Barbara Corcoran: Buying a $320 Coat Was ‘The Best Investment I Ever Made’


In a TikTok video from entrepreneur Barbara Corcoran, an investor on the hit TV show Shark Tank, the successful businesswoman shares the best investment she ever made. No, it wasn’t a Shark Tank deal or a real estate purchase. It was a coat from legendary New York department store Bergdorf Goodman.

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Barbara Corcoran Wanted To ‘Look the Part’

When Corcoran first started her real estate brokerage business, she “realized that everyone successful looked the part,” she said in the TikTok video. So, after renting an apartment to a customer during her first week in business, Corcoran took her $340 commission check and went to Bergdorf’s.

The Shark Tank star used the money to buy a fancy $320 (plus tax) wool coat that was a big upgrade from her old pea coat. With her new coat, which she wore for the next four years, Corcoran felt like she had the confidence she said she desperately needed.

“The lesson I learned, and I never forgot, was that perception creates reality, not the other way around. You’ve got to look the part of who you want to become,” she said.

Barbara Corcoran’s Success

Eventually, Corcoran went on to sell her real estate brokerage business for $66 million in 2001 and now has a net worth of $100 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. So, if the coat helped her reach those heights, that purchase had quite the return on investment.

That said, it’s important to remember that making this type of move also carries risk. Not everyone ends up nearly as successful as Corcoran, regardless of how much confidence they have. So, spending too much money on clothes or other non-essential could set you back, rather than propel you ahead.

Invest in Yourself

However, Corcoran’s move could also be seen as taking a leap of faith that many entrepreneurs need to do to succeed. Starting a business is inherently risky, and sometimes entrepreneurs make moves that cost money in the short term but pay off in the long run. If you can inspire yourself and grow to reach new heights, the investment can be worth it.

Sometimes, that’s an investment in yourself. It doesn’t have to be new clothes. Maybe you buy tickets to a conference in the hopes you’ll learn and network with the right people to expand your business. Or maybe you buy a $10 book that helps you learn new sales skills. Or maybe you just want to reward yourself with a great meal after closing a deal, like how Corcoran took advantage of closing her real estate deal by treating herself to the coat.

“Don’t underestimate the impact of self-reward. Repeated encouragement leads to a boost in self-confidence, and you’ll feel more prideful and excited about your efforts,” notes an article from mental health and coaching startup BetterUp.

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This article originally appeared on Barbara Corcoran: Buying a $320 Coat Was ‘The Best Investment I Ever Made’

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