‘Shark Tank’: Mark Cuban Offers 3 Practical Tips for Success That Everyone Can Use

Mark Cuban of Shark Tank is a steady presence on social media, even more so now due to the coronavirus crisis. Giving advice to business owners and reprimanding government leaders on getting through the current economic downturn, the billionaire has more than enough credits to his name to be taken seriously when he offers words of wisdom.

The Shark Tank star is often generous with providing tips on saving money, building businesses, and creating a brand. He has previously shared some strategies for success that can apply to the masses.

Mark Cuban visits "Heather B Live" with host Heather B. Gardner at SiriusXM Studios
Mark Cuban of Shark Tank | Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Cuban says you have to be a grinder

The billionaire investor often speaks of when he started as an entrepreneur at age 12, selling garbage bags door to door with the help of one of his father’s friends.

“I’ll never forget, they were those thin blue things,” Cuban told businessman Dave Ramsey on an EntreLeadership podcast episode. “He charged me $3, I sold them for $6. … Everybody needs garbage bags, so I learned to fill a need and I learned to problem solve.”

Cuban frequently tells aspiring entrepreneurs appearing on Shark Tank that he only invests in those who work hard and commit to grinding it out on a daily basis.

“I say it to Maverick players and I say it to everybody in business,” the NBA team owner said, according to DaveRamsey.com. “The one thing in life you can control is your effort. If you are willing to put in the effort to start the business and you are willing to deal with the challenges and the fact you might starve or live like a student . . . If you are willing to fight through those via effort and brain power, anything is possible. There is no reason it can’t be you.”

The power of connecting

When it comes to sales, Cuban has always been a natural. Over the years, he found that the key to making a sale is to truly connect with a customer rather than just trying to add their name to a client list.

“You are not trying to convince them of anything,” he said of potential customers. “You’re trying to show them how you are going to make their lives easier. … There are no favors involved. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

The tech guru also stresses persistence and not to get easily discouraged by rejection. “Every no gets you closer to a yes,” Cuban explained. “It’s a numbers game. … It’s just a question of making the calls.”

Be careful of credit

Cuban urges business owners to resist the temptation of borrowing from banks or on credit, saying that 99% of today’s companies can be started without capital.

“If you take a loan, you are no longer the boss,” the Shark Tank star shared. “And your customers are no longer the bosses. Your banker is the boss. And if you hit any adversity, like every startup does, the priority becomes taking care of your banker. … You’re no longer in a position to do whatever it takes to survive.”

The billionaire recalled a time when he got himself into trouble with credit. “The hardest lesson I learned was getting my credit cards ripped up. I would charge something and think I would be able to pay it off and then not be able to,” Cuban told Money.com in 2017. “I can’t tell you how many credit cards I had ripped up.”

Though he stresses caution, Cuban does feel that credit cards can be used under one condition. “Over time, what I’ve learned is using a credit card is OK if you pay it off at the end of the month,” he advised. “Just recognize that the 18% or 20% or 30% you’re paying in credit card debt is going to cost you a lot more than you could ever earn anywhere else.”

Unless a consumer can maintain a zero balance, Cuban recommends putting the credit cards away. “Paying off your credit cards after 30 days or not even using credit cards is the smartest investment you can make or not make,” he said.