Bloomberg put together a video about Mark Cuban that’s well worth a look. You can learn a bit more about how he became a billionaire, and also take away some lessons that can be of use for your own personal finances.
Look for Opportunities
Opportunities are out there and you need to be on the lookout for them. Cuban began to do this from an early age. One of his first entrepreneurial exploits was with postage stamp arbitrage. Cuban discovered that he could buy stamps for as little as $0.25 and then resell them for as much as $50. He became so good at it that, according to his brother, that a neighbor gave him $5000 to buy stamps at a stamp show in New York for him.
It Takes a Lot of Work
Success doesn’t just fall into your lap. As Cuban says, he looks at business as a sport, much like football and basketball. The difference is while those games are played 60 minutes and 48 minutes respectively, business is played 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. You aren’t going to be a success unless your work your heart out, and put in more effort than the other competitors out there.
Have an Eye for Marketing
Marketing opportunities can come from strange places and you can take those opportunities to leverage them to your benefit. Cuban, as owner the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, told a ref that he wasn’t qualified to manage a Dairy Queen. This upset Dairy Queen which wanted Cuban (and everyone) to know that it wasn’t easy to manage a Dairy Queen, and their managers are highly trained. Dairy Queen challenged him to work in a shop. It would have been easy for Cuban to blow the whole thing off, but he instead took the opportunity to work at Dairy Queen for an afternoon, garnering him a huge amount of publicity.
Be Willing to do Things Differently
In many of the businesses that he has owned, Cuban has gone about and done something fundamentally different than what businesses in that area had been doing up until then. As he says, if you are doing what everyone else is doing, you are missing the future and where those business will be in the years to come. It’s important to not only look at what’s happening now, but to anticipate where things will go so that you’re the one to implement that future.
Luck Plays a Big Part
Even with a lot of hard work, luck has a lot to do with it as well. He ended up selling his company at the right time at the height of the Internet bubble for much more than he ever could have a few years later. While this doesn’t discount all the hard work that you must do to be successful, there is an element of luck that comes into play as well. Cuban considers himself “the luckiest person in the world” and that luck had a lot to do with his overall success.
Finally, if you’re interested in learning more about Mark Cuban’s business secrets, check out his autobiography How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It. Its gotten an average of 4 stars out of 2,911 ratings on goodreads.com, so its well worth checking out. Pick up a copy on Amazon for under 5 bucks.