As far back as elementary school, Mark Cuban has been a tenacious entrepreneur. Growing up in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, he was the son of a middle class family and watched his father spend the better part of his life working as an auto upholstery professional. His drive to accomplish more and to pave a better life for himself inspired him to make the most of what he was given, and today he is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the business world.
Cuban’s entrepreneurial spirit was cultivated in middle school and high school when he sold sets of trash bags to fellow students to make money to buy a pair of shoes he desperately wanted. He also sold coins and stamps throughout school and made a name for himself as salesmen before he ever graduated from high school.
After high school, he went on to enroll at Indiana University. During his college years, he purchased and managed the most popular bar in the city. However, after the bar was shut down (he hosted a wet t-shirt contest featuring an underage girl) he moved to Dallas to pursue bigger and better things. Although he initially took a spot as a bartender, he later launched a company called MicroSolutions and sold it 1990 for $6 million. He cleared roughly $2 million after taxes, but saved another $1 million to pursue additional interests down the line.
At the ripe age of 30, Cuban took the $3 million in his bank account and purchased a $125,000 lifetime pass on American Airlines, and was flying first class anywhere he wanted to. Despite his near ‘’rock star” status, Cuban was still making moves for his future. He started working for a hedge fund and ended up selling it with a partner for $20 million.
In 1995, Cuban and longtime friend Todd Wagner developed a powerful business idea to stream audio over the internet. At the time, it was known as Broadcast.com. Over the next four years, they developed the company and created a significant audience for their services. They eventually sold the company to Yahoo for a record $5.6 billion dollars. Cuban had become a billionaire by the age of 37.
Five years after reaching billionaire status, Cuban took a dramatic turn in his investment portfolio. In 2000, he purchased a majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks. The purchase set him back $285 million, but it might have been his biggest and best investment ever. Forbes reports that the Dallas Mavericks are the fifth-most valuable sports franchise in the NBA, worth over $685 million.
Today, Mark Cuban is married with three children and continues to make major strides within the business and entertainment world. His appearance on the hit reality series “Shark Tank” has catapulted his popularity and brought his magnetic personality to the masses. His work as an entrepreneur and business investor is undisputed, and he is far from done.
Mark Cuban shares his wealth of experience and business savvy in his first published book, How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It.