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Lesson #3: Do It Because You Love It
To the outside world, it might appear as if Cuban is finally living the life of his dreams. With courtside season tickets to Mavericks games and a private $41 million airplane that takes him to every away game, Cuban is undoubtedly fulfilling his sports fantasy, as well as that of thousands of other basketball fans.
But, Cuban’s first love wasn’t basketball – it was, in fact, technology. He didn’t slave away for years in the IT industry before being able to do what he loves most as owner of the Mavericks. Instead, Cuban was doing what he loved most all those years and because of that, was able to make it big and continue fulfilling his passions.
“Do it because you love it,” says Cuban. “Then it’s not a job.” It was Cuban’s passion for his work that made him try so hard to realize his success. From his very first job in the IT industry, he absorbed whatever information he could like a sponge. He never claimed to be a know-it-all nor did he have much experience, but he had the interest and the desire to be the best that he could.
Because of his youth and inexperience, Cuban claims that he was often underestimated, but he just used that to his advantage. “I had more energy and I didn’t have any preconceived notions on how things should be,” he said. “I just tried to learn the technology better than anyone else and find the best ways to help my customers.”
To anyone who has the ambition and the desire to succeed, Cuban stresses the importance of loving what you do, “because it’s what you would do twenty-four hours a day.” In his current role as owner of the Mavericks, Cuban is indeed having the time of his life. “I spend every day thinking about the Mavericks,” he says. “That includes time dreaming about the Mavs while sleeping.” But, for Cuban, the thrill of turning his startups into successful multi-million dollar companies far outweighs the joy he gets from his sports team. “The thrill of victory in business blows away the thrill of victory in sports,” he says. “Business is a sport 24 x 7 x 365.”
Now, Cuban is focused on his new business called HDNet and again, the passion he has for the promise of high-definition television can be seen every time he makes a presentation to investors or a speech at conventions. When he was once asked how, as a producer, he balanced the need to produce a commercially viable product with his own desire to create great art, Cuban replied, “They aren’t mutually exclusive. We try to do both. Nothing wrong with doing something fun.” Indeed, having fun is what keeps him working every day instead of using his billions to relax on a beach in some remote tropic.
“There never is one area that has a door open to everyone,” says Cuban. “Try to find an area with something you love to do and do it. It’s a lot easier to work hard and prepare when you love what you are doing.”
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