Kim Nelson is one of the sweetest success stories in "Shark Tank" history. The owner of Pauline, S.C.'s I Love Daisy Cakes bakery, she struck a deal with Barbara Corcoran in season two, and it's been nothing but sugar and spice ever since.
"She's hands-on, but she's not a control freak," Nelson said of Corcoran. "She's not afraid to give me a good, stern talking-to if things aren't going the way that she expects them to go."
Nelson revealed what happens to every entrepreneur who walks through the "Shark Tank" doors.
"When you go in, you stand on the duct tape 'T' and you don't speak until you're spoken to," she said. "It seems like an eternity that you're standing there, and the sharks are looking at you and sizing you up and all that." She said that this is when most of the "will they or won't they" happens, and all you can do is try to ride it out.
"I believe that those two minutes when you're standing there and they're sizing you up, I think that they're seeing what you're made of and they can see right through any kind of bull crap that you're trying to pitch to them," Nelson said.
Most of the small businesses that appear on the show have experienced the "Shark Tank" effect, and I Love Daisy Cakes was no exception. When the episode aired, the bakery's phones lit up and the website crashed within minutes. But even with its capabilities stretched to the breaking point, it received over 2,000 orders in 48 hours.
By contrast, that was the full amount that the bakery had sold in all of 2010.
How would Nelson advise other hopefuls to handle their time in the tank? Her advice to other entrepreneurs is simple.
"Take a deep breath," she said. "Make sure your hair and lipstick look fabulous. And be yourself. That's what they want to see. They don't want any arrogant, pretentious person on there. Know your numbers, be prepared, but be yourself."
—By Liza Hughes, Special to CNBC. You can follow Liza at @liza_hughes.
Tuesdays have more bite with back-to-back episodes of "Shark Tank" on CNBC every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET.