How to Breakthrough Challenges Like Mark Cuban


Known for his loudness, edgy personality and a sparkling estimated net worth of $2.7 billion, Mark Cuban is one of the most famous entrepreneurs of the 21st century.  He is also an investor, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and is well known as a “shark” investor on the television series Shark Tank.

But, it hasn’t always been a smooth sailing for him, with 90% of his wealth coming from his own self-made entrepreneurial ventures.

Here are a few lessons from Cuban on overcoming challenges, small and big:

You have to act, to bring a change

Mark-CubanWhen he was 12 years old, Mark Cuban asked his dad to buy him a pair of cool sneakers he desperately needed. His dad said no and told him to get a job if he wanted the sneakers.

At that young age, Mark started selling garbage bags door to door until he was able to buy the shoes he needed.

While this may not seem like so much of a challenge, it definitely was for the young Mark. He identified a goal that he wanted to fulfil and then  he did something to turn it around.

In his book How to Win at the Sport of Business, Mark says that the greatest lesson he learnt from that incident as a young boy was to always take action even when faced with a seemingly insurmountable challenge.

With the right effort, anything is possible

According to Mark, the only thing in life that you can control is your own effort. This is a message he preaches to amateur entrepreneurs and to his Mavericks players.

If you are willing to put your head down and put in the hard work without slacking out, you will most likely overcome any challenge whether that is personal or in business.

Mark has built his million-dollar empire through sheer hard work. He certainly faced many hardships especially when building his first company MicroSolutions, which he later sold for $6 million.

Envision your success

In his book, Mark recites his experience as a young 25 year old in Dallas working as a bartender after being fired from his job. As he tried to build his new software company, he shared an apartment with six roommates, slept on the floor and fed on cans of noodles.

But he also used to drive around the neighborhood and he would envision himself living comfortably in those big houses. That is what kept him motivated.

This comes down to the importance of having an undying source of motivation especially as an entrepreneur.

More importantly, you have to be ready to sacrifice some things now, to be able to accomplish greater things in future. He calls this learning to live like a student, or essentially living on a tight budget.

It’s OK to whine, but do something about it

Mark is unafraid of calling himself a ‘big whiner.’

For example, during the opening night of the 1999-2000 season, he kept whining to his friends about how the game was lame and how there simply wasn’t any energy. This is how he ended up buying the Mavericks and making it one of the most successful teams in NBA history.

If you are facing adversity or disappointment, you are allowed to complain and rant about it if it helps you to decompress. But, at the end of the day, what really matters is that you do something to change your situation.

Success Requires Action

Some of the most successful people today used their adversities to change their lives for the better, and you too can. The greatest lesson from Cuban is to take action to change your situation, because you already have the will power to do it.


  1. Steven Lucas says:

    Hi Andrew,

    We can do all the studying, whining or theorising that we want, but as you say, to change anything, we MUST take ACTION.

    What’s more we must encourage our readers / visitors / subscribers to do so too. That means by telling them, especially since we can’t send an electric shock through their chairs via computer code.

    So (all you other readers out there), if you want your readers to sign up, tell them to. Make it easy by pointing large arrows at the sign up form. If you are suggesting a course of actions that require a download, give them the link and tell them what it is and where it goes.

    There’s no guarantee that they will perform the action, no matter how hard you cajole, but it you make it easier for them, then they have less excuse.


    Steven Lucas

    • Hi Steven,

      Nice to see you over here and thanks for leaving us a comment.

      You are, of course, quite right. It is so easy to be passive in life and business but what really makes a difference is forward momentum. Often we procrastinate because we are unsure of what we should be doing. I believe we can always find out the right way to go through our existing networks and through the huge amount of resources available nowadays. We just need to take the steps!

      Thanks for the wise words. See you again,


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