Shark Tank

Shark advice: Everything is your fault!

This week’s tip, is really simple. The power of success is being accountable for everything you do. If you decide to be accountable; it gives you power to solve all the problems. The second you move into BLAME mode then you are paralysed and can’t fix the problems because nothing is your fault; and if it’s not your fault there is nothing left to do but complain. So make sure everything is your fault… That is where the power to succeed is!


Grant and John
$500,000K for 20%

How incredible is John! The invention and creation he has developed is amazing. This could be a game changer. You only have to go to some Asian countries and see the rice paddies and the poverty that the rice farmers suffer to know that if this product is commercialised, it could make a massive difference to millions of people. Steve Baxter helped simplify what we were all thinking – which was, “This is good shit!”

John has invested years of his blood sweat and tears as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars to get it where it is today. I truly loved what John is about. He is down to earth and likable. But as a business, there is no proof that the builders would be able to use it and there is nothing at this point built with the product. It is also at that point that it needs particular skills to get to the next level, and these are skills are not ones that I possess. None of us really could help get to the next stage, other than Steve, who understands more than any of us, but even his capacity was limited.

Grant is the salesman and definitely came across as the salesman. Sometime he oversold and there is a lesson in this for Grant. We really just wanted to hear John’s journey. The reality is that there is no proof of concept at this stage. I so hope that they are a huge success and that someone else can grab this opportunity and take it to the level it deserves it to be at. I truly wish them all the luck in the world, as the world needs this idea.
“I am a farmer. I just make things…” Don’t you just love John!


Ted and Shey
$700,000K for 10%

For them to want 7million dollars as a valuation did blow my mind. I know this world too well and know the challenges and also the value of Food retail business and this business was well overvalued. You have to remember that this pitch went for over one and a half hours when it was filmed and it was cut down to about 15 minutes; so I got to understand the business model as well as you can in that time. After I got over the shock of the valuation, most of the rest of what they said was of real interest to me. The sales were great, the product and their passion were huge ticks. But sometimes you know too much about an industry and how hard it can be to grow to the next level and this was the case with Crisp.

I opened a business called Tossers in 2002 and at the time, Sumo Salad was also going great guns. The concepts were basically the same as Crisp; salad made fresh. In the early days, sales were strong but the challenges for managing the cost of raw ingredients in a world where the cost of products is dictated by the weather conditions is a real problem. The concept is also quite seasonal and they have not hit those hurdles and learned the lessons they will inevitably get with growing a business. The model is not franchiseable at this stage but this doesn’t mean they can’t change it to make it so.

They also think that because their existing stores are turning over a certain amount, then all their stores will be successful. This lesson they have not learned yet; as you grow your number of stores, that average store turnover gets diminished due to different sites competing and other factors.

It got down to valuation, as they were asking for $700,000. For me to make an offer, I would have to take too much of their business and as part of the Shark Tank rules, you have to offer the amount they ask for.
I was burnt before in this category so I was more cautious than I normally would be. They say, once bitten twice shy.

What I have said above, does not take anything away from how impressed I was with them as a married and business couple. They reminded me of myself and my husband. If you can create a strong team like this then they are a formidable couple. The product is good, their sales are great; they just need to work on the back end. Good luck guys. I look forward to watching you succeed. I do hope for your sakes that this is the one that got away.


1m for 25%

Like Steve looking at me for food businesses, I was looking at Steve for this device. I look at businesses from the perspective of the user or customer; and as the investor, once I understood the business I just did not see why business owners would need the app. Sometimes people create something without checking if the consumer wants it. Steve telling him it was a bad idea was harsh but sometimes honesty is the best way to shock people into re-looking at the problem. He had invested an enormous amount of his own money into this but I truly think he has missed the boat. This product would have been great eight years ago but the telcos have set up their businesses so that you no longer need this type of app.
I have been wrong before, but this time, I don’t think so.


Emma and Phil
$50,000 for 10%

There was something about Emma the second she walked on the floor. She had an energy and drive and I knew she had what it took to make a successful business. I am so happy that I am past the times when I have to get a child to sleep on a plane but I do feel so sorry for those women who have crying children – it is stressful on all levels. This why I loved Emma’s product so much, as it is a genuine solution to a problem – not only flying but for simply opening the door and walking outside. There are very few people who would not pay anything to get a good night’s sleep and Emma has the solution. Over the past few weeks, we have spent a great deal of time together working through the normal challenges of business. She is a true delight and my first impressions of her were spot on. She is driven and passionate and is determined to make this business work. I really look forward to working with Emma and Phil into the future to help make Flybabee a huge success…

Flybabee Giveaway

 This week I have two flybabee’s to give away. For a chance to win one, simply post in the comments below the name of one investment you think I have missed so far in Shark Tank?
 Winners and entries will be posted next week! Good luck!
Get more insights and business tips in my book, The Secret of my Success, available here.

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  • Reply
    April 26, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Crisp Salad!

  • Reply
    April 26, 2015 at 8:53 pm


  • Reply
    April 26, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    None spring to mind, but as a conservative bean counter, I find many presentations are poorly formed financially and lacking real knowledge of the products’ inherent value (if any).

  • Reply
    April 26, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    The Charlie Chair

  • Reply
    Natasha Kelso
    April 26, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Hi Janine,
    Being a full time working mum, who loves to travel, the flyabee certainly excites me. I do think you missed out on a great investment with the Charlie Chair, being time poor, I often put my son into the shower with my husband to hold while I soap my son down.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2015 at 3:43 am

    I recall in one of the earlier episodes, a lady pitching for Original Rescue Swag? That was a decent product, fair valuation and a solid founder. Don’t know about the market and how big it can become but it’ll be a decent performer. Not sure if you ended up investing in that.
    PS: Whoever is advising Flyabee to spend some $$ on Google Ads for “Shark Tank AU” deserves pat on the back. 🙂

  • Reply
    Scott Fenner
    April 27, 2015 at 6:12 am

    I think Ampan. I can see this as a product of the future. Having said that i completely understand the sharks decision not to invest at this stage. I would make a sly bet that John gets a phone call from Steve.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Hi Janine,
    I love watching Shark Tank, as does my husband (who is a builder). I think AMPAN could be huge. I think it is environmentally friendly and if it stacks up against standard chipboard, John is onto winner. I hope John receives some interest after last night’s show.
    I’m enjoying reading your blogs and just wanted to post a comment to let you know!

  • Reply
    April 27, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    You mentioned something last night along the lines of “you can own 5% of a business and still be in control” what did you mean by that?

    Ps I love watching you on the show.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    With your previous experience i think you should have invested with crisp. You would have learnt a lot from your failed salad bar so could have used that insight into improving the success of crisp.

  • Reply
    Felix Lie
    May 1, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Janine, the Ranchero deals 🙂

  • Reply
    Alana Chang
    May 4, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Hi Janine!
    I loved the Charlie Chair. We live in an inner city apartment and have 2.5 bathrooms, which includes two showers and no baths. I bathed my newborn in the laundry sink and when he started sitting up I found it so difficult to find another solution. Ended up with a fold up tub that goes in the base of the shower, but it’s so awkward and uncomfortable to sit on the floor and lean over to wash the baby. The Charlie Chair would have been a perfect solution.

  • Reply
    October 7, 2015 at 1:44 am

    why should money motivate me ? i have work,friends,family,sport,music and many other better,satisfying things.

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