From that point on, I was unshakeable. No matter what the Sharks threw at me, I knew I could handle it. I owned the room and led with confidence and humility. I didn’t miss a beat. I felt superhuman. There was nothing they asked me that I wasn’t prepared for. It was like I was playing chess in my head, answering questions while simultaneously predicting their next question. It also helped that I founded the company and I still manage all aspects of the business, and having a finance background meant I deeply understood our numbers. I was also able to pull from my experience live-selling on QVC. Nothing like being on live TV to help you learn to think on your feet.
Once I finished my pitch, the Sharks started peppering me with questions about the products, about selling on QVC, our margins, sales, scents, and my personal background. I was well-prepared and nailed every answer, and the Sharks expressed how impressed they were with my presentation. It felt so good to be seen and to have my hard work recognized.
But then, one by one, the Sharks started backing out.
First Mark said I didn’t have the hockey stick growth he looks for.
Then Barbara wished I hadn’t raised money so early.
Then Mr. Wonderful said my products weren’t his area of expertise.
Then Lori felt like we were doing too much and had too many products.
Finally, we got to Daymond. He gave me my first, and what I thought would be only, offer: $300,000 for 20% equity in the company. I countered. That was just way too much equity to give up and for far too low of a valuation. We have real, meaningful revenue, and I know what the business is worth. I honestly didn’t really need the funding, I just wanted a Shark on my team
We went back and forth, but he wouldn’t budge.
But that’s when the magic started.
All of the Sharks were out except Daymond, so all of my focus was on keeping him in. At the very least, it’d make for some entertaining TV.
I had to think on my feet. I told him how I don’t need hand-holding.
“I was HIKING two hours ago!” I said. “I got the call from the producers while I was on a mountain, I ran down, got ready in under 30 minutes, and now I’m here. This company is going to be successful because I will not quit.”
That got everyone really excited. None of the Sharks knew about this, and there was a buzz of: “WHAT?!?! IS THIS TRUE?!”
I laughed and joked that I didn’t even have time to shower (which was a perfect opportunity for me to plug Curie’s full body deodorant spray—perfect for all those times you have to go from sweaty-hungover-hike to TV-ready in 20 minutes!)
While Daymond and I negotiated, I could see Barbara and Mark out of the corner of my eye whispering to each other, so I kept going. All of a sudden, Mark and Barbara came back with an offer of $300,000 for 14% equity.
We had a deal. A fair one, at that!
Both Mark and Barbara got up out of their seats and gave me a big hug. Barbara even lifted my arm and sniffed my armpits. It was priceless.
To work so hard for something and to be that disappointed getting dropped from the schedule the night before my taping, only to come back and knock it out of the park? It felt incredible.
Stay tuned for Part 4: After the Tank!