Budding entrepreneurs are always seeking tips to get better. The former U.S. secretary of commerce, Penny Pritzker, as well as investors Mark Cuban and Boris Wertz have told me where they look for rising stars and some of the qualities needed to succeed. Gene Simmons has also weighed in, complete with cursing, though I found this clinical psychologist turned comic book creator far more interesting in how he created a team of superheroes based on Islamic culture and society.

This efficiency expert from Colorado kept me intrigued with his tips on how some crafty restaurants cut costs, while these businesses impressed me by how they found opportunities in old ideas, imperfect products and, well, trash. My inner Charlie Bucket respected how idled toy inventors found a sweet niche within the novelty candy industry. 

Some folks have shared their new "great" idea then asked: "Now what do I do?" Maybe this article, or this one, can help get you started. A few have struggled, though ultimately succeeded, at becoming "overnight" successes. Here's how they did it along with eight lessons from one of Shark Tank's biggest hits. Finally, these tips come courtesy of Mark Cuban and John Paul DeJoria, who shared the stage with me and Melissa Goldstein, Martha Stewart Living's beauty director, during one of the strangest but most interesting professional events of my career. (Sorry to disappoint Shark Tank and Dragons' Den fans, but I was "Surprise Guest Judge #2".)