Success Stories

Mark Cuban: 'You Only Have to Be Right Once'

The billionaire entrepreneur talked with Arianna Huffington about politics, business and success at New York Advertising Week.
Reader Resource

Position yourself for growth in 2017—join us live at the Entrepreneur 360 Conference in Long Beach, Calif. on Nov. 16. Secure Your Seat »

When you start a new business, you want advice from someone who's been in your shoes.

Arianna Huffington, who recently stepped away from The Huffington Post to launch her wellness startup, Thrive Global, sought wisdom from someone who knows a thing or two about launching new ventures: billionaire entrepreneur and Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban. The two had a wide-ranging conversation onstage at New York Advertising Week on Wednesday.

Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and Landmark Theatres among other holdings, chatted with Huffington about a variety of topics, including his experience sitting in the front row at the first 2016 presidential debate, the intersection of health and business and what he's learned from his mistakes and his successes.

Read on for three business tips from Cuban.

Related: Seth Godin: 'The Person Who Fails the Most Wins'

1.Embrace your flaws.
"Perfection is the enemy of profitability,” Cuban said. “Perfection is the enemy of success. You don't need to be perfect, because nobody is.”

He explained that dedication and perseverance are more valuable pursuits than perfection -- especially because time spent trying to reach the unattainable only takes away from the good you can accomplish. Instead, recognizing what you lack and finding people who are willing to help you are two steps toward realizing your vision.

"You have to outthink and outwork people, but you don't have to be perfect. And you have to be good at developing partnerships. I try to identify the things that I'm not really good at, and I try to partner with people who complement my skillset."

Related: 35 Killer Quotes From the Stars of Shark Tank

2. Value your time.
"If I do one phone call every two weeks, that's a lot,” Cuban said. “If I do one meeting a month, that's a lot. And really the only time I'm going to do a meeting is if you're writing me a check. Otherwise, don't waste your time."

Cuban confessed that he is not a fan of the sometimes forced niceties that go along with big conference room meetings -- or the time it takes to travel to and from them.

"With all the different digital tools that are available, it's very easy to communicate. We can have an email thread that can go on for two years and would be more effective."

Related: Mark Cuban on Giving Back, Boredom and Sniffing Out Bullshit

3. Don't let failure stop you.
"It doesn't matter how many times you fail, you only have to be right once,” Cuban said as he recounted some of the misfires that led him to where he is today. “There are a lot of businesses I've had that you've never heard of. I started a powdered milk company. Just the worst of the worst.”

He recalled being fired from one of his early jobs. The disappointment didn’t last long, because it gave him the time and the motivation to start his first company.

"I fear failure, but I won't let it stop me. Sometimes you just got to do it or else it just doesn't happen."
Edition: October 2016

Get the Magazine

Limited-Time Offer: 1 Year Print + Digital Edition and 2 Gifts only $9.99
Subscribe Now