Leadership

Billionaire Mark Cuban shares the single best gift he's ever received

Billionaire Mark Cuban with his wife, Tiffany Stewart (L), and kids, Alyssa Cuban, Alexis Sofia Cuban, and Jake Cuban (L to R).
Photo by Jeff Kravitz

If you're looking for a last-minute gift idea and want to evoke a visceral reaction, you can find inspiration in what Mark Cuban says is the best present he has ever received. It's cheap, it's easy and it certainly packs a punch.

"A picture of an essay my then 7-year-old son wrote, saying I was his hero and that when he grew up he wanted to be an entrepreneur like me," Cuban recently told Inc.

As his son Jake gets older, whether or not he holds on to that dream to become an entrepreneur like his father, Cuban will likely offer him the same advice he offers the world: Don't use credit cards because of their exorbitant interest rates. Buy in bulk and on sale. Never stop grinding.

He'll also tell his son, perhaps above all else, to embrace the value of education.

"Learn, learn, learn. The greatest competitive advantage is knowledge," the billionaire told 17-year-old Ehan Kamat, a guest on ABC's "Shark Tank" who told Cuban that he was willing to pass up college to commit himself fully to his company, Solemender.

"That is a bad idea," Cuban said. "Learning accounting, learning finance, learning marketing, the more you can pull together, the quicker you can make decisions, the more competitive you can be, the greater advantage."

Cuban has already expressed frustration at his on their own.

"The hard part is getting them to read," he told Arianna Huffington on The Thrive Global Podcast. "Like, I love to read the newspaper. I saw my dad read the newspaper. My mom read the newspaper. And it became a normal course of keeping up with things."

His two daughters — Alexis, 14 and Alyssa, 11 — seem to prefer Netflix and iPhone apps, and Jake loves watching videos of the game Minecraft.

"I'm not going to lie, I paid my son $150 to not watch those videos for two months," said Cuban. "But he could earn if he watched math videos, or did math problems for me, he could earn time to watch Minecraft videos."

Sounds like Jake is already learning the value of investing his time.

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