As I was skimming an old but timeless Mark Cubanbook in my library— How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It— I chuckled thinking if you told Mark when he wrote this book that he'd be a TV star using his own money to help others start their dream business, the Blog Maverick would probably dismiss the idea saying, "yeah, right."
Here are some highlights and quotes from the quick, interesting and funny read (not to mention it’s only $2.99).
1) Learn to sell. In business you’re always selling – to your prospects, investors and employees. To be the best salesperson put yourself in the shoes of the person to whom you’re selling. Don’t sell your product. Solve their problems.
2) Customers want to see that you have other customers. When Mark started MicroSolutions he did the work for his first customer free – only charging them the cost of the software. He called it his, “no money down approach to start a business.’”
3) “Everyone has got the will to win; it’s only those with the will to prepare that do win.” Mark Cuban paraphrasing Bobby Knight.
4) “Your customers can tell you the things that are broken and how they want to be made happy. Listen to them. Make them happy. But don’t rely on them to create the future road map for your product or service. That’s your job.”
5) One thing we can all control is effort. Put in the time to become an expert in whatever you’re doing. It will give you an advantage because most people don’t do this.
6) That being said, don’t get caught up in how many hours you work. Judge success based on having goals and measuring your results. Hard work, and lots of it, is certainly needed, but focus on what you get done. What do you need to do to deliver for your client? To land the next customer? To expand within your customers? . . .
7) “Business happens over years and years. Value is measured in the total upside of a business relationship, not by how much you squeezed out in any one deal.”
8) Great companies start without investors. He cites Apple, Dell and Microsoft as a few examples. Given that he’s a venture capitalist, and he’s recommending not to take venture money, it’s certainly worth trying to avoid. That’s probably not possible in some cases – but it makes sense if you can pull it off.
9) “The beauty of success, whether it’s finding the girl of your dreams, the right job or financial success, is that it doesn’t matter how many times you have failed, you only have to be right once.” And, “then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.”
10) “As I would learn later in life, money makes you extremely handsome.”
If you want more to read more advice from the Sharks on Shark Tank, check out 23 Killer Business Lessons from Shark Tank.