Perception Creates Reality, According to Barbara Corcoran

By: Melissa Campanelli

Hello Inner Circle readers!

Not sure how many of you attended the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) last week in Chicago, but if you did, I hope you were able to catch special guest speaker Barbara Corcoran’s presentation. Corcoran, as I’m sure you all know, is an entrepreneur, author and celebrity investor on ABC’s TV series “Shark Tank.” Her presentation was a lot of fun, and inspiring, too.

Corcoran shared with attendees her path to success. At age 23, she borrowed $1,000 from a boyfriend to start a New York real estate company that she grew into a $5 billion business. Corcoran also offered a few life and business lessons she learned along the way. My favorite was the first life lesson she discussed: perception creates reality.

To illustrate this concept, Corcoran discussed how when she first started out, she purchased a tiny New York Magazine ad in which she referred to her team as “Power Brokers.” “Were we power brokers? No, of course not,” Corcoran said. “We were at the bottom of the heap.”

While the real estate agents at the Corcoran Group may not have been power brokers at the time, the positive thinking — i.e., perception — must have worked. Two years years after the ad appeared, a cover story in New York Magazine about “The Power Brokers of New York” included six Corcoran Group agents. And that was a reality.

“Reality doesn’t create perception,” Corcoran told the crowd. “Perception creates reality.”

Have you had any similar experiences where you essentially “faked it until you made it”? If so, we’d love to hear about them! Send me your stories at


Melissa Campanelli
Women in Retail Leadership Circle


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