Entrepreneurs

Mark Cuban shares his top advice for Elon Musk on taking criticism

Mark Cuban
Gabriel Grams | CNBC
Mark Cuban

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is facing a lot of criticism after revealing plans to take his publicly traded $60 billion car manufacturer private through a tweet on Aug. 7.

Tesla has been one of the most shorted (or bet against) stocks on Wall Street, with many analysts pointing to production delays and rapid cash burn as reasons to think the stock will fall. Although the company's revenue rose to $4 billion in the second quarter of 2018 according to its August earnings report, Tesla reported losing $3.06 per share, a higher loss than Wall Street's forecast of a $2.92 per share loss.

In response to criticism from short sellers, Musk often takes to Twitter, and tweeted Friday he would even start offering "short shorts" as Tesla merchandise.

But taking criticism of Tesla personally isn't a good strategy, according to billionaire technology entrepreneur Mark Cuban.

"He has to learn not to respond," Cuban said on CNBC's "Halftime Report" Monday.

Of course, it can be hard for anyone to distance themselves from expectations of failure.

"When it's your baby, a lot of times it's hard not to take all that personally. It's hard not to feel it inside of you," Cuban says. "It happens to a lot of different people when you're criticized, and it's hard not to return fire sometimes."

"It happens to me talking about the Mavericks," Cuban added of the Dallas NBA basketball team he owns.

Even for people who aren't running large companies, Cuban's advice to avoid the pitfall of internalizing criticism is a lesson in success. From billionaire Micheal Bloomberg to comedian Samantha Bee, many successful people agree that becoming bogged down in negativity isn't productive.

It can pay off to remain focused and optimistic.

Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of China's Alibaba, was rejected from 30 jobs after college — including a Kentucky Fried Chicken. Instead of feeling defeated, he learned from the experience and didn't lose confidence. Today, he's worth $38 billion according to Forbes.

But don't ignore every boss or manager who has a comment to offer. Listening to constructive criticisms about your work is a key for career success.

"I don't know very many people who enjoy getting criticized," Wharton professor and organizational psychologist Adam Grant tells CNBC Make It. "But if you look at the data, one of the biggest drivers of success, if you account for how motivated you are and you know how talented you are, is your ability to seek and use negative feedback."

Some feedback is useful, Grant adds: "If you never get criticized, then you never really get challenged to improve."

Don't miss: Here's how Mark Cuban stays motivated

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