Mark Cuban has a net worth of $3 billion. Most of his wealth has come
from two major transactions, but the businessman has continued to enjoy
success, whether with the Dallas Mavericks or Shark Tank. Cuban has
transitioned from a boy who sold garbage bags to one of the most famous
businessmen in the entire world.
Some pooh-pooh Cuban’s success as
mere dumb luck in cashing out of the Y2K market early, but luck is when
success meets opportunity. There is a lot that any entrepreneur could
learn from Cuban’s success, and here are five business tricks which any
entrepreneur can use to grasp just a small part of all he has
1. Don’t persuadeFor many, selling is
persuasion. Do a Google search and you’ll find a whole bunch of articles
that claim that with a little persuasion trick, a salesman can convince
all the people in the world.
But Cuban knows that selling and persuasion are not the same thing, as he observed
that “selling is never about convincing. It is always about helping.”
You don’t want to persuade someone your product is awesome. You want to
show that the product will fundamentally help them in some way.
there is any one neat persuasion trick, it is this: put yourself in the
shoes of others. That is the basis of any relationship, and that is the
basis of salesmanship.
2. Work hard, but smartCuban will
be the first to tell you that hard work is the key to success. One of
his first business moves as a young man was to take advantage of a local
newspaper strike. Cuban and his friends drove several hours to
Cleveland, bought tons of newspapers, and sold them back in his hometown
of Pittsburgh for a good profit.
But Cuban will tell you that
hard work is not about putting a lot of hours in at an office. It is
about getting things done. If you sit at a desk for ten hours but
accomplish nothing, you might as well have stayed home. In order to work
smart, you need to be organized, come to work every day with a plan,
and know what needs to be accomplished.
3. Save moneyIf
there is any one single rule which Cuban emphasizes, it is this one.
Cuban may be worth a lot of money today, and he grew up in a decently
well-off family, but he has known privation. He famously recounts living
off ketchup and mustard sandwiches as he worked to reach his current
Cuban was willing to accept this privation because he
wanted to get rich, and lot of entrepreneurs will have to endure similar
conditions if they wish to get anywhere in life. Get rid of the credit
card, don’t eat out, and slash personal expenses as much as possible.
Living cheaply isn’t a weekly or monthly thing, but something which can
last years until an opportunity finally arrives.
As Cuban observed, there is no such thing as “getting rich quick.” There is only getting rich, and that takes time and a willingness to sacrifice.
4. Never go into debtThis
is similar to the above point, but Cuban believes in this so fervently
that it needs to be covered twice. While there is the personal aspect of
saving money by staying home, not going out to eat, and investing money where you can, there is also the business end of the deal.
As Cuban told one interviewer, “if you’re starting a business and you take out a loan, you’re a moron.”
businesses can start with very little capital if you put enough effort
into it. Think about Apple’s humble beginnings, or how Facebook was set
up in a college dorm. If you can put in the effort and have a great idea
which will appeal to consumers, then you will be able to get the
capital without essentially becoming a puppet of the bank.
5. Listen to your customers’ feedbackPeople like to talk. And customers like to talk about the products they purchase — especially what went wrong with them. Cuban points out
that the fundamental goal of any business is to satisfy their
customers, because that is what will lead to growth and then to profits.
there are limits to this. As Henry Ford observed, “If I asked people
what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Innovation is
supposed to be, well, innovative. An innovative businessman should push
on ahead with a new product as long as they can show how it will make
the customer’s life better in unexpected ways.
feedback is more important than all of the marketing research in the
world. If you can ensure that the customer feels respected, then they
will respect you. That will open up new opportunities and lead to good
things for your business.