Read Notebooks Blog Post: Shark Tank, Literacy, and the Future of American Entrepreneurship

The path of a social entrepreneur is a difficult one, full of doubt, worry, and never-ending obstacles. It is also, however, an intellectually and emotionally rewarding path, requiring constant learning, researching, skill acquisition, hard self examination, and a strong enough belief in your cause to drive you onwards. 

Among all the qualities an entrepreneur must have, the constant drive, desire, and ability to learn might be the most important. As we all know, learning from mistakes – be they yours or those of others – is the key to success. Want confirmation? Sit down one evening and watch America’s favorite TV investor-personalities, The Sharks from ABC’s hit show Shark Tank, interact with the business owners that come before them to pitch themselves and their businesses. Count how many times they talk about how learning, especially from past failures, affects their judgment. Also see if you can spot the reactions of The Sharks when they realize the person in front of them is unwilling or unable to listen to and learn from their advice. In fact, more so than the money in their pockets, The Sharks are offering the businesses that come on Shark Tank the opportunity to learn from a master directly.

But what about people how never have the opportunity to talk to, and learn from, Barbara Corcoran, Marc Cuban, Kevin O'Leary, and company? We at Read Notebooks know that the second-best opportunity to learn lies in literacy and the written word. Want to be successful? Then you had better be willing and eager to read everything you can get your hands on in the hope that the insights you glean will make the difference to your business.

Funnily enough, The Sharks clearly agree. Every single one of them has written a book that shares their successes, failures, and lessons with the general public in the hopes that people like us will read, learn, and benefit from their stories.



This belief that literacy is the gateway to success, in that it not only enriches the mind intellectually and emotionally but also opens the doors to achievement through learning in work and business, is why we started Read Notebooks. We believe it is obvious that without literacy skills, the entrepreneurial success of our children is limited, cut off from the bank of knowledge that could be at their fingertips.

Daymond John, the dapper Shark, knows especially well the importance of literacy in entrepreneurship. As an undiagnosed dyslexic, someone to whom the skills involved in reading and spelling come difficultly to, well into adulthood, Daymond knew that the lessons inside books were crucial despite the extra effort it took him to access them compared to his peers. “Because I’m dyslexic, I’ve had to read books many times,” he says. “That’s why I focus on reading ones that are high-impact and incredibly useful, full of important lessons that I can apply to my life and business.”

Having achieved all he has, it would be unfair to suggest that Daymond was unable to reach his full potential due to his difficulty with literacy skills as a young man. However, we believe he would be the first to say that having those literacy skills is an advantage he would have enjoyed having. That is why it is so crucial for us to continue to advocate for, support, and yes hustle our asses off, in order to ensure that every child in America has the opportunity to develop into a skilled and active reader. Join Read Notebooks in celebrating the true entrepreneurial spirit of America, exemplified by Shark Tank’s panel of Sharks, and help us to secure the future of American business, one book at a time.


There are many ways you can support Read Notebooks. First, you can follow us on FacebookTwitter, andInstagram, and share Read Notebooks with your family and friends. You can also join us at one of our upcoming Read Ups, where we read aloud to children and deliver the donated books. If you are interested in joining a future Read Up, please email


Justin Reyes
Justin Reyes