How Did Barbara Corcoran Make Her Money?

How Did Barbara Corcoran Make Her Money? Most people know Barbara Corcoran from the hit reality television series Shark Tank. However, her business career started decades before she sat on a stage, grilling budding entrepreneurs about how they plan to make their ideas profitable.

How Did Barbara Corcoran Start Her Business?

Barbara Corcoran started her first business in 1973. She had recently graduated from St. Thomas Aquinus College with a degree in education.

Working as a teacher didn’t suit her, though, so she tried several other jobs, including a side gig renting apartments in New York City.

She then got a job working as a receptionist at Giffuni Brothers’ real estate company. She desperately wanted to become her own boss, so she and her then-boyfriend used a small loan to form Corcoran-Simone. Several years later, she broke up with her boyfriend and struck out on her own by founding The Corcoran Group.

During the mid-70s, Barbara Corcoran devoted a lot of time and effort toward developing her brand and establishing herself as an expert in New York real estate. The hard work paid off in 2001 when she sold The Corcoran Group to NRT (formerly National Realty Trust) for $66 million.

According to an often-told story, Corcoran’s boyfriend had told her that she could never succeed without him. Has anyone ever been so wrong?

Did Barbara Corcoran Inherit Her Money?

Plenty of New York’s successful real estate investors and developers inherited money from their families. Multi-generational wealth provides the leverage often needed to pry into such an expensive city’s real estate market.

Barbara Corcoran is not one of those people. She claims that growing up poor is one of the reasons she has worked so hard to become successful.

Corcoran grew up in a household with nine siblings. Her father held a series of jobs while her mother stayed home to care for the children. At times, Barbara’s father didn’t earn enough to pay the bills and feed the family, so they had to rely on a neighborhood grocer who gave them free food.

How Did Barbara Corcoran Make Her Money?

Barbara Corcoran didn’t do very well in school, although she did manage to earn a bachelor’s degree. She later learned that she had dyslexia, which likely made it difficult for her to excel in school despite her intelligence and work ethic.

She made her money by running The Corcoran Group, a real estate company based in New York City. She sold the company in 2001 for $66 million. Since then, she has explored numerous opportunities, including her appearances on Shark Tank and Dancing With the Stars.

Barbara Corcoran also earns money as an author and inspirational speaker. She has written three books:

  • Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business (2011)
  • Nextville: Amazing Places to Live Your Life (2008)
  • If You Don’t Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons On Your Pigtails: and Other Lessons I Learned From My Mom (2003, co-written with Bruce Littlefield)

How Much Money Did Barbara Corcoran Make From Shark Tank?

Barbara Corcoran reportedly earns $500,000 per Shark Tank episode. She has also earned money from investments she made during the show.

Corcoran has chosen 36 entrepreneurs to back on Shark Tank. On average, she has invested $150,000 in each company, which comes to $5.4 million.

The Comfy is Corcoran’s most successful Shark Tank investment. She contributed about $50,000 to the start-up. Today, her stake is worth about $27 million.

Interestingly, Corcoran says she lost a lot of money during her first two years on Shark Tank. She says that she often lost money in the beginning because she focused too heavily on the business instead of the people.

Eventually, she realized that she could get better results by investing in good salespeople. Even if they didn’t have great business plans, she could help them with that aspect to build a successful company.

Why Did Barbara Corcoran Leave Shark Tank?

Barbara Corcoran says that she left Shark Tank because one of the show’s founders, a man, would not look her or other women in the eye.

Corcoran gives eye contact a lot of importance. Among a colleague, avoiding eye contact probably felt disrespectful, especially since the unnamed man wouldn’t look other women in the eye. It has a misogynistic air about it.

Corcoran also uses eye contact when deciding who to choose as business partners and employees. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she and her assistant needed to fill a social media position. They interviewed more than 500 people. Corcoran immediately disqualified anyone who didn’t look directly into the camera’s eye. She also disqualified interviewees with bad lighting. To her, these were signs that the applicant didn’t have the right motivation to excel.

On the set of Shark Tank, good eye contact always got Corcoran’s attention. She knows that some people look at the floor because they feel nervous presenting their ideas to a panel of professionals. Still, it was a critical aspect of pitches that got her approval.

Eye contact matters so much to Corcoran that she left a television job that paid her $500,000 per episode.

What Is Barbara Corcoran’s Net Worth?

Barbara Corcoran’s net worth probably falls between $100 million and $190 million. It’s difficult to determine her net worth accurately because she has so many investments, including real estate investments, that can change value quickly.

One breakdown of Corcoran’s potential net worth shows that she has:

  • $40 million in assets
  • $110 million in investments
  • $15 million in business royalties
  • $24 million salary

She also has about $18 million in liabilities and loans. This list assumes that her net worth comes close to $190 million.

Is Barbara Corcoran A Billionaire?

Corcoran isn’t a billionaire, but she is a multimillionaire. She has multiple revenue streams, but it’s unlikely that she will become a billionaire.

Considering that she has humble beginnings, didn’t earn excellent grades in school, and built her own company from the ground up, becoming a multimillionaire is an amazing accomplishment.

It isn’t surprising that even someone as successful as Barbara Corcoran hasn’t reached billionaire status. The world has 2,668 known billionaires. 327 of them are women. Most of those female billionaires (226) inherited their wealth. That’s only 101 women who built their own empires instead of getting a significant head start from their family’s money.

How Rich Is Barbara Corcoran?

Barbara Corcoran has a net worth between $100 million and $190, making her the fifth- or sixth-richest cast member on Shark Tank. Mark Cuban is the only billionaire on the show. He has a net worth of about $4.5 billion, making him 45 times wealthier than Corcoran. Other high-value cast members include:

  • Kevin O’Leary ($400 million)
  • Daymond John ($350 million)
  • Robert Herjavex ($200 million)
  • Lori Greiner ($150 million)

While Corcoran may not have nearly as much money as Mark Cuban, she is still wealthy by any standard. The average American has a net worth slightly under $121,000. That means Corcoran’s net worth is at least more than 826 times the average American’s.

#1 Stock For The Next 7 Days

When Financhill publishes its #1 stock, listen up. After all, the #1 stock is the cream of the crop, even when markets crash.

Financhill just revealed its top stock for investors right now... so there's no better time to claim your slice of the pie.

See The #1 Stock Now >>

The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Financhill has a disclosure policy. This post may contain affiliate links or links from our sponsors.