Kevin O’Leary Shares His Most Important Business Advice

The Shark Tank star was speaking at the Massachusetts Conference for Women.

Kevin O’Leary, best known from ABC’s hit show Shark Tank, gave away the ingredients to his “secret sauce” of success Thursday afternoon at the 12th annual Massachusetts Women’s Conference.

O’Leary said an entrepreneur has to be able to articulate a business opportunity in less than 90 seconds, be successful in convincing investors they are the right team, and know their numbers.

“Never forget these three. Tattoo them on your forehead,” O’Leary said.

The businessman, who calls Massachusetts home, shared the stories of some of his most successful deals—many at the hands of women.

“All of my returns have come from companies that are owned by women,” O’Leary said.

He has even invested in two Massachusetts companies. Wicked Good Cupcakes, a Boston-based cupcakes company, won over the so-called Mr. Wonderful on an episode of Shark Tank. The company has sold more than 1 million cupcakes since making the deal, and O’Leary considers them one of the most successful businesses on the show.

“What they learned on Shark Tank, they haven’t forgotten,” O’Leary said of the owners. “These two women are super smart.”

For online businesses like Wicked Good Cupcakes, acquiring customers can be the biggest challenge. But the women behind the cupcake company have stayed in the public eye and that’s exactly what O’Leary wants them to do. He said the company is on TV all the time and even televised the 1 millionth cupcake sold.

“Any way you can tell your story helps reduce the costs,” O’Leary said.

But there’s more to a successful business than just publicizing it. O’Leary says setting goals and allocating time are key ingredients to the “secret sauce” of success. And he says women happen to be better at it.

“Don’t reach for the moon. Reach for success,” he said.