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Mark Cuban on the Value of Hard Work and Other Tips This Week

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A roundup of the best tips of the week from

Mark Cuban doesn't have much patience for dreamers. "Everyone has ideas, most don't do the work required to get the job done," the billionaire tech entrepreneur wrote this week in a question-and-answer session on social-news site reddit. He was fielding questions about what entrepreneurs need to know when starting a business.

One of his characteristically blunt pieces of advice involved encouraging entrepreneurs to skip business school. "I think an MBA is an absolute waste of money," he told reddit users. "I don't give any advantage to someone in hiring because they have an MBA." In lieu of an expensive graduate degree, Cuban recommends filling your knowledge gaps with free online courses. Last month, mentioned some of these resources, such as those available from Udacity and Coursera, in an article about startup tutoring platform InstaEDU. More: Mark Cuban: What Entrepreneurs Need to Know Before Starting a Business

Find ideas by opening yourself up to diverse experiences.

Every entrepreneur knows the value of innovation, but sometimes the well of new ideas dries up. How to refresh it? Get out into the world and experience new things, says Andy Boynton, co-author of The Idea Hunter. "But your world has to be broad enough and diverse enough to feed you the ideas you need." More: How to Find New Business Ideas in Everyday Life

Use a lull in business to grow your intellectual capital.

Faced with a holiday slowdown, many entrepreneurs get anxious. Instead of getting your blood pressure up, relax with a good business book or look into professional workshops to grow your skillset in the new year. You can also take advantage of the slow period to set goals for the upcoming year. Just be sure to post them prominently so you can review them on regularly. More: How to Make the Most of Your Holiday Downtime

To attract hires, articulate a compelling mission.

Since startups typically can't offer salaries as high or hours as regular (and limited) as established companies, it can be difficult for them to attract talent. As an emotional draw to pull in employees, make a compelling case for why your startup is the place to be -- whether that's because it's doing good in the world or it's primed to make a bundle in an emerging market. More: 3 Ways to Recruit Talent for a Hungry Startup

Find a mentor who shares common ground with you.

The key to a successful mentoring relationship is finding someone who shares your values and with whom you have personal chemistry. Phil Morabito realized this when he needed advice on how to grow his Houston-based public relations firm. He found a mentor who worked in a different field but whose values lined up with his own, and they formed a personal bond. This sort of bond "is crucial to the success of the relationship," says Dr. Sharon Straus of the University of Toronto, who has studied mentor-mentee interactions. More: 4 Ingredients for Successful Mentoring Relationships

Brian Patrick Eha

Written By

Brian Patrick Eha is a freelance journalist and former assistant editor at He is writing a book about the global phenomenon of Bitcoin for Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It will be published in 2015.