Barbara Corcoran Shares Letter She Wrote That Convinced Shark Tank to Hire Her After Rejection

"How I turned a 'no' into a 'yes'! I was almost on my way to Hollywood to film the first season of Shark Tank 12 years ago when I was told the show had changed their mind," Barbara Corcoran revealed

Barbara Corcoran
Photo: Eric McCandless via Getty

Barbara Corcoran's story is proof that if at first you don't succeed, try try again.

Nearly 12 years ago, the real estate mogul and TV personality began her role on Shark Tank, on which she and her fellow panel of hosts "give people from all walks of life the chance to chase the American dream and potentially secure business deals that could make them millionaires," ABC explains.

Although Corcoran, 71, has become one of the most recognizable faces on the show, the opportunity almost didn't happen.

In an an Instagram post shared over the weekend, Corcoran revealed that after she was asked to join the business-themed series, the show "changed their mind" and considered another woman for the spot.

"How I turned a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’! I was almost on my way to Hollywood to film the first season of Shark Tank 12 years ago when I was told the show had changed their mind," Corcoran captioned the post.

Choosing not to take no for an answer, Corcoran wrote a lengthy letter to "the big boss" that resulted in her securing her spot on Shark Tank.

Barbara Corcoran Shark Tank
Barbara Corcoran's Instagram post. Barbara Corcoran/Instagram

"I'm smiling bright today about the letter I wrote to the big boss that turned my fortune around and the 12 wonderful years I’ve spent helping entrepreneurs make their dreams come true on Shark Tank," said Corcoran.

The letter, written to a man called "Mark" — presumably executive producer Mark Burnett — began: "I understand you've asked another girl to dance instead of me. Although I appreciate being reserved as a fall-back, I'm much more accustomed to coming in first."

She then went on to list three reasons as to why he should "consider inviting" herself and the other women "to L.A. for your try outs."

"I do my best when my back's against the wall. I love the heat of the competition as I've learned it brings out my best. I've had all my big successes on the heels of rejection and frankly, it's right up my alley. There was Sister Stella Marie in 5th grade who said I'd always be stupid just because I couldn't read. Then there was the New York old boy network trying to lock me out of their real estate fortunes, until I became their largest competitor," she began.

"There there was The Donald himself who wrongly swore in court I'd never see a penny of the $4 [million] commission he owed me for saving his ass and making the largest land deal in the city's history," she wrote. "And of course there was my ex-partner Ramone Simone who parted with the words, 'You know you'll never succeed without me!' I consider your rejection a lucky charm."

Secondly, Corcoran continued, "If you have both ladies in LA, you can mix it up a bit and see which personalities make the best combination for your show. I've found in building teams myself that the combination of personalities is always more important than the expertise or strengths of single individuals. You may even drop a man for me because, believe it or not, I'm just as smart and mean as the next guy."

In her third and last point, she said that she's "known from the get-go the shark role is a perfect fit for me."

Barbara Corcoran
Barbara Corcoran.

Explaining why, Corcoran wrote, "everything I've done so far in business and TV worlds has made me ready. My style is different than the other sharks' and your audience would fall in love with me. I've watched thirty-seven dragon episodes so far and know I could rival the best shark on each show in shrewdness and personality. It seems to me that the same two sharks steal most of the shows and I know I'd be one of them."

She concluded by praising Mark, saying that "the reputation you have in your field is equal to the reputation I have in mine," and telling him she already had a flight booked for her interview in L.A.

"I know you're the best at what you do and I trust you'll reach the right decision," said Corcoran. "I've booked my flight for the 6th and hope to be on that plane."

Needless to say, her letter worked, and Corcoran has since starred on the show since its debut in 2009.

In addition to Corcoran, Shark Tank, which is entering its 12th season, also stars Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O'Leary.

Tom Bergeron, Barbara Corcoran and Keo Motsepe on Dancing with the Stars. Eric McCandless via Getty Images

Shark Tank isn't the only show that Corcoran has appeared on. In 2017, she had a short run on Dancing with the Stars with pro partner Keo Motsepe.

"It was such an honor and probably the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in my whole life," Corcoran said when she heard the news about her elimination. She reiterated that sentiment while talking to reporters after the show, jokingly adding, “I should stick to real estate!”

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