Success and Motivation – The Benefactor Tests

Success and Motivation – The Benefactor Tests

I have been asked when the next installment is coming. Since they go hand in hand I decided to list the topics
that will be part of the blog series, which happen to match up to the Factors for Success that I test for in The
Benefactor in coming weeks.

1. Time is more valuable than money

You have to learn how to use time wisely and be productive. How wisely you use your time will have far more impact
on your life and success than any amount of money.

2. Random Acts of Kindness

Being successful entails being able to not only get along with people, but also give something back. No one gets
to the top on their own, and I believe we all should be able to make those around us smile.

3. No Balls, No Babies

This is something a blackjack dealer once told me when I asked him if I should hit or stick. It is also my
favorite line and probably the thing I tell myself the most. Once you are prepared, and you think you have every
angle of preparation covered. Then you have to go for it. No balls, no babies.

4. Work Hard Play Hard

I went 7 years without a vacation, but I sure managed to have fun. You have to find ways to blow off steam so you
don’t blow a gasket.

5. Don’t let fear be a roadblack

You can use fear as a roadblock or as motivation. There is always going to be someone who is competing with you,
and they are going to win sometimes. Rather than not doing something for fear of losing, take on the challenge. If
you fail, get back up and go for it again. I have been fired from more jobs than most people have had! In the search
for success, you can fail any number of times, but you only have to get it right one time.

6. Expect the unexpected, and always be ready

You don’t wake up in the morning with someone telling you that everyone is going to be selling lemonade so whoever
sells the most wins. It’s the exact opposite. Life is unpredictable, which is exactly why we made The
Benefactor unpredictable.

You never know when an opportunity will open or close. You have to realize this and always know that the game is
on. Whatever your are striving to achieve isn’t waiting in one static place for you to find it.

It’s the opposite. Everyone has inside of them what it takes to be successful. You just have to be ready
to unleash it when the opportunity presents itself.

7. It’s ok to yell and be yelled at

One of the rules I have is that I don’t mind if people raise their voice and even yell a little bit. At
MicroSolutions, my partner Martin and I would have some knockdown drag outs. They were always short bursts. They
didn’t happen a lot. When they did, I knew, and he knew, that this was an issue we were passionate about.

As my businesses grew, it happened less often because people deferred to me more often. I hated that. If someone
believed strongly enough in something and I was being passionate about something, I wanted them to match my level of
passion if they felt that strongly about it.

So I told people that if they thought it was the only way to get through to me, to go for it. This may not work
for you in corporate America, but anyone in a family business, or in a private business of any size with a partner or
two, knows exactly what I am talking about!

8. Everyone gets down, the key is how soon you get back up

I can’t count how many times I have gotten up in the morning dreading the day. I wasnt motivated, I was tired. I
just wanted to crawl back in bed.

Other times, I had lost a deal, we had lost a game, something wasn’t working. I just wanted to crawl under a rock
and disappear.

EVERYONE goes through those moments. The key is how you fight through them.

Knowing that everyone has those days, the people who truly will be successful are those that fight through the
quickest and come back stronger and smarter

9. It’s not if the glass is half empty, or half full, it’s who is pouring the water

This is one of my favorites. They key in business and success at any endeavor is doing your best to control your
destiny. You can’t always do it, but you have to take every opportunity you can to be as prepared and ahead of the
competition as you possibly can be. Take the lead, and you can control your own destiny.

10. It’s not in the dreaming, it’s in the doing

Everyone has it in them to be successful. EVERYONE. Most people only dream about what they do if they were
successful, or how they might get there.

Anyone can dream. Anyone and everyone does have ideas about how they might be successful. It doesn’t matter if
your definition of success is being a great parent, being an athlete, a business person, whatever.

When I catch myself daydreaming about how I’m going to do this or that, I always try to wake up and ask myself
just how I’m going to get from where I am, to where I want to be. What EXACTLY is it going to take to do it, rather
than dream about it.

11. Pigs Get Fat, Hogs Get Slaughtered

This is one I got from my partner Todd Wagner. He is right on. Sometimes you have to go for the jugular, but more
often than not, the biggest mistake people make are getting too greedy. Every good deal has a win win solution. There
is nothing I hate more than someone who tries to squeeze every last penny out of the deal. They often raise the
aggrevation level to the point where it’s not worth doing the deal. They also raise the dislike level to the point
where even if a deal gets done, you look for ways to never do business with that person or company again.

Business happens over years and years.Value is measured in the total upside of a business
relationship, not by how much you squeezed out in any one deal.

12. You only have to be right once

I have been fired from more jobs than most people have had. Some jobs I have had were so bad, the only way I could
justify them to myself was that I was getting paid to learn (as opposed to paying to go to school).

I have started a stupid business that was doomed to fail (selling powdered milk). I have dated more girls that I
wanted to. The beauty of success, whether it’s finding the girl of your dreams, the right job, or financial success
among many others, is that it doesn’t matter how many times you have failed, you only have to be right once.

No one keeps score. There are so many ways that each of us can find happiness and success in our endeavors, that
it never really matters how many times you fail. You only have to be right once

These are some of the things I use to guide myself in different situations.

Maybe they apply to your situation, maybe they don’t, that’s up to you to decide. They arethe
foundation for many of the tests and challenges, and the spirit of what I tried to do in The Benefactor

Make sure to watch the show monday nights and let me know what you think! (and those in the mountain and
pre empted cities, please TiVo!)

thx

m

93 thoughts on “Success and Motivation – The Benefactor Tests

  1. yes! good!!!

    Comment by imdb -

  2. but referring to this as “giving something back” plays to the whole idea that to be successful is to be “fortunate” and that successful people have an obligation to “give something back”, as if they have not earned all they have.

    Comment by book -

  3. Hat’s Off ! !

    I really like the style of this show. A fun look at human nature in true form.

    Comment by 清风书吧 -

  4. I love the lessons you’ve attached to each challenge, and I have no doubt that I too probably would have been cut after making some “stupid” off-hand comment. However, I was glad to learn that I’m not the only one out there who has a problem keeping their big mouth shut.

    Comment by runescape money -

  5. I understand the concept of using your success for unselfish goals, but referring to this as “giving something back” plays to the whole idea that to be successful is to be “fortunate” and that successful people have an obligation to “give something back”, as if they have not earned all they have.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

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  9. very good!

    Comment by cnjswz -

  10. very good !

    Comment by 11nong -

  11. really like the style of this show. A fun look at human nature in true form.

    Comment by downsoft -

  12. Even though I’m only in High School, I recognize the huge power that knowledge holds, especially when it comes from experience. Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge with me!

    On a side note, the South Fla. Market (Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area) is unable to view your show as the rest of the nation does. The local affiliate runs their own local sports show “Sports Jam”, choosing to intstead air “The Benefactor” at 11:30PM the following Sunday night. This is just a disgusting decision in my mind, and anyone who feels the same should contact WPLG-TV and tell them what you think!

    Comment by Matthew Cullen -

  13. Great blog entry Mark. Very relevant advice from someone who obviously went thru all the pain to finally see the gain.

    Very motivational and practical.

    Thanks ,

    Shyam

    Comment by Shyam -

  14. The name “Benefactor” engenders a benevolent person who is sponsoring a noble cause. How noble were some of the reasons and actions put forth by some of the contestants you picked to stay? The Jinga game contrasted two distinct choices. One, a person who showed a tremendous amount of class and self control, the other, an inane immature self-absorbed ego maniac. The female poker player was the true winner in my book, the outcome of the game was irrelevant. She pasted the far more important test. It costs nothing to conduct yourself as a gentleman in business or life for that matter. You cannot turn back the clock once you start out as a jerk and such boorish behavior may cost the chance to ever be seriously considered. You are who you pick. So who are you? Only time will tell.

    Comment by Richard A. Cook -

  15. Hey Mark have we solved the mystery as to where the HD tape for the first show went, I really like the show and not having the HD is not only ironic but devestating. Please shere the info…🙂

    Comment by Bryan -

  16. I just realized that I originally posted this in the wrong section. *Doh!* Looks like I’d get cut if I were on the show since my brain never seems to be in gear. Anyway…. the comments below (which I somehow placed in the Dairy Queen section. Go Figure!) are meant to be posted in this section. Sorry for the stupidity…. And feel free to laugh at my Homer Simspon *Doh!* moment of the week. — Magz

    Posted Sep 15, 2004, 9:51 AM ET by Margaret A. McGregor

    Finally a reality show that makes people think and take responsibility for their actions! I was totally glued to my seat hoping that this was not just another “money show” where all you saw were greedy grubbers out to destroy each other for some cash.

    I love the lessons you’ve attached to each challenge, and I have no doubt that I too probably would have been cut after making some “stupid” off-hand comment. However, I was glad to learn that I’m not the only one out there who has a problem keeping their big mouth shut.

    I must say that I laughed my head off at the Jenga competition. Not because I thought it was silly, but rather because I know I would have lost in two seconds. I totally crumble like a cheap cookie under pressure, so it was exciting to see how William and Grayson would react to the challenge.

    I must say that I am annoyed though… Not at the show, but rather the fact that my Mum called in the midst of it so I didn’t get to see the entire Jenga bit. *GRR!* Thank God ABC has an episode guide so I can stay on top of things, or else I would of been really ticked off. There should be a law that states “people who distract me from watching ‘The Benefactor’ shall be forced to be hit with basketballs by Mark Cuban.

    Now for a tiny confession… I will openly/honestly admit that I’m not really a sports fan, so I haven’t watched any of the Mav games, but I do know that during one episode of WWE’s Raw you punched Eric Bishof and that was the highlight of my year! I hate that guy! I’m not sure if the stunt was part of the show or not, but you (Mark Cuban) made it on my A list after that. That’s probably a very cruel thing to say, but seeing as Eric Bishoff is a total jerk I think you’ll excuse my rudeness…

    Anyway, I just wanted to say:

    1.) Thanks for punching Eric Bishoff that one time on “RAW” and
    2.) Thanks for making a reality show that makes people think and have fun at the same time. The Benefactor totally kicks ass and I cannot wait for the next episode! Until then take care, good luck with the rest of the episodes of The Benefactor, and may the Mav’s kick butt in all of their future games to come.

    Sincerely Yours,

    Margaret A. McGregor

    Comment by Margaret A. McGregor -

  17. Wow!
    I love knowing what is behind your decisions. It makes watching the show and rooting for people (like Tiffaney from my hometown-Go McAllen!)that much more enjoyable.

    I must admit, I’ve already got my favorites (Tiffaney, Mario, Dominic and the guy who loves Oprah!) but I want to see how it pans out.

    Oh yeah-I second the motion that you buy that girl’s momma a leg if she doesn’t win! I mean it…wouldn’t you want someone to buy your momma a leg?

    I’ve already got the Tivo season pass all set up!

    Comment by Ana -

  18. Thanks for giving all the go-getters out there a new role model – a hardcore competitive spirit with a sense of what’s right.

    I’ll admit it – I didn’t have a clue who you were or how you found your success until I watched the first episode of “The Benefactor”. Since then I’ve been reading a lot about you and your work. The FHM interview was hilarious; particularly that “note to self” remark.

    You’re encouraging a lot of folks that need it. Hell, I’ve got your blog entry for today printed and taped to my office wall. Rock on!

    Comment by Royce Hart -

  19. Wow!
    I love knowing what is behind your decisions. It makes watching the show and rooting for people (like Tiffaney from my hometown-Go McAllen!)that much more enjoyable.

    I must admit, I’ve already got my favorites (Tiffaney, Mario, Dominic and the guy who loves Oprah!) but I want to see how it pans out.

    Oh yeah-I second the motion that you buy that girl’s momma a leg if she doesn’t win! I mean it…wouldn’t you want someone to buy your momma a leg?

    I’ve already got the Tivo season pass all set up!

    Comment by Ana -

  20. Loved your show, can’t wait till next week. Mario so far is the funniest, and most enjoyable to watch. The only thing I wasn’t so sure about was the editing seemed to make you a little more cold. so I checked out the Abc website for your show, and the videos said another story that you seem to be really down to earth person. That is not greedy and spoiled. So congradulations on your success you deserve it.

    Comment by deanna -

  21. Any thing that has to do with the city of Dallas or the Mavericks…I’m all for it. Plus any time you have a chance to hear an successful entrepreneur share some inside on what it takes to succeed, you should listen closely. NO BALLS NO BABIES!! Can that be the them for next season?

    Comment by Luis -

  22. marc, if you are ever in phoenix and want to play a game of horse b4 a suns game give me a holler!

    Comment by B FAIS -

  23. I really like the style of this show. A fun look at human nature in true form.

    Comment by flash -

  24. Hat’s Off ! !

    I really like the style of this show. A fun look at human nature in true form.

    Comment by itcnw -

  25. MC, you’re good!!! But, these reality shows succeed with story not advice. Fear Factor does “gross out”. Apprentice does the Wizard of OZ (the Donald is the Wizard). Your show does Alice in Wonderland (at least the first show did!!!). I hope all the other shows do too. This makes it unique and exciting. I hope you put the contestants in a REAL Wonderland!!!

    Comment by it -

  26. MC, you’re good!!! But, these reality shows succeed with story not advice. Fear Factor does “gross out”. Apprentice does the Wizard of OZ (the Donald is the Wizard). Your show does Alice in Wonderland (at least the first show did!!!). I hope all the other shows do too. This makes it unique and exciting. I hope you put the contestants in a REAL Wonderland!!!

    Comment by it -

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  29. comments

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  30. I like this.

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  31. Very Good!

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  33. Another great article! I think point number eight is the make or break for a whole lot of people. Gotta pick yourself up and keep fighting on.

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  35. You don’t really write about the Benefactor anymore. I wonder why that is.

    Comment by austin fsbo -

  36. I don’t agree with the advice to yell but I hope you don’t yell at me for saying so. Just kidding.

    In all of by management experience I’ve never found it necessary to yell.

    There are some very good reasons for saying so. Psychologists have found that the old advice that expressing yelling and other forms of anger are no long valid.

    Have I yelled? You bet. Did I feel better for it? Did it let of steam.

    I saw it as a weakness.

    Comment by Vic Warren -

  37. Thank you for this post… i will definitly put it to practice for my business.

    Comment by Priest -

  38. Thank you for this post… i will definitly put it to practice for my business.

    Comment by Priest -

  39. The show is Great, and each and everyone of us can actually learn from these experiences that we are witnesses. The best of of this idea is that it’s not an easy road. It’s not always who you know its what you want to know and what you want to do to get it! I love it and record the show every week I can’t wait to learn the next task Mark has.
    I would love to see Jerry Stackhouse (stack it like you like it) have a candidate appearance on the show.

    Comment by Wendy McKnight -

  40. I know what it is like to start from sweat and tears and blood. I started my garage repair business 3 years ago. At that time i had just gotten fired from my millionth job.(exagerating)
    I was down to my last $50.00 in the bank with 3 boys and a mortgage, oh and a wife.
    A friend of mine offered his garage,which I had to clean out to use. He also lent me his tools, which accompanied my specialty tools.
    I took my last $50.00 and bought the parts for the first two auto repair jobs we did. After being paid i returned the last $50.00 to the bank. I closed the door and went home to the boys and my wifwe happy to accomplished my first day on my own. The next day business doubled and I was able to buy my first 50 inspection stickers. I also was able to pay the insurance installment and buy a headlight aimer on Ebay. Since then I have weathered every hand I have been dealt. I recently acquired a car carrier that needs repaired to be put on the road for my business.
    This past Saturday I added another piece to my small “empire”,….an old Pepsi vending machine
    which dispenses 12oz. cans for $.50.
    I get the Pepsi products on sale for $4.99 a cs. Definitely one thing I learned was ..oppurtunity doesn’t always come with a large sign, you have to look for it…everywhere. In closing as my best friend told me one day when i was complaining about the deadbeat paying folks..THE DOG WAGS THE TAIL, THE TAIL DON’T WAG THE DOG!
    Mark if you read these fell free to use the comment.

    Comment by JAMES LOCKARD -

  41. I really like the style of this show. A fun look at human nature in true form.

    Comment by Tess -

  42. 1. “Time is more valuable than money”

    I disagree. I think this may be true once someone or a company already has access to money, but I think Money is more important than Time, when starting out. As an emerging hedgefund manager, I know this, because it will take 5,10, or 15 years to build a track record of performance. (i.e. Time!!!)

    5. “Don’t let fear be a roadblack”

    Fear of failure is probably the biggest roadblock that keeps people from success. Sometimes I spend too much effort in preperation and tyring to refute criticism before it even is made, rather than just going out and attempting and actually trying to do it.

    6. “Expect the unexpected, and always be ready”

    Yes, for entreprenuers and self-employed business people this is exactly true. Nobody is going to be knocking down your doors, and you have got to be creative and flexible. “Luck is a residue of design” is one of my favorite quotes. People put themselves into situations where they have a chance or good odds to be “lucky.”

    7. “It’s ok to yell and be yelled at”

    Yelling is great. I love to yell and to be yelled at. It forces issues to the forefront, and it makes people know that you care and feel strongly about the long term prospects of a business you are involved with. Getting yelled at is fine also. Nothing ever should be taken personally. And water always goes under the bridge.

    11. “Pigs Get Fat, Hogs Get Slaughtered”
    “(Business happens over years and years. Value is measured in the total upside of a business relationship, not by how much you squeezed out in any one deal.)”

    This is exactly why the best investor in the world Warren Buffett is the #2nd richest man alive. Long term is where the value is. The cream rises to the top, the pigs get fatter, and the hogs get slaughtered. I try not to sweat the small stuff in business, just align things for the future- so success is inevitable.

    12. “You only have to be right once”

    I agree with this partially. You have to be right often, and right about an idea in the long term. I think what you are trying to say is that you should not be fearful of failed ideas or attempts. I agree with that point, but I think your general analysis has to be more right than wrong, and to always learn and improve from failures.

    Comment by John Chalekson (john@hedgedfund.org) -

  43. Good stuff so far.

    Comment by craig cunningham -

  44. I wanted to say “thank you” for doing a show that doesn’t reward someone for being the best suck up, liar or minipulator. It is definately a breath of fresh air to see a reality show that rewards integrity and creativity.

    Unlike some others, I get the impression that you did the Benefactor mostly for the pleasure a person gets when they give a really great gift, to know that you are resposible for the joy on the recipients face. Plus the rest of us get to learn from the show as well. Kudos to you!

    Comment by Tessa -

  45. First of all, thanks Mark for a show that is geared to normal people with dreams and watching and learning what their dreams are and what they are about is going to be a great journey.

    I’ve seen a lot of reality shows, written for probably 30 of them so when the show came on, I will admit to only being partially into it. I didn’t see the full episode– I decided to write for it…a few minutes after I started watching the first time it aired but have seen it all now. This is what I realized after watching it and really paying attention. The show is not The Apprentice, it isn’t Survivor or any other show on the air. You can’t really compare a show to a show, even shows in the same genre because there are differences in them (even season to season of the same show). What you have to try to do is see what the story is, see if the people have heart involved and that helps make a show something special. My favorite shows over the years have not been the most popular but shows that have had more to them. Sometimes it can be just fun stuff but others it is when I finish watching after the season and think WOW for whatever reason.

    I’ve done some research and read and talked a bit and from what I’ve discovered, Mark Cuban is not your typical person who is hired to do a job as a ‘host’ of a show. He is really into the show because the show is him searching for the person to give away one million dollars to and hoping that they too can live a dream. He is not going to be wearing a suit and tie or sit behind a desk because he is involved and wants to be involved with the people on his show. Not only the people on the show but the potential fans of the show. He is posting in the blog to talk about the show that he is on but to talk about the show that he loves and trying to give an understanding to why questions. My time spent reading the blog and asking questions about Mark Cuban has been enlightening. He’s not a sit back kind of guy from what I’ve found, he seems to know what he wants and goes for it. Could that be considered cocky? I’m getting the impression that as the show goes on, we’ll get to see more and get to know him more and that assessment will change from cocky to passionate (which I’ve seen here reading)

    It’s only week one, we know a couple of names and like some of them-Go Linda! (or don’t in some cases) It will be great to get to see what they are about, what their dreams and goals are, how much they are willing to do (or not do) for the money. In addition to the people on the show and getting to know them, I look forward to getting to know who the man who is putting his money where his mouth is. I read a post where a person said that reality shows succeed with story not advice, I agree to that to an extent. This story has just started, they are on day one and advice isn’t bad if it can help you.

    I’ve read a few of the previews and some of the upcoming tasks really have made me think, what would I come up with or do in the situation (which has been fun) For example (LOL.., first impressions..how well would you do meeting or talking to Mark Cuban and what would his first impression of you or me be or..would you play that guitar-you betcha I would) I’m enjoying getting the chance to sit back and think about that and plan on watching all of the next show with full details noted and think…this is a show about people who are not stars, but everyday people with dreams who will get the chance to live that dream!

    Comment by Pammi -

  46. to see who wins this game.

    Usually, you have to have a sad story to win this type of game. I think the 2nd grade teacher (can’t remember her name) had such a “sappy story”. I didn’t believe for one minute she wanted to win the money to help her students. I do however, believe the pro football player will buy her mom a leg/s is she wins. That is not reason enough to win the game though because Mark can buy the legs regardless..(hint, hint).
    But who am I to say what someone should do with the money if they win. That should be entirely up to the individual.

    If I were to be given 1 million, I would be honest about my plans for the money.

    1. I would pay off all my bills and buy a real house, doesn’t have to be a mansion (just a little nicer than my doublewide).

    2. I would buy my mom’s house back that we lost this year

    3. I would re-open my mortgage company in my own building instead of leasing property.

    4. Give some away-my church, my old school and my family.

    Who knows? I am just so envious of the people on the show. They may not realize the opportunity before them. I will be watching every episode!

    Comment by Tyisha -

  47. I am amazed at the stupid, uneducated, and classless remarks on some of the reader comments. They make no sense at all, and most of them don’t even know how to spell, which says a lot about their upbringing. I was anxious to see the premiere, and was overly impressed. It proves one very important concept, that everyone is missing the boat, except for Mark and me: life and death are in the power of the tongue. The key to your life lies in your mouth and everything that is breathed out will either open the gates or keep them closed. The only disappointment was seeing Grayson go instead of William. And yes, William is extremely annoying and very arrogant, and he will always be annoying because he said it himself.

    Comment by Raf -

  48. MC, you’re good!!! But, these reality shows succeed with story not
    advice. Fear Factor does “gross out”. Apprentice does the Wizard of OZ (the
    Donald is the Wizard). Your show does Alice in Wonderland (at least the first
    show did!!!). I hope all the other shows do too. This makes it unique and
    exciting. I hope you put the contestants in a REAL Wonderland!!!

    Comment by musaland -

  49. Mark,
    I always had it that you were a loudmouthed dork who made it by sheer luck. Im wrong – I totally apologize for making you wrong. I watched the first episode of your show last night. I dont want to get sappy here but I was moved. Every kid in America should watch this show. What they would see is that the way you are taught to behave in America is to value first what you do, then what you have, and then who you are. After all you arent anyone if you havent done it right or done it enough or have enough. Obviously thats bassackwards.

    Every kid needs to see that what is valued most (regardless of what anyone tells them) is who you are “for” other people. In this case you get to see who you are for Mark Cuban. Thats not an arrogant thing. It takes really getting who you are and then authentically being that person. Great lesson – great training.

    Monday nights I’ll be there – watching as you have people get – and I hope they get it – that money and wealth in the end is not who people are – or what they are valued for most regardless of how much they have. Its not the solution to any problem you think you have. In fact when you get money, it just creates the next problem for which you better be able to create the next solution, then the next solution to the next problem (I speak from experience here). Its interesting to see how people look at money and think how do I have to act to get it. HOw can I manipulate it out of the next guy. Here you get to see who you are that would be worthy of having the money. What difference are you going to be?

    This isnt a reality show – its real life coaching. The first show on TV about ‘Being’ – what does it take to ‘be’ a winner, versus all the others that focus on “Doing” – what do I have to do to win. Great job, Mark.

    PS. Im waiting with baited breath for that arrogant obnoxious fat slob who beat out the redhead this week – to be sent on his way. I know – thats not nice. But, that guy needs to wake up – he doesnt work.

    Comment by Dan Prosser -

  50. I read this quote in the October issue of FHM magazine that came out not too long ago. You used it in reference to the woman who pretended she was on her deathbead and wanted a 1.3 million dollar house for her boyfriend. Wow. When is asking for too much – too much?

    It’s a great line that can be used in many situations, that’s for sure.

    Comment by roger -

  51. I trade for a private investment partnership, so we constantly have CNBC on all day on the tv. I just finished watching the interview with Donald Trump, and cannot believe the ego behind a man that is only in Mark’s league on paper (ie. he isn’t liquid)…to go on and slam a competitor’s show and the appearance of his tv persona reeks of personal insecurity himself. While Mark has no need to respond to such ignorance (one could argue stupidity), I wish he would put it out there and blast Trump…just my two cents.

    Comment by TC Green -

  52. I trade for a private investment partnership, so we constantly have CNBC on all day on the tv. I just finished watching the interview with Donald Trump, and cannot believe the ego behind a man that is only in Mark’s league on paper (ie. he isn’t liquid)…to go on and slam a competitor’s show and the appearance of his tv persona reeks of personal insecurity himself. While Mark has no need to respond to such ignorance (one could argue stupidity), I wish he would put it out there and blast Trump…just my two cents.

    Comment by TC Green -

  53. After watching the Apprentice last night, I realized 250,000 ain’t worth it to work for that dick. Did you see the way he treats people? With the success of his show, he has become so big headed and arrogant (actually he has probably always been this way) that he feels like he can address these grown-ups as if they were his step-children. Even when that guy called your show stupid, you cut him with the most respect and courtesy possible. I think I’m gonna stop watching the Apprentice and just stick with the Benefactor. I would get a lot more homework done, that’s for sure.
    I can’t wait to see Terry, Fin, Howard/Daniels, Dirk, and Dampier light it up this year! Oh yea, Can I work for you for free next summer? My friend could hook me up with an internship with the Spurs next summer, but I don’t want to stray from my Mavs. Thanks, Mark.

    Comment by David -

  54. He’s too busy staring at his “quoif” (spelling?) hairdo in the mirror, that he doesn’t have time to blog.

    He might think the Benefactor will fail, but what will come first: his baldness or Cuban’s show being cancelled? Both are inevitable, but I think Donald’s combover gains new implants every month.

    Comment by roger -

  55. MC, you’re good!!! But, these reality shows succeed with story not advice. Fear Factor does “gross out”. Apprentice does the Wizard of OZ (the Donald is the Wizard). Your show does Alice in Wonderland (at least the first show did!!!). I hope all the other shows do too. This makes it unique and exciting. I hope you put the contestants in a REAL Wonderland!!!

    Comment by musaland -

  56. Wow, The Benefactor has a blog? Where’s Donald Trump’s blog? Does anyone know?

    Comment by strimble -

  57. Well, as with the contestants in the house, I’m not sure whether Mark is really paying attention to any of us here or not. And as the guests should have done, I’ll assume he is and try to balance making a good first impression along with not kissing ass. Because I saw enough of that from his contestants.

    Yes, as a result of seeing him in the stands at the Mav’s games and reading some articles about him, I’m a Mark Cuban fan. And I’m prayin’ that by the end of The Benefactor series I won’t be disappointed by him and find out he’s just a sleazy, greedy billionaire like many of the others we know about.

    But so far, I see a lot of people so focused on getting the money, that they’ll do anything and they’ll say anything to please Mark. I think he’s already sniffing them out. I see a lot of potential “yes” men (and women). As someone who spent the first 10 years of his career being a “yes” man in the ad agency business, it wasn’t until I gave myself permission to shoot straight with clients and bossses and keep them focused on the end-goal (their brand and its potential to drive sales, and the fact that consumers hate most advertising) that I really started to gain their respect-and truly become successful. Yeah, now as a freelance copywriter my annual salary is nowhere near what it could be if I were in NY kissing a– every day. But I’m so much happier. And to me, that’s the measure of success. That and the fact I don’t wake up every day with a stomach full of knots.

    I hope by the last episode of The Benefactor we have contestants coming at Mark with the attitude of, “Screw the money, I’m sayin’ what I believe.” Because speaking from experience, until you get that attitude, it’s almost impossible to see a great idea or iniatitve through from start to finish without compromising its integrity just to please the bosses. And it’s hard to even get into that flow state necessary to come up with breakthrough ideas until you can take that attitude. If Mark had been that kind of a suck-up, we wouldn’t be watching a TV show with him — unless he made it on as one of the way-too-eager-to-impress contestants.

    From the first episode of The Benefactor, the first impression I got? Grown-ups way too stressed out to achieve peak performance, and perhaps in even a couple of moments, Mark included. And in the business world (as well as in the NBA), you have to keep performing at your peak.

    But hey, you could also say it’s just the first quarter. It’s not over til the final buzzer.

    And maybe some of us here on the blog should loosen up with the a–kissing, too. Mark’s a human, just like the rest of us. He’s not perfect. And I think he’d be the first to admit it. Hopefully, all the gushing comments are just outflowings of appreciation for someone who has helped get the Mav’s on track.

    Comment by Kevin McIntosh -

  58. thank you for sharing you experiences of life. I’m sure your advice will help alot of people, especailly me. Since i’m still young and still looking for directions in life. And also, I think you are the most liked owner in the NBA becasue of the way you treat your players and fans. Random act of kindness is really great you are making everyone smiling. And also i your Mavs a successful season, a hopefully a title. I believe the Mavs can do it for they mix it well wit those new players.

    Comment by Allen -

  59. i just had to add my kudos to an entertaining and engaging season opener of the benefactor. i will be tuning in and watching as it progresses, and i’m really planning to win 25k from the chili’s sweepstakes…i mean, after reading your business ideas, i think that some good positive thinking is going to go a long way in this contest for me!

    i find it refreshing to see someone of your stature and position in the bloggin’ world, and i hope you keep up with the passionate and uncensored entries long into the future.

    Comment by jen -

  60. No one gets to a foot in the door without help either..let alone get to the top. Hopefully, your winner will use their prize to give a bit back. Personally I’d use it for four college educations for the kids.
    It really seems like good looks get you far, aside from hard work. I’m just wondering, Mark, how come none of the women on the show are unattractive? Most of the men, including “The Model” are trolls.
    You seem like a nice guy with a nice family and you deserve what you have.
    I just wonder a lot —- Corey

    Comment by Corey Newland -

  61. The show was cool although I would be interested to know how the this people were chosen.If you want to do something, do a show for the married hard working people. As a 40 year old father of two who waits tables for a living and gives back to the community by coaching sports and doing the landscaping at his church a game (challenge) that doesn’t involve wife switching would be good for hard working America.
    Thanks for your time
    Darryl

    Comment by Darryl Utter -

  62. Dear Mark,
    I think this is a great show, how awesome of you to give ordinary people the chance to be extraordinary… What an opportunity they are being given – a chance at a million dollars, I hope they appreciate the chance they have been given, most people will never have this chance and hopefully they will step up and shine in this format. I love your 12 tests, but what really touched me was the “random act of kindness.” I don’t know if people really understand how fundamental this is to both your personality and your empire. I believe that you are really going to make a difference in the lives of so many, just as you have been doing for years. I think your funny and confident, two of my favorite combinations. I wish you all the best and success with the show. I truly believe that you are motivated by your real desire to share what you have learned and earned and that is what will make your show stand-out.
    Best always,
    Pam Hamer-Hood
    dahood2@verizon.net

    Comment by Pamela Hamer-Hood -

  63. Thanks for the entry on the blog. In the “modeling” sense of the word, coming from somebody who’s had great success, these words are really great. I also think it’s cool to see someone like yourself take the time to share your thoughts on a relatively regular basis.

    A gratuitous thanks – keep it up!!

    Comment by Terry McNeese -

  64. Hey Mark.
    check out http://www.a9.com it went live today. and looks excellent. even compared to google.. (which i simply love) when I tested it.. I got more relevant responses.. you guys gotta check it out…

    and upgrade your Icerocket to match this baby.

    Comment by Mike Verinder -

  65. Mark,

    I’ve heard alot being said about The Benefactor. I’ve read the remarks here on your blog. I would suggest a nice fluffy towel to wipe all the lip marks off your ass. You’ve done some amazing things no doubt. I’ve read you’re success series faithfully, and always come away with motivation, but I have to give you thumbs down. Here’s the deal, I’m sure you are doing this for fun, and I know you can do whatever you want, but what a saw was a guy trying to be a character on a tv show. Alot of overly dramatic moments, and not enough real Mark Cuban. I saw what I percieve to be the real Cuban sitting on the floor drinking a beer, and being genuinely interested in the results of the Jenga game. The difference between you and Trump, is that Trump really is a character. He’s a complete asshole and loves himself more that anything in the world. Your appeal as I see it is your normal guy characteristics and your ability to relate to the real person, not the characters. Leave the acting to the contestants and be your self next season…. if there is a next season.

    Comment by Jonathan Smith -

  66. “9. It’s not if the glass is half empty, or half full, it’s who is pouring the water.”

    Actually, to paraphrase George Carlin, it’s whether or not the glass is too big.

    Comment by Frierson -

  67. Have been so ready for the first Benefactor and man am I stoked. “I can’t believe it all came down to Jenga, and I BLEW it” has already entered the discourse over here. Just great. Thought you were going to smack Annoying Man, or at least make him guard Jason Terry in wind sprints for the right to remain on the show, but there’s always something to hope for in future episodes.

    Comment by Justin P. Killian -

  68. Great article Mark..Thanks for sharing it with us. 12 great advices to be successful in life and is proven. Benefactor is an excellent show. Keep up the good work.🙂

    Comment by Ranjith -

  69. Hey Mark,
    was the blackjack dealer you referenced the infamous PatD from Sac at Harveys of Lake Tahoe?
    I remember him dealing cards to you last summer and talking about how much fun he had for days.

    Comment by Sean O'Connor -

  70. Mark:

    I can’t believe you threw out the phrase “give something back” (No. 2).

    I understand the concept of using your success for unselfish goals, but referring to this as “giving something back” plays to the whole idea that to be successful is to be “fortunate” and that successful people have an obligation to “give something back”, as if they have not earned all they have.

    So maybe call it “do good once you’ve done well”. Successful people are in a position to have a positive influence on their communities, on those who would follow in their footsteps, etc. But leveraging your success for the benefit of others isn’t “giving back”.

    You don’t “give back” what you’ve earned. You use the opportunity of having earned it to “create more”.

    Comment by Cap'n Ken -

  71. I like your list and think that you have hit the nail on the head. Your comments about being passionate and fighting for it is great. It reminds me of a list I saw by Collin Powell about leadership. One of those quotes:

    Don’t be afraid to challenge the pros,
    even in their own backyard

    In corporate America it is sometimes very hard to do but it can mean the difference between success and mediocre performance.

    Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Koree Mires -

  72. I just want to chime in to agree with some of the previous posters. How can this not be in HD? You’re Mark Cuban. You can make this show in HD. Can you post an explanation of this?

    Perhaps it was not filmed in HD and therefore may be a lost cause at this point. But Benefactor II must utilize the technology at hand.

    Comment by Jeremy -

  73. Hey Mark-
    Did you read this?

    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/09/13/DDGME8N14J1.DTL

    if not, check it out

    Comment by Danny Angel -

  74. I’ve been looking all over the web for an answer to these two questions. After seeing the show’s premier I know this is a reality show I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at. I like the fact that building good character is a large part of what this show’s about.

    Sincerely,
    dj
    from Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY

    Comment by dj Houston -

  75. WOW. This is a good blog…so inspiring! I had a recent bout of bad luck with dance auditions and this is exactly what I needed to perk me up..CUBAN ROCKS!

    Comment by Cortney -

  76. With immense focus
    The players moved all the blocks
    Grayson heard “Go home.”

    Comment by Ben Smith -

  77. Well, I laughed a lot.
    You, Mark, have some spicy edgy lingo.
    The Jenga was a bit tedious…I suspect you had preplanned a tie-breaker to throw in a familiar game into the first episode.
    The stuff about ranking the attractiveness of each girl struck both me and my mom of sexist talk which surprised me a bit.
    I don’t think you any rich entrepreneur makes decisions in a vacuum…however, it appeared you did in this instance…I don’t know why a producer or crew person, didn’t have you read into the “stupid” comment as HE INTENDED. You didn’t hear his meaning…hope your fast paced lifestyle doesn’t mean you havelost your listening skills.
    WHY AREN”T LISTENING SKILLS PART OF YOUR LESSONS????
    Still I laughed aloud a bit. The art director/locations people should be complimented. The set/lighting are pleasing on the eye.
    Everybody has a story. So inevitably the casting will work. But you have limited types of women on there, very disappointing.
    I have spent tons of time and dollars in the management section of my local Borders bookstore. I am not profoundly moved by any of the lessons. However, I am impressed with this blog and the accessibility we all have to you, Mark, through this forum.
    Please have a casting call in New York next time.
    P.S. Do people have short term memory or what? Have they already forgotten you were sitting in Trump’s “boardroom” when Apprentice ended last season. I don’t take seriously this rivalry for a minute.
    Hope the ratings are great because I want to be the winner season 2.
    Oh, and remember Mark, I told you about Friendster.com? Well, stroke of smartness, Friendster has an interactive site with all the current Apprentice contestants.
    You should seriously, seriously, seriously look into doing this for Bene.
    Best wishes.

    Comment by cheri/benebe -

  78. I have to say that was great Mark. All I expected and more. I don’t know why the raters were so low(sorry about that BTW) but I’m very much looking forward for next monday!

    Comment by Emily -

  79. In reference to “THE BAD DONALD” by Tom
    calm down….let the show play out…THE DONALD..has nothing on Mark…hey, he lives here in Texas, has a great wife & little daughter. It seems no one he hangs with has a comb over..SO CHILL…we live real lives here also…Don’t you have a great T-shirt or 2 to wear to a BBall game of the team you own, got-to-love that! Mark does’t worry about Hairspay/gel either! Look this is the world we live in today-watch Surviver instead. Thats Life!!!! We Love Mark!!!

    Comment by GMmurray -

  80. Mark, I did not expect anything less from you. The show is great. I hear it gets even better. Thanks for having a show my grandchildren can watch and get positive lessons from. I can not tell you how many times I have told my children and grandchildren that you “don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” Can’t wait until next Monday!!
    BTW: ABC has only 7 episodes listed. I read in various reality pubs there are going to be 8. Which is correct? Thanks for all you do. I hope these blog comments let you know how appreciative we are to read your positive messages. Thank you for being you!! Please don’t ever change.
    Cheers,
    BD

    Comment by Salmon -

  81. While not a regular watcher of “reality shows”, I was curious to see your take on the genre. I had no intention of watching the whole program but got sucked into it.
    All the while I kept thinking — this seems very familiar…..
    Then it finally hit me today! The Benefactor is really “The Squire of Gothos” episode from the first season of the original Star Trek series and you are Trelane!

    Comment by Christa -

  82. Mark,
    I’d like to congratulate you because some credit is due. Not everyone can float their own show, and you have carried it in for a layup. However, given the fact that the sole criterion for success or failure of the contestants is nothing more than the mere whim of the “newly-discovered” Internet billionaire Mark Cuban, I’d keep a slab of humble pie handy, just in case the public doesn’t like you or watch your show.
    But your assessment of the relative merits of The Apprentice vs. The Benefactor is amusing in light of your own vested interest. The Sept 8 weblog begins with a few put-downs of The Donald. Meanwhile, you tout your own show as “fun”, “entertaining”, “engaging”, and “makes you think.” One thing is for certain, the abovementioned attributes are Hollywood buzzwords regularly seen circling around TV wastelands when the honchos are trying to justify a real stinker. To be fair, they should give it a month and see if its got anything between its legs.
    Speaking of which, despite all your denials, it’s obvious to almost everyone (except the oblivious) that Mav Mark and The Donald are really two warm cojones in one gilded sac. Both bred from prime DNA that predisposes one to the Midas touch. (Except The Donald wears classier couture on-camera.)
    To be honest, there is no high concept about either show. The first question to pop into the mind of the masses is the true agenda of the creator. For example, Donald Trump is little more than an overstuffed ego aching to plant his combed-over puss in front of any available camera, his financial empire near bankruptcy yet again, trying to reinvent himself as an entertainer, lending his name and likeness without embarrassment to any celebrity co-brand that will keep him in the public limelight and royalties.
    Trump comes across as a clever, brash, and Machiavellian sort of fellow. You figure he is always plotting how to make his next conquest. OTOH, Mr. Cuban, you come across as a clever, brash, and Sadistic kind of guy. WYSIWYG. “Ouch, what next?” A benevolent villain the audience can love to hate. You have an air of serious impetuosity, as opposed to being a reptilian plotter like The Doddard.
    Sure, you brag that you have the best cast and story lines, but is this show really the best business education you can offer to budding billionaires? I would have expected far more finesse. It seems a throwback to the pre-technological world of brute force and cunning. The Benefactor is designed to favor the visceral warrior over the cerebral statesman. It reflects today’s edgy reality and in that sense the open-ended tests serve as a breeding ground for greed, fear, and intimidation that is vicariously shared by the viewers. It’s well suited to clever, brash, and impetuous players and those are exactly the kind of cast members that can deliver that unexpected emotional sucker punch to the viewer.
    Strange to note here that the episode I watched was NOT broadcast in HDTV. How improbable that the co-founder of Broadcast.com chose not to enhance his own broadcast. In order to be competitive in prime time, you may want to think about broadcasting The Benefactor in HDTV.

    PS- sorry to go slightly off-topic but I still have a day job. They pay, and you don’t.

    Comment by Tom -

  83. Hey Mark, I really enjoyed watching the show, and I told all my friends to watch it.
    More importantly to me was stumbling across your comments left today. I needed a kick in the butt to get back on the entrepenrial horse.
    Thanks Bro.

    Comment by Brian -

  84. Thank you. I really enjoyed the first show of “The Benefactor”. You were able to come up with some good, fun, unexpected, tests for the people you picked. I watched the repeat of the first episode last night. I saw it the first time, and just had to watch it again. I was trying to find out more about the show on the internet, and found this web page. I am new to this site, and so far, I have really liked what you have to say. Your most recent entry on “Success and Motivation” is very good advice. I wish you continued success, and I will be tuning in, to see how it all turns out.
    Bye for now, Annie.

    Comment by Annie -

  85. It’s great to read your blog Mark. You help to center my thoughts and give me a clear view of what I must do. How can I help you?

    Comment by Kevin Purfield -

  86. I cannot believe you just posted that. I can’t tell you how many people I come in contact with, including business partners and associates, who cannot relate to what you just posted. I feel like I am banging my head against the wall sometimes. It takes a lot of patience and time for people to see the light, which to me is kind of scary, but many people chase the short deal rather than the long term relationship that bears fruit for a lifetime. I am going to save that and link it from my blog (http://blog.midosm.com). Cya.

    Comment by localsports.com -

  87. Great show Mark! I liked how you kicked Richard off for calling the show stupid. The guy who did not stand to shake hands was lucky Richard made such a large mistake. Keep up the good work, I am excited for the upcoming season.
    Jeff

    Comment by Jeff Beesley -

  88. I’m the Leader by Mark Cuban avaialbe at Amazon.com when?

    This stuff is good, so when are you going to write a book for all of us to buy on leadership principles from someone in our generation?

    Comment by Randy -

  89. Hey Mark, I’m a huge admirer of yours and i hope to one day experience even a tenth of your success. When i first heard that you had a reality show coming i was anxious to see it but nervous that it may not be able to compete with “the trump” but that was all gone about 10 minutes into the program. its a great show in the fact that its not some repetitive tasks every week. The contests are each unique and fun to watch,( at least in the promos) and i think anybody who gets a chance to watch an episode will be hooked. keep up the good work.

    ps: i’m a big fan of conan obrian and ur gonna be on the show in a coupla days. can u give a shoutout to bullseye when ur on ….hahahha… cya

    Comment by bullseye -

  90. mark,

    why you didnt ask abc to shoot the show in HD? you own HDNET afterall, dont you want your own show broadcasted in HD as well?

    Comment by jerry -

  91. Okay first, I’m pretty darn impressed that you write a blog. That just threw you in amongst the ranks of the rest of us semi-geeks.
    Second, don’t even think about losing Dirk. I’m still bitter over the whole steve nash deal.
    Have a good one and thanks for talking to us little guys.

    Comment by Dick -

  92. MARK
    THX’S-THX’S-THX’S
    For Putting Texas back on the Map & not Politically, that is! Although your not in the running & say your never will be, I LOVE your mind set. You Rock! Mark Cuban for PREZ 2004!

    Comment by GMmurray -

  93. Yeah, that pretty much sums up the pathetic excuse for television I viewed last night. In fact, could I get a reimbursement for my time wasted while viewing your show? Mark, I no doubt, think you have skill at being an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, I have not had the ability to view past interviews with you or study your life story. I can say based on the first impression I saw last night you seem to maybe have gotten too much too quick. Could you be any more pretentious or are you like that in person? Why did you try so hard to make you’re self look like the big man on the block? I understand you may have money but that doesn’t buy you class. I’m sure many will flame my comments, but since you place such a great emphasis on honesty, I thought you should get a different view. I hope to god my TIVO didn’t record this while I was away. One last thing, I love HDTV, why was this not in HD?

    -Will Southerland

    Comment by William Southerland -

Comments are closed.