Start Your Financial Education: Watch Shark Tank
Were you taught about budgeting in grade school? Any classes on finance in high school? How about a course in life insurance when you went to college?
Any classes at all on what it takes to succeed in life?
Me neither. Nor have millions of other boys and girls processed through our public school system. Any education we might have received about money, finance, or insurance was short and sweet at best – certainly not enough to prepare us for adult responsibilities. Invest wisely to save for the future? Buy life insurance to secure your family? Achieve financial independence? Who ever heard of such things!?
Then you leave the sanctuary of the ivory tower and realize a few things. Chief among them is that it takes money to make good things happen. Sure, people do good things all the time as a volunteer, and on a shoestring budget; but to do things on your own terms, and to be all you can be, takes money.
How to get that money? Welcome to America, land of free enterprise and the capitalistic system. In case you were thinking the American way had become outmoded, you should know that ABC’s Shark Tank is the #1 TV show in America in the coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic on Friday evenings.
It’s an exceedingly simple show: A panel of potential investors — “the sharks” — sit in a row, taking business pitches from Americans of every imaginable stripe, and every imaginable walk of life. They are hoping to get those rich guys and gals — themselves a walk through the American diversity quilt — to fund their start-up businesses.
Lee goes on to talk about how it is the sales pitch of the contestants that rules. No on gets preferential treatment for any reason.
And here is a very important insight about why aspiring entrepreneurs compete for the commitment of the Shark investors:
… they are looking for more than capital. It’s stunning how often the contestants on Shark Tank tell their potential investors — plead with them — that what they want is their experience, too. Experience with distribution, cash flow, marketing, and more.
What they are seeking is knowledge, and knowledge is the capital of capitalism. That’s what capitalism does best of all: It creates vast pools of knowledge no central planner or bureaucrat could ever manage.
So there you have it: a TV show is picking up the slack in the education of our citizenry. What do you think of the show?