REAL Life Beyond the Hit Reality Show 'Shark Tank'

If you've been watching ABC's follow-up reality show "Beyond the Tank" you probably have a new appreciation for what entrepreneurs go through after appearing on ABC's award-winning "Shark Tank." As a Shark Tank winner I get a lot of questions like, "do they really know nothing about you when you walk into the tank?" or "is the deal we saw you make on TV really, really real?" Beyond the Tank answers those questions, even offering too much information at times, about how REAL it can get after getting a deal on Shark Tank.

For Honeyfund and Plumfund, life beyond the Shark Tank got really real, really fast. As entrepreneurs who did it all to start and grow Honeyfund for eight years before appearing on the show in 2014, we knew what busy was; We were experienced working 80 hours a week while raising small children. But we had no idea how much harder we would work post-tank. Aside from the "nice to have" problems like more customers and the added man-hours to serve them, there were pressures we didn't expect. For example we were no longer the only people who cared about our success; While it was exciting to have a Shark like Kevin O'Leary in our corner, we had a natural fear of falling short of his expectations.

As our company grew, we also felt pressure to provide sustainable employment to our team members. Our company is one of very few high-tech employers in our little town, and our team is like family. It would crush us to let them down. And then, of course, there's the pressure to spend the investment money wisely. You'd be surprised how many ways there are to throw hundreds of thousands of dollars away.

If you're thinking "I'd love to have any of these problems," I get it. All the above are part of the deal, and despite them, yes, it's still a deal we'd take in a heart beat. But do you want to know what the REAL challenge has been? Staying true to our mission and values. For Honeyfund, our mission is simply to help wedding guests make a couple's dreams come true without high fees. With Plumfund, we aim to provide simple, low-cost, and customizable crowd-gifting for all of us who strive to make a difference in the lives of others. We value offering the best service at the lowest price. We are completely committed to customer success. We care fiercely for the human feelings involved in giving and receiving money online. Yet seemingly every day we are faced with decisions that could improve our revenue at the expense of any one of those.

Learn more about the real trade offs we've had to make - including a risky business model change to Honeyfund - on Beyond the Tank, Friday May 20 at 8 pm/7 pm central on ABC.

sara honeyfund