I have received hundreds of emails and phone calls from entrepreneurs asking, “What did you do to get on that show?”
Getting on Shark Tank was not easy, but this is my story.
I received an email from a friend saying she saw a posting on Facebook that a new show was looking for mom entrepreneurs. The posting gave an email address for casting.
For 5 days I sat on it and did not respond. I had sent so many emails out over the years trying to get media exposure that I thought it would just be another email sent out into the cyber wasteland abyss. But then a little voice said to me, “Go ahead Lori, it will only take a minute to drop them a line about your business.” So I did.
Here is the actual email I sent back to Shark Tank.
I have written and produced a line of children’s books and CDs designed to help children manage anxiety, anger, and stress while promoting self-esteem and peaceful sleep. I am the first to introduce research-based stress management techniques in this unique storytelling format. With added help from my husband, I have generated enough sales to sustain our business for 5 years. We already have 6 beautiful hardcover books and 5 CDs. I need the funds to let the world know about our titles. Most of our sales are due to word of mouth and not the strategic marketing we need. I would also like to develop a line of bedding, DVDs, and multiple other products to help children manage anxiety. Our products continue to find new markets. We have been embraced by the Autism community, psychologists, child life care specialists, teachers, counselor, parents, military families, and most importantly children. With millions of children dealing with anxiety, our market is endless. Please give me the chance to pitch my dream! There is a world of stressed-out families waiting to hear about us!
Next, I received an email response the same day, asking me a few questions and asking me sign releases.
Next, a phone call from casting. They asked me to tell them about my business. I gave them an elevator pitch. I treated this and every subsequent phone call I received as though it was my once in a lifetime opportunity to convince the listener. One take, one chance, one pitch.
Next, I was to create a 5-minute video and send it in along with a questionnaire. ABC provided the questions I needed to answer in the video. My husband asked the questions and I answered. Nothing planned or prepared. Off the cuff… from the heart….spontaneous….no script
I tried to be funny, raw, and enthusiastic. I never intended to get emotional. I was shocked that I started to cry when telling how I wrote my first story. It wasn’t perfect and we went over 5 minutes. I wanted to do it again and make it better and shorter. My husband refused to acknowledge that it was perfect and it was a winner. One take, one chance, one pitch.
Here is my audition video!
We sent the videotape and extensive questionnaire to ABC via UPS 2 day express. I wanted to get it there quickly and be able to track it.
Next, I started to receive phone calls from various producers. Each call was a test and I had to re-pitch myself and my business. Inevitably the call would come in while I was at a swim team meet or dance recital. I took every call and found as quiet a spot as possible to talk amongst hundreds of kids. One time I went out a side door at a recital and was locked out. I treated each call as though it were the first and my only once in a lifetime opportunity to convince the listener. I pitched my heart out.
Next, I was going to LA to pitch to the sharks! Now my work really began. The first thing I did was research each shark. I printed out photos of Barbara, Daymond, Robert, Kevin O and Kevin H. I hung them up in my office (my kitchen). My plan was to get used to looking at them and feel as though they were already my partners. All day long I was face to face with the sharks!
Little did I know that this mantra of “one take, one chance, one pitch” would serve me well when I stood before the sharks; Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, Kevin Harrington, and Kevin O’Leary. There were no retakes on the set. If you forgot your pitch, it was in front of millions of viewers, the glaring eyes of the Sharks, and the unforgiving lights.
The whole process from my email to shoot was only about 2 months. I appeared on episode 3 of Shark Tank and faced the sharks on August 23, 2009. I took a few deep breaths and pitched my heart out.
Next, a follow up on Shark Tank, January 8th. The show gave me an opportunity to relate how appearing on it had impacted my business.
My Shark Tank experience was a highlight of my career. The national exposure for Stress Free Kids was incredible. I encourage you to pitch the Sharks!
Here’s the link to ABC’s Shark Tank!
Stress Free Kids founder Lori Lite is a freelance blogger, social media strategist, parenting expert, and successful entrepreneur. Her line of books and CDs are designed to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety, and anger. Ms. Lite’s books, CDs, and lesson plans are considered a resource for parents, psychologists, therapists, child life specialists, teachers, doctors, and yoga instructors. Lori’s award-winning books received national attention on Shark Tank and her sort after accessible tips have been featured in hundreds of publications to include: CNN Living, Real Simple Magazine, USA Today, Family Circle, Working Mother Magazine, and Web MD. For more information visit Stress Free Kids and for daily advice follow Lori on Twitter and Facebook.