5 Secrets To Success From Mark Cuban

August 7, 2023

Fans of Shark Tank know Mark Cuban's business acumen. They tune in to the show again and again to watch Cuban and his colleagues evaluate business opportunities. It's amazing to watch Cuban ask the questions that get him to the essence of the deal before him. All of the entrepreneurs that present on the show have unique and useful ideas, but not all of the businesses are destined for success. By watching Shark Tank, you see how a successful billionaire like Mark Cuban gets down to the real potential of each opportunity and picks the winners. Cuban, who started his first company in the mid-1980s, amassed such a fortune that he was able to buy the Dallas Mavericks in 2000. He did it on his own, starting with no money. These five secrets of success from Mark Cuban give great insight into how a self-made entrepreneur becomes a billionaire.

"It's not about money or connections, it's the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone when it comes to your business."

Mark Cuban's personal history proves this quote. After college, he moved from Indiana to Dallas, Texas, where he got his first post-college job. He slept on the couch of a crowded apartment and worked hard. Ambitious, he wanted to close a sale at work but was ordered to clean instead. When he protested, he was fired. He didn't get discouraged, and instead, he started his own business called MicroSolutions, a software distributor. He had no money or connections, and over several years, he learned everything he could about PC software and coding. By outworking and outlearning the competition, he gained the edge he needed to scale the business into an enterprise that he sold for six million dollars in 1990. His success was self-directed, proving in the sport of business, "It's not about money or connections, it's the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone when it comes to your business."

"Creating opportunities means looking where others are not."

This makes a significant amount of sense when you take a step back and think about the nature of business and entrepreneurship. You have to offer something truly unique to build a successful business. Your business needs to solve a problem. It needs to be on the cutting edge. If you look where everybody else is, you'll be just another face in the crowd. When you offer the same thing others offer, you'll be forced to compete on price, which makes making profits almost impossible. In 1995, Cuban and his friend Mark Wagner solved a problem and made them billionaires. They were unable to listen to Hosier basketball games in Dallas, so they created Broadcast.com, a streaming radio service. Seeing vast potential, they expanded Broadcast.com with more offerings until they were able to sell it to Yahoo! for 5.6 billion dollars just four years later. Broadcast.com is a perfect case of "Creating opportunities means looking where others are not."

"Time is the most valuable asset you don t own."

The value of time cannot be overstated. Time, after all, is synonymous with life. Throughout his life, Cuban has been a guy who valued his time. The results of this philosophy show themselves in Cuban's incredible successes. When he lost his first post-college job, he wasted no time starting how own business. As he grew his business, he devoted his time to the learning he needed to become successful. After his first business, MicoSolutions, posted its first moderate successes, Cuban's secretary embezzled eighty-three of the eighty-five thousand dollars the company possessed. Cuban kept pushing forward and turned MicroSolutions into a multimillion dollar company. None of us really know what the future brings or how much time we have. When you have a vision, don't wait. Go forward with your dreams and remember that, "Time is the most valuable asset you don't own."

"Perfectionism is the enemy of profitability."

At first glance, you might think an entrepreneur who has built billion-dollar businesses and bought the Dallas Mavericks might be a bit of a perfectionist. Indeed, on Shark Tank, Mark Cuban shows his demanding side. But if you carefully examine the history of the businesses he created, it's easy to see if he required perfection, he never would have gotten off the ground. Profitability is a fluid situation, business is dynamic, and change happens, often in surprising directions. If you expect everything to be perfect, you'll always be disappointed. If you ignore reality and cling to a fantasy of perfection, your business will suffer. Cuban recommends always being ready for the unexpected by realizing there are things you cannot foresee. This mindset prepares you to avoid impulsive decisions and take advantage of opportunities others ignore. Being perfect doesn't mean being profitable. When adapting to the unexpected, remember, "Perfectionism is the enemy of profitability."

"I've learned that it doesn't matter how many times you failed. You only have to be right once."

We all have to try many things in life. People try many different jobs and many different careers, and investors must try many different investment opportunities and strategies. Entrepreneurs, more than most, must try many different approaches before reaching success. Even within the same business, the first strategy may not pan out. The second, third, or fourth strategy may be the one that takes the business into profitability and growth. When a business becomes successful, do people look at past attempts that failed and judge the business a failure? Of course not. It doesn't matter how many tries it takes for the founders of a company to find the winning formula. Just think of how many equations Einstein worked and reworked before he got the Theory of Relativity right or how many rockets scientists tested before they got one into orbit. It's all a matter of perseverance. Successful people agree with Cuban when he says, "I've learned that it doesn't matter how many times you failed. You only have to be right once."

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