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Barbara Corcoran shares her secret to a successful career

Ned Ehrbar

If you have trouble saving money, you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it — at least not according to “Shark Tank” star Barbara Corcoran.

On a recent episode of her “Business Unusual” podcast, Corcoran discussed the concept of playing to your strengths when it comes to money and career, and that idea can apply to everything, even how you approach your finances. Not everyone is a good saver, and Corcoran believes it’s important to recognize whether you are one or not. “I’ve never saved in my life. I’m very, very good at making money. I’m not good at managing money,” Corcoran tells Yahoo Personal Finance. “I think saving is grossly overrated. I know it’s the prudent thing…I just believe it’s not for everyone.”

While this advice might seem to go against conventional wisdom, Corcoran insists a lack of a safety net can be good for you. “I think money pressure can be a wonderful motivator, provided you really have a clear idea of where you want to go,” she says. “When you have to find a way to feed your kids, to pay for the tuition, whatever, it’s amazing the new ideas you’ll think about, how creative you’ll get, how many hours you’ll work, what new angles you’ll think of.”

Corcoran has a tried-and-true method for finding your strengths and weeding out those weaknesses, and she employs it regularly. She advises sitting down and making a simple, two-column list — one for what she loves about her job, one for what she hates.

“I do this for myself probably every four to six months of my life,” she says. “I start stream-of-consciousness always with the what I hate. It’s a long list — I hate this, I hate this, this is bugging me. And then on the ‘what I love,’ it’s always a short list. And then I get rid of everything I hate.”

While being able to simply jettison any aspect of a job you dislike may seem like a luxury, Corcoran insists you just need to get creative. “Say, ‘Who can I get to do this?’ And if you don’t have the money as a young entrepreneur, you can barter,” she says. “So if you hate bookkeeping, get a bookkeeper. You’re good at marketing, you do their marketing brochure. So you can get anything off your plate that you’re not good at. You have a much happier life that way.”

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