Mark Cuban’s Advice for Startups
from Inc.com Zine 26 May 15 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Anyone who’s ever seen Mark Cuban in a live interview knows that quoting him without using some rather colorful language is nearly impossible. I had the honor of witnessing such an interview the recent iConic Tour here in Chicago, the first event of a three-part event series hosted by CNBC & Inc Zine. I’ll tell you, this man gets his point across. Every entrepreneur would benefit from developing just a small bit of the grit that Mark Cuban has. Here is his brutally frank perspective & advice for entrepreneurs.
1. Failure isn’t acceptable, but it does make you stronger. Cuban has had his fair share of failures, especially at the onset of his career. Before his rise to success, Cuban lived in a 3-room apartment with 6 other guys. “We used to wait for the midnight sale on chicken pieces in the supermarket,” Cuban said, shaking his head. He hesitated before admitting (with a smile) that one of these young men would stand watch while the others sucked down big gulps of cheese whiz and placed the can right back on the shelf.
2. Learn from it. Cuban, perplexed, noted that many people talk about being grateful for their failures. “Sure, I learned from my failures, but man it sucked!” Regardless of the pain associated with it, Cuban points out that it doesn’t really matter how many times you fail. “Each time only makes you better, stronger, smarter. You only have to be right once to make it big. Just once.”
3. Don’t ask others to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself. When Cuban purchased the failing Mavericks for a whopping $285M in 2000, he took immediate action to increase attendance at games. “I moved a desk into the center of the room and surrounded it with the other desks, creating a fishbowl effect,” said Cuban. “Then I picked up the phone and we called every, single past ticket holder. I certainly wasn’t going to ask anyone else to do it, until I succeeded at it myself.”
4. Get off your Butt & Just do it !!! Cuban clearly has limited patience for entrepreneurs or “want to be” entrepreneurs who sit around waiting for someone else to do it for them. “Don’t waste all of your time asking for help,” says Cuban. “Just get to work & get it done !!!
5. Be Prepared. Entrepreneurs are typically labeled as risk takers. Sure, there is emotional risk involved in being an entrepreneur – like fear of failure or rejection. But a savvy entrepreneur like Cuban doesn’t take financial risks; he is very sure of himself in negotiations. His advice? “When you go into a meeting be prepared,” said Cuban. “If you don’t know everything about your industry, the customer, & your own business, then someone like me is going to come in and beat your a*s!” Cuban leans forward in his chair and says, “Look, there is one thing in business that you can control–your effort. Stuff happens, get over it. Just know your sh*t better than anyone!”
6. There is one solution to a “failing” Business. Cuban’s viewpoint here is quite simple: “Sales cures all,” he said. “What company survives without sales?”
7. Watch out for people like Kevin O’Leary. “People ask me if Kevin is as big of a jerk off camera as he is on the camera. He’s a lot worse off camera,” says Cuban. “I’ll tell you, after shooting for 8 to 12 hours, 9 days in a row, you really want to knock the motherf*cker out.” The iConic Tour is coming soon to Los Angeles and D.C., I hope to see you there!
Comments: What do you think of these? Anything you could add?