Mark Cuban is a favorite investor to entrepreneurs on ABC’s Shark Tank. As an NBA team owner of the Dallas Mavericks, billionaire tech guru, film producer, and Shark Tank star, it’s safe to say that Cuban is a business icon.
The billionaire often shares advice to aspiring business owners, and also reveals the number one reason why they may fail.
Paying his dues
No one can call Cuban lazy. On Shark Tank, he frequently tells stories of sharing an apartment with five other guys and living on bologna sandwiches or $1.29 chicken dinners. He barely slept and was consistently trying to learn more about tech in the hopes of one day owning his own company.
“I was relentless in learning new tech as it came out. If it had anything to do with the PC or networking industry I was on top of it,” Cuban told Entrepreneur in 2012. “I bought manuals. I read every book and magazine. Then I would get involved with industry conferences and put myself out there.”
His hard work clearly paid off – today he is now worth 3.7 billion, according to Forbes.
You gotta do the work
The NBA team owner stresses that if a business owner has this one flaw, they are destined for failure. Talking to YouTube channel Valuetainment in 2015, Cuban said that the number one reason people fail is “lack of brains [and] lack of effort. They don’t do the work,” he said.
Cuban practices what he preaches, with long work days that are focused on productivity. “My days are straight out of the movie Groundhog Day. I wake up, check my email, news feeds and eat. I kiss my wife and kids, and get them to school,” he told Entrepreneur. “I come home and get back in front of my computer. I’ll go workout. I’ll play with the kids when they come home. I’ll sit in front of my computer some more. If there is a Mavs game I check my email at breaks and go to my computer at halftime. After the game, I do the same thing until I go to bed.”
An understanding partner at home
Despite his apparent commitment to his work, Cuban is a strong family man. According to Business Insider, the tech mogul met his future wife, Tiffany Stewart, at a Dallas gym in 1997. The two wed in 2002 and have three children.
Stewart realized early in their relationship that “scheduling problems” were going to be a major challenge, but knew that Cuban’s ambition was part of his identity. “I always know I’m not going to be No. 1,” Stewart told The New York Times, pointing to Cuban’s penchant for Cuban’s late nights on the computer. “He can’t turn it off. He just can’t!”
The Shark Tank investor applies his work ethic to his children as well. Business Insider reports that Cuban and his wife avoid spoiling their kids, regardless of being able to afford extravagances. “I’m not the dad that comes home with a ton of presents. I am the dad that says, ‘Pick that up. Take that; put it in the sink. No, you have to earn that,’” Cuban said. “I want them to recognize that the only thing special about themselves is what they make for themselves. They have to be themselves. They can’t be Mark Cuban’s or Tiffany Cuban’s son or daughter. They have to be adults and they have to carry their own weight.”
Even with his 24/7 schedule, Cuban realizes when he needs to reign it in for the sake of his family. “The good news of having had the level of success I have is obvious, but the bad side is I kinda lost that piss and vinegar because I can think of 50 businesses I could start right now,” Cuban said in 2017 a conversation with Arianna Huffington. “but I don’t want to give up time at home and all that. So that’s kind of the trade-off.”
Watch ABC’s Shark Tank on Sunday nights!