HISPANIC NETWORK MAGAZINE www.hnmagazine.com
f the 12 billionaires Ive met (yes, I keep count), Mark Cuban seems the most relatable. Partly thats because hes entirely self-made. But also because, like most, he believes success comes down to effort and ability. And because, like most, he hates meetings. And because, as most of us like to think we are, hes a genuinely good person. As a result, Cubans advice often seems more applicable to the aver- age person hoping to achieve success in their chosen pursuit. Hes done what we hope to do - and as a result, he knows what really matters. Like:
Sales Skills Matter
What would Cuban do if he had to start over again? I would get a job as a bartender at night and a sales job during the day, he says, and I would start working. Could I become a multimil- lionaire again? I have no doubt. The reason is simple: Everyone needs to be able to explain the logic and benefits of a decision. To convince other people an idea makes sense. To show investors how a business will generate a return. To help employees understand the benefits of a new process. To motivate and inspire and lead. Because sales skills are, in essence, communication skills - and communication skills are critical to any business or career. Which means spending time in a sales role, whether formally or infor- mally, is an investment that will pay off forever.
Constant Learning Matters
What does Cuban feel will drive the next wave of business change? Artificial intelligence. As Cuban says: If you dont know AI, youre the equivalent of somebody in 1999 saying, I'm sure this Internet thing will be OK, but I don't give a shit. If you want to be relevant in business, you have to, or you will be a dinosaur very quickly. If you dont know how to use it and you dont understand it and you cant at least have a basic understanding of the dif- ferent approaches and how the algorithms work, you can be blindsided in ways you couldnt even possibly imagine. Thats not just posturing; Cuban put his mind and money where his mouth is. He frequently recommends books about artificial intelli- gence, like Competing in the Age of AI: Strategy and Leadership When Algorithms and Networks Run the World . And hes committed millions to expand his AI Bootcamps Program, an organization that teaches arti- icial-intelligence skills at no cost to high school students in low-income communities across the country. The world's first trillionaires, Cuban says, are going to come from somebody who masters AI and all its derivatives and applies it in ways we never thought of. While most of us dont dream of becoming a trillionaire, no matter what your industry, no matter what your pursuit, things always change. Things always evolve. The key is to know how to change with them. Which you can only do if youre constantly, actively learning.
Being Nice Matters
Think about the best boss you ever had. Odds are they were demanding. They had high expectations. They may have provided occasional doses of tough love. But Im guessing they were also nice. Not soft, not lenient. But even so, nice. Thats a lesson Cuban had to learn. As he says: I went through my own metamorphosis. Early on in my career, I was like bam, bam, bam, bam, bam - I might curse. I might get mad. I got to the point... I wouldnt have wanted to do business with me when I was in my 20s. I had to change. And I did. And it really paid off. One of the most underrated skills in business right now is being nice. Nice sells. Hes right. When youre nice, other people are more forgiving of your mistakes. Other people are more tolerant of your lack of experience or skill. Other people are more willing to work with you, help you, encour- age you and, if youre a leader, follow you.
Finding Your Passion Doesn't Matter
Ask 10 people if they love what they do - ask 10 people if theyve found their passion - and at least eight will likely say no. Sound depressing? Not to Cuban, who feels follow your passions is one of the great lies of life, and is the worst advice you could ever give or get. According to Cuban, passion doesn't come first. For Cuban, passion comes later:
4 Powerful - Yet Surprisingly Simple - Strategies Anyone Can Use to Be More Successful
By Jeff Haden
STEVEN FERDMAN/GETTY IMAGESPrevious Page