'Shark Tank' investor Kevin O'Leary talks new season, tips for entrepreneurs

ABC's "Shark Tank" show returns this fall for a new season with a new look and on a new night.

The sharks are moving to Sunday night when Season 9 premieres on Oct. 1.

On Tuesday, "Shark Tank" investor Kevin O'Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful, stopped by to talk about the new season, secrets to getting picked for the show, tips for entrepreneurs and why he likes to invest in women.


1. It's all about sales
The most important thing for a startup company to do is to focus on sales -- that's what the first two years are about. If sales roll in, you validate your concept. If customers are willing to buy your product or service, it proves you have the right idea and now you just have to make it bigger.Those sales will provide you with a much-needed cash flow. But growing a loyal customer base may require you to be creative.

2. It's important to experience failure

Everyone fails. "the sting of failure is a very important motivator to getting it right the next time. Great entrepreneurs absorb the hit, move on and become stronger"

3. Understand the pros and cons of crowdfunding
Shark Tank investors tend to pass on crowdfunded campaigns because they aren't a reliable marker for success. It's great that crowdfunding offers another form of financing for entrepreneurs, but don't rely on it to sell your company.

4. Know when to pull the plug
There's a simple rule to determine when it's time to shut your startup: three years.

If you can't make money after 36 months, and there's no path to making money, it was a hobby, not a business. You have to take it behind the barn and shoot it.

5. Have interests beyond business
There is a yin and yang to business, but don't forget the arts. I follow my own advice by pursuing one of my favorite pastimes: photography.
I'm a better businessman because i spends a portion of my day working with the arts. It gives my life balance and allows me to express a side of myself that is different.
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