Mark Cuban is not your prototypical businessman, especially when it comes to appearance. He wears old, beat-up wranglers with $40 Nike’s and Dallas Maverick t-shirts that are two sizes too small. You won’t see him in an Armani suit inside a suite at the basketball games. But when it comes to business acumen and success, there’s no one better. When billionaire entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban speaks, I listen. Unfortunately for us, he didn’t make his fortune working in public relations; matter fact, he’ll tell you that he doesn’t believe in companies paying the expenses for a public relations firm. But that’s another topic in itself. There are many lessons public relation professionals or corporate America employees can learn from Mark Cuban though. He’s not successful because he was more naturally talented than his competition(peers), he’s successful because of sweat equity– the ability to work harder and have more drive than your competition. I recently read his book titled, “How to win at the sport in business”, and I learn some things in this book that can lead us all to career success. But it’s not about knowledge, it’s applied knowledge that will lead us down the right path. Here’s what I learned:
1. Time is more valuable than money – I’m sure we have all heard the cliché time is money. Mark Cuban said we all get the same 24 hours in a day, it just depends on how wise you utilize your time and how much productivity comes out of it. In his early 20s, Mark Cuban did three things well: partied, drank and procrastinated. But he realized that if he ever wanted to make his dream become a reality, he would have to devote many hours into his craft. If we want to become experts in what we do, it’s all in the amount of time we spend on it. Cuban was broke in his early 20s, just like most of us. But he used his time wisely and became an expert in an industry that he loved. Instantly, the money began to follow!
2. Commit random acts of kindness– Being nice to people is very important. Mark Cuban said that no one can do it on their own; he couldn’t of done it without a team he knew and trusted. Acts of kindness will entail to also give something back. No matter what, it’s important to make the people around us smile. Those people will have a tremendous impact on our success, so why not make them happy.
3. No balls, no babies– Funny subtitle, huh! But it’s exactly how he phrased it in his book. A black jack dealer once told Cuban, ” when you’re prepared and confident that every angle in your planning is covered, you have to go for it.” Be a risk-taker, most people are afraid to do so. Comfort will never equate to the success level we all aspire to get to.
4. Don’t let fear be a road block– We have two choices with fear: Use it as a roadblock, or use it as motivation to move forward. Mark Cuban is extremely successful, but many people do not know how many times he failed before he racked up his fortune. He’s been fired more than most people have actually been hired. His first company, MicroSolutions, was started with a $500 loan. Failing does not mean that you’re a failure. Many of the greats had to get pass the roadblocks before they reached the pinnacle of success.
5. It’s not in the dreaming, it’s in the doing – Mark Cuban said that there are those who dream, and there are those that actually do. Everybody has a dream, but how many are actually willing to put the sweat, blood, and tears to make it happen. Rather than dreaming, Mark Cuban would always ask himself this: what exactly is it going to take to do it, rather than dream about it.