It’s New Year’s resolution time, and Mark Cuban’s new book offers the rationale for a good one.
There’s only one thing you can control in your life–your own effort.
So if you want to give yourself and your company the best chance of success, work harder.
Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, tells the story of how, at 27, he was finally making “twice his age.” His first company was doing well, and he had finally upgraded from 2-for-$99 polyester suits. He was engaged to get married, and he had just spent his entire savings–$7.500–on a ring. Then his fiance lost the ring in a movie theatre, and a couple of months later, the relationship broke up.
The one thing Cuban had to fall back on was his business. And he rededicated himself to it:
In sports, the only thing a player can truly control is effort. The same applies to business. The only thing any entrepreneur, salesperson or anyone in any position can control is their effort.
I had to kick myself in the arse and recommit to getting up early, staying up late and consuming everything I possibly could to get an edge. I had to commit to making the effort to be as productive as I possibly could. It meant making sure that every hour of the day that I could contact a customer was selling time, and when customers were sleeping, I was doing things that prepared me to make more sales and to make my company better.
And finally, I had to make sure I wasn’t lying to myself about how hard I was working. It would have been easy to judge effort by how many hours a day passed while I was at work. That’s the worst way to measure effort.
Effort is measured by setting goals and getting results. What did I need to do to close this account? What did I need to do to win this segment of business? What did I need to do to understand this technology or that business better than anyone? What did I need to do to find an edge? Where does that edge come from, and how was I going to get there?
The one requirement for success in our business lives is effort. Either you make the commitment to get results or you don’t.
That second point is critical, too. Making more of an effort is not the same thing as working longer. It’s working better–setting goals and getting results.
Here are links to excerpts from Cuban’s new book: How To Win At The Sport Of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It.
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