In this post you’ll find a few of the lessons I Learned from Mark Cuban that you can readily apply to your life and business.
Every great person has at least one golden nugget to offer to the ones who want to do great things. The problem with success advice is that (1) it usually comes in pieces and (2) that those pieces come from different people. Well, there is one more. There is also the fact that we can hardly tell who has something of value to teach, since more often than not value and garbage tend to look alike. We all have a story or two of people who although well advised always failed to make the right decision, and on the other side of the coin, that there are people who are eager to learn but the people they learn from offer poor advice. So, the million dollar question here comes from “what can I do to become more successful?” to “who should I listen to?”. For the latter, the one technique I always apply is to judge the person by her accomplishments. Which means talking to a professional barber when I want to learn about hair cuts, and talking/listen to a successful business owner when I want to learn about business. One of those people who has lots to teach about business goes by the name of Mark Cuban.
Lessons I Learned from Mark Cuban
For the ones who don’t know, Mark Cuban is an American Businessman and investor involved in an array of businesses that go from sports(he owns the basketball team Dallas mavericks) to the purely technology based Dropbox. What makes him a good person to listen to when it comes to business is that (1) He made it on his own and (2) His accomplishments are beyond the wildest dreams of many. Below are a few ideas I learned from Mark Cuban.
1. Every time is the perfect time to start a business
The idea that in order to be successful one needs to quit the day job on the right time is common among people who dream about starting a business. We learn from movies that the ones who make it in life and business, are the ones who eliminate their current activities overnight for new and more “productive” ones. Among those are leaving the day job, which although not a must, many see it as a necessary step to build a successful business. Apparently this is not necessarily the right way to go. As Mark Cuban said on one of his interviews: “you don’t have to quit the day job if you don’t feel all that comfortable, you can give it a run at night”.
2. Don’t make excuses
Apart from the idea that we need to find the perfect time to start a business, another problem new entrepreneurs have is excuses. The truth is that although business is desired by the majority of people, the only easy thing about it is dreaming about it. Just the effort to find out whether our new idea will have costumers willing to pay for it or not, is enough to make our procrastination tendencies go up. When we chose to stop dreaming and start doing it, one great enemy is the set of excuses for why we are not yet successful at it. On one interview he said:” If you find something that you love to do, be great at it, and see if you can turn it into a business”, which pushes us to take our lives to our own hands.
Each one of us is dealt a set of advantages and disadvantages at birth. To complain about ones disadvantages is to admit that we want everything laid down for us. It’s admitting that we need to rely on luck to get what we want. Excuses are like a cancer that stops ourselves from coming up with innovative ways to move forward, by giving us lots of reasons for why things are not going the way we want them to.
3. Learn from failed businesses
No matter how much of an innovative or creative thinker you are, there is always a chance that your ideas are not unique. So, if you’re planning to start a business you need to make sure you learn from the businesses that came before you. As Mark Cuban teaches us: ” You’ve got to go back, because over the past 15 years there were so many businesses that have tried and failed, you’ve got to go back and find those and learn from those.”
By learning from the ones who came before you and failed, you increase the odds that you’ll actually build a successful business. Just like an apprentice learns from a mentor/master, his learning curve can be greatly shortened by learning what the master did wrong on his way to mastery, and making sure he avoids those same mistakes. You will always make mistakes, but it’s in your power to avoid the ones other people made.
4. Know your business better than everybody
This is somewhat related to tip # 2. There is a wide variety of businesses that these days, any skill you have can be directly/indirectly turned into a business. The big take away from this one is not on what you know, but to think about how much you know. If the business world was a classroom, you would want to be in the front of the class taking straight A’s. And for such a thing to happen you need to do your homework, and do your due research. When you know your business from the inside out you can compensate for the lack of starting capital. As Mark Cuban once said: “Small businesses don’t fail for lack of capital, they fail for lack of brains, for lack of effort…”.
5. Do what you love
This is by far the most talked about and still undervalued business/career advice. When you love what you do you can go through the hard times when the business is not yet successful and no one knows about it. I’ve head this advice from both Mark Cuban and Steve Jobs. When the great over and over offer the same advice, one can’t help but to stop and ponder. Maybe there is something to it that makes one entrepreneur after another talk about the cliche topic of “have passion for what you do”.
When you love what you do the inevitable failures simply hurt way less.
Those are a few of the lessons I learned from Mark Cuban. If you’d like to learn more about his ideas and advice here is a YouTube video you could greatly benefit from.
It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
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