I just can’t!
Here’s some background information: I’m a self-made kind of guy. I’ve never worked for anyone. I’ve never had a resume. I’ve never been on a job interview, etc. Everything that I’ve learned (which is not that much actually), I did by from learning from my mistakes. Through this process I’ve taught myself how to invest, how to build a business, how to pivot and how to start all over with a new career in a new industry. I did all of this by learning from my mistakes. I was horrible at school and dropped out after a year and change, so I am anything but a "formally studied entrepreneur".
Suffice it to say that I am not one to have ever read business books or listened to other entrepreneurs, because I’ve always felt that they couldn’t relate to me; my experiences or the daily reality of running a small business. I would rather spend my time learning from artists and musicians who create things from scratch; from people like Churchill or LBJ who dealt with real-world crises; and from friends who are fellow entrepreneurs, like Mark Ecko.
Now, back to Mr. Cuban. I certainly knew who he was. The story of him selling Broadcast.com for billions at the height of the tech bubble in 2000 was legendary. His antics with the Dallas Mavericks were kinda obnoxious (maybe because I used to be a Knicks fan – note the “used to be” part). The plane … The mansion … Just not my style … I’m very understated when it comes to “stuff”.
Then, I see him on Shark Tank. My wife loves the show and, while I’m not much of a TV guy, I do confess that it’s kinda good. Anyway, he came across as a smart guy and his comments were pretty insightful. I recently saw an episode featuring young entrepreneurs and what really impressed me was how he talked to the kids. It was really inspirational.
So, I started reading his blog and really enjoyed it. Digging a little bit further, I found two articles in Entrepreneur magazine and, eventually, I came to realize that the guy completely speaks to me.
I’m building a website that few people understand and that the market hasn’t really seen before. It’s an absolute obsession of mine and Mark seems to relate to the journey I’m on better than most.
Here’s a funny story. I heard him say once that anyone can email him and but he doesn’t take calls or meetings. I love that, actually. So, late one night at some ridiculous hour, I found his email and sent him along a short note. You know what happened? A few minutes later, an email came back and it was from Mark. He challenged my idea. We went back and forth a few times and after he told me he didn’t see the potential (he’s in good company :) ), he wished me well and that was that.
So, Mark Cuban, if this finds its way to you, just know, I was once a reluctant fan, but now I’m just a fan!