The majority of content for the book is curated from his blog posts and I am sure Mark does not mind, right? So here’s the list of articles from his blog that made it to the book:
- Introduction: Head over to Amazon, click on the “look inside” link and read the intro for free.
- Part ONE: The Dream: Read this post from posts 1 to 3. Post 4 is Part TWO of the book and is linked below.
- Part TWO: Lessons Learned: My First Business Rules: This quote from Mark Cuban struck a chord with me deeply: “Everything I read was public. Anyone could buy the same books and magazines. The same information was available to anyone who wanted it. Turns out most people didn’t want it.”
- The Sport of Business: Mark Cuban is a huge basketball fan (why would he otherwise own Dallas Mavericks) and in this post he compares business to sports in terms of competitiveness. However, that’s where the comparison ends because business happens 24X7X365Xfovever. The real takeaway here is Mark’s (yes, we are on first name basis) list of factors that give you an “edge” in business.
- The One Thing in Life You Can Control: Effort: The takeaway here is you either make a commitment to get results or not. All other things are inconsequential.
- Scatterbrained and in College: Being Focused at 21 is Overrated: Mark’s advice for the young people who feel bad about not being focused in college: Do as many things as you want to and learn as much about business as possible so when the time comes to be focused, you are ready.
- What Are You Destined to Be?: Mark apparently gets tons of emails where the senders’ proclaim that they are “destined” to be this or that! His view here is that you never know your strengths and interests until and unless you have tried a few different things.
- You only have to be right once!: Mark’s view here is that in the business world you only have to be right once to be set for life so it does not matter how many times you fail.
- What I learned from Bobby Knight: Mark learned an important thing about sports and business from Bobby Knight:
“Everyone has got the will to win, its only those with the will to prepare that do win”
- Drowning in Opportunity/Winning the Battles you are in: When a market is bullish everyone is a genius. In times when the bull market comes to a screeching halt, it is best to win the battles you are already in and not get distracted by opportunities that may pop up. In other words, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush!
- Don’t Lie to Yourself: Mark is a smart man and he learns from people around him. Here is what he learned from Don Nelson: “We are the worst evaluators of ourselves.” As an entrepreneur, know who you are and what are your strengths but don’t lie to yourself and pretend that you can be someone else in an instant. Mark gives an example saying his strength is in seeing the “big picture” and he can’t be a “details” person no matter what he tries to do!
- The Best Equity is Sweat Equity: The title makes it pretty clear and history shows that the best companies start with sweat capital: Dell Computer, MicroSoft, Apple, HP and more…
- What Will You Remember When You are 90?: Life is too short to live trying to please others. Be yourself. Before you take any action, always ask yourself, “When Im 90, will I smile when I think back, or will I frown and regret not having done it?”
- Connecting to your customers: Cuban’s maxims for customer service and retention. “Treat your customers like they own you. Because they do.”, “You have to re-earn your customers business every day” and one that came from YAHOO “You Always Have Other Options.”
- It’s OK To Be A Whiner: If you want to change something then first whine about it! Change rarely happens otherwise. Media has given whiners a bad name but non-whiners are usually used as punching bags by others. Whine away…
- The Path of Least Resistance: It is vital to remember that when faced with choice, people most often take the path of least resistance. The option that causes the least amount of discomfort. Therefore, make your product or service easiest to experience which ensures a quick sale.
- Need a Job?: Whatever career you choose, learn first by taking up a sales job and get damn good at it. “Every single person on this planet can learn to be a great salesperson. All you have to do is put in the effort and care about your company, your prospects and customers”.
- Taking No for an Answer and other Business Mistakes: Don’t waste your time and other people’s time by adopting an attitude of not taking “no” for an answer. Ask about objections, respond to the best of your ability and if the answer is still “no” then move on to work hard and find qualified prospects.
- Living in a Tense Economy, aka Sometimes You Have to Say WTF!: A Cuban 5 point WTF todo list: a) live frugally like a student, b) take lots of chances because you never know what will stick, c) figure out if you are in the right job with a simple test of whether you are willing to live frugally like a student to continue working in the job, d) figure out how to become the best and the best way to become the best is to produce quality work all the time, and e) start the day motivated with a positive attitude no matter how bad things are.
- Why You Should NEVER Listen to Your Customers: “Your customers can tell you the things that are broken and how they want to be made happen. Listen to them. Make them happy. But they won’t create the future roadmap for your product or service. That’s your job.”
- 12 Cuban Rules for Startups: My favourite is rule number 4: “Sales Cures All. Know how your company will make money and how you will actually make sales.”
- Twelve Cuban Mantras for Success: All common sense which is pretty uncommon nowadays. Mantra number 2 is about random acts of kindness so now you know a different side of Mark Cuban.
There you go, you just read Mark Cuban’s book for free except for the introduction but who cares about that! But seriously, consider buying the book because it is a good read.