How Being A 'Lousy Employee' Fueled Mark Cuban's Success: "I Was A Know-It-All"

The entrepreneurial journey of Mark Cuban, the celebrated billionaire investor who is set to sell a majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks, is a tale of resilience and self-discovery.

What Happened: In a candid interview with Wired last month, Cuban shared insights into his early realization that traditional employment was not his calling, stating, “I was never going to be good at working for someone else.”

From a young age, Cuban was engaged in various entrepreneurial activities, starting at 12 years old. His ventures ranged from door-to-door sales of garbage bags to offering dance lessons.

The turning point came in his mid-20s when Cuban established his first significant business, MicroSolutions. Despite facing daunting challenges and experiencing intense fear due to initial failures, Cuban remained steadfast, driven by his self-awareness of being a poor fit for conventional employment.

He reflected on this period, saying the business initially had "no sales" and that his anxiety was "through the roof."

Cuban's journey was also marked by several instances where his drive and initiative were misconstrued as insubordination, leading to his dismissal from positions, including one at a software store in Dallas and another at Mellon Bank.

The billionaire said he had faced job terminations on several occasions by that point, with his most recent dismissal taking place at the Dallas store. In a 2017 podcast interview, he recounted a moment of initiative when, without informing his boss, he successfully closed a significant sale, securing a $10,000 check for the store.

Also Read: Mark Cuban Reveals His Biggest Missed Investment That Cost Him Billions

Recalling one such incident, Cuban said to CNBC in 2017, “I figured when I came back he’d be thrilled to death, right? Fired me on the spot.”

“I was a lousy employee because I was a know-it-all,” he told Wired. “I was an entrepreneur at heart, and I always thought I had a better idea for how to do things.”

These experiences solidified his belief in his entrepreneurial spirit and led him to persevere with MicroSolutions, which he sold for $6 million in 1990.

This success was a precursor to Cuban's next venture, the audio streaming company, which was acquired by Yahoo Inc. in 1999 for an impressive $5.7 billion.

Cuban credited his sales acumen as the cornerstone of his success, a skill he believes is essential in any field.

He emphasized the importance of understanding and meeting people's needs, a philosophy he shared in a TikTok interview last year. 

Now Read: Mark Cuban Reveals The One Reason Why He Avoids Yachts, Butlers And Chauffeurs

This story is part of a series of features on the subject of success, Benzinga Inspire.

How can you invest in early-stage startups if you don’t know the founders? Easy. Click here for a list of startups you can invest in today.

Benzinga may receive monetary compensation from the issuer, or its agency, for publicizing the offering of the issuer’s securities in this article. Please see 17b disclosure linked in the offering circular for more information.

This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photo: Shutterstock

Profit with More New & Research. Gain access to a streaming platform with all the information you need to invest better today. Click here to start your 14 Day Trial of Benzinga Professional

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

More Related Articles

Info icon

This data feed is not available at this time.

Sign up for Smart Investing to get the latest news, strategies and tips to help you invest smarter.