Mark Cuban Reminds Entrepreneurs

Mark Cuban Reminds Entrepreneurs

Elon Musk and Mark Cuban

In a WSJ podcast, famous serial entrepreneur Mark Cuban talked about the Mavericks, “Shark Tank,” and even Elon Musk. He also shared some interesting tips for entrepreneurs and investors.

When asked for advice on entrepreneurship, Cuban emphasized the importance of preparation: “Be prepared. It’s not about your dream. The market doesn’t care about your dreams, right? The market doesn’t care if you think you’re special. The market cares about your product or service and how well you can sell it and how happy you make your customers.”

In other words, Cuban suggests focusing on what can be controlled. The market is only interested in product quality, sales skills, and customer satisfaction.

Cuban’s recommendations align with Warren Buffett’s advice on stock market investments. “You’ve got all these feelings. The stock doesn’t know you own it. The stock just sits there. It doesn’t matter what you paid. It doesn’t care that you owned it or anything. So, any feeling I have about the market is not reciprocated. It is the ultimate cold shoulder we’re talking about here.”

One of Cuban’s best investments has probably been the Dallas Mavericks. He bought the team for about $285 million in 2000 and, late last year, agreed to sell 73% of it for $3.5 billion. He’ll still keep a 27% share.

However, it seems he doesn’t remember exactly how many companies he has invested in during his tenure on the “Shark Tank” TV show. “I have no idea. I know I’ve invested 23, 24, 25 million, give 20 … Maybe it was 29 million, but I mean, I’ve got multiple companies that have 100, $200 million market valuations, where I own 10, 20, 30%, so if I’ve only invested 29 million in total, I’m way up.”

When asked about pitching to investors and whether it’s a bad idea to tell a long back story, Cuban had this to say: “If you start telling me about grandma and grandpa, and how they came over to this country, or how your dog died when you were six and it scarred you for life, any of those things that are not specific to the business, the potential investor’s just going to tune out. They want to know about you now and what you can do, the company now, and what it can do.”

Of course, he has a lot more advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. For instance, “Raising money is not an accomplishment, it’s an obligation.” While it might feel like a huge win to secure funding, it really means you now have the duty to use that money wisely and show results. Investors expect you to grow the business and use their money well. So, the real success is how well you manage and use the funds to meet your goals and keep your promises to your investors.

He also shared that the most important advice he would give someone starting their first business is “Sales cures all.” In other words, if you can focus on making sales and bringing in revenue, it can solve many problems.

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