Ten Thirty One on raising 2 million in Shark Tank money

Today Show resident Halloween expert and Ten Thirty One Productions (TTO) CEO Melissa Carbone on set before joining Kathie Lee and Hoda.

Today Show resident Halloween expert and Ten Thirty One Productions (TTO) CEO Melissa Carbone on set before joining Kathie Lee and Hoda.

By Jesse Torres

The last scariest news in zombie fads, zombie walks, zombie videogames, zombie movies, and zombie-you-name-it has landed on Melissa Carbone, owner of Ten Thirty One Productions, who walked out of the Shark Tank program with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s $2 million in exchange for a 20 percent equity stake in her entertainment company.

The latest obsession in escaping reality, zombies, has gained public interest in different parts of the country while generating profits to the Hollywood and Wall Street fat cats’ pockets worth around 5 billion dollars in DVD sales, video games, comic books, novels, costumes, merchandise, conventions and even zombie art, NBC News reports.

Carbone, who is the winner of the largest Shark Tank deal in the show’s history, shared with me the key characteristic of a true entrepreneur during a KCAA Money Talk interview last week.

“The biggest bridge between those that succeed and those that don’t is simply activation; people who activate win,” Carbone said.

“Everyone on the planet has ideas,” she continued. “Everyone has an idea for something. A lot of people have amazing ideas, million dollar ideas. But if you don’t activate on them, they go nowhere. They become nothing. And it does not even matter that you had an idea.”

Consultant Rasmus Lindgren echoed a similar sentiment on his blog, “You need to take action and do stuff. Nothing ever happened from just thinking or talking about it.”

“Two traits most commonly identified across successful entrepreneurs are innovation and motivation,” Kara Finnegan wrote on Big Think. “Innovators bridge the gap between ideas and action.”

But as Robert Kiyosaki points out on the Rich Dad blog, success requires more than action for action’s sake. “Lots of people take action and the result is that 9 out of 10 new businesses fail. There is more than just action required to make you an entrepreneur.”

Kiyosaki urged entrepreneurs to have a clear vision of what they aim to achieve and a strong mindset so that they won’t be deterred by the first sign of trouble.

MelissaCarbone_MelissaMeyer

Ten Thirty One Productions CEO, Melissa Carbone and Creative Director, Melissa Meyer.

Fear and deterrents prompt some prospective entrepreneurs to view activation as too risky. Fear of failure scares them from acting on their billion dollar idea.

“Making a mistake is not a bad thing,” entrepreneur Neil Patel declared on the Quick Sprout blog. “You actually learn from those mistakes, which helps you make better decisions down the road.”

Indeed, as author Bruce McDaniel explained in Entrepreneurship and Innovation: An Economic Approach, “entrepreneur” was used in France in the 18th century to describe the very act of risk taking.

“Entrepreneurs do what they do because they want to, because they believe they need to, because they feel something must change, because they know their actions are required to make that change,” Larry Robertson stated in A Deliberate Pause: Entrepreneurship and Its Moment in Human Progress. “They believe they simply have no choice. Their conclusion is ‘if not me, who?’”

The following three tips can help you take action on your ideas and overcome the fear that may be holding you back.

  1. Do the right amount of research.

“The larger knowledge you have about the specific topic related to your action, the larger self-confidence you will have,” consultant Dragan Sutevski wrote on the Entrepreneurship in a Box blog. “If the knowledge for the specific problem that needs to be solved with your entrepreneurial activities is larger, the solution will be much more easier.”

Shark Tank contestant Carbone founded a horror-based immersive entertainment company after receiving a jaw-dropping number of trick-or-treaters at her horror-themed home one Halloween. If she could get hundreds of visitors to her home with some creativity, how much traffic could she drive if she put in professional time and effort?

According to Carbone, she spent several days researching the concept and within a very short time frame launched an enterprise that yielded a $2 million investment from Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban.

“To succeed as an entrepreneur, remember to guard against making critical decisions based solely on emotion without considering relevant information,” Entrepreneurship.org has advised. “Analyze the situation, make the decision, and take action with confidence in your decision-making and planning abilities.”

  1. Don’t fear failure.

“Brains are overrated when it comes to achieving great results,” Lindgren wrote.Focus on doing and building things of value. Most mistakes and changes are more often than not easily fixed.”

Successful entrepreneurs know that success doesn’t necessarily reward the smartest or most intelligent. Success comes to the action taker. Successful entrepreneurs are smart enough to know a good idea when they think of one and sharp enough to put together a strategy that works.

They may not qualify as brain surgeons or rocket scientists but they know how to execute plans, get things done and beat Einstein to the punch.

Carbone encouraged risk taking, saying, “Don’t be afraid to fail as long as after the failure you reflect and try again.”

  1. Act promptly.

“Activate when you have the idea because if you have the idea today and you do not activate today, I guarantee somebody else is going to have that idea tomorrow and maybe that person will activate,” Carbone said.

Have you ever watched an ad or found a product at the store and said, “Hey! I thought of that!” OK, so you did think of it. But so did someone else. In the world of entrepreneurship, having a great idea only gets you so far. You must act on it or lose to the competition.

About Jesse Torres

Jesse Torres has spent nearly 20 years in leadership and executive management posts, including executive management roles at financial institutions. In 2013 the Independent Community Bankers of America named him a top community banker influencer on social media. He is a frequent speaker at financial services and leadership conferences and has written several books. He hosts an NBC News Radio show called Money Talk with Jesse Torres.
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  1. […] sounds simple enough, we seem to have a real problem with the concept. I interviewed the CEO of TenThirtyOne Productions, Melissa Cardone, late last year. She is the woman who convinced The Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban […]

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