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Which “Shark” Matches Your Business Style Best?

By Ryan Currie, Bizshark.com

The cultural juggernaut Shark Tank (on ABC) has taught us everything about the ultimate business pitch, from having your numbers ready, to pricing a fair valuation… well, that and that Daymond John really, REALLY likes pinstripes. Most importantly, the show highlights the importance of picking the best partners for your small business. Networking connections are what make the Shark Tank world go ‘round and more than 5 million people are tuning in each week to find out who can take home a big catch and who’s all chum. Metaphorically, of course.

In business as in life, no one person is the perfect fit for every situation. Shark Tank does an entertaining job of highlighting the power and the pitfalls of business connections and personalities at work . Which shark you identify with probably says a lot about your professional style. So, which shark are you?

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Are you Mark Cuban?

Your style: Flashy; Confrontational; Really, really rich

Overheard at your office: “Sure, doing what you love is great but…can it make you lots of money?”

What you’re like: You’re a straight shooter because you simply don’t have time to beat around the bush. Think an idea’s stupid? You better believe you’re going to say so. You’ve got a million dollar smile and a hundred thousand dollar SUV to match; you’re not afraid to take big risks in business. People at the office simultaneously despise you and respect you, but you’re always the first one they come to with a new investment idea. You smell like leather and high-level audio equipment.

You’re probably in: Technology; Finance (buy-side); Acquisition; the Startup Industry

Are you Lori Greiner?

Your style: Energetic; Creative; Jewel-tones

Overheard at your office: “I can tell immediately whether you’re a hero or a zero – you’re a hero.”

What you’re like: You love to disarm people with your smile and let them down easy. When you like an idea, you don’t want to show your cards too soon to maintain bargaining power and you love being underestimated. But there’s a fine line between being underestimated and being condescended – and you are not afraid to fight. You believe in the power of 80-hour work weeks and a fantastic pair of heels.

You’re probably in: Fashion; Journalism; Editing; TV Production

Are you Kevin O’Leary?

Your style: Aggressive; Well-Informed; Honest-to-a-Fault

Overheard at your office: “Happy hour is for chumps. I’d rather be making money than making friends.”

What you’re like: You have a take-no-prisoners business style and forming meaningful relationships with your colleagues takes a backseat to the bottomline. You love a long-shot and if asked for advice you don’t hold back (and probably all too often make people cry). People don’t expect you to be a teddy bear outside the office because you’re such a grizzly at work, but you have a secret soft side that really enjoys giving back as you work your way up the ladder. You don’t make coffee runs, someone makes them for you.

You’re probably in: Hedge Funds; Politics; Hostile-Takeovers

Are you Barbara Corcoran?

Your style: Assertive; Old-School; Unpretentious

Overheard at your office: “Who needs business school when the school of hard knocks will do?”

What you’re like: You love nothing more than a good “by-the-bootstraps” success story and you honor hard work as much as anyone. You don’t put much emphasis on things like degrees or fancy tailored suits and you don’t take well to ‘boys club’ environments. Some see you as a bull in a china shop when it comes to business but despite your big talk and personality, everyone takes your advice when they need to pick a birthday gift for their family.

You’re probably in: Real Estate; Architecture; Specialty Food

Are you Daymond John?

Your style: Friendly; Conversational; Disarmingly Chill

Overheard at your office: “You’re not thinking big enough, man. Think bigger!”

What you’re like: You’ve got the mogul mentality and you’re really, really good at interpersonal dynamics. You’ve got the uncanny ability to transition from the boardroom to the basketball court in a matter of minutes and you invest in people, not ideas. If you’re the boss you’ve probably surrounded yourself with childhood friends because you know you can trust them, and if you’re not the boss you aren’t shy about stepping on toes. You believe in the power of manscaping.

You’re probably in: Apparel; Music; Manufacturing

Are you Robert Herjavec?

Your style: Approachable; Pragmatic Idealist; Well-Coiffed

Overheard at your office: “I have no patience for people who set the bar low and sell themselves short.”

What you’re like: You believe in ‘teaching a man to fish’ because you like to test people to get them to prove their merit. You’re knowledgeable, quiet, and probably care a lot about what the data says. Your tolerance for mediocrity is low and you despise excuses. When it comes to burning the midnight oil you do it at both ends when needed and you have the first dollar you ever made framed above your desk. You’re married to your job (and probably a smokin’ hot Croatian model, too).

You’re probably in: Automotive; Development; “Management”

No matter what your business style is, you always need to find complementary people to help fill in the gaps. You can’t do it all yourself so surrounding yourself with business contacts you know and trust is essential if you want to succeed. Building the right team is just what your business needs to take off. Shark Tank airs Fridays on ABC 9/8 central.

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