Mo's Bows: Money Isn't Everything
Moziah Bridges stole the show in last week's episode of Shark Tank. The 11 year old entrepreneur from Memphis, Tennessee started his bow-tie business at the young age of nine after deciding to pursue his "passion for fashion". He along with his grandmother spend many hours a day sewing a variety of bow-ties to then sell for a high-end $40 or $60 apiece. Mo charmed the Sharks from the moment he started his presentation, and ultimately got an offer from Kevin O'Leary. But although Mo turned this offer down, what he walked out of the Tank with was a lot more valuable.
Mo applied to be on Shark Tank for two reasons: To acquire money to be able to move the manufacturing to an actual facility, and to partner with his idol, Daymond John. After being told by three Sharks that he could make it on his own without an investor, Mo was left with two offers, each reflecting on one of his underlying purposes for entering the Tank. Kevin offered to provide the money Mo needed in exchange for a $3 royalty on each bow-tie he sold, while Daymond offered to mentor Mo for no equity in the company at all. With the help of his mom, Mo decided to give up the equity offer and instead walk away with a direct line to the fashion mogul, Daymond John.
Although Kevin's offer would have provided Mo's business with some much needed cash, it is unlikely that Mo would achieve his long-term goal of extending his brand to cover all areas of fashion with this partnership. It is doubtful that Kevin would invest much of his precious time working to grow this brand, and Mo would pretty much be left on his own to make all the right moves.
Working with Daymond on the other hand, provides Mo with just about everything he will every need. Daymond can not only provide Mo with advice and mentorship, but he can manufacture the products himself and get him into just about any retailer he wishes. This clearly has a lot more value than the equity deal he was offered, and Mo definitely made the right choice in the Tank.
Aside from inspiring young entrepreneurs to follow their passions and pursue their dreams, Mo's experience in the Shark Tank serves as a lesson to business owners and entrepreneurs of all ages. While it may be true that a business can only thrive if it is making money, it is important to always look ahead and determine what is best for the business in the long term. Every day, firms have opportunities to make unethical decisions to make huge sums of money in a very short period of time. Some can't resist the temptation, while others look past the immediate benefits and see much more value in retaining a crystal clean reputation. What it boils down to is that money isn't everything. Money speaks volumes, but it isn't everything. Yes Mr. Wonderful, I'm talking to you!