Mark Cuban never shies away from the spotlight. His outspokenness about the NBA, Wall Street, and many other topics is well known. But the billionaire entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks has shared a lot of invaluable business advice over the years as well.
Here are seven Mark Cuban quotes that encapsulate his thoughts on how to be a successful entrepreneur.
Mark Cuban entrepreneurial quotes
Cuban wrote an article for Entrepreneur back in 2012 that highlighted his own rules for start-ups. One of the key takeaways from the list was:
"Don't start a company unless it's an obsession and something you love. ... If you have an exit strategy, it's not an obsession."
But that type of obsession can't be boiled down to a simple matter of passion. Cuban wrote on his blog a few years ago that people are passionate about lots of things, but not all of them make great ideas to build a company around. In fact, he actually believes that the aphorism about following your passion is a bunch of, well, you know:
"Don't follow your passions, follow your effort. It will lead you to your passions and to success, however you define it."
And he certainly knows how to parlay his obsessions into successful businesses. He sold his first company, MicroSolutions, for $6 million, and then started the business that would eventually become Broadcast.com, which he sold to Yahoo! for $5.7 billion in 1999.
And he advises entrepreneurs to put everything they have into their businesses in order to succeed. As he told Entrepreneur four years ago:
"Great entrepreneurs invest the time, no matter how many hours a day, to learn more about their industry and the business they want to start than any one else. They realize that ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese are the fuel they need because every other penny they get from working that night job is going to fund their business"
The bartender-turned-billionaire has shed some light on how to build out successful business, and his thoughts often go against conventional wisdom. In a 2012 interview he said:
"It's not about money or connections -- it's the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone. And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time."
And that drive to continue learning comes from Cuban's competitive nature. And that force has helped him outpace his competition.
"I love to compete. To me, business is the ultimate sport. It's always on. There is always someone trying to beat me."
But even with his aggressive approach to business, Cuban has said when it comes to customers, companies need to build strong relationships built on kindness and trust. As he said in 2011:
"It is so much easier to be nice, to be respectful, to put yourself in your customers' shoes and try to understand how you might help them before they ask for help, than it is to try to mend a broken customer relationship."
No business is going to succeed without some stumbles along the way. And when it comes to failure, Cuban says entrepreneurs shouldn't fear it. In an interview with Smart Business a few years ago, he said:
"I've learned that it doesn't matter how many times you failed. You only have to be right once. I tried to sell powdered milk. I was an idiot lots of times, and I learned from them all."