Shaan Patel & a Shark Tank Showcase: what entrepreneurial success looks like

On a recent episode of Shark Tank, a young man presented a pitch for a company he owns. The company provides in depth sat preparation with techniques that were built around the young man’s own SAT experience. The first time he took the test, he got a very average score. The second time around, he scored perfectly.




This young man was thoroughly impressive. He presented himself well, was articulate and knowledgeable and finally, his resume was impressive. He was pursuing degrees from USC as well as an MBA from Yale. AT THE SAME TIME.


What impressed me most however about this young man was his tenacity and personality as an entrepreneur. I read an article on Forbes Investing that spoke about his background. The fact that he came from such humble beginnings to a state of success was impressive. Here is a quote from the full article:

Shaan Patel grew up in a rugged neighborhood infested with drugs and crime in Las Vegas. He felt ashamed that the tiny budget motel his parents owned and rented by the hour doubled as their home. He attended Clark High School, where a majority of students are disadvantaged and almost a third fail to meet U.S. educational standards in reading and math. Some 40% of students in the district drop out. Patel has come to embrace his upbringing as a “unique part of his childhood.”

The 26-year-old’s humble past only makes his phenomenal victories as a student, entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” contestant all the more inspiring, let alone impressive.

 The article goes on to say:

Patel’s business spawned from his own need to improve his score on the infamous standardized test, the most mentally brutal right of passage to college. Owing to “focused preparation,” Patel catapulted from an initially average score to a perfect 2,400 — a rare feat accomplished by only 0.02% of test takers.

Reigning over his high school as a National Merit Scholar, valedictorian and homecoming king, Patel won 20 scholarships totaling an eye-popping $250,000. He earned awards from Coca-Cola (KO), Toyota (TM), and McDonald’s (MCD) in addition to meeting President George W. Bush as a White House Presidential Scholar.


All successful entrepreneurs do not need to come from backgrounds like Patel. Nor do they need to experience success on a national stage like Shark Tank in order to “see success”. They do however, need to have something that Patel has:



Successful Entrepreneurs are tenacious and are hard workers. They do not easily give up on their dreams and they do not take no for an answer. They are teachable and committed. They are successful because they are all of these things, not because they give in easily.


Patel is a shining example of what many entrepreneurs should aspire to be.