Laurain gives great advice to new entrepreneurs. She's just one of the powerhouse speakers and business women who make up Tank Talkers. Lindsey and all of our Tank Talkers are available to speak to your business focused audience at your next corporate function, event or seminar. Contact @tanktalkers today for a list of all of our talented Shark Tank Entrepreneurs. 

Tank Talker Tuesday- Talker of the Week- CEO Benjamin Stern, Nohbo

Benjamin Stern is the Founder and CEO of Nohbo-No Hair Bottles-a company that creates and manufactures the world’s first water dispersible ball that contains personal care products, such as shampoo,  conditioner, body wash, and shaving cream. Ben founded this eco-friendly idea after viewing a documentary on the damaging impact of plastic bottles on the environment. His outrage fueled inspiration to find a way to rid the world of unnecessary, destructive, and unsightly plastics, beginning with personal care products in the bathroom. Initially, Ben thought to investigate similar technology used in making dishwashing or laundry detergent pods, as he’d seen his family using them. However, he knew his ideas needed expertise and financing beyond his capacity. 

At fourteen years old, Ben got a job at a sub shop and borrowed thousands of dollars from parents, grandmother, and college saving to help pay for Nohbo, LLC’s initial start up expenses. He contacted corporations, hotels and garnered interest in his product, enough to convince patent attorneys to provide pro bono legal representation and services. Ben researched and hired a chemist to develop the original formula with the stipulation that the product must be waste-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, wrapped in a plant-based wrapper, and not tested on animals. 

Ben hired a tech savvy high school friend to film a clip for a Kickstarter campaign. As the campaign got started, Ben applied for Shark Tank. In a short 5 months after his application process, Ben heard back with an invitation to appear on the show. On Nohbo's airdate on February 19, 2016, he received three offers, even though his product was not market-ready, and was patent-pending. Mark Cuban was particularly impressed with Ben’s work ethic and Nohbo’s potential, and called him his “mini-me.” Robert Herjavec said, “Nohbo may be one of the most successful companies he has ever been presented on Shark Tank.” 

Within four months of airing, Nohbo launched a crowdfunding campaign to sell only the shampoo and doubled its funding goals. The company is scheduled to fulfill those orders next month. He has cumulatively received over 80 investment offers, some valuing the company at over 20 million. 

In his free time, Ben enjoys skating, flying (pilot-in-training), and brainstorming innovations of the future with like-minded individuals. He is inspired to make his vision a reality after witnessing the tragic affects plastic has had on the stunning Florida marine life. One of his favorite quotes is, "Don't let school interfere with one's education." He is a fierce advocate that experience is the best teacher, and that is where his entrepreneurial roots originated from; creating experiences.

Ben has been featured in articles on, Business Insider, Inc., The Huffington Post, Florida Today, Space Coast Daily, etc. He has spoken/booked to speak at Yale University, The Next Gen Summit in New York, Florida Institute of Technology, and a wide range of students and audiences. Ben speaks naturally to young people and old about the challenges of gaining credibility, breaking barriers, getting financial support, crowdfunding, and ….managing a life and building a business.