Success and Motivation – You only have to be right once!

In basketball you have to shoot 50pct. If you make an extra 10 shots per hundred, you are an All-Star. In baseball you have to get a hit 30 pct of the time. If you get an extra 10 hits per hundred at bats, you are on the cover of every magazine, lead off every SportsCenter and make the Hall of Fame.

In Business, the odds are a little different. You don’t have to break the Mendoza line (hitting .200). In fact, it doesnt matter how many times you strike out. In business, to be a success, you only have to be right once.

One single solitary time and you are set for life. That’s the beauty of the business world.

I like to tell the story of how I started my first business at age 12, selling garbage bags. No one ever has asked if I was any good or made money at it. I was, and I did…enough to buy some tennis shoes :).

I like to tell the story of how I startedup a bar, Motley’s Pub when I wasn’t even of legal drinking age the summer before my senior year at Indiana University. No one really asks me how it turned out. It was great until we got busted for letting a 16-year-old win a wet t-shirt contest (I swear I checked her ID, and it was good!).

No one really asks me about my adventures working for Mellon Bank, or Tronics 2000, or trying to start a business selling powdered milk (it was cheaper by the gallon, and I thought it tasted good). They don’t ask me about working as a bartender at night at Elans when I first got to Dallas, or getting fired from my job at Your Business Software for wanting to close a sale rather than sweeping the floor and opening up the store.

No ever asked me about what it was like when I started MicroSolutions and how I used to count the months I was in business, hoping to outlast my previous endeavors and make this one a success.

With every effort, I learned a lot. With every mistake and failure, not only mine, but of those around me, I learned what not to do. I also got to study the success of those I did business with as well. I had more than a healthy dose of fear, and an unlimited amount of hope, and more importantly, no limit on time and effort.

Fortunately, things turned out well for me with MicroSolutions. I sold it after 7 years and made enough money to take time off and have a whole lot of fun.

Back then I can remember vividly people telling me how lucky I was to sell my business at the right time.

Then when I took that money and started trading technology stocks that were in the areas that MIcroSolutions focused on.I remember vividly being told how lucky I was to have expertise in such a hot area, as technology stocks started to trade up.

Of course, no one wanted to comment on how lucky I was to spend time reading software manuals, or Cisco Router manuals, or sitting in my house testing and comparing new technologies, but that’s a topic for another blog post.

The point of all this is that it doesn’t matter how many times you fail.It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right.No one is going to know or care about your failures, and either should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because…

All that matters in business is that you get it right once.

Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.

83 thoughts on “Success and Motivation – You only have to be right once!

  1. Pingback: Reading Cisco manuals leads to luck : The Sunjay Times

  2. Mark,

    I had never heard of you until this week\’s time magazine ( December 3, 2007). So I did a search on the internet and found this blog site. As wealthy as you are arnen\’t you afraid of creeps on the internet and people trying get money from you? I bet Bill Gates or Warren Buffet don\’t have personal blogs. Tom Roberts

    Comment by Tom Roberts -

  3. Just read this post yet again. Great motivation!

    Comment by varmsn yokmusun -

  4. Good point, Mark. Everyone fails. But people don\’t see your failures after you get it right once. Only you see your failures, and only you determine how they affect your life from that point forward.

    Comment by varmsn yokmusun -

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    Comment by wow -

  6. The odds are indeed different in business, but for the better. Each time you \”strike out\” in business, you (hopefully) learn more than someone sitting on the bench. As an investor, I would rather invest in an entrepreneur that had learned something with his or her previous failed ventures. I want an entrepreneur coming to the table with better ideas and the experience necessary not to repeat past mistakes. I would never invest in anyone who has not failed, at least once, at trying to sell \”powdered milk.\”

    Comment by Brett Trout -

  7. Mark,

    I met Norm Sonju last Sunday at my local church here in Chicago…He speaks VERY, VERY well of you.

    You are my hero!

    Comment by Phil Hoover-Chicago -

  8. nice blog.!

    Comment by sms -

  9. Mark,

    Just read this post yet again. Great motivation!

    why don\’t you post it up again, or even better, but up a new motivation post for the rest of us? :)

    Comment by Paydex -

  10. Wow Elan! I am in Oklahoma but worked offshore during the early 80s. I would pass through Dallas, Austin and Houston in route to the heliport at Sabine Pass. Elan and 8.0 were two places in Dallas that got it right.

    Comment by Tim Cohn -

  11. Excellent way to look at things. It just takes some patience to wait for the winning idea, but I guess most people give up before then.

    Comment by Ahmed -

  12. Brilliant stuff. You guys are writing here. In my opinion,if you can look up,you can get up.I doesnt really matter how many time you fall but what matters most is having the guts to stand up.However,should we plan to fail.No. then,why do people fail. i think it is because we go out there doubtedly and hesitantly. Secondly,We want to explore.So when we fail we learn.Get in touch with me or visit my webpage.

    Comment by Aaron Kamanga -

  13. Mark:

    I was one of the execs at CompuServe when you sold MicroSolutions, and have had a great deal of respect for you from the time we first met at your offices in Dallas all those years ago.

    I think there’s another thing about success to add to you comments: you have never been afraid to redefine a business segment. The notion of ‘disruptive technologies’ has been much discussed over the past years. In a similar vein, you create disruptive business models. You did it with MicroSolution, with Audionet (Broadcast.com), and are now shaking up both the NBA and the film distribution industries. It’s one thing to compete in a game where someone else has made the rules. It’s quite another to have the brains and cajones to change the game altogether.

    I recorded and am now watching the HDNET broadcasts of the panel discussions from the recent CEA session concerning P2P. Very informative and timely discussions for an assignment I have as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Black Programming Consortium http://www.nbpc.tv Thanks for airing that material.

    Comment by Paul Lambert -

  14. The first time I read about you was the feature article in the Red Herring when you and your partner sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo. And I must admit I was one of those people saying that you were a lucky stiff to be in the right place at the right time. It’s refreshing and inspiring to hear about your past business ventures that didn’t deliver the financial rewards you expected. I believe that if you never fail you never learn what it takes to succeed. Your story has reinforced my enthusiasm for my company to take on the biggest names in search. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Ron Hall -

  15. According to an article in the NYT’s there are 145,000 taxpayers who are really, really successful, each with 1.6 million in income or more; but if you look at all assets the number is 338,400 households.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/05/national/class/HYPER-FINAL.html

    The NYT did a series of articles on class – “defined as a combination of income, education, wealth, and occupation” – and how it “influences destiny”.

    I don’t believe in luck I believe in odds.

    When two people are in a tragedy, one person is crippled and the other is perfectly okay, the unharmed person often asks, “Why me?” (why was I saved). But when two people are in positive situation (they have careers), and one becomes hyper-rich, they ask, “Why not me?” (why shouldn’t I be rich, and your not).

    It never makes the news the people that “do all the right things” all their lives and never make it to the pinnacle of wealth for various reasons.

    Oprah has talked about a point that changed her life. Her mother was going to send her to a juvenile detention center but it was full at that moment in time. Her mother instead sent her down south to live with her father who was much stricter. She says that if this did not occur, she would have gone in a different direction. A thousand split-second events add up to changing the course of our lives.

    On a recent episode of Oprah (sports moms and dads – Bravo), a man stood up in the audience and defined success as being a millionaire thus that justified his barbarian actions at sporting events. Is money the only measure of success that matters?Just a side note, my representative got elected practically out of a state college and he got to be a millionaire on a representatives salary.

    Comment by Helmsley -

  16. godsdragon:
    Success to me is being happy, treating every single thing with respect,and appreciating life, and at the same time doing what I want. For the majority of people its how much money you make, what kind of job you have, the way you look, the way you feel. It all depends what you want in life, and what your goals are.

    Comment by d.b -

  17. You inspire me man! You will win the championship one day, I know you will! You just gotta get it right once. Then repeat it over and over until somebody else figures out how to do it better. :)

    Comment by Pankaj -

  18. You inspire me man! You will win the championship one day, I know you will! You just gotta get it right once. Then repeat it over and over until somebody else figures out how to do it better. :)

    Comment by Pankaj -

  19. I soooo needed to see a post like this. I think it’s what I needed to pull me out of this giant slump I was in due to a disaster of an audition I had about a week ago. It amazes me at times how what’s right about business is so dead on about the acting world as well. Maybe that’s how the “business” got into show business.

    Thanx for the inspirational positive post.

    Comment by Amy -

  20. Brilliant post, Mark. I look forward to seeing you explore this topic further.

    Comment by Doug -

  21. 1 – Keep Dirk – get Nash back too!!
    2 – Mark is clearly one of the best boostrappers out there. And while you only have to get lucky once, it is also clear that the harder you work, the “luckier” you get…

    ———–
    Visit a site for modern expectant fathers at http://www.thefunkystork.com

    Comment by Mike Arnot -

  22. Mark,

    You have spirit, heart and desire. You have drive, focus and passion. These are things you cannot teach, learn to obtain or grow to become. You are a huge success because of your relentless pursuit of reaching your potential. I am 31 years old and feel as though I have the same traits. Lets see what I can do with what I have. Take the extra base, step in front of the defender, go right at the pin. Oh by the way, Heather is pregnant! 6.5 weeks.

    Bryan
    http://www.bryanbruce.com

    Comment by Bryan Bruce -

  23. Great post. I sure would like to know more about your previously business failures. I think I could learn a ton more. Anyway, I haven’t had any success with my business lately, although I’ve learned a lot. It’s all frustrating and fun. Hopefully, my determination and persistence will give me that one success.

    Comment by Shawn McCarthy -

  24. Can anyone please define success? Money fame success? Personal? Life?

    Comment by godsdragon -

  25. Okay, so I totally disagree with you Mark when it comes to Social Security. (http://www.investingwithmom.com/iwm/freeIssueID35.cfm)

    But after reading this latest blog entry I felt it only fair to point out that I usually really respect your opinions and think you’re a very smart guy.

    In this particular case, I can completely identify with the whole counting the months thought process.

    In fact, in 10 days, when we pass the one year anniversary for my current enterprise, I will have outlasted all but 4 previous jobs or businesses.

    Comment by Andy -

  26. Mark,
    You’re very right that one decision makes all the difference. In many ways, our lives are constantly seeking that one right decision. Character and passion then become the real questions – who we are and what we’ll do with our days here. Hmmmmm. . .sounds like we need to choose carefully.
    Darin

    Comment by Darin Wood -

  27. Matt Lee,

    Those individuals or groups that are passionate about what they do, work hard to be consistently “right”, regardless of career choice. My post was referring to the lack of consequences that many in business fail to perceive when engaging in business decisions. Sometimes, when you start a business, the decisions to be made are trivial and the impact you have (for good or bad) is minimal. However, when businesses begin to 1) grow significantly and/or 2) deal with issues critical to safety or the well being of others, then one needs to be very careful as the potential for affecting others lives becomes more significant. My point is that “being right only once” is great if all you are concerned about is your own financial betterment (which unfortunately, there seems to be a-lot of). However, if the concept of accomplishing truly great things, or even small things of significance means anything to you, then having to “be right only once” should not be a mantra that people in any career should embrace. Even in business, “being right only once” is a sign of mediocrity.

    Comment by Bryan William Jones -

  28. Finally! another post on Success and Motivation!… a great post on Resilience!

    Goodluck to the Mavs in 2006!

    Comment by hoop -

  29. I’m a writer who’s been on the verge of selling for a couple of years. Everyone outside the writing community thinks all you have to do is write a book, send it to a publisher, and they’ll buy it. Easy. But it’s not easy. There are a ton of rejections between the time you write your first book and the time you sell–and usually the book you sell is not the first one you wrote.

    When a “new” author hits it big, it makes news. But no one mentions the fact that it’s taken that author 15 years to get to that “instant” success. Or that she got 100 rejections before she found the publisher who bought it. They don’t mention the years spent honing her craft, learning about scene and sequel, point of view, character arcs, theme, and all the other parts of writing a good novel.

    Success is one part luck, but 3 parts determination.

    Pam

    Comment by Pam -

  30. Everyone, stop responding to post #1. Just ignore it. The guy misunderstood the blog. The blog was about business. The mere mention of the athletes’ statistics is Mark’s example of professions where you need to be consistent. His point was that in the world of BUSINESS you need only be right once.

    Comment by Matt Lee -

  31. Sometimes things are placed before us because it’s the right thing at the right time. I really needed to see the ‘don’t dwell on the past, but do learn from it’ message.

    My first successful venture was in sixth grade selling candy to classmates. I had soon branched out and had ‘runners’ from grades 3 through 8. I was clearing $20 a day in 1980. I knew I was onto something when the cashier at the local supermarket offered to give me the name of the wholesaler….

    Unfortunately, not all of my ventures have been nearly so successful. Sure there have been glimpses of fantastic returns as well as accolades, but the brass ring has always managed to slip through my fingertips.

    Most recently I’ve had the problem of juggling the needs for my family’s health coverage with taking another swing for the fence. Anyone that does not have to deal with this type of issue needs get on their knees to thank God.

    Luck? Fate? Building character?

    I don’t know which, but I’m keepin’ the faith and I’ll get there. I hope all of you can ‘get there’, too.

    Thanks, Mark. Drop me a line if you’re ever in Indiana or Chicago; I’ll buy you a drink.

    Keith

    Comment by Keith -

  32. After reading all of these comments, I find myself compulsively thinking just how amazingly different yet coincidentally the same we all are. Everyone likes the word success and uses it freely at most times. There are others who are inspired by others’ success and look upon them as mentors in some sort of way. Through my 34 years of life, I have encountered people in all walks of life who are successful even when they think that they are not. I used to be a Social Service worker when I first graduated from University (psych major). I once thought that I could be successful and make a difference in this crazy world……and I even thought that I could save the world. (How crazy a thought is that??). After working in Social Services, I realized how naive I was and how corrupted government politics can be. I am an accomplished woman with many titles underneath my belt and yet, I am humbled by success and by the homeless person I see sleeping in the doorway of some of the finest cities in the USA and Canada that I have visited and lived in. After almost 7 years in Social Services, I left because I realized that I could not make a difference there and the abundance of my success could never be measured in a system that was not truly built to help all those in need but rather the select few. My first real dose of success was when I lived in Seattle and was mentored by a computer geek guru whom I admire. During this time, I became humbled by the sheer desperation of the homeless and made a vow that my success would be measured by the simple extension of a kind hand. Back to basics so to speak. I did this and became a very active part of the homeless community extending a helping hand when I could and for all that I could. The kindness of the human spirit goes a long way at times.
    I took a leap of fate when I first moved there and had no regrets. The unfortunate call of employment moved me to the Midwest (Kansas City) and there I experienced the same humbling experiences and vowed to continue to measure my success by simple acts.
    Today, I live by the same beliefs and measure my success in the same way. I am inspired and motivated to finally take that long awaited step to do something for me and by me. I have given to others and now, it is my turn to shine in my own light by taking my passions and creating works of art (of the edible kind). Success for me will be measured by my ability to produce astonishingly, delectable delights for others. It will also be measured by what I can give back to the community and world in that simple effort of the same means. Wish me luck and the ability to procure enough finances to finally take my accomplishments, degrees, efforts, talents by the horns and pulling them in line to achieve the ultimate success for myself!!! Jumping off into the deep end here!!!!!!!

    Comment by angella -

  33. You make good sense. And just like anyone in a slump, the next shot, swing or pass could be the one that wins the championship prize. I remember Walter Payton always got up smiling no matter how hard he was hit. Perhaps we can discuss this one day, after going through plans for my future movie production company. I think we would make a good team.

    Comment by Tom Snider -

  34. That’s what I always try to tell my mom!

    I tell my mom “nobody cares if your taller than everybody, with big feet, and more hair on your back than dad”, but she doesn’t listen to me, just gives me the Beaver face, and gets red like a tomatoe, which is kinda scary, because she’s not a vegetable!

    My hamster Duckie knows what I’m saying!

    I hope I’m as lucky as you one day, Mark!

    Comment by Rockchild -

  35. In response to comment #1 (Mr. Bryan William Jones)–

    “My point is that as long as the money holds, entrepreneurs have the luxury of making mistakes and the only thing that ends up getting hurt is ones reputation.”

    –Except when you’re entrepreneurial adventure includes medicine…

    Comment by Tony Fryckberg -

  36. I didn’t have the expertise to design an item for Kids to play with when I got the idea to glue two paper plates together one right side up and one upside down and give it to my two boys to go out in the yard and sail it back and forth to each other in El Paso. Then the Frisby was born. Another idea I had to make a Flamethrower backpack as a watergun for kids to have water fights in the yard with a G.I. Joe back pack. This idea I mailed in to Matell and they said they did not like the idea, but it came out later. I now have what I think will increase the interest in all sports from all walks of life people if I can get it developed. I think I will keep this one to myself until I can get it developed. I have postal copyrighted this idea if that will do. If not I will continue to learn and continue work on the ideas I have until one works.

    Comment by Bill Taylor -

  37. Success in life is a matter not so much of talent and opportunity as of concentration and perseverance.
    –C. W. Wendte

    Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
    –Ralph Waldo Emerson

    It’s always helpful to learn from your mistakes because then your mistakes seem worthwhile.
    –Garry Marshall

    I believe if opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.
    –Milton Berle

    Niche and grow rich.
    –Entrepreneur Press

    If you think you can do a thing, or think you can’t do a thing; you’re right.
    –Henry Ford

    Only the paranoid survive.
    –Andy Grove, Intel CEO

    Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.
    –Aldous Huxley

    We need men who can dream of things that never were.
    –John F. Kennedy

    The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.
    –Michelangelo

    Work only a half a day; it makes no difference which half –it can be either the first 12 hours or the last 12 hours.
    –Kemmons Wilson, Founder of Holiday
    Inn

    Odds of Success are enhanced with: perseverance, knowledge, networking, salesmanship/marketing or providing true value, and being at the right place at the right time.

    It might be me, but I really dislike infomercials and people pendling junk or people that abuse other people. One of my favorite movies is “Boiler Room”. Whenever I feel myself trusting a salesperson, I watch this movie. :-) I believe in truth, solving problems, value, and not hurting people, animals, or the environment.

    I don’t think everyone can be a millionaire, because then it has no meaning. I’m impressed by Marks’ journey and want to know more. But I’m equally impressed by what successful people do once they get there.

    I heard Charles Barkley once say that once you climb the ladder of success, send it back down.

    Tony Robbins tells of his rags to riches story too, and has made a career out of it.

    Comment by LuckyDog -

  38. Surprised to find that you had a blog and I was really surprised to see how long you have been blogging. I should have known since your are at heart a computer geek – and I mean that in the most complimentary of ways.

    And as we say over at The Blog Patrol – “Just Blog It!”

    Comment by The Blog Patrol -

  39. See, now I know for sure I am an oddball. Your numerous ventures before you ‘made it’ are the ones that I would be most intersted in. Relying on Luck is for fools. Luck alone almost never makes a success story. ALSO, it is easier to say how lucky you are rather than say you are a genious who worked his ass off at everything you ever did, then, if you did fail, you put it into your past, grew stronger and moved on. You knew that failed ventures don’t make you a failure. http://www.xmmailserver.com

    Comment by Rob Thrasher -

  40. I just printed out this blog entry and taped it next to my computer screen. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Comment by Woodrow Williams -

  41. Following up on post #1, I’d say the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA (both supposedly based on science) have realized that they don’t have to be right 100% of the time. So what if a few people get hurt or die in the name of saving others or making more money. We’ve created a world where business and money trump all things including science.

    Comment by Shake -

  42. Following up on post #1, I’d say the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA (both supposedly based on science) have realized that they don’t have to be right 100% of the time. So what if a few people get hurt or die in the name of saving others or making more money. We’ve created a world where business and money trump all things including science.

    Comment by Shake -

  43. Mark,

    Count me among those who regularly check your blog JUST for these types of posts.

    Selfishly, I wish you’d start churning out several of these posts a day and compile them in book form.

    Oh well……

    I guess I should be happy with what I get, right?

    Thanks again, Mark

    Comment by Lou Edwards -

  44. Mark,

    Count me among those who regularly check your blog JUST for these types of posts.

    Selfishly, I wish you’d start churning out several of these posts a day and compile them in book form.

    Oh well……

    I guess I should be happy with what I get, right?

    Thanks again, Mark

    Comment by Lou Edwards -

  45. Knowing the size of the treasure is the key to being right once.

    Comment by Scott -

  46. There is no such thing as luck. Success comes from ability to recognize opportunity and to make the most of it. Sometimes the natural order of things have to come into play, but you have to be perceptive, proactive, and diligent. Mr. Cuban is extraordinarily perceptive and proactive — also a keen salesman. I can say that this 35-year part-time MBA student thinks he’s a Hero.

    Comment by PMM -

  47. I’d actually like to hear those tales of garbage bag sales and MicroSolutions trials and tribulations. You seemed to hint at the great content you simply didn’t provide this go-around. I hope you share those stories with us at some point :)

    Comment by Evan Erwin -

  48. I look at my trek in life and have to laugh when I read about Mark’s past. I too started in the bar business…running several successful bars and nightclubs, only to get out and wander jobwise through a couple of different things before starting my own technology company. I can only hope my future endeavors are even partially as successful as Marks. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Comment by Stacey -

  49. Mark,

    I love these little motivational tidbits you supply from time to time. To me the best sources of inspiration are guys who have ‘done’ it, as you obviously have.

    Keep ‘em coming. Love your blog.

    Comment by Scotbo -

  50. oh, and please keep OUR team together…go mavs

    Comment by Scott -

  51. RE: the comment of “opportunity meets preparedness”: it sounds trite, but I recently had an experience that meets that description exactly. A public entity was dissatisfied with their local generalist. They made the decision to terminate that contract and look elsewhere. I had recently set up in the area, and had specialized skills that they were looking for. Obviously, I had zero to do with the opportunity arising. If the previous professional had done an adequate job, my expertise would have been no use. However, when the opportunity presented itself, I had 20 years of preparation to offer, and I had the backup with my firm to make a strong pitch, and I landed the client. That 20 years of work and experience was my doing. As was the recognition to jump on the chance. Now, my job is to provide outstanding service so that the client decides it made the right decision – and then, I hope, the next time another public entity in the area gets dissatisfied, I’ll have started a positive reputation. Gee, more hard work? Well, a taste of success every once in awhile makes that lots easier.

    Comment by Ron S. -

  52. Or…

    You could view shooting 50 percent for a team as the equivalent of doing a good job for a company, whether or not the company or team is successful. A team that is lottery-bound would be the equivalent of company that fails. I’d say hitting it big in business is more like winning a ring that shooting the ball well.

    Comment by Scott -

  53. hey Mark, as I was watching the local sports highlites a year ago, your name came up and the topic of this blog did as well. they were saying how everyone should check it out because you know what you’re talking about. so I did, and have been reading what you have been writing for quite some time now. being from Toronto, its really shocking for me to see a team owner who actually cares about his team as deep as you do. I remember reading your post a couple of days after the Mavs got eliminated and wondered if team owner Rob Babcock cared as for his team as much as you do. I wonder what he said to his raptors when they ended their season this year. anyway I’ve digressed from my point, my question to you is what made Mark Cuban successful? Im sure growing up, you had a million ideas and possible ventures in your head, but what was the x factor that took you to the catastrophic kind of success that you’re enjoying today? was it your work ethic? intelligence? taking calculated risks? good timing? please let me know as I am a senior student in university in need of some good insight and possibly even some inspiration at the moment. . thanks for your time, and for taking the time to update your blog so regularly

    Comment by Denny Kim -

  54. great post considering im about to graduate college this summer and take on my first “real job” (once i find one)

    p.s. dont trade dirk!

    Comment by cali -

  55. very nice and very true!!

    darrin coe
    http://www.consumer-thinking.com/clarionblog

    Comment by Darrin Coe -

  56. Thanks for the advice. Sometimes, we seek answers to questions that are right in front of us…….the answers that are invisible to the naked eye…..we seek the wisdom and motivation to move forward because as humans, we are afraid to take that leap of faith because of fear of the unknown, in this instance fear of failure. I, for one, know that failure is a part of life and it has brandished my life in more ways than I would like to admit to. I am an adamant believer that people come to be who they are, not by luck but more by efforts of their desires. I am an adamant believer that knowledge truly is power and by allowing ourselves to be enlightened with the power of knowledge we can achieve all that we set forth to achieve….not that all of those achievements will be successes (tongue in cheek), but accomplished goals that have taught us lessons in life to move forward.
    So,Mark, thank you for sharing your knowledge with me and inspiring me to at least take another leap of fate! I am going to dive off the deep end now…no shallow water for me!!! I just need to inform myself on the finances of my endeavor and then, I can really jump off the deep end!!!!

    Comment by angella -

  57. I wish more small-time investors realized that the “luck” they keep waiting for is really the acute knowledge and understanding of a specific industry like you gained with tech stocks. If every middle-class stock speculator read your intro to “The Number” I suspect 3 out of 4 would buy munis and T-bills instead.

    Comment by G. A. Smith III -

  58. strong comments. i would be interested to hear about your thought processes behind your move from bars and the other ecletic businesses you have been involved with to computers at IT in general.

    i am studying in sydney and am about to finish uni. i have done all sorts of stuff – nothing a complete failure yet but some of the things (mostly based around university bookstores/student services) couldnt be described as much more than stagnant – am coming to a similar crossroad.

    i see potential in all areas of the australasian education markets (which i have a keen understanding) but while passe, i am intrigued by the life sciences industries – particularily environmental biotech.

    any advice here mark?

    kind regards,

    ben h.

    Comment by ben -

  59. I like to think of ‘Luck’ as when preparedness meets opportunity.

    That has made my luckiness palatable.
    :-)

    Comment by Zack Handley -

  60. Thanks Mark.

    Comment by Josh J -

  61. to be a succesful artists, you don’t even have to create something good 50% of the time, 30%, or even once. You just have to create often.

    Successful writers write often.

    Successful muscicians play often.

    Note: I said successful, not good or great.

    Comment by Hashim -

  62. Mark
    Thanks for the inspiration.

    Jeff

    Comment by Jeff -

  63. On the flip side Bryan (post #1), think of how many “mistakes” in the sciences turned into succesful, often unrelated products and technologies.

    Yes, a doctor can be negligent and make a mistake that costs a patient their life. That would be an unacceptable risk.

    They can also choose to try something new, patient permitting, because they’ve exhausted all other options. If I’m going to die anyway, I’d rather have the doctor try a long shot; an acceptable risk.

    A.

    Comment by Andrew -

  64. Another inspitrational MC blog entry.

    And yes, it is absolutely hilarious to hear the critiques of outsiders looking in. For some reason (probably class envy), so many “normal” people assume that rich entrepreneurs can’t relate to hard work or hard times. Why this prevailing assumption persists is beyond me.

    I’m reminded of a certain VH1 producer’s defense of “rock star” attitudes. He said (paraphrased), “Well, you gotta understand. Some of these guys went through a lot to get to where they are. Years of struggling to make rent, driving cars that barely run. They’ve had family and friends calling them stupid and crazy, girlfriends threatening to leave them, etc. So when they finally make it over the hump, and then they start hearing public criticisms like, ‘they probably had a rich uncle in the business’… well, they just don’t feel a need to be humble.”

    Comment by Charles -

  65. Great points Mark! Your blog entry reminds me of this quote: We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don’t like? – Jean Cocteau

    (http://www.rattledbaby.com/?p=166)

    Comment by Brad -

  66. Mark,

    No one ever remembers the times you were sacrificing. I have read about 4 hours a night for 3 years to get to where we are with our network of sites. I’m an ” overnight ” success, because one of the 17 or so makes 4 figures a month. The others pay for themselves and a little more, so, yes, you only have to have one little success to make everyone think you were just ” lucky “.

    For a boat load of success and motivation info, come to the site that links to my name on these comments.

    Life’s short…blog hard !

    Comment by Mike Sigers -

  67. And then of course there are the many other professions where you have to be right ALL the time. In science, if we make a mistake, we could end up hurting other people or losing our funding or credibility. In medicine, mistakes can have immediate impact on our patients.

    Of course there are all sorts of other professions where being right can cause immediate harm. Pilots, taxicab drivers, soldiers etc…etc…etc… and even those in business depending upon the field.

    My point is that as long as the money holds, entrepreneurs have the luxury of making mistakes and the only thing that ends up getting hurt is ones reputation.

    Bryan William Jones
    Jonesblog

    Comment by Bryan William Jones -

  68. great site with very good look and perfect information…i like it

    Comment by Litfaßsäule -

  69. Through my 34 years of life, I have encountered people in all walks of life who are successful even when they think that they are not. I used to be a Social Service worker when I first graduated from University (psych major). I once thought that I could be successful and make a difference in this crazy world……and I even thought that I could save the world.

    Comment by runescape money -

  70. I am an accomplished woman with many titles underneath my belt and yet, I am humbled by success and by the homeless person I see sleeping in the doorway of some of the finest cities in the USA and Canada that I have visited and lived in. After almost 7 years in Social Services, I left because I realized that I could not make a difference there and the abundance of my success could never be measured in a system that was not truly built to help all those in need but rather the select few.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  71. Hi mark, this point has really make me think about how life is. I can be one of those thousands of persons that admire you and get surprised when you get to the American Airlines Center, but I really admire you because of your mind and intelligence. Things such as working for and ice-cream shop when that happened… thats the kind of things that make me admire you. Im from Spain, if you ever come here, I will try to see you. I know my english is not very good, Im sorry about it. Regards from Spain

    Comment by Luis Alberto Orts Navas -

  72. Hi mark, this point has really make me think about how life is. I can be one of those thousands of persons that admire you and get surprised when you get to the American Airlines Center, but I really admire you because of your mind and intelligence. Things such as working for and ice-cream shop when that happened… thats the kind of things that make me admire you. Im from Spain, if you ever come here, I will try to see you. I know my english is not very good, Im sorry about it. Regards from Spain

    Comment by Luis Alberto Orts Navas -

  73. Good point, Mark. Everyone fails. But people don’t see your failures after you get it right once. Only you see your failures, and only you determine how they affect your life from that point forward.

    Everyone gets discouraged after they fail too. So a big part of recovering from failure and trying again comes down to what motivates you. If you have a big enough reason to succeed, then you’ll keep trying as long as it takes.

    Comment by Dave -

  74. Thanks Mark, truly inspirational.

    Comment by Ben Bishop -

  75. The best way to be “right once” is to have the ability to envision what things are going to look like three weeks, three months and three years down the road….

    Randy Scott
    Transplant to Colorado from Dallas
    http://rockyrandolph.blogspot.com/

    Comment by Randy Scott -

  76. Hi my name is Terry Armistead and you will not
    remember me, but, about four years ago when I
    lived in Dallas, I emailed you about the lack of
    caring in the NBA and you did something I still
    can’t believe. You left two tickets at the will
    call office and I had a blast. I need to tell
    you that I am still not a huge fan of Basketball
    but of the few teams I pull for the Mavs are #1.
    I love the attitude you had and the ethics that
    you give off and expect from those around you.

    I now live in Sicily, Italy living out one
    of my dreams and I have your unexpected act
    to thank for it. I have been following your
    career (not in a scary way) and I recognized the
    same spirit that I have. To me loyality, passion
    and thirst for knowledge are what make a true
    entrepreneur and the ideas that you are able to
    get moving haunt me, one day I plan on joining you
    on that Billionaires list, but unlike all of those there
    I have a million altruisic ways to get off that list.

    I am a businessperson and reading this article
    gave me hope that just because one of my many ventures
    hasn’t made me a millionaire doesn’t mean I should
    give up. Thanks for the inspiration and hopefully one
    day I will get to colaborate with someone I actually
    admire.I would also like to invite you to speak
    on the military base here in Sicily about the successes
    and failures that got you where you are.
    Thanks again
    Terry Armistead
    Sicily, Italy

    Comment by Terry Armistead -

  77. I love reading everyone’s contributions here. I believe a personality like Mark’s attracts winners and future winners alike.

    The idea of that one time win is what has kept me marching forward all these years through varying degrees of success and failure. I KNOW I’ll be set (read filthy stinking rich) someday. Why? Because I’ll always keep reincarnating myself for the sustainable opportunity of the moment. Good luck to all!

    Comment by Andrew Finney -

  78. “Chance favors the prepared mind.” — Louis Pasteur.

    What Mark Cuban is saying: Keep at it, you only need one homerun to succeed.

    Sure, it may come down to luck. However, you’re not going to hit a homerun, unless you swing for the fences.

    The greatest common denominator for successful businessmen/women: perseverance.

    Comment by DeQuincey -

  79. It sounds to me like you’re really insecure about your success, then again, I would be too, if I was a billionaire who didn’t work any harder than a typical entrepreneur, but who happened to be in the right place at the right time (aka, LUCKY). Case in point, when was the last time you started/ran a successful business?

    Personally, that would really mess with my head if I had all that money and to know there are people out there, working just has hard as you DID, and just making ends meet. Its your blog and all, but you should probably see a shrink, instead of trying to justify yourself here, most of us are here to read inside news on the Mavericks.

    You are a LUCKY success, not a TALENTED success.

    Comment by PorticusP -

  80. Mark,

    The first part of your blog entry I am living, the second is still a work in progress. I am tireless and love your inspirational adaptation to pressure and challenges. I hope you will provide me with a simple opportunity to visit you with a futuristic idea on how to get I might get from point A to point B. I have been inquiring for a while but don’t know where I should go? Could you throw me an arrow?

    Sherri Harrison

    Comment by Sherri Harrison -

  81. Shake “We’ve created a world where business and money trump all things including science.”

    All fine and good. Except that it’s not true.

    It is true that business has to return a profit. It is also true that business can profit by hiring scientists and letting them do good work. Example; any number of private research labs – think quasar discovery, UNIX, the internet etc.

    But someone has to run the business so the engineers and scientists can think their thoughts. I’m not sure why this is hard to understand …

    Comment by Brian Dunbar -

  82. This may be a little off topic, but it relates to success and motivation. This is a section of a workbook I wrote for a series of marketing seminars I put on. Being lucky doesn’t just happen…you have to earn it and you earn it through close attention to details…especially the little ones!

    The Marketing of You

    I’ve written quite a bit about marketing. And, those of you that have attended my seminar or spent anytime talking to me know how long and hard I preach that image is everything, but for those of you who don’t think marketing is something you need to worry about, I’m here to show you the error of your ways. You hear the word marketing and your first thought is business, but did you know that each and every day we are all involved in marketing? There is very little that we do that doesn’t involve our image.

    When you get up in the morning and get dressed, you make a decision on how you are marketing yourself to the world and the image you are presenting to people. If you crawl out of bed and pick up yesterday’s jeans off the floor and put them on, then put on the shirt that smells the least offensive and walk out the door, you are telling the world that you don’t have the time to look better or that you don’t care how you look or that you just flat can’t be bothered with it. Do you suppose that if that is the image you are projecting that people might think it carries over into everything you do? How often do you make a snap judgment on someone based strictly on appearances? We all do it. It just rarely occurs to us that the people around us are doing the same thing. Think back on the image you projected today. Was it the real you? I’m not implying that you have to get dressed to kill every time you leave the house. It is possible to be comfortable and not sloppy or dirty.

    I am constantly amazed when I hear friends complain about the way some man looked at them or what a guy said to them. I mean, there they stand in a pair of jeans two sizes too small or a skirt six inches too short and a top that doesn’t leave anything to the imagination and they are offended that some guy talked to them like they could be had for free or very cheaply at the least. Isn’t that the image they are projecting? Don’t get me wrong, no means no and a woman is never “asking” for it. And, there are some men out there (you know who you are!) that will hit on a woman if she is wearing a nun’s habit (sometimes I think breathing is the only criteria and I am doubtful about that with some), but ladies, we have to realize that what we wear projects an image. If we don’t want guys to think we are cheap, then we have to project an image that isn’t.

    The way we speak also markets us to the world. I’m not saying we should all pull a Madonna and develop some fake British accent. Those of you who have heard me speak know I have just about the worst Texas accent there is. As unfair as it is, people frequently assume a lack of intelligence because of my accent. I have to compensate by being extremely cautious with my grammar. I also use a lot of big words. Hey, I’m a blonde with a hick accent, I have to overcompensate. Bad grammar makes you sound uneducated. How you say something is often more important than what you say. It is easy to fall into the habit of using slang terms, double negatives, of leaving our participles dangling or ending a sentence with a preposition. I had a coach that used to constantly yell at us, the same thing over and over…”You play like you practice”. It drove me crazy as a kid, but as an adult, I finally understand what he meant. And as much I hate to admit it, he was right. If you don’t watch your grammar when you are talking to your friends and family, you will slip into the same bad habits when you are talking to business associates. Negotiating a business deal is certainly not the time to project a “Bubba” image.

    The way you carry yourself is another way you are marketing yourself to the world. You need to have good posture, keep your head held high, make eye contact with people and smile. You should be confident but not cocky. Remember, there is no one on this earth better than you…but you aren’t better than anyone either. Confidence is the best possible image to project. It can overcome shortcomings in other areas. It makes people want to be involved with you. Slumping around with your head down says, “Don’t look at me, I’m a loser”. Carrying yourself with your head held high says, “Look at me, I’m a winner”. And NEVER give anyone the dead fish handshake. It lacks confidence. Shake hands like you’ve got a pair. Ladies, that means you too.

    How you dress, talk and carry yourself is how the world sees you. Often it is the thing the world has with which to judge us. When you get ready to face the world tomorrow, think about what how you look says to the world, the image you are projecting and remember…image is everything.

    Comment by Sherri -

  83. “In Business, the odds are a little different. You don’t have to break the Mendoza line (hitting .200). In fact, it doesnt matter how many times you strike out. In business, to be a success, you only have to be right once.”

    Not entirely true. If you begin with a string of, say, 300 failures, you probably aren’t going to be able to get the loans necessary for try #301, even if it would have been a success.

    That is, if 300 failures haven’t destroyed your self-esteem, forced you into bankruptcy, and driven you either to the madhouse or to suicide.

    Comment by John -

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