At NCG, Inc we are big believers in constant learning being one of the keys to success. Several of our team members are reading an excellent book by billionaire, Mark Cuban, called How to Win at the Sport of Business. If you haven’t picked up a physical copy or downloaded it on Audible yet, we’d highly recommend it — it’s short, sweet, easy to read, and jam-packed with useful life and business lessons. If you enjoy Cuban’s pearls of wisdom on Shark Tank, then you’ll undoubtedly find this a great read. Our team at NCG, Inc is growing in leaps and bounds, and many of our newest additions are recent graduates who are completing their degrees this May. With this in mind, we decided to share some of the biggest takeaways from Cuban’s book, in hopes of passing along some incredibly useful tips for those just beginning their careers!
Lesson #1: It’s not in the dreaming, it’s in the doing.
Mark Cuban is a big proponent that the best equity is sweat equity. There’s a huge difference between thinking about what you want and actually taking action and going through the tough times in order to earn those things. Cuban admitted that just like the rest of us, before he became successful, “[he] would drive by big houses and wonder who lived there — every weekend [he] would do it. What did they do for a living? How did they make their money? Someday, [he] would tell himself, [he] would live in a house like that.” What separated this billionaire from the pack was his willingness to endure the blood, sweat, and tears necessary to earn one of the big beautiful homes that he admired. This is an incredibly essential realization for recent graduates and career veterans, alike, who are striving to be successful. This is also a lesson that we aim to impart to all of our management trainees at NCG, Inc. If you want it, work for it! Simple as that.
Lesson #2: One of the smartest things you can do is get paid to learn.
If we may say so ourselves, Mark Cuban is right on the money with this one! Pun intended! Think about it: As as a recent grad, you’ve just spent the last four years paying a hefty tuition trying to get an education. It’s time to put that education to use; and not only that, but take your education to the next level. One of the absolute best ways to learn is to do. Whether you love or hate what you’re doing, every experience you undertake is of value. As Cuban writes in his book, “Now that you’ve graduated, it’s time to get paid to learn. And what if you aren’t a recent college grad? The same logic applies. It is time to get paid to learn.” This is precisely what we aim to provide through the NCG, Inc Management Training Program offered in Trumbull. Gaining hands-on business experience is incredible preparation for any career in business — or any career dealing with people, for that matter. Better yet, our management trainees are paid to learn these invaluable lessons. We consider this a huge win, win.
Lesson #3: Your ability to handle adversity will determine your success.
One of the most fascinating anecdotes in this book is about Mark Cuban’s first business, Microsolutions. He shares the details of building a company and growing a customer base during first two years in business, and what an accomplishment it was to finally bank 85 thousand dollars. We then learn of his dismay to discover that his secretary had managed to steal 83 thousand dollars from his company by whiting out the vendor names on checks, and replacing it with her own. Wow.
Before we finish telling you the story, take a moment to absorb what it would be like to have 98 percent of your earnings from two years wiped out in a single day. Deep breath. Talk about a challenge to maintain a positive attitude!
Cuban’s reaction? Certainly not one of an average-earning individual — and clearly, rather, one of a future billionaire. After trying his best to recover the lost money and discovering it was in vain, he did the following: “I had to go back to work… what was done, was done… worrying about revenge, getting pissed at the bank, all those ‘I’m going to get even and kick your ass thoughts’ were basically just a waste of energy. No one was going to cover my obligations but me. I had to get my ass back to work, and do so quickly. That’s exactly what I did.”
If you think about what the “average” person would have done in this situation, it’s probably not that. In all likelihood, most people would have been deeply discouraged and might have gone back to a “stable” or “secure” lifestyle as an employee at someone else’s company. Needless to say, Mark Cuban’s entrepreneurial journey did not end with this set back.
We’ll leave you with a final quote from this wise businessman: “Everyone gets down; the key is how soon you get back up.” Bam!
At NCG, Inc, we strive daily to learn from the best — and Mark Cuban is undoubtedly the best. We find comfort in knowing that even this billionaire faced tough times. Even he had to work hard to achieve his dreams. When you look at successful people, it’s easy to see only the final product and be in awe of how “lucky” they are; but, reading a book like “How to Win at the Sport of Business” is an excellent way to remember all that went into the achievement of massive success. Whether you are 20 years into your career, or you are celebrating your graduation this weekend, these are lessons that you should absorb and remember forever.
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