Self-made billionaire Mark Cuban, the owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks and former co-owner of Broadcast.com, credits learning to do one thing at an early age for his success over the years: his ability to hustle.
"I was hustling in everything I did," says Cuban at the OZY Festival this month. "Whatever it took, I was willing to do it."
The "Shark Tank" star, 58, says his upward trajectory began at age 12 when he asked his father for a new pair of basketball shoes. His father, surrounded by a group of his friends, scoffed and told Cuban that his current sneakers were fine.
Unhappy with that answer, Cuban continued to ask for new shoes. His father replied, "when you have your own job and you have your own money you can buy a pair of shoes."
One of his father's friends told Cuban that he could make some money from him by selling boxes of garbage bags, which Cuban accepted.
"My first business was going door to door selling garbage bags," says Cuban at the festival. "Who's going to say to no a 12-year-old kid, right?"
From there, he continued to hustle, which led to more lucrative opportunities: Cuban says he began collecting stamps, then started giving dance lessons and even opened a bar on the campus of Indiana University, .
In the early '90s, as the internet age was just beginning, Cuban got together with a few of his college friends. "We said, 'This new internet thing, there's got to be a way to be able to listen to ... sporting events,'" says Cuban.
With the help of his friend, Todd Wagner, Cuban led video streaming service Broadcast.com to success and their hustling paid off. "We started the first big-time streaming company and then that blew up," Cuban says at the festival. "We took it public and then sold it."
The video portal was sold to Yahoo for $5.7 billion in 1999. Today the 58-year-old has an estimated net worth of $3.4 billion, according to Forbes.
"You've got to grind. It takes work. There are no shortcuts," the businessman said in an interview with Smart Hustle Magazine at SXSW last year. "There's gonna be things that upset you. There's gonna be failure and if you're not able to hustle, if you're not able to grind, you're not gonna be able to fight through those things."
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