20.7 C

Billionaire Mark Cuban says don’t follow your passions—follow the money and build wealth instead



The Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) movement has caught significant flame in recent years, and it’s no surprise as to why. As the cost of living has skyrocketed, wages have hardly kept pace, and the job market has only looked exceedingly grimmer. Indeed, given the growing dissonance between workers and bosses—based on everything from return-to-office mandates and poor team morale to cultural disagreements—those who are able to dig their heels in, up their earning potential, and get out of the grind entirely have never had more reasons to do so.   

Then there are the workers who are still rolling up their sleeves well into middle age who, in retrospect, wish they would have joined in on the FIRE action. One of them is billionaire entrepreneur and perennial Shark Tank judge Mark Cuban. 

In emailed comments to Fortune reporter Will Daniel, Cuban advised against starting a business on the basis of passion, urging workers instead to remain eagle eyed on money and building wealth. “You have to be on a mission, whatever that mission is,” Cuban wrote. “My mission was to retire by 35.” 

That’s a mission Cuban, 65, clearly aborted. He still owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team—27% of it, at least—still sits in the lush armchair on ABC’s Shark Tank, and he just recorded a series on MasterClass aimed at budding entrepreneurs. “Any good entrepreneur has to be able to adapt to change to succeed,” he told Daniel. “Life is unpredictable, and society and technology are constantly evolving.”

Appearing opposite Wharton psychologist Adam Grant on the Re:Thinking podcast in 2022, Cuban said a main reason he didn’t live the FIRE lifestyle—and hasn’t yet hung up his hat—is because he’s simply too competitive. 

At 25, he was fully committed to the FIRE ethos, telling Grant that his goal of amassing wealth as quickly as possible underpinned his every move. But as Cuban’s career bloomed, his interest in gaining a power foothold overtook his interest in simply getting rich. “Every entrepreneur [in] the back of their mind says, ‘I want to be that entrepreneur that disrupts an industry and changes it,’” Cuban said. “What’s better than that?”

Look no further than Cuban’s latest venture for evidence of that aversion to slowing down. In 2021, he launched Cost Plus Drugs, a company geared at eliminating needless fees on essential medications—a middleman in the often thankless pharmaceutical industry. As he explained to Grant, Cost Plus Drugs is far from a money-making endeavor; it’s his most direct way of cultivating positive social change. 

Had he been running Cost Plus Drugs at 25, before he sold his first company, he would have been laser-focused on nabbing an acquisition, he told Grant. But today, “the marginal value of my next dollar is [the minimum]. It’s not going to change my life a lot. So my decision-making process is completely different.”

Cuban echoed that sentiment in a CBS Sunday Morning interview a year later. “When I was in my 20s and my 30s and my early 40s, it was all about how much money I could make,” he said. “But at this point in my life where the next dollar that I bring in isn’t going to change my life, my kids’ life, their kids’ lives, the capitalistic reward comes from having an impact.”

Case in point, he once said his goal with Cost Plus Drugs was to “just f— up the pharmaceutical industry so bad that they bleed.”

Perhaps not every young entrepreneur signing up for the Shark’s MasterClass is currently equipped for such a gargantuan undertaking. For those just starting out, Cuban offers more measured advice. 

On entrepreneur and VC Randall Kaplan’s podcast, In Search of Excellence, Cuban said winning in business and life simply comes down to effort. Willingness to put in the work “is a huge competitive advantage, because most people don’t” do it, he said. Becoming successful—to the tune of $6.6 billion, Cuban’s net worth, per Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index—won’t just require coming in on time or staying late here or there; it means being proactive, facing the tough issues, and blowing past the parameters of a given job. 

Cuban means business; if young hopefuls don’t have that mindset, he told Kaplan, “don’t apply for a job with me.” And certainly don’t assume you’re ready to retire. 

Subscribe to the CEO Daily newsletter to get the CEO perspective on the biggest headlines in business. Sign up for free.

Source link

Subscribe to our magazine

━ more like this

Blackmagic Design releases a DaVinci Resolve editing panel for iPads

At 14.33 inches by 7.18 inches, the Micro Color Panel is about the size of a computer keyboard. It has an iPad Pro...

House Speaker Mike Johnson says he will push for aid to Israel and Ukraine this week

 House Speaker Mike Johnson said Sunday he will try to advance wartime aid for Israel this week as he attempts the difficult task of winning...

Record-high gold prices trigger a flood of selling. ‘People are using gold as an ATM they never had’

Investors and metals traders can’t agree on what exactly is behind gold’s recent rally. At King Gold & Pawn in Brooklyn, the customers don’t care. They...

Israel-Iran conflict adds to Fed’s caution on rate cuts as oil prices may disrupt inflation fight—but China and OPEC+ could ease pressure, Capital Economics...

Increased tension in the Middle East following Iran’s attack on Israel likely gives the Federal Reserve even more cause to go slow on...

Bitcoin ‘halving’ will cost crypto miners $10 billion a year in lost revenue and ‘could well determine who comes out ahead and who gets...

For enthusiasts of Bitcoin, a once-every-four-years software update called the “halving” has long been held as one of the keys to propping up...