How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It

This book is written as a really short biography for the billionaire Mark Cuban. It’s not the best book you’ll ever read but it’s a very easy and fun one. It contains some very practical advise and when broken down, you see just how easy it is to become a billionaire in the long run.

I learned not to be afraid of going through the phone book and making calls.

It’s always the little decision that have the biggest impact.

10 p.m. and still being so pumped up, I would drive over to the gym I belonged to and run five to ten miles on the treadmill, going through that day and the next in my head […] I would forget to eat and look up at the clock thinking it was 6 or 7 in the evening and realize that it was actually 1 or 2 in the morning.

I had to get my ass back to work, and do so quickly

In relation to the big disappointment of having all his first company’s cash stolen by his secretary

In doing all the reading I learned a valuable lesson.

Everything I read was public. Anyone could buy the same books and magazines. The same information was available to anyone who wanted it. Turns our most people didn’t want it.

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Most people won’t put in the time to get a knowledge advantage.

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I read more than three hours almost every day

about reading every book and magazine he could get his hands on and how he still continues to read more than three hours a day

How can they put you out of business? Is it price? It is service? Is it ease of use? No product is perfect and if there are good competitors in your market, they will figure our how to abuse you.

I love to compete. I always have

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Real competition comes from the sport of business.

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The sport of business is the ultimate competition. It’s 7 x 24 x 365 x forever

That’s was success is all about. It’s about the edge.

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you just spent 24 hours straight working on a project and you thought only a couple of hours has passed

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smartest guy in the room

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The edge is knowing that when the four girlfriends you have had in the last couple of years asked you which was more important, them or your business, you gave the right answer.

The edge is knowing that you can fail and learn from it, and just get back up and in the game.

The edge is knowing that people think you’re crazy, and they are right, but you don’t care what they think.

The edge is knowing how to blow off steam a couple time a week, just so you can refocus on business.

The edge is knowing that you are getting to your goals and treating people right along the way, because as good as you can be, you are so focused that you need regular people around you to balance and help you.

The edge is being able to confidently call out someone on a business issue because you have done your homework.

The edge is recognizing when you are wrong and working harder to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The edge is being able to drill down to identify issues and problems and solve them before anyone knows they are there.

The edge is knowing that while everyone else is talking about nonsense like that “will to win” and how they know they can be successful, you are preparing yourself to compete so that you will be successful.

The one thing that I could always focus on to the exclusion of everything else.

Sports, the only thing a player can truly control is effort. The same applies to business. The only thing any entrepreneur, salesperson or anyone in any position can control is their effort.

every hour of the day that I could contact a customer was selling time, and when customers were sleeping, I was doing things that prepared me to make more sales sand to make my company better.

had to make sure I wasn’t lying to myself about how hard I was working. It would have been easy to judge effort by how many hours a day passed while I was at work. That’s the worst way to measure effort. Effort is measured by setting goals and getting results.

you have to create a base of knowledge so you are ready when it’s time

learning how to learn and recognizing that learning is a lifelong endeavor

The more people you are obligated to, the harder it is to focus on yourself and figure things out. I’m a big believer that getting married is about finding yourself first, which make it a lot easier to find the right person.

In business, to be a success, you only have to be right one.

Learning that focus and intensity can be virtues and conduits to success.

“Everyone has got the will to win; it’s only those with the will to prepare that do win”

every other strategic element of my business I have learned to delegate – that’s not easy for an entrepreneur

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I had to be in the middle of everything. No longer. I’ve learned to hire people in whom I can build trust, and let them take the ball and run with it.

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If you are the main engine behind your company, taking on new challenges will only dilute your ability to win the wars you are in and increase the risk of injuring your primary business or core competencies.

get the fundamentals right and then add to your base skills before you try to take on the trick shots

Few businesses only have one opportunity. Every entrepreneur’s mind goes crazy with the new and exciting things she can do beyond the new and exciting things she is already doing. The risk is that you can drown in all these opportunities.

As an entrepreneur you have to know what the core competencies of your business are and make sure that your company focuses on being the absolute best it can be at executing them. Bottom line is this: If you are adding new things when your core businesses are struggling rather than facing the challenge, you are either running away or giving up. […] by chasing these opportunities, you may be assuring that you drown in them.

there were “Rules of Success” in the companies that excelled. When companies failed to follow those rules, they inevitably failed.

Same goes for trading. Follow the rules. Find trading or investment opportunities with high upside and very little to no downside.

There are always exceptions to any rules

The best businesses in recent entrepreneurial history are those that began with little or no money

Investors care about how they are going to get their money back and then some.

There are only two reasonable sources of capital for startup entrepreneurs: your own pocket and your customers’ pockets.

The reality is that for most businesses, they don’t need more cash, they need more brains.

Success is about making your life a special version of unique that fits who you are

“Treat your customers like they own you. Because they do”

if I can’t be a customer of my own product, then I probably am not going to do a good job running the company.

The best focus groups are your customers telling you what they think.

In business, one of the challenges is making sure that your product is the easiest to experience and to sell.

it’s more important to know how our customers’ businesses operate than how the sports business operates.

If you can sell, you can get a job – anywhere, anytime

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selling was a job for a lifetime

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The best salespeople are the ones who put themselves in their customer’s shoes and provide a solution that makes the customer happy.

The best salesperson is the one the customer trusts and never has to question.

The best salesperson is the one who knows that with every cold call made, he is closer to helping someone.

The best salesperson is the one who takes immense satisfaction from the satisfaction her customer gets.

The best salesperson is the one who wakes up early every morning excited to come to the office, get on the phone and let people know exactly why he loves his product, job and clients.

All you have to do is put in the effort and care about your company, your prospects and customers

Wasting your time means you are not selling to the next prospect.

If you believe deeply in what you do, it is going to be fun and exciting to find your next customer and show off how amazing your products/service/idea is.

The cheaper you can live, the greater your options

Once you have found out what you love to do, there is only one goal: to be the best in the world at it […] “the best” is a relative term.

Start your day motivated with a positive attitude

You are going to enjoy all the bullshit you have to deal with as you chase your goals and dreams, because you want to remember them all. Each and every experience will serve as motivation and provide great memories when you finally make it all happen.

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it”

Your customers can tell you the things that are broken and how they want to be made happy. Listen to them. Make them happy. But don’t rely on them to create the future road map for your product or service. That’s your job.

1. Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession and something you love.

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3. Hire people who think will love working there.

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Know how your company will make money and how you will actually make sales.

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There is nothing private in a startup

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9. Keep the organization flat

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Whenever you consume any information related to your field, get the email of the person publishing it and send them a message introducing yourself and the company. […] They will welcome hearing from the founder instead of some PR flack. One you establish communication with that person, make yourself available to answer their questions about the industry and be a source of them. If you are smart, they will use you.

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Make the job fun for employees

from the twelve Cuban rules for startups

1. Time is more valuable than money

You have to learn how to use time wisely and be productive. How wisely you use your time will have far more impact on your life and success than any amount of money

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One you are prepared and you think you have every angle of preparation covered, you have to go for it. No balls, no babies.

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You have to find ways to blow off steam so you don’t blow a gasket

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Always know that the game is on. […] Everyone has inside of them what it takes to be successful. You just have to be ready to unleash it when the opportunity presents itself.

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EVERYONE goes through those moments. They key is how you fight through them.

The people who will be truly successful are those that fight through the quickest and come back stronger and smarter.

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you can control your own destiny.

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10. It’s not in the dreaming, it’s in the doing


I always try to wake up and ask myself just how I’m going to get from where I am to where I want to be. What EXACTLY is it going to take to DO it, rather than dream about it.

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Every good deal has a win-win solution.