Cuban reveals his secret for success

Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Bud Light
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Bud Light

Look at him. That’s the face of a guy who’s figured it all out.

The joke’s on us — Mark Cuban is a billionaire.

In the April 15 issue of Forbes Life, the entrepreneur will share his thoughts on a life well-earned as he fought his way from being broke to never having to worry about money again. It turns out, as Cuban explains, that it was when he was 25 years old that he learned the lessons that would shape the rest of his life.

Some excerpts from the article that stood out to me:

At age 24, I left Indiana and hit the road in my 1977 Fiat X19. I was on my way to Dallas. The car had a hole in the floorboard. It needed oil every 60 miles.

Hey, I just bought a Fiat! So I must be on my way to riches. But they tell me they make those cars better these days. So hopefully my Fiat’s oil life will be a little longer.

In Dallas, I moved into a tiny apartment with five buddies at a place called The Village. At the time it was the largest apartment complex in the country. The place was filled with twentysomethings. I was the last one to move in. We had only three bedrooms and three beds. I slept on the floor. I had no closet and no dresser. I just stacked my clothes in a corner. The place was a dump, and we just destroyed it even more.

I’m surprised he couldn’t find an oil tycoon to sponsor him. There were like, thousands of them in Dallas back then.

I asked a co-worker to cover me at the office. I called my boss, the CEO, whose name was Michael, and told him I was going to pick up the check. I thought he’d be thrilled. He wasn’t. He told me not to do it. I thought: “Are you kidding me?” I decided to do it anyway. I thought when I showed up with a $15,000 check, he’d be cool with it. Instead, when I came back to the office, he fired me on the spot … He tried hard to look and act the part of the CEO. He wore the right suits. But he had a huge flaw: He never did the work. He never demonstrated the initiative to go out to sell. I had realized by that time that “sales cures all.” That’s a phrase I still use to this day. He was my mentor, but not in the way you’d expect. Even now I think back to things he did, and I do the opposite.

Glad I never chose sales as a career path. Big rewards, but I’d never be able to look the part.

Oh, yeah. A few years ago, I got an e-mail from my old roommate, Dobie. It said, “How you doing, man?” I wrote back that I wasn’t going to talk to him until he paid me the $125 he owed me for rent back from The Village. He sent me the check. I cashed it.

Get that money, Cubes.

You can read the full article here.

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