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Lessons from the TV Show: The Shark Tank

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Although I am not a big fan of television, I found myself channel-surfing last night when I came across The Shark Tank. Hopeful entrepreneurs plead their case in front of four potenial investors in hope of gaining a little interest in the form of “cash” in return for giving up a percentage of ownership.

One fellow approached the panel and suggested that his new idea would (could) compete with FedEx. Politely, but with a certain degree of alacrity this fellow was dismissed, sans monetary contribution. He thought he offered something different, but what he was really doing was saying, “Me-too, me-too.”

The send-off phrase that caught my attention, (and made me think of you) was the following: “I don’t see any real differentiation. You don’t have a tightly focused positioning statement that CLEARLY infers that you would be better off if you use me.” I agreed.

And so it goes my travel agency brethren and brethrenettes. With so much commonality in your business, you NEED to spend more time and effort in defining your TRUE competitive edge. You NEED to arrive at a positioning statement that makes your audience say, “I get it. I want to work with these guys (guyettes.)

Play a game. Pretend that you will be a contestant on the show and will soon be seeking funds from interested investors. What would you tell them to capture their attention? What can you say to position you and your company as something different, special, new, refreshing, and one which is worth backing? What could you say to get strangers interested in investing in your company? Think about it.

Sound simple? Sound easy? Sound over simplified? Then start crafting your proposition at once. Why you?

Contact Mike at or visit

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