He’s an American businessman, investor, television personality, and philanthropist.
He’s the owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks and Landmark Theatres.
He has an estimated net worth of three billion US dollars.
He’s Mark Cuban, and here are his top 10 rules for success.
Mark Cuban’s Rules
- Now is the time
- Be passionate
- Don’t make excuses
- Learn from history
- Enjoy competing
- Know your business
- Be brutally honest with yourself
- Know your strengths and weaknesses
- Be unique
- Be yourself
Mark Cuban Top 10 Rules for Success
Rule #1. Now Is The Time
Yo, personally I think every time is a perfect time to start a business, there’s no bad times. If you do the work, if you do the preparation, you’ll know when it’s time. And it doesn’t mean that it won’t be a little bit scary, but you know, it’s, you’ll know.
And you don’t have to quit the daytime job if you don’t feel all that comfortable, and you can give it a run at night. But, whatever works for you, now with the Internet, you’ve got all the choices in the world and you can just go out there and do your own thing and you know, set up a business part time.
Rule #2. Be Passionate
The passion I’ve always had for business and being an entrepreneur, that transfers into the Mavs. I’ve always been passionate. Some people thought you know, it’s more OCD than anything else, which I think is a great trait for an entrepreneur. You know, I mentioned the stamp business.
I would stay up til three, four in the morning even though I had to get up and go to school and read Linn’s Stamp News and Scott’s Stamp Journals and have them all memorized and use that to get myself an edge. Even when I was in college, I’d be in the library reading business books and just looking for business biographies and just reading all I could about business.
When I had Micro Solutions and you know, I started with no money, you know, I’d pull all nighters in front of borrowed computers teaching myself software and how to program.
Rule #3. Don’t Make Excuses
Just to go after it. I mean, the thing about being an entrepreneur is it’s just all to you. You know, a lot of people like to make excuses, I don’t have connections, I don’t have money, I don’t have this, but you know, if you find something that you like to do or love to do, be great at it and see if you can turn it into a business and worst case, you’re going to have fun doing what it is you love to do and best case you can turn it into a business.
I’m just not big on excuses, I just think that if you’re really, everybody has that opportunity to go for it, they’ve just got to do it.
Rule #4. Learn From History
One of the things that companies do or startups do, they come up with an idea, they’ll Google it, and if they don’t see it in the first two pages, they think it’s original. You’ve got to go back, right, because over the past 15 years there’s so many different businesses that have tried and failed, you have to go back and find those and learn from those.
So, you’ve got to understand all the implications and you have to learn from history. And so, the best advice I can give you on a video before talking to you or emailing with you is that you’ve got to find out the history of people who have tried your idea.
Because there’s a 99.99999 percent chance that your idea’s been tried before. That’s not a good reason not to start it, because you might be able to outperform them, but you better learn from the history of your idea. Because you know what they say about people who don’t learn from history.
Rule #5. Enjoy Competing
I’ve always just really enjoyed just the competition of business. I think, you know, in the sports business I’ll talk to our players and it’ll be like, well you guys compete for 48 minutes and you practice a couple hours and you work on your game independently a couple hours, but the ultimate sport is business, because you have to compete with everybody and you have to do a 24 by seven by 365 days a year forever, and there’s always somebody out there trying to kick your butt.
There’s always somebody who looks at your business and says, “I can do that better, “I have a better idea.” And you have to compete with that person and all the while you have to make your customers happy, your employees happy, it’s the competitive side of me that, in any entrepreneur, that I think that has to drive you and I think that carries over into the Mavericks. I want to win and I want to compete.
Rule #6. Know Your Business
99 percent of small businesses you can start with next to no capital, it’s more about effort. You know, small businesses don’t fail for lack of capital, they fail for lack of brains, they fail for lack of effort, most people just aren’t willing to put in the time to work smart.
I mean, they go for it in a lot of cases but they just don’t recognize how much work’s involved. And if you do the preparation, if you know, if you start a business you better know your industry and your company better than anyone in the whole wide world, because you’re competing.
And to think that whoever it is you’re competing with is just going to let you come in and take their business, obviously that’s naive and I think most people don’t recognize that. If you’re going to compete with me and one of my businesses, you better realize that I’m working 24 hours a day to kick your ass.
Rule #7. Be Brutally Honest With Yourself
One of the big things that all startups do is they lie to themselves over and over and over. Mine’s faster, mine’s cheaper, mine’s better, mine’s this, mine’s that. No it’s not. And the reason it’s not is because whoever it is you’re competing with, it’s not like they’re ignoring you. It’s not like oh my goodness, this guy just started on Shopify in this startup competition, he’s doing a million dollars this year, woe is me, I might as well close up the doors.
What are they doing? I’m going to copy what they’re doing and now you’ve got to stay ahead. And so, you know, you’ve got to be very careful as an entrepreneur to be brutally honest with yourself and those are some of the things that you’ll hear from me as a mentor. That you know, know what you know, know what you don’t know, but you’ve got to know your business better than anybody.
Rule #8. Know Your Strengths And Weaknesses
I think the most important is knowing your strengths and weaknesses and knowing what you enjoy doing. You know, if you look at it as a job, you’ve already lost. It’s not going to be your passion, and you’re going to count the hours. If you look at it as something you love to do, and then you know what your strengths are, then you can leverage those strengths in your business and in helping others and once you recognize your weaknesses, then you can work with people that compliment you.
I mean, every one of my businesses I’ve had a partner who is very anal . Martin Woodall, Todd Wagner, I mean, incredibly anal people, perfectionists, because I’m a slob. You know? I’m a big picture, think about what’s around the corner, how is technology going to change things, how can I change you know, this industry and you know, making sure that there’s somebody there to dot the i’s, cross the t’s, and keep me in the base lines.
And you know, recognizing my weaknesses is just as important as recognizing my strengths and my core competencies and you know, having a passion to do them.
Rule #9. Be Unique
You’ve got to be differentiated and unique, you’ve got to know what your core competency is and be great at it. I think what people fail to realize is that there’s got to be a defining feature of your company and you’ve got to be the best in the world at that. Whatever industry you’re in, if you don’t know more about it than anybody else in the world, whoever those other people are that know more are going to kick your ass.
Rule #10. Be Yourself
I had a job out of college working for a bank for a short period of time, Mellon Bank. And I decided to, well first, it might’ve been Ink Magazine, this is way back when, but there was an article about using, changing something in how you deduct, how you save social security from employees’ paychecks, and I literally hadn’t been working there for three weeks and so I sent it to the CEO of Mellon Bank, “Hey, I thought you might be interested in this.”
Literally some guy he never heard of and I got a note back that said thank you and I’m thinking okay, my whole job, my whole motive in taking a job, working for somebody was to help them become more profitable, that’s the way I always looked at it. And then I started a rookies club where I reached out to some executives and all the people who had started at the same time at Mellon Bank, we’d all go out and get a drink and we’d get this executive star.
And I didn’t like, run it through my boss or anything, and so my boss at the time calls me in and says, “You’re doing this?” I said yeah, thinking he was going to say “great”, and he just starts screaming at me and reaming me, “How could you do this? “You do everything through me. “You work for me.”
So, I knew I wasn’t destined there. And then I left and I went down to, ended up down in Dallas and got a job working for a company called Your Business Software. And we were, we sold software and I didn’t know anything about software, I took one computer class in Indiana and kind of cheated to pass, but, not that I condone that, but… And so I had a customer and I’d stay up all night reading.
I figured you know, computers were new and technology was new, this technology was new, so nobody had a headstart on me, because it was changing so rapidly like it is today, that if I just put in the time I can learn as much as anybody else. And so I taught myself, I’d stay up late reading software manuals, taught myself different little simple programming languages and kept on getting bigger and bigger and better and better, but it was at a retail store.
And one of my responsibilities was to come in and sweep the floor, wipe down the windows and open the store. And I had a customer who wanted me to come out there and close a deal. And it was a 15,000 dollar deal, 1,500 dollar commission to me.
Told my boss, he said, “No, you need to be there to open the store.” And I made the executive decision that I was going to go get the check, because you know, I was living with six guys in a three bedroom apartment, sleeping on the floor, and this check meant I could like, not use the same Holiday Inn towels with holes in them that I’d stolen and you know, but anyways, so I went and picked up the check, thinking when I came back and gave the check to my boss all would be forgiven and you know, the sales cures all.
Fired me. Fired me, and so those back to back experiences confirmed what I already knew, that I was a shitty ass employee and that I better start my own.
Thank you guys so much for watching. Now, this video was made because Jose Burgos asked Evan to on YouTube. If you have a famous entrepreneur that you really want Evan to make a video of, leave it in the comments below.
I’d also love to know which of Mark Cuban’s top 10 rules had the biggest impact on you. Leave it in the comments and we’re going to join in the discussion. Thank you so much for watching, continue to believe, and we’ll see you soon.
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