Aug 20, 2008

Entreprenuers I admire - Mark Cuban

Who is Mark Cuban?

  • Started selling at the age of 12. Garbage bags at profit.
  • Went to college opened up a bar, got busted later on for a wet tshirt contest.
  • Sold shares for running the bar to his friends to buy it in the first place.
  • Started microsolutions, didn't know squat about computers and spent all night learning it.
  • Went on to make audionet, later called and then sold it to Yahoo for 6 billion.
  • Records the highest IPO scaling EVER in his time of release.
  • Bought his Gulf Stream Jet for 41 million dollars online!
  • Bought the Dallas Mavericks and turned them around
  • Fined the highest amount for offensive talk on referees in the history of the NBA.
  • Got married late, has a beautiful wife and 2 kids.
  • Is large, bespectacled, ambitious, pungent, smart, blogs aka someone like me.

Now that I have your attention. He is very vocal about issues and writes some great stuff/advice. And can you believe the dude became a millionaire at the age of 31 (same dream here.) And a billionaire by the age of 45?

I'm going to get a poster up of the guy and keep reminding myself of the reason we are on this earth.

An interview Young Money did with him.

Know the industry very well. Most people think it's all about the idea. It's not. EVERYONE has ideas. The hard part is doing the homework to know if the idea could work in an industry, then doing the preparation to be able to execute on the idea.

What personal characteristics should a person possess in order to become a successful entrepreneur?
Willingness to learn, to be able to focus, to absorb information, and to always realize that business is a 24 x 7 job where someone is always out there to kick your ass.
I figured my challenge was to learn as much as anyone about every and all businesses. [I believed] that every job I took was really me getting paid to learn about a new industry. I spent as much time as I could, learning and reading everything about business I could get my hands on. I used to go into the library for hours and hours reading business books and magazines.
They aren't new ideas, it's just that most people don't do their homework about their businesses and industry, so there is usually a place to sneak in and do something a little different. You just have to make sure what you want to do can sustain a business and make it profitable rather than be a niche that can be crushed [by the competition].

What advice would you give young adults just struggling to move up in the business world?
There are no shortcuts. You have to work hard, and try to put yourself in a position where if luck strikes, you can see the opportunity and take advantage of it. I would also say it's hard not to fool yourself. Everyone tells you how they are going to be "special," but few do the work to get there. Do the work.

"There never is one area that has a door open to everyone. 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."

What would you tell entrepreneur hopefuls who are afraid of failing?
It's good [for them]. I'm always afraid of failing. It's great motivation to work harder.

What is the most important piece of advice you could offer someone who's just starting a business?
Do your homework and know your business better than anyone. Otherwise, someone who knows more and works harder will kick your ass. I went seven years without a vacation. I didn't even read a fiction book in that time. I was pretty focused.

Do you have any general saving and investing advice for young people?
Put it in the bank. The idiots that tell you to put your money in the market because eventually it will go up need to tell you that because they are trying to sell you something. The stock market is probably the worst investment vehicle out there. If you won't put your money in the bank, NEVER put your money in something where you don't have an information advantage. Why invest your money in something because a broker told you to? If the broker had a clue, he/she wouldn't be a broker, they would be on a beach somewhere.

And here's a cool ad he did for HP.