Pink Think: “As in every business you have to always ask yourself what your product is and the best way to deliver it.” – Mark Cuban
My husband laughs when I get excited coming up with business ideas, or branding strategies. Book series ideas and titles, too. Probably my dad’s entrepreneurial bent rubbing off on me. To me, the fun is coming up with a concept, the successful execution is the icing.
Recently, I entered a local business concept contest. I didn’t win, but had a ball. I was, however, humbled to learn that the best business ideas which bowl over investors aren’t necessarily the shiny, pretty ones, but the ones that have a solid plan and numbers behind them. For instance, my presentation involved a fun “story” but when I was asked how much the building would cost, I answered, “A lot.”
Speaking of entrepreneurs, I have the pleasure of posting a Q&A with Mark Cuban, an American business magnate and investor. He is the owner of NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, and Magnolia Pictures, as well as the chairman of the HDTV cable network HDNet. He is a savvy blogger and now, author, with the recent launch of his eBook How to Win at the Sport of Business.
He’s also offering two Landmark Theatre movie tickets to a lucky commenter. Comment by 11:59 p.m. Monday, January 16, to be entered into the drawing. Click here for Landmark Theatre locations near you.
Q. Many moms who want to start a business are struggling to make ends meet but you argue in your book, that some of the best businesses took little to nothing to start. Why do you encourage entrepreneurs not to wait for financing to start?
A. Because effort is always more important than cash.
Q. There are many young moms who are just beginning their lives and can relate to you when you said you were sharing a small apartment with 6 people and sleeping on the floor. How can someone keep their eye on the prize when they’re living on Ramen noodles?
A. Who cares how you are living today? I loved every minute of living in that dump. The low rent and utilities and eating Mac n’ Cheese all the time allowed me to afford the startup of my business. Instead of paying myself much, I could put it in to my business.
Q. You knew Michael Dell of Dell Computers before he was the Michael Dell. What can you say about being nice to people on the way up?
A. It’s a whole lot easier to be nice to people than not to be. There are times when you have to be tough, but a smile not only goes further, it makes you feel better about yourself as well.
Q. You encourage entrepreneurs not to hire a public relations firm, Mark. How did you get the word out about your eBook?
A. I tweeted, posted on Facebook, [used] Google Plus and responded to emails. Nothing more.
Q. One of my favorite parts of your book, How to Win at the Sport of Business, that completely broke my heart was when your ex-secretary robbed your first company of over $83,000, leaving you only $2000 after a year of work. If there are moms out there that have lost everything, what advice do you have for them to pick themselves back up?
A. Keep working. Don’t feel sorry for yourself because it won’t do any good.
Q. Looking back, destiny seemed to lead you from one opportunity where you would learn a life skill to another. Do you believe in fate or luck and how much of that has to do with hard or smart work?
A. There were a lot of things I didn’t write about. So, it’s not necessarily a direct jump from one skill to another. Starting and running a business can be a lot of long hours. You just have to get after it and not let up.
Q. You were seemingly unfocused and not sure about what you want to do when you were younger. What advice do you have to parents who are worried if their child will ever be somebody?
A. No amount of worrying is going to change things for them. They have to figure it out for themselves. At some point, it is theirs to do or not do.
Thank you, Mark. Mark Cuban’s e-book, How to Win at the Sport of Business, is available anywhere eBooks are sold.
Comment by 11:59 p.m. MST Monday, January 16, to be entered into the drawing.