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Mark Cuban: What Entrepreneurs Need to Know Before Starting a Business The billionaire tech entrepreneur and 'Shark Tank' star on all things startups and investing.

By Jason Fell

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Mark Cuban is known for being outspoken and no-nonsense when it comes to business. This week, the billionaire tech entrepreneur, investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks participated in a question and answer session on popular social news site reddit where he discussed all things business, basketball and, of course, Shark Tank.

When starting a business, Cuban said every entrepreneur needs to know that it's not so much about having a killer idea as it is about being completely prepared to take a product or service to market. "Everyone has ideas, most don't do the work required to get the job done," he wrote.

Another thing aspiring business owners need to keep in mind: Sales are the most important aspect of a small business, Cuban wrote. "No sales, no company."

Below, a sampling of Cuban's points that were related to business and entrepreneurialism.

Related: Mark Cuban: Outwork and Outlearn Your Competition

On finding motivation as an entrepreneur:

I daydreamed for motivation. I didn't lie to myself and talk about my passions and how if I was passionate enough about something I could be successful at it.

I was lucky. I grew up knowing that hard work and smart work has a greater impact on results than being passionate about something.

On needing a master's degree in business administration to be good at business:
I think an MBA is an absolute waste of money. If you have a hole in your knowledge base, there is a ton of online courses you can take. I don't give any advantage to someone in hiring because they have an MBA.

On funding tech startups:
There is a HUGE bubble in the Valley for tech startups. The valuations have gotten out of hand. When valuations go up beyond the reality point, the funding goes down.

It's almost become like the movie business was 10 years ago. There was so much dumb money coming in and so few actually making money that the suckers finally wised up.

On how many of Shark Tank deals wind up getting modified or canceled:
We get the chance to do due diligence after the show. As a result you uncover things that were not brought up in the show, so it's not unusual for a deal to fall through in the DD phase. I have had things like people who never paid their taxes, people who lied on the show, people who didn't think that if they spent money on their personal credit cards it should be considered an expense. You name it.

There is so much pressure on the entrepreneur during the show that sometimes they say what they think we want to hear rather than the truth. The DD helps us separate the two.

On the most ridiculous thing pitched on Shark Tank:
The ion watch deal was pretty much it. You can't come on expecting to scam us. We will nail you.

On Shark Tank being scripted:
Shark Tank is not scripted at all. When the entrepreneur walks into the shark tank the ONLY thing we know is their first name. NOTHING else.

The only "scripted" part of the show is this. . . the producers tell us before every show. . . if an entrepreneur looks like they are going to cry, shut up and let them. They love tears. That's the only scripting.

Related: A Look at Shark Tank's Most Memorable Deals

Jason Fell

VP, Native Content

Jason Fell is the VP of Native Content, managing the Entrepreneur Partner Studio, which creates dynamic and compelling content for our partners. He previously served as Entrepreneur.com's managing editor and as the technology editor prior to that.

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