Billionaire Entrepreneur Mark Cuban: 'Failure is Part of the Success Equation'

Former West Coast Editor
3 min read

“I failed.”

Those are two words you might not expect from Mark Cuban, Shark Tank’s only billionaire judge. But he’s had his share. Take, for instance, when he tried selling powdered milk. It was a swift lesson in failure -- about as fast as reconstituting powdered milk with water. “I honestly thought it would make a killer business and it lasted minutes,” he says.

Related: What Would Mark Cuban Change About His Career?

The Dallas Mavericks owner and tech industry titan told on the set of the popular startup pitch show that he’s gotten fired from “more jobs than most people have had.” He’s also failed to close several key sales deals, has had his credit card rejected and cut up on a date, and he’s opened and closed more businesses than he can count.  

Still, the scrappy, six-foot-three serial entrepreneur and investor never once gave up on his boyhood dreams, sparked at the age of 12 when he decided to sell trash bags door-to-door to be able to afford basketball sneakers.

Cuban says he’s thankful for every stumble and fall he fought back from on his at first bumpy, then absolutely meteoric rise to success. “It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. Each time only makes you better, stronger, smarter and you only have to be right once. Just once,” he says. “Then everyone calls you an overnight success and you feel lucky. I still feel that way.”

Related: Mark Cuban: There's No Playing Nice With Your Competition

Obviously Cuban -- who made his first millions when he sold his computer consulting firm Microsolutions to CompuServe in 1990 -- is doing something right. An estimated $2.3 billion dollars right. That’s his estimated net worth at the moment. It’s likely more than he could possibly spend in a lifetime, though he says he’s trying.

“I wouldn’t be where I am now if I didn’t fail... a lot. The good, the bad, it’s all part of the success equation. I really wouldn’t change anything at all.”

Catch Cuban in action on Shark Tank tomorrow when the show’s sixth season premieres on your local ABC station from 8 to 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Related: The Hard Truth of Entrepreneurship: You Will Suffer

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