Three Rules for Business Success from Mark Cuban

1. Sales Cures All

This one is simple, Cuban said. “There has never been a business that succeeded without sales.” Entrepreneurs often think they need a business plan or the infrastructure to support a growing company, but really, they don’t. They need sales. So get out there and sell.

2. Don’t Ask for Help

Given all the conversation about the importance of finding a mentor and learning from others, it was surprising to hear Cuban tell entrepreneurs not to ask for help. And it was clear that he regarded those who wanted him to be their mentor as, basically, whiners. “Dude, get off your fucking ass and get to work,” he said. “Figure the shit out. … Part of what’s going on in school is everyone is saying, ‘Will you help me?’ Help yourself.” When asked if he had had a mentor, Cuban didn’t hesitate before answering no.

That being said, Cuban made it clear that once he invests in a company, he does offer a lot of help. He said he had hired 15 people to work with his companies to get them up to speed and fill in the gaps in founders’ knowledge.

3. Be Prepared

Being prepared is the best way to reduce risk, Cuban said. Everyone thinks entrepreneurship is risky, but he doesn’t take risks himself. “When you walk into a room, if you don’t know more about your industry, your customer, your business, than anyone else in the world,” he said, “someone like me is going to come in and kick your ass.”

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