Shark Tank Star Mark Cuban: 'Money Can't Buy Happiness'

…But it sure makes life easier, the self-made billionaire says. Why? With it comes freedom.

learn more about Kim Lachance Shandrow

By Kim Lachance Shandrow

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Money. It's a gas. Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash. But don't expect it to buy you happiness. Billionaire Mark Cuban says it can't and it won't -- and he should know.

"Can money buy happiness?" Cuban was asked between pitches on the Shark Tank set last week. "Absolutely not," he replied in his booming deep voice, without hesitation. "To me, success isn't defined by your wallet. It's defined by waking up with a smile on your face, knowing it's going to be a great day. But, sure, money can make your life a whole lot easier."

Indeed it has for him. The 56-year-old outspoken tech mogul and Cyber Dust privacy app founder -- who got his start in business selling trash bags door-to-door at the age of 12 to save up for basketball sneakers -- now owns more than enough money to buy whatever he wants whenever he wants. His millionaire Shark Tank co-star Robert Herjavec told Entrepreneur.com on set last week that Cuban is worth $2.6 billion (and that, naturally, he's trying his best to catch up).

Related: What Would Make Mark Cuban 'Combust' If He Ran Box

"You have more than you could possibly spend in a lifetime," a reporter said to Cuban. "That's not true," Cuban laughed. "I'm trying."

The former bartender and disco dancing instructor's smashing success selling scrappy tech startups to corporate goliaths like CompuServe and Yahoo for millions has enabled him to live large and then some. For starters, he bought a majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks for a cool $285 million, a Gulfstream private jet for $40 million and a 10-bedroom, 13-bathroom mansion in the posh Preston Hollow neighborhood of Dallas. And the night his pro basketball team won its first NBA championship in 2011, Cuban footed a $90,000 bar tab (that's before tip).

Related: Want to Get on Shark Tank? 8 Secrets From the Show's Casting Producer.

But, as Cuban, the first college graduate in his immediate family, says, it's not money nor the luxe life, that make him content. "It's creating a goal for yourself and accomplishing a goal and setting a dream, and living that dream through your effort that can make you feel a whole lot better about yourself," he says. "It worked for me. So, while money can't buy happiness, it can sure make life a whole lot better."

You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who disagrees.

The first episode of Shark Tank's sixth season premieres on Friday, Sept. 26 from 8 to 10 p.m. ET/PT on your local ABC station.

Related: What Would Mark Cuban Change About His Career?

Kim Lachance Shandrow

Former West Coast Editor

Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here

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