Mark Cuban is the owner of the NBA basketball team the Dallas Mavericks, owner of Landmark Theatres, and Chairman of the HDTV cable network HDNet. The following lessons are extracted from his blog posts Success and Motivation. The following are excerpts from his blog.
1) Dream, Believe and Imagine
Mark says, "I drove by big houses and would wonder who lived there. What did they do for a living? How did they make their money? Someday, I would tell myself, I would live in a house like that. Every weekend I would do it."
2) Work Hard
Mark says, "As fired up as I was about the job, I was scared. Why? Because I have never worked with an IBM PC in my life. Not a single time, and I'm going to be selling software for it. So what do I do? I do what everyone does: I rationalize. I tell myself that the people walking in the door know as little as I do, so if I just started doing what I told my boss I would do, read the manuals, I would be ahead of the curve. That's what I did. Every night I would take home a different software manual, and I would read them. Of course the reading was captivating. Peachtree, PFS, DBase, Lotus, Accpac... I couldn't put them down. Every night I would read some after getting home, no matter how late."
3) Build Trust and Good Will With People
Mark says,"Within about 6 months, I was building a clientele and because I had also spent time on the store's computers learning how to install, configure and run the software, I started having customers ask me to install the software at their offices. That meant I got to charge for consulting help: 25 bucks an hour that I split with the store. That turned into a couple hundred extra bucks per month and growing. I was raking it in, enough that I could move from the Hotel (that was what we called our apartment) where the 6 of us lived, into a 3 bedroom apartment across the street, where instead of 6 of us, there were only 3. Finally, my own bedroom!"
4) Be Optimistic and Listen to Instinct (No matter how hard things get)
Mark says, "One day, about 9 months into my career as a salesperson/consultant, I had a prospect ask if I could come to his office to close a deal. 9am. No problem to me. Problem to my boss, Michael Humecki. Michael didn't want me to go. Decision time. It's always the little decisions that have the biggest impact. We all have to make that "make or break" call to follow orders or do what you know is right. I followed my first instinct: close the sale. I guess I could have rescheduled the appointment, but I rationalized that you never turn your back on a closed deal. So I called one of my coworkers to come in and open up, and closed the deal. Next day I came in check in hand from a new customer and Michael fired me".
5) Feeling Good is Important. Enjoy Present Moment
Mark says, "After he got fired the first thing he did was went out and partied with his friends. He partied hard and was feeling good."
6) Be Determined and Fearless. Trust that you will figure a way out
Mark says, "He came up with a name and started calling old clients. Two of them agreed and other things started falling in place. He worked hard and built the trust. It was not about money but he was enjoying every moment of it. He made $15k the first year."
7) Do Not Only Do It For Money, Enjoy Every Moment
Mark says, "That first year in business was incredible. I remember sitting in that little office till 10pm and then still being so pumped up, Other days I would get so involved with learning a new piece of software that I would forget to eat and look up at the clock thinking it was 6 or 7pm and see that it was 1am or 2am. Time would fly by."
8) Be Passionate and Always Visualize Your Outcome with 100% Certainty
Mark says, "I would drive over to the gym I belonged to and run 5 to 10 miles on the treadmill going through that day, and the next in my head."
9) Keep Learning, Keep Changing
Mark says, "I was aware and always open to read and learn. I kept adjusting my actions based on what I learnt. I read books about successful people. In fact, I read every book or magazine I could get my hands on. I would tell myself 1 good idea would pay for the book and could make the difference between me making it or not."
10) Be Honest with Yourself
Mark says, "Always ask yourself how someone could preempt your products or service. How can they put you out of business? Is it price? Is it service? Is it ease of use? No product is perfect and if there are good competitors in your market, they will figure out how to abuse you. It's always better if you are honest with yourself and anticipate where the problems will come from."
11) Act like You Are Competing with the Best
Mark says, "Always run your business like you are going to be competing with Microsoft. They may not be your direct competitor. They may be a vendor. They may be a direct competitor and a vendor. Whatever they may be to your business, if you are in the technology business, you have to anticipate that you will in some way have to compete with Microsoft at some point. I ask myself every week what I would do if they entered any of my businesses. If you are ready to compete with the Best, you are ready to compete with anyone else."