How Did Mark Cuban Make His Money? was written by Theresa Bedford and originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks. Theresa Bedford is the founder of In The Game Investing where she teaches busy, professional women how to manage their money and investments. She writes about personal finance, investing without a financial advisor, and building wealth. It has been republished with permission. Please note that contributing opinions are that of the author. They are not always in strict alignment with my own opinions. –Joe.
Mark Cuban is the owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks and a star of the popular TV show Shark Tank. With a combination of knowledge, business savvy street smarts, and a few wise investments, Cuban is climbing the ranks as one of the wealthiest people in the world.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Mark Cuban has an estimated net worth of approximately $5 billion. That makes him the 5th richest person in Texas and the 169th richest in the world. So how did Mark Cuban make his money?
Who Is Mark Cuban?
Mark Cuban was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 31, 1958. He grew up in a middle-class Jewish family. His mother was a homemaker, and his father worked in an auto upholstery store.
According to a 2014 interview with Bloomberg, Cuban's life changed instantly when his Dad wouldn't buy him a new pair of shoes. If you want a new pair of sneakers, you need a job, and you can buy them. Cuban began selling packs of garbage bags to families in the neighborhood. Why? Because everyone needs garbage bags.
Cuban skipped his senior year of high school by enrolling at the University of Pittsburgh. And within a year, he transferred to Indiana University, where his entrepreneurial journey continued. There, Mark offered dance classes to students and rented space from a nearby bar to hold disco parties. And eventually, he graduated with a degree in business administration.
In 1981, Cuban returned to Pittsburgh for a year. He immersed himself in studying machines, computers, and networking. However, he didn't want to remain there. In 1982, he moved to Texas for a more fulfilling life, where he worked as a salesperson for Your Business Software, one of the first PC software companies to be established in Dallas. He was fired a year later and left determined to start a business and make millions.
How Did Mark Cuban Make His Money
Mark Cuban reached millionaire status in 1990. Shortly after leaving his job selling software, Cuban started a business, MicroSolutions. Cuban sold the firm in 1990 for $6 million.
Despite having enough money to retire early and enjoy life, the millionaire continued to build wealth. In 1995, he invested in a company with fellow Indiana alum Todd Wagner and started AudioNet. The idea was to listen to the Indiana Hoosier games online. However, it grew and succeeded wildly, including streaming the first Victoria's Secret annual runway show.
After being renamed Broadcast.com, the company went public, and the stock reached a new all-time high. One year later, Wagner and Cuban sold the company to Yahoo for $5.7 billion in Yahoo stock. After holding the stock for six months, Cuban reached billionaire status after netting approximately $2 billion in cash from the transaction. Over the next year and a half, Yahoo's stock slid nearly 95%, making this decision one of the best investment decisions of all time.
Since achieving billionaire status, Mark Cuban has continued to make money. He bought the Dallas Mavericks for $285 billion from Ross Perot Jr. As a longtime season ticket holder, it was both an investment and a dream. Under the new owner's enthusiasm and innovation, the Mavericks went on to win an NBA championship in 2011.
Cuban continues to invest in small businesses through the famous TV program Shark Tank. He brings his savvy business advice to the small screen, teaching millions of entrepreneurs worldwide what it takes to invest and get a start-up business off the ground. Cuban has invested nearly $20 million in more than 80 small businesses since joining the show in 2012.
In addition, Cuban is an early investor in the $4 billion SPAC banking app, Dave, and the owner of film distributor Magnolia Pictures. In addition, he's been vocal about his cryptocurrency investments like Dogecoin.
Mark Cuban's Personal Life
Mark Cuban married his longtime girlfriend, Tiffany Stewart, in 2002. He has two daughters, Alexis (born in 2003) and Alyssa (2006), and one son, Jake (2010). They live in a 24,000-square-foot mansion in Preston Hollow, a suburb of Dallas.
He is a vegetarian.
He is a businessman and philanthropist. He helped military personnel through the Fallen Patriot Fund and small business owners through LinkedIn. In addition, he donated $5 million to Indiana University for the Mark Cuban Center for Sports Media and Technology. Following allegations of a hostile work environment in the Dallas Mavericks front office, Cuban donated $10 million to organizations that promote women in leadership and combat domestic violence.
Money Advice for Entrepreneurs From Cuban
Mark Cuban wasn't born into money. He built it.
Cuban launched a personal blog, Blog Maverick, where he wrote his early thoughts on life, money, and business. The blog houses articles on his many jobs, motivation, and hidden insecurities about running a business.
Millions worldwide seek Cuban's advice through his television show, Twitter, and calls to help aspiring entrepreneurs. Here are three tips to learn from Cuban if you want to increase your net worth.
- Never invest in businesses you don't understand. In his blog, Cuban writes that it's ok to do nothing. So, if you don't understand the business, don't invest. It's too risky to lose everything and not worth it. You need to understand the ins and outs of your investments. Never put all of your trust in someone else.
- Control your emotions. In Cuban's book, “How To Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It,” he writes that fear is the enemy of success. Fear is normal and natural, but it keeps you stuck and stifles growth. You have to take some risks in life. Just make it a calculated risk. Educate yourself and build confidence.
- Analyze your spending habits. Cuban writes about a concept called transitional returns. He encourages readers to examine their spending habits and buy bulk when possible. It saves money over time, and you don't pay taxes on the money saved. Budgeting is a crucial skill regardless of how much money you have because there's always something you'll want to buy. In addition, there's always something new coming out. Everyone has a finite amount of money that needs to be budgeted before it disappears.
- Read and read more. Cuban believes that a good book is worth more than the money spent to buy it. So he's willing to pay for a book's one idea. He told Vanity Fair that one idea is a bargain for the book's price. Cuban has mentioned investment books like “The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need” by Andrew Tobias and “How To Retire by the Age of 35” by Paul Terhorst to get you started.
- Pay off Debt. Mark Cuban is not a fan of debt. One of the first questions he asks businesses pitching on Shark Tank is about their balance sheet, aka the debt tracker. Cuban says that if you are paying more than five percent on debt, it's too much. You're losing money as investments don't always return more than that five percent. Strive to pay off credit card balances every month and spend cash when you can.
- Look for multiple streams of income. Cuban is one of the richest men in the world, but he didn't get there through one particular avenue. Sure, he became a millionaire after one business, but it took a lot of trial and error. He had been on the journey of entrepreneurship since age 12. The ultra-wealthy have multiple income streams like investments, stocks, royalties, patents, rental properties, and earned income.
The journey to ultra-rich wasn't easy, but it paid off for billionaire Mark Cuban, who made the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans in 2022. Cuban's wealth wasn't built by one business, one investment, or luck. Instead, he made his fortune with a series of small business investments and one timely stock sale.
The secret is to think rich and go for it. Look beyond your paycheck and start investing in start-ups, building passive income, and amassing wealth. To be rich, making millions or having billions, you must give it time and effort.
Money doesn't grow on trees – many self-made billionaires like Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Cuban, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk weren't born into wealth with an inheritance. Becoming rich takes time, multiple investments, and more time. You don't have to win the lottery or come from money either. Learn from Cuban how to get rich by doing many different things. Get started today because generational wealth is attainable for anyone who puts in the work.