Mark Cuban Shares How ‘Shark Tank’ Changed The Way He Does Business

Billionaire Mark Cuban has been a steady presence on ABC’s Shark Tank since Season Two. Now in its 11th season and still growing strong, the reality show has revitalized entrepreneurship nationwide and served as a source of inspiration for aspiring business owners.

Though Cuban is a business icon, even he admits to learning some valuable lessons from being in the Tank all these years.

“Shark Tank’s” Mark Cuban | Jessica Brooks/ABC via Getty Images

The truth about entrepreneurship

The tech guru prides himself on being a straight shooter and often advises those considering business ownership to be prepared for all that’s required. “When you are starting a business the biggest sacrifice that you probably don’t expect is that you don’t own your business; your customers own it, and you’ll be holding on to them 24/7,” Cuban told YourStory.com in June. “If you are not, you are not going to be in business for very long.” 

The Shark Tank investor revealed that many starting out to create their own business are under the impression that their workdays will be shorter. “I think the biggest misconception that new entrepreneurs and new business owners have is that they think it’s better than a 9-to-5 job because they can control their own hours and they are in control of what goes on,” he explained. “This couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Cuban is quick to warn aspiring entrepreneurs that when building a business, there is no quitting time. “When you start a company, all hours are business hours, and I think you tend to think very quickly that your 9-to-5 job was easy compared to the hours in your own startup,” he noted.

Not a 9-to-5 guy

Renowned for his strong work ethic, Cuban practices what he preaches when it comes to his workday. “My days are never 9 to 5 but I have always been very fortunate that even when I was broke and doing a startup, I loved what I was doing,” he said. “The hours would go by so quickly because I was so consumed by it then, and now too.”

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Last day of shooting till sept

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The billionaire strives to keep his skills sharp and always aim for improvement. “I may not be in the startup life from the perspective of, ‘okay, my back’s against the wall, I’m sleeping on the floor, or I am broke’, but I want to win,” Cuban explained. “I am competitive, I am always in, and I am always trying to learn. Whether it’s one of my businesses, or a business that I have invested in, I am always trying to make it better.”

Lessons from the ‘Tank’

The NBA team owner initially thought his stint on the show would be brief. “I came on as a Guest Shark in Season 2. I thought, ‘I’d do my three episodes and the show will be gone. It will be a great experience and maybe I would pick up some interesting businesses,’” Cuban said. “So when I was a Guest Shark, I bought every single thing that came out. I didn’t think it would last, but here we are… It has been a phenomenal ride. I hope it goes on forever.”

Now in Season 11, Cuban revealed that every season of the show is unique in its own way. “Each season always has a different feel,” he commented. “We have different guests, and as time goes on all the entrepreneurs have a better feel for what we like or what we don’t like because they have watched the show so much. The deals get bigger and the companies get more advanced.”

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Yeah. My climber. Progress !!

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Even with all his success and abundant wealth, the reality star admits even he has been taught some valuable lessons by being in the Tank. “The thing that I have learnt with Shark Tank and really has changed my method of doing business over the past 10 years is ‘nice pays off,’” Cuban said. “I don’t know if I was always the nicest guy when I did business, but I was never mean, I never tried to steal, or take advantage of anybody, and I have always tried to do win-win deals. But sometimes I would get angry or ornery if I didn’t think things were progressing the way I wanted them to.”

Cuban shared that hearing the personal stories of small business owners over the years has given him a motivation to lean toward kindness. “Just having seen all the entrepreneurs come through, and all the experience and the heartbreaks they have had, I have learnt the value of nice,” he said. “Nice is so undervalued and it makes doing business so much easier. It makes the result so much better when you are just nice.”

See Mark Cuban in action on ABC’s Shark Tank!