September 27, 2022

Unitranche

Supportive Business Potential

“Shark Tank” stars give advice on jump-starting a business

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Over the past two years, the pandemic forced most of us to slow down and reevaluate our life goals. And as a result, many Americans have decided to quit their job in order to pursue their own business ventures.

But is there a right way to do it?

“Shark Tank” stars Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac, the co-founders of Cousins Maine Lobster, joined “The Donlon Report” on Thursday to share their best advice for people who are looking to start their own company.

“My advice, if you want to do this … is to do something you love, something that’s meaningful to you,” Tselikis said.

Tselikis and Lomac’s passion for seafood stemmed from their upbringing in Maine. It wasn’t until the pair decided to move to Los Angeles that they discovered the desire to create something that reminded them of home.

“We went out saying we wanted to recreate our childhoods. And that is what this business is all about for us,” Tselikis said.

The duo launched a single food truck business in California, serving authentic and sustainable lobster rolls, in 2012. After their appearance on “Shark Tank” in 2016, the pair netted a $55,000 investment from real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran. Since then, Cousins took off. The company now owns dozens of food trucks and restaurants in 19 states.

But the bumpy economic recovery from the pandemic hasn’t been an easy one for restaurants. Supply chain backlogs and high consumer demand for goods have kept prices elevated. But Lomac believes that now is the time for achieving their dream because the climate is changing.

“I don’t think that there was an immense amount of people kind of taking risks like this,” Lomac said. “Now, it seems like it’s more encouraged to do this. And it’s more expected that you don’t have to work your nine-to-five or do kind of what you were taught when you were growing up.”

Tselikis said one of the most valuable lessons they learned from Corcoran was to be prepared for everything.

“The more prepared you are, you’re going to decrease any chances of failure. So whether it’s an interview or a new job, you’re starting, whatever it is — know everything … so you give yourself the best chance for success.”

Lomac also pointed out you don’t have to have all the money in the world when you start out. It’s really all about confidence.

“When we decided to go all-in … we said we wanted to be the best,” Lomac said. We wanted to be the kind of the name (you think of) when you think a lobster. And we didn’t take any shortcuts. So right now, if you’re thinking about doing that, and you want to take the risk, make sure you’re the absolute best in your class.”