Investor and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban may be a successful investor now, but he says his humble beginnings gave him the tools needed to succeed.
- During an SXSW (South By Southwest) panel earlier this year, Cuban talked about “the power of broke,” referencing a phrase commonly used by his Shark Tank co-star Daymond John.
- Cuban says that when there is nothing left to lose, there is only one way forward—success.
- “You either go, I quit [my job], I’m an entrepreneur … or I can’t do it. I can’t give up that safety,” Cuban says. “There’s no person on this planet who hasn’t had that ‘Oh my god, I got this idea’ [moment].”
Why it’s news
Losing the fear of going broke is a necessary step for actually succeeding in a business venture, Cuban says. Many people come up with business ideas or innovative new products, but few follow through out of fear of losing a consistent source of income.
“When you’ve got nothing to lose, you go for it. And when your back’s against the wall, you’re sleeping on the floor, and your buddies are stepping over you to go to their job, and you’re starting this company, you realize, ‘OK, I’ve only got one direction,” Cuban says, referencing his early years spent sharing an apartment with five roommates.
Before Cuban became the success he is today, he found small ways to practice his entrepreneurial skills. As a young teen, he sold trash bags door to door. When he was a bit older, he sold stamps and coins, CNBC reports.
By the time he was in college, Cuban decided to purchase a favorite bar after it shut down and turned it into a popular hangout location.
“That’s the power of being an entrepreneur,” he said. “And we all have it. But taking that first step and finding the things we’re good at are the challenges.”