Mark Cuban always seems to come out on top.
His first job was tending bar in Dallas. Then he took a gig as a computer salesman. He was fired — and he realised he “was never going to be a very good employee.”
So he started his first company, MicroSolutions, which he sold for $US6 million.
He did even better with his next company — about 1,000 times better. He founded Broadcast.com and sold it to Yahoo for almost $US6 billion.
Almost immediately, Cuban sold all of his Yahoo stock netting $US2 billion in cash for himself. Weeks later, the market crashed.
Since then, Cuban has continued to work and invest. He owns the Dallas Mavericks and a cable channel, plus he’s all over the media — taking bites out of would-be entrepreneurs on ABC’s pitch show “Shark Tank” and lighting up the conference circuit.
Cuban is known for saying what other people only think. Here are some of our favourite quotes.
'The billion was, 'I can't f---ing believe it.' Literally, I was sitting in front of a computer, naked, hitting the refresh because we were close -- waiting until my net worth hit that billion when the stock price got to a certain point, and then I kinda screamed and jumped around and then got dressed.'
'I micromanage you until I trust you. It's a back and forth continually… If I send you 30 emails I expect quick responses and direct action. Then we'll go to weekly reports. And I want the bad news first. I want to read, 'God dammit, we lost this sale.' I want to know the setbacks so that I can help you.'
'Relaxing is for the other guy. I may be sitting in front of the TV, but I'm not watching it unless I think there is something I can learn from it. I'm thinking about things I can use in my business and the TV is just there.'
'Keep a pulse on the stress levels and accomplishments of your people and reward them. My first company, MicroSolutions, when we had a record sales month, or someone did something special, I would walk around handing out $US100 bills to salespeople.'
'It's not about money or connections -- it's the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone ... And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time.'
'A sure sign of failure for a startup is when someone sends me logo-embroidered polo shirts. If your people are at shows and in public, it's ok to buy for your own employees, but if you really think people are going to wear your branded polo when they're out and about, you are mistaken and have no idea how to spend your money.'
'I'm a believer that you accomplish much, much more with direct relationships than by using an intermediary. And that cash you keep in the bank can be the difference between staying alive as a small business, or not.'
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.