He’s the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, and Magnolia Pictures, and the chairman of the HDTV cable network AXS TV. He has an estimated net worth of US$3 billion. He’s Mark Cuban and one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time.
Born in Pittsburgh in 1958, entrepreneur Mark Cuban has ventured into many diverse businesses. He made his fortune through the sale of startups MicroSolutions and Broadcast.com in the 1990s. Cuban remained on top of technology trends by launching a social media app called Cyber Dust in 2014.
Here are 10 success lessons from Mark Cuban – “Self-made Billionaire” for entrepreneurs,
1. Time is more valuable than money
“How wisely you use your time will have far more impact on your life and success than any amount of money,” Cuban writes. The anthem for any entrepreneur. They work so much at their businesses that sometimes there’s not enough time in the day to do everything they wanted. But they love doing it! When you stop exchanging time for money, you value your work so much more and you end up making more.
He started his first company, software distributor MicroSolutions, when he was 25 and had no money. After it became modestly successful, his secretary embezzled and ran away with $83,000 of the company’s $85,000. Rather than give up and try something else, Cuban writes, he studied PC software and coding relentlessly to gain an edge over the competition. He ended up selling MicroSolutions to H&R Block for $6 million in 1990.
2. Stay focused and believe in yourself
“Stay focused and believe in yourself and trust your own ability and judgment,” says Cuban. There will always come times when you doubt yourself, but they should be few and far between. Having a bit of tunnel vision can be very helpful to entrepreneurs as long as you’re looking down the right tunnel.
3. Tech versus business
“There’s way too much hype on the technologies and not enough attention on the real businesses behind them.” Pay more attention to the businesses and the people, and you’ll bypass a lot of the white noise the products make. You need both tech and business for a success story.
4. It’s worth being nice to people
“Being successful entails being able to not only get along with people, but also to give something back,” Cuban writes. When the committee behind Dallas’ beloved St. Patrick’s Day Parade almost canceled the event after its largest sponsor pulled out in 2012, Cuban donated $40,000 to keep it afloat, adding an additional $25,000 to the committee’s fund for local schools.
5. If you don’t set aside time to have fun, your work will suffer
It’s understandable if you’re a new entrepreneur who is foregoing vacation time to get your business to scale – Cuban says he went seven years without one when he started – but you need a way to unwind or you’re not going to perform to your full potential, he says.
Cuban says his party days are behind him, but he still likes to “blow off steam” with pickup basketball games nearly every week.
6. Always be ready for the unexpected
It’s a form of preparation to realize that there are some things you can never see coming, Cuban says. With that understanding, you can prevent yourself from becoming impulsive when events take an unexpected turn and then take advantage of an opportunity others are ignoring.
7. Work harder and smarter than most people
“Work harder and smarter than most people in the businesses,” says Cuban. It sounds obvious, but so many people want to take short cuts. If you do more, you get more. It’s actually a pretty simple equation.
8. Treat your customers like they own you
“Treat your customers like they own you. Because they do.” You won’t have a business without customers–period. No matter how much success you enjoy, without customer service you won’t reach your top potential.
9. Aspirations that aren’t acted on are meaningless
Cuban believes that anyone with dreams can become successful, but that most people keep their goals hanging over their heads.
“When I catch myself daydreaming about how I’m going to do this or that, I always try to wake up and ask myself just how I’m going to get from where I am to where I want to be,” he writes.
10. It only takes one win to become successful
“The beauty of success, whether it’s finding the girl of your dreams, the right job, or financial success, is that it doesn’t matter how many times you have failed, you only have to be right once,” Cuban writes.