Pictured from left to right: Helene Solomon, Barbara Corcoran, Sheridan Wachtel, Marisa Connolly

Wednesday, I, along with some special clients, colleagues and members of the Solomon McCown & Company team, enjoyed a great morning with Barbara Corcoran, real estate mogul and “Shark investor” on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” The breakfast was held at the Four Seasons in downtown Boston, and was hosted jointly by Morgan Stanley and The Commonwealth Institute. (Hint: she picks entrepreneurs not companies)

Corcoran’s freewheeling talk was instructive, poignant, hilarious and sobering all at the same time. The out-spoken business woman, who turned $1000 from her first boyfriend into a multi-million dollar New York City real estate firm, credited her success to a loving upbringing, an inability to work for anyone other than herself, and an uncanny resilience after experiencing failure (more on this in a minute).

There was something for everyone in the crowd: advice for those who want to “reinvent” themselves, for those who want to find more work/life balance, and for those just looking to be successful in business. Corcoran also talked about how she created an atmosphere of fun at her office by building camaraderie through zany, after hour parties.

But the point she came back to again and again – and what Corcoran claims is the only difference between the most successful business people and others – is the ability to rebound quickly from (and not dwell on) failures. Everyone experiences their fair share, she told the crowd, but it’s those who can bounce back from adversity and set-backs along the way…who will ultimately come out on top.