Some practical life and business lessons from Mark Cuban, the serial entrepreneur and owner of the Mavericks:
1. You’re just getting started
You’re not done yet; you’re young, and fun.
You’re beginning to get good.
2. Write blogs
Take blog posts and turn into book // don’t try to write a book.
3. Don’t be subtle
Avoid false humility. Say it how it is.
Revel in your own grandeur and magnanimity.
4. Get paid to learn
Get a job where you get ‘paid to learn’ — aka a full-time job. Learn as much as you can out of college, when learning from a company.
‘Read the fucking manual’
Manuals are boring; but often very practical.
6. Close the sale
Better to have a sure dollar, than uncertain (future) dollars.
7. Start a business with zero capital
The best capital to start your business: not with money, but with your sweat, your hustle.
You can control the amount of effort you put into business; not the final impact.
8. Practical tips
Have a 100% money back guarantee when you’re starting off.
9. Stay hungry for new ideas
Constantly search for new ideas, to improve yourself. Gain a ‘knowledge advantage’ to your competitors.
With the internet, ideas are infinite.
10. Package products
Software used to cost $495.00 (for word processor). Bill Gates ‘disrupted’ this by offering all the programs as a suite, for low price of $99. Killed everyone else.
11. Think big
Always run my business like I’m competing against the biggest technology companies in industry. Like you’re competing against Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
For example, Apple doesn’t use other platforms. They build their own platform.
12. Never stop hustling
When you’re starting off, you need to hustle 7x24x365. 7 days a week; 24 hours a day; 365 days a year.
But when you gain some success, only work 18 hours a day — rest of time for family.
13. Play the real game
Other guys play fantasy sports; I play the real game. – Mark Cuban
Don’t play video games, or fantasy sports. Play the real game of business, for real dollars.
14. Fire your brain
‘I fire the synapses to get an edge.’ – Mark Cuban
Don’t do anything you cannot learn from.
15. Remove friction, remove drag from life
People follow the ‘path of the least possible resistance.’
16. Don’t buy new
Mark Cuban started off buying used; not new. Why can’t I?
17. Avoid debt
‘The greatest obstacle to destiny is debt; both financial and personal’ – Mark Cuban
Avoid debt at all costs; and also personal debt from accepting ‘favors.’
Don’t feel obligated to others.
Financial debt: ultimate dream killer.
18. Increase your batting average
A baseball player in the MLB hits 30%. Even an extra 10% — they are all-star.
Basketball players need to hit 50% of their shots. Extra 10%— they’re an all-star.
How can I increase my hitting average? Take extra swings, and practice more. Take more risks.
People love LIVE experiences. This is why people still pay for live concerts, events, and sports.
20. Don’t drown in opportunity.
Innovation: saying NO to 99 really good ideas (Steve Jobs).
Focus on your core business.
21. High-margin customers
Don’t seek lots of low-margin customers; seek few high-margin customers.
22. What will i remember at age 90?
Imagine myself at age 90, on my death bed (like Jeff Bezos) to make decisions in life.
I will appreciate unique opportunities and experiences in my life. Prefer time with family and loved ones over all the money in the world.
Also to appreciate dedicating my life to creating and sharing.
23. Put myself in shoes of my customer
Mark Cuban stands in line for tickets to the game, and sits in general public seats. Lives like a normal person; to get in the mind of customer.
24. Change what annoys me
Whatever annoys me— find a solution. Be the change in which I wish to see in the world.
If I am hungry for good content, be the creator.
Don’t whine; improve, and create.
25. People will pay for less resistance
Amazon prime; easier to order stuff.
Give people the path of least resistance.
How to remove resistance and friction in life?
Easier to pay for premium access, to make life easier.
Path of least-resistance to people who can afford it?
Google: least resistance — we choose the top 1-2 entries.
26. Not unlimited options
Too many options; too much stress. Fewer choices. Less ‘paralysis by analysis.’
27. Sales is lifeblood of company
No company survives without selling stuff.
28. Be the best
Seek to become the best in my field; to achieve my personal maximum.
29. The best way to predict the future is invent it
Don’t ask customer for their opinion or ideas; create it for them. Or else, we would all be still with horses.
Henry Ford: “If you asked me what the customer wanted, they would say a faster horse!” Another quote from Henry Ford: “The customer can buy any color Ford T they want, as long as it is black.”
Create your own unique vision, and share it with others.
30. Compete with yourself
Disregard competition; just kick your own ass, to make yourself better.
31. Only work on what I’m obsessed with; what I love
The only way to put in real hustle.
32. Time is more valuable than money
What use is a billion dollars, if you’re 90 years old, unable to enjoy it?
33. No balls; no babies
Take more risks; to gain more rewards.
34. Work hard; play hard
Hustle hard; but know how to enjoy the fruit of your labor.
35. Pour the water
Create your own opportunities. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you.
36. Don’t dream; do
There are dreamers and doers. Be a doer. Create your own version of yourself; your own future. Write your own future history.
37. Don’t get too greedy.
Don’t squeeze every last penny out of a deal. Take a sure profit.
How to win at the sport of business
For more inspiration, pick up a copy of Mark Cuban’s “How to win at the sport of business.”
For inspiration, learn from these contemporary titans: