Shark Tank's Mark Cuban: The First Step is Always the Hardest

Business.com / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Billionaire entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban shares his best business advice: taking the first step is the toughest. More inside.


For Mark Cuban, the early stages of starting a new business are all about reducing risk and maximizing your success potential by focusing on using your strongest skills.

As Cuban explains, “People are always like, ‘oh you’re such a risk-taker,’ and I’m like, man I hate risk. I’m terrified of it.” There’s much more on the role of risk mitigation and building your strengths in Cuban’s hour-long interview over on 30 Days of Genius.

For now, here's my favorite segment from the interview:

One of the things I admire most about Cuban, is that he never softens his message for aspiring entrepreneurs. He’ll be the first to tell you exactly how difficult it is, to become successful in the world of business.

He’s not on the bandwagon of business leaders who tell you to follow your passions. Instead, Cuban professes that true success in business is found through hard work, leveraging your skills and reducing risk at every turn.

His message for entrepreneurs who want to reduce their risk when starting a business, is through intense preparation and research. Before getting started with building your product, creating a website or investing in tools and services you think you’ll need, Cuban compels entrepreneurs to do their homework first.

Cuban explains, “It’s about preparation. We all go through this process where you’ve got the idea, you get that feeling in your stomach and you get all excited. Then you talk to a friend, and your friend says, ‘oh wow that’s pretty cool, I’ve never heard of anything like that. I’d buy that.’ And then you do the Google search.”

It’s at this point when many new entrepreneurs don’t immediately find existing products or services that they identify as competitors. In their eyes, they’ve gone through what they perceive to be the hard work of finding a business idea that nobody else has seemingly caught onto yet.

However, as Cuban says, “The first thing I’ll tell you, is that just because you don’t see it on Google, doesn’t mean one hundred companies haven’t gone out of business doing the same thing.” He continues, “It hasn’t been done for a reason, because every company that’s tried it, has gone out of business.”

This lesson, although seemingly simple, can be a very difficult one to grasp if you’re not experienced in business. It’s so easy to allow your excitement to cloud your judgement. The best way to make sure you’re really onto something, is to do your research, get ample objective feedback and prepare as much as possible before building.

For more with Mark Cuban on passion, the grind, why business is the ultimate sport and much more, watch the hour-long interview over on 30 Days of Genius on CreativeLive.

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