The Sport of Business

I can’t go more than a week without shooting baskets. There is something about the feel of the ball coming off my hand, and the sound of the ball going through the net. It just feels good.

If I’m just standing in the gym, I can shoot pretty well. Playing in a game. Well it’s not quite what it used to be. I used to have a spin move that would work for me no matter who I was playing against or what level they were at. If I could get a pick and the defender went under, I didn’t have to think about it, I could hit the shot. These days, my mind knows what to do, but my body just laughs at me. Put me up against 20 year olds, and I won’t embarrass myself but it’s only because I know how to set a pick and hit an open, a very wide open jumper, and spend the rest of the game getting out of the way.

I love to compete. I always have. Playing basketball was just something I had to do no matter how good I was and its something I will always do, no matter how old I get. It gives me a chance to blow off steam. It gives me a way to refocus.

But no matter how much I love to play the game or how involved and competitive I get during a Mavs game, it’s only a minor release. Real competition comes from the sport of business.

In sports, you know who your opponents are. You know when you are going to play a game. You know pretty much how long the game will last. It’s mentally and physically exhausting if you are at the top of the game, but it still pails at the effort required to be successful in business.

The sport of business isn’t divided into games. It’s not defined by practices. It doesn’t have set rules that everyone plays by.

The sport of business is the ultimate competition. It’s 7×24x365xforever.

I love the sport of business. I love the competition. I love the fire of it. It’s the feeling of the clock winding down, the ball is in your hands, and if you hit the shot you win…all day, every day.

Relaxing is for the other guy. I may be sitting in front of the TV, but I’m not watching it unless I think there is something I can learn from it. I’m thinking about things I can use in my business and the TV is just there.

I could take the time to read a fiction book, but I don’t. I would rather read websites, newspapers, magazines, looking for ideas and concepts that I can use. I spend time in bookstores because 1 idea from a book or magazine can make me money.

I’m not going to go to dinner with you just to chat. I’m not going to give you a call to see how you are. Unless you want to talk business. Other guys play fantasy sports. I fire the synapses to get an edge.

That’s what success is all about. It’s about the edge.

It’s not who you know. It’s not how much money you have. It’s very simple. It’s whether or not you have the edge and have the guts to use it.

The edge is getting so jazzed about what you do, you just spent 24 hours straight working on a project and you thought it was a couple hours.

The edge is knowing that you have to be the smartest guy in the room when you have your meeting and you are going to put in the effort to learn whatever you need to learn to get there.

The edge is knowing is knowing that when the 4 girlfriends you have had in the last couple years asked you which was more important, them or your business, you gave the right answer.

The edge is knowing that you can fail and learn from it, and just get back up and in the game.

The edge is knowing that people think your crazy, and they are right, but you don’t care what they think.

The edge is knowing how to blow off steam a couple times a week, just so you can refocus on business

The edge is knowing that you are getting to your goals and treating people right along the way because as good as you can be, you are so focused that you need regular people around you to balance you and help you.

The edge is being able to call out someone on a business issue because you know you have done your homework.

The edge is recognizing when you are wrong, and working harder to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The edge is being able to drill down and identify issues and problems and solve them before anyone knows they are there.

The edge is knowing that while everyone else is talking about nonsense like the will to win, and how they know they can be successful, you are preparing yourself to compete so that you will be successful.

That’s what makes business such an amazing sport. Everyone plays it. Everyone talks about how good they are or will be at it. Just a small percentage are.

Every single day someone has an idea. Every day someone talks about some business they want to start. Every day someone is out there starting a business whose entire goal is to beat the hell out of yours. How cool is that.

Every day some stranger from any where in the world that you have never met is trying to come up with a way to put you out of business. To take everything you have worked your ass off for, and take it all away. If you are in a growing industry, there could be hundreds or thousands of strangers trying to figure out ways to put you out of business. How cool is that.

The ultimate competition. Would you like to play a game called Eat Your Lunch. We are going to face off. My ability to execute on an idea vs yours. My ability to subvert your business vs your ability to keep it going. My ability to create ways to remove any reason for your business to exist vs your ability to do the same to me. My ability to know what you are going to do, before you do it. Who gets there first? Best of all, this game doesn’t have a time limit. It’s forever. It never ends. It’s the ultimate competition.

It’s the sport of business. It’s not for everyone, but I love it.

I’m fortunate. I have done well enough financially that I don’t have to play 24×7×365. I can and have cut back to 18×7×365. Family first now.

But in those 18 hours, you can bet I’m competing, and loving it.

But that’s me. You have to figure out what works for you.

59 thoughts on “The Sport of Business

  1. This article reminds me of why I love a good recession! thinking of my competition squeezing Dr. Phil stress balls and hanging out at the local pub complaining about my marketing methods, while using “Hope” as their only strategy!

    Comment by seifpro -

  2. Mark,
    I fully support your assessment that competition feels the same – no matter if in sports or business.
    However that’s not the only parallel. How about strategy, tactics, teamwork, coaching, motivation, training, leadership, risk-taking, performance, fun, winning, losing, careers, improving, going to the edge, etc.?
    I could go on for ages (and if you’re interested: I actually do on businessgametime.com).
    Some people say business would not be emotional. Some people say sport would not be emotional. They don’t get it.
    I did feel a lot of emotion when I read your post. Thanks for it.
    Johannes

    Comment by businessgametime -

  3. Mark

    My comment has not so much do do with the sport of business and more of the business of sport:

    As a professional sports team owner, I’d like to know your opinion of professional sports salaries. What percentage of your (or the average NBA team’s) total expenses is player’s salary/benefits? How much effect do players salaries have on ticket prices? What is your profit margin (if any)? I ask because as a sports enthusiast I find it fairly reprehensible as to how much ticket prices have escalated year after year. Going to games (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB) is no longer within the ability of the average “middle class”. I used to go to on average, 15 NHL games, 5 NBA games, 15 MLB games annually. The economy not withstanding, the last 5 years or so I have averaged 2 NHL games, 0 NBA games, 8 MLB games. The cost of taking the family is outrageous. I won’t throw out statistics as to the cost per game because I am sure you are aware of them already. With a 42″ hdtv in the family room, it is much easier to convince the kids to stay home and watch games than spend hundreds of dollars to watch a live game for a few hours. Circling back to my initial questions: players look at their salaries as being paid by you owners, whereas it is us fans who pay a significant portion of their salaries, not only from ticket sales, but merchandising as well as being forced to sit through endless commercials while watching games on tv. Do they realize their 15,000 square foot homes, $125,000 cars, and ridiculous “bling” are subsidized not so much by you but by average americans who add to their debt by superfluous spending on a three hour sports game? Record player contracts happen annually, in hand with rising ticket prices, which easily outpace inflation. There has to come a time when ticket prices hit a level where people just say to hell with it. Care to comment, or is it an NBA finable offense to do so?

    Comment by therugelachman -

  4. Mark….you have been a great owner and I appreciate all you have done for NBA & Mavs fans. I have watched more NBA games in person or on TV than anyone I know going back over 50 plus years. I was an upstate NY fan of the Syracuse Nationals and Rochester Royals in those earlier days and have been a Mavs season ticket holder for many years.

    Let me state my concern for the NBA using a comment you made in a recent blog: >>>>>>Business environments change. When they do, and continue to, there are two basic choices. You can do it the way it’s always been done, or you can challenge yourself to change the game.

    The NBA I feel has a serious problem in this new economic reality we live. Its not so much with the product on the floor generally but the overall expense of doing business from both an owner perspective (ridiculously high salaries) and high cost of tickets over the 82 plus game schedule that fans have to support. The arduous schedule with back to back games, including travel days often takes away from the quality of the game. This creates an inconsistency of quality product delivery and puts player injuries at risk, thereby leaving fans feeling cheated in a sense.

    The new economic reality threatens the game and only the very elite teams can survive financially. It all has to be scaled down economically imo starting with high player salaries, many of which are ridiculous and then lowering ticket prices. You as an owner are caught in the middle but can be an agent of change. What is the NBA and Mavs new business model going forward. I fear if changes are not made the downward spiral begins if not already.

    Please Mark write a blog on this subject with your personal views.

    Comment by alfie175 -

  5. What a great blog! Hit the G-Spot real hard :) Lesson learnt. Thank you for sharing.

    Here I am trying to understand how your mind works. I have a set of questions I really need to ask you:
    1. How had your career align or deviate from your teenage dream or original blueprint?
    2. Which one works better: Going-with-the-flow and maximizing our growth towards several directions for unspecified future opportunities; or; to have a very clear goal and sticking to it like a pit-bull?

    I am sure a lot of your readers would love to know what’s your take on this.

    Comment by ilparco -

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  8. I’m just standing in the gym, I can shoot pretty well. Playing in a game. Well it’s not quite what it used to be. I used to have a spin move that would work for me no matter who I was playing against or what level they were at

    ARE YOU SERIOUS CUBAN?? AT ANY LEVEL? NBA PLAYERS WOULD LAUGH IF THEY READ THIS. IM SURE AT YOUR LOCAL GYM, BUT NO, NOT AT “ANY LEVEL” BUT YOU ARE A GOOD OWNER AND I WOULDN’T MIND IF YOU BOUGHT THE DODGERS FROM OUR PATHETIC OWNERS.

    Comment by lakersfan4life -

  9. Pingback: The Moneymaking Cuban: Mark Cuban « Ryan Dawidjan

  10. So glad I found you through the Forbes 400 list. A true inspiration. This blog is fantastic. Thank you

    Comment by vmailmagnet -

  11. Mark is obviously following his passion, but not everyone has the drive for business that he does. Focus is critical to get a job done, but I don’t believe a singular focus 27/7/365 is going to make me happy and satisfied with life. I leave that to the rest of you uber-business-masochists.

    Comment by cogiterium -

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  13. This post could have been summarized by saying, “in order to become a mega success, you have to compulsively obsess about your business.” It’s hard to argue with a billionaire, and I won’t because, unfortunately, he’s absolutely right.

    “I could take the time to read a fiction book, but I don’t. I would rather read websites, newspapers, magazines, looking for ideas and concepts that I can use.”

    You don’t get to the point where you can wipe your butt with $1,000 bills by being well-rounded. To succeed in business you need to have one of the following traits: obsess about money, obsess about a particular industry, or obsess about your ego. To become a Cuban-esque success, you need all three. More power to you Mark that you’re obviously content with this sort of lifestyle. You’re a special case.

    For the majority of my species, we need the spice of life known as variety. Trading in a half day for the imaginative escape that a well written novel offers is a pleasurable release for some, while it’s a “negative cost benefit analysis” for others.

    We value the relationships that surround us, and wouldn’t be able to attach a dollar value to trade that in (or view their accompaniment as a means to our business ends).

    I grew up in a wealthy family and learned from an early age that money isn’t a simple recipe for happiness. A positive contribution to your environment should be everyone’s focus. Happy pursuit of bettering the world around is “the edge” in my book.

    But Mark I think you said it best, “that’s me. You have to figure out what works for you.”

    http://zrdavis.com

    Comment by goodbadger -

  14. I just had to get this off my chest. I’ve heard what Mark has said about the referees over the year, but I have reached my limit and am no longer an NBA fan.

    I think it’s safe to say that the NBA has and always will give the refs “unspoken” approval to make calls to help the superstars and their teams. Look at Game 6 and 7 in the 2001 Eastern Conf. Finals. Iverson and the Sixers were given that shot at the title by the refs and the NBA’s “unofficial” conspiracy. The Bucks got screwed in that series just as much as the Kings in 2002.

    After Kobe committed both a CHARGE and a TRAVEL the other night, but was given a 3-point play instead, I’m out. As a longtime but mostly casual NBA fan, I will NEVER, EVER go to another game.

    David Stern, keep the Celtics, Knicks, Cavs, Lakers, Bulls, Miami, San Antonio, Sixers and contract the rest of the league. Because teams like Portland, Milwaukee, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Denver, etc. have absolutely no chance of ever winning a championship. End of story.

    Comment by ron9262 -

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  16. Love it, Mark! It’s like reading my own thoughts (but coming from the mouth of a billionaire). My latest “jump shot” I’ve been working on and obsessing over is marketing and PR, how to get people to give a shit about my biz and not yours… even on vacation in Maui, I was thinking about it, plotting your downfall (okay, not yours, but SOMEONE’S!) my ipod’s music selection goes untouched in favor of audio books on how to get the word out, how to get your attention, how to make you love my product over anyone elses. It’s all I think about… ever!
    Amen, Brother!

    Comment by nathanlindley -

  17. Very Well Said.

    I love the “Sport of Business”.

    I play 24X7X365 too.

    Comment by worldvest -

  18. Hiya Mark, I really hope this gets to you.
    I am a huge fan of your blog, writing, passion and intellect etc etc etc.
    I would love you either in a post or personal reply to give some advice on a couple things.
    I would love you to write a post on energy. I am sure that family, sports, passion, money drive you which is the case with me. But is there anything you can pinpoint that give you extra energy, wether its mental or physical, do u take vitamins, exercise, drink water, coffee etc. I am really wanting to gain that extra bit of energy that I seem to be lacking right now and asking around for advice on just something to give one that extra kick, what it is for you? is it anything for you? preferably as mentioned something physical a vitamin tonic, liquid etc?
    Secondly a great post would be your favorite things of the year, favorite books, music, blogs, sites, trends etc. I would love to know what you loved reading and learning this year?
    Thanks again for all the constant wonderful flow of informed info?
    Thanks Tyrone

    Comment by Tyrone Rubin -

  19. I can’t help but think that someday you will regret having spent so much of your one and only painfully short life so consumed with things that couldn’t be more meaningless.

    Comment by tadbanyon -

  20. “. . . and our Annual Sales Meeting is now over. Pick up your two drink tickets at the table on your way out. And remember, drink tickets are not redeemable with the hookers.”

    Comment by waiternotes -

  21. Great post Mark. As an entrepreneur myself, this is getting printed off and placed on my wall so I can remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing.

    Chris

    Comment by trackthebet -

  22. Awesome post Mark, Business is definitely a fun sport!

    I try to explain this to my brother who plays basketball that business is like my sport but he doesn’t quite get it lol…

    Thanks for taking the time to blog here! I’m definitely going to start following!

    David King,

    Comment by davidbeking -

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  24. tigerbait, don’t underestimate necessity as the competitive advantage that the moneyed entrepreneur cannot have by definition. you can’t get a loan maybe you need to start a business that doesn’t need startup capital – or you need a longer term plan which requires you sell assets you already own – get credit cards, or simply save money and tighten your belt for a year. this means your business will be leaner – strengthen in a darwinistic fashion. having scarce resources IMO is more of advantage than too much – so embrace this time. I bet when you get older you’ll look back on this time in your life and your resourcefulness with fondness because it will define you going forward – how you turned water into wine proverbially.

    Comment by killerblyx -

  25. “The Edge” might get 90% of the credit for why a person becomes as successful as Mark Cuban—the other 10% could be luck—even destiny. When the ability, hard work and drive (comprising the 90%) meets luck/destiny/opportunity—that’s when something VERY special happens. It’s when someone rises way above the other equally gifted people. Mark, I don’t know how you feel about spirituality/religion, but you are blessed.

    Comment by dcangelo -

  26. Mark, is having money or wealth not a competetive edge as well? How many people do you think that read this post said to themselves “this is exactly what I am, except I do not have any money, especially to start up my own business.” Especially in these times, how easy do you think it is to come up with a business plan and try to get a bank to give you a loan for your idea? I bet the odds are not good for the average business sport enthusiast. So this is where you might say: you cannot be average, you have to excell higher than what others are thinking. But I ask you this, if these average business sport enthusiast had access to money/wealth in order to start their business, what percent of the businesses started do you think would succeed? If some of the guys on this comment section are into this game of life like they say, I bet many would succeed. I guess the point im getting at is that entrepreneurs who have/or access to money or wealth will have a greater chance of achieving “business ectasy” than the average Joe.

    Comment by tigerbait -

  27. Just get on with it guys, get on with it. ;)

    Good hunting.

    Comment by omonubi -

  28. Brilliant Blog. Very nice. Check out mine at Stihl Chain Saws

    Comment by glassjaw009 -

  29. i agree with you. by extension is the fact that only through endless research and analysis can you reduce the “sport” aspect of business – in the sense that you reduce the chanciness of it. It’s still risky but anything you can do to reduce the risk is obviously to your benefit. this is equivalent to shooting a thousand jumpshots a day. there’s an element of risk involved in the game and uncertainty – but reducing the jumpshot to mere muscle memory and repetition reduces risk to a large extent. it becomes methodical.

    on the outside looking in – people can look at meticulous entrepreneurs as obsessed or crazy or delusional – of course success is the mitigating factor here. an obsessed entrepreneur looks like a genius upon fantastic success and as eccentric otherwise.

    that said, these posts of your are greatly appreciated.

    Comment by killerblyx -

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  31. Brilliant. Just brilliant. I think we all need to stop apologizing for loving what we do; especially being a woman in the workforce. We’re brought up to take care of everyone around us and put our interests last. We’re not all cut out to do that. I’m certainly not cut out to do that. Taking care of my business and career allows me to better integrate a balance into the other aspects of my life, and now I have a blog to forward to my naysayers that attempt to make me feel bad about the choices I’ve made. Thank you. Just brilliant.

    Comment by lcalderwood -

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  33. Good for you Mark.
    You will wake up one day, 90 years old, cursing that you missed your daughters piano recital or your little boy’s all star game or your brother’s hunting trip where he shot a 10 point buck or your wife’s 40th wedding anniversary.
    You will miss out on a lot of life….normal life.
    Your 24/7/365 lifestyle is not normal. It is unhealthy both in mind and body.
    Good luck to you sir.
    Gaining your “edge” will not bring you life-long happiness.

    From MC> Not me. I was smart enough not to get married and have a family until after I was in a position to enjoy them. And hopefully my wife’s 40th wedding anniversary is mine too :)

    Comment by nhopkins1394 -

  34. I applaud your efforts and leadership in inspiring us all Mark. The need to live/breathe your business is certainly necessary if you want to get it off the ground and “win”. But here is where I think your advice may be misguided, for the beauty of the business world is that it is not a zero sum game. Multiple companies can win and often it is important for your competitors to do well in an emerging market as it validates there is a market for your goods/services. The stranger somewhere in the World working 24/7 is not trying to put you out of buiness, he is trying to make the best good/service possible…He is trying to innovate to do something in a way no one has done before to give him that “edge”. But he is not focused on putting you out of business…that is only in your head…When you started Audionet where you focused on putting someone out of business? Or were trying to create something innovative and new and did you pour your passion, heart, spirit, and mind into this endeavor? I would tell people about this drive, not so much about the “sport of buiness”, but about the internal drive you have and how you allow it to run free, the deep passion you feel, the love you have of ideas, the ability you have to create and take great risks. The “edge” you speak of Mark…is inside you and inside all of us…

    Comment by invisiblespirit -

  35. I am glad that success continues to bless them. I used to work there. I was part of a flight crew for their high profile jets. They were tied to an airline that went out of business. Before it went out of businees, we continued to show up for work, fly their jets, and take care of their customers for free. Yes, we worked for one of the best businesses in the US for 6 weeks for free! The justification is that we worked for Pace Airlines, so they owe nothing! We continued to show up for no pay because we were sure that it would be “taken care of”. We were crazy to think that. The few crew that got to keep their jobs took massive pay cuts. Some were up to 50%!! Everyone took at least a 30% cut. They are making less then when the Mavs bought the aircraft in ’01. All I read about is success, success, success, but something must be wrong if loyal employees have to work for free. I cannot see how this whole thing was justified and I am sure I will never know, but I would sure like to hear it.

    Is this also the sport of business?

    I guess so.

    Go Mavs!

    Comment by mikemoses555 -

  36. i like the dallas sports owners. i enjoy their bravado .. their confidence and outspokenness. but i think m. cuban sometimes flaunts the luck of his realPlayer [ which is now nothing but a distant joke of a memory ] to exalt his status as a know-it-all. he NEVER suggests that timing was a MUCH bigger factor than his ability. if he had to start again today from nothing … most likely he wouldn’t even make a dent in the world. cudos to past luck … and give the mavs a chance … but please don’t be so silly to think you know more than you do. if so, take it to a higher level and improve society not just your “money making” zealousness. all you seem to care about is making yet more money. kinda sad. go mavs.

    Comment by badhousebob -

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  38. Mark: Based on this entry that you wrote—-what do you think of Tiger Woods “taking indefinite leave” from golf? Isn’t that what he should be competing at, now more than ever?

    Comment by dcangelo -

  39. Though I throw in my $.02 on some things, and love the sports and tech talk, posts like these are among the main reasons I read; trying to learn as much as I can about that “edge.” I want to play the game too and am as competitive as they come, and luckily may have the chance soon to pursue that dream. But though I like to think I have the passion and a good head on my shoulders for it, my education is in the sciences and my work experience administrative. I need to glean all I can before throwing myself into the ring, and good advice and true inspiration is priceless. At the same time, I admit it also has me questioning myself a bit, as I know that pursuit of that dream would never be my entire reason for being– I’ll always have other interests– and while I have no lack of confidence in what I know for sure are my strengths, there are certain areas where I have to have reasonable doubts as to my abilities. Will I be fodder for the stronger and more aggressive? Will the traits I usually consider to be my greatest strengths, my kindness and empathy, turn out to be my downfall in the competitive area where I will throw myself? Guess there is only one way to find out… gotta take the risks!

    Comment by bucfanpaka -

  40. You sound like Hank Reardon (Atlas Shrugged)… now there’s a fictional book you would pick up? yes/no?

    ..It’s the only one I have in quite a while

    Comment by peterherr -

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  42. All four girlfriends are more important than business when facing each, but cann’t strike balance without business as base, right?

    Comment by kelly2012 -

  43. Nice article.

    Have guts, but no edge at hand. How to do?

    Comment by kelly2012 -

  44. Mark–

    I’m a 22-year-old graduate student and maybe I’m just naive, but I feel like your post about the sport of business is a little bit of a contradiction to your previous post about success and motivation.

    In your S&M post you spoke about unique opportunities – well what if you were too busy working 24 x 7 x 365 x forever to notice that some pretty amazing opportunities were passing you by?

    You yourself asked the question, how many unique opportunities will you get in a life time – 100, 1, none? I can’t argue with your point about going hard every minute of the day, being competitive, and never giving up – but do unique opportunities always have to be business opportunities? Again, I’m just a naive kid to many of you, but I say no, I think business opportunities aren’t that unique – sure they are difficult, but like you said everyone is thinking of them all the time.

    To me, a unique opportunity is that chance to feel the adrenaline rush of success, that feeling where you’ve got so much passion in your veins that the only challenge you face is trying to prevent that moment from escaping you before you can even begin to get a taste of how good it is…

    –Chris Inzirillo

    Comment by sandlott -

  45. Me too! Me too! I get so juiced going to the gas station twice a week and buy me a lottery ticket, go home and dream of being a fafillionaire! Talk about passion! Hoo yeah!!

    When not being stupid like that, I can be found red eyed and fatigued from my business running me. Thankfully, I’ve turned an important corner in starting to run the business, not vice versa.

    Always been an entrepreneur, hate working for someone else, can’t do it. I’d rather work for myself making beans than for someone else working less hours and for more money. Makes no sense to most people…anyone else like that?

    Comment by therugelachman -

  46. Pingback: Oh Cuban… « Ryan M Castle's Blog

  47. Wow… What an inspiring article for those that understand it. It does take more than the drive to achieve success. But without it you have no chance of it…

    I can see it now… It’s about 11 pm, you have had a stressed out day and head on over to the American Airlines Center for some hoops…lol. I’m sure you have hoops all around you, but it’s funny to think about you getting the urge to shoot some hoops there late at night.

    I often look up at the clock and would be amazed at the number of hours that have passed during a project. It is hard to stop working on a project when you know it has the edge, it just needs to be completed. Although you know that it will never be completed. So, you try to make it better than anything else that is currently on the market or coming soon.

    Give me a one shot at proving Ballpark Signs is your next game winning shot. Your business knowledge and your love for sports is a perfect fit for Ballpark Signs. The retail sign industry is a billion dollar industry. You already know that sports is a billion dollar industry as well. Ballpark Signs will combine the two industries into one new market segment.

    You love sports…
    You love the sport of business…

    Every Sporting Event Needs Sponsors & Signage.
    Every Retail Franchise Needs Signage & Advertising.

    Ballpark Signs will bridge the gap for these companies. The overall savings and dedicated services will be one of the key elements in our success. The R.O.I. on the sign printing equipment can be as little as 90 days with the right clients. You already know the clients, they are spending millions with the Mavs & other professional teams every year. I can show you a way to increase new sponsor contracts for the Mavs, lower the overall cost of signs for your businesses, while also lowering the overall expenses for the sign and sports marketing industries for the sponsors. I really would like to work with you on this project and look forward to hearing a response.

    Please use the following email to contact me about Ballpark Signs: “oneshot@ballparksigns.com”.

    Thank You For Writing Articles Like This That Inspire & Motivate Us To Keep Doing What We Love To Do ,

    Mark Foran
    Ballpark Signs

    Comment by ballparkmark -

  48. Mark – sick, sick post. I feel like you just called me out with all my business aspirations. I’ve now put my xbox 360 in storage. If that blog post was a rap song it would be ‘Til I Collapse’ by Eminem…my favorite rap song of all time. Props.

    Comment by bjgomer13 -

  49. Blogs like this are what set you apart. You could be like Trump and write 17 different books with generic advice about leadership or business that would absolutely sell simply because it was you writing it. Instead, you look to inspire and make people better at no cost. I am going to take your advice and go out on my own. Will I be successful? Will I have made the right choice? I will email you in 58 years to let you know.

    Thank-you.

    Comment by mattmlives -

  50. great read Mark, that’s me too for the most part… or it was before a health problem wiped my slate clean. still love business the way you do, but tempered by new appreciation for health and family.

    Comment by internetinc -

  51. Is this a joke? I wished it was, but after a few sentences it becomes clear it’s not. This is nothing but a long series of execu-speak cliches and motivational-speaker blather. Maybe there are indeed people in the world who consider “The edge is knowing that you can fail and learn from it, and just get back up and in the game” valuable advice, but I can only feel sorry for the paucity of imagination these catch-phrases indicate. I might say something like there’s more to life than your so-called “winning,” but anyone who says that is a loser, right?

    Comment by vicomtepicabia -

  52. Mark,

    I just wanted to comment on the previous message by “hirecules”.

    Do you know what you could do for a small handful of entreprenuers/ startup if you took them under your wing (not funding, just mentorship).

    Although I don’t know you, I imagine that with the success you have already had, a guy like you might get close to as much satisfaction out of being a major reason a startup succeeded, than if it was your own baby. Also, this would help feed your thirst for solving complex and unique business problems/ challenges. Beyond that, if you got involved with 6 startups a year, think of how many new ideas would be generated from this involvement???

    You would be investing your time (which is probably more valuable to you than money) so you should screen the companies the same way as if you were investing money. There are many startups that don’t need money. What they need is someone like you on their team.

    Comment by mburkons -

  53. So where am I failing? I thought I stood up when I fell down. I thought I moved on to the next prospect when this one said no. I thought I opened a window when a door was shut. I thought I never cried over spilled milk.

    Mark, it’s weird but true. We mostly seem to have the same line of thinking.

    When I was a kid, I played basketball just like you. Loved the sport so much, I shoot very well. Yeah, that sound of the ball going through the net feels great. I bet you also throw paper in the trash can counting 3-2-1 buzzer beater shot!

    Read in some article when I was in my early thirties about a wealthy man who always leaves his plate empty and clean, no grain of rice on the plate left, no wasted food. I do the same thing too. People starve everyday, couldn’t bare the sight of wasted food.

    Like you, I rarely watch TV because I find it a waste of time. Sometimes I do though for relaxation and as you said, to refocus, but the shows or movies i watch I make sure that I learn from it, I get inspired by it, I get the moral story out of it.

    Like you, you’ll find me learning the ropes of a new software program, reading the news, developing my website in the evenings and even on week-ends instead of chatting, facebook-ing, or attending a non-sense dinner party.

    Like you, I am guided, among others, by quotes such as “Small Minds Talk About People, Average Minds Talk About Events, and Great Minds Talk About Ideas.” Or, “What you are is God’s gift to you, and what you make out of yourself is your gift to God.”

    Like you, when sitting down alone while waiting for my wife and children in the mall doing their shopping, for example, I think of business ideas. I think of how to market my business.

    It’s really weird, like you, I’m 51. But you’ve made financial success in your early career years and held on to it, then got married and had children. Now you have time for your family.

    Here’s where we differ.

    I married early and had children early, I have a twenty year old and a fourteen year old. Focused on family. No regrets. Now I am trying to catch up on how to make money! But still focused on family. Again, I know it’s not the money, but we need it to survive.

    So where did I fail? Lack of perseverance? Wrong business?

    I am coachable, I don’t need funding for my business, I just probably need a mentor. I maybe need someone to kick my butt and show me to the right direction. You available?

    Great post, Mark. Thanks.

    Comment by hirecules -

  54. Pingback: Basketball Blog.com – The Best Basketball Blogs Resource Online » Blog Archive » The Sport of Business

  55. adamco,

    It’s the _doing_ that is sweet, the money is incidental…

    –Ed

    Comment by edvolcker -

  56. Damn, being a billionaire is sweet…kudos, dude.

    Comment by adamco -

  57. Thank you.

    Do you think my wife will understand? I’ll have her read your post

    Comment by markwolfinger -

  58. I’m exactly the same way, in the sense that except for a few hours on the weekend, if I’m awake, I’m thinking about business (and that includes the REST of the weekend, too). As much as I love it, though, sometimes I wonder if it’s all just “empty calories”– kind of like a non-stop streak at the tables in Vegas would be (without the booze)… At the end of it, you’d get up– rich, maybe– and say “Man, that was fun, but where did the time go, and now what?” I think that’s why lots of people start thinking about giving it away at some point– it kind of closes the loop and makes the whole thing more meaningful.

    Comment by rsdmems -

  59. OH hells yea bruddah, that was awesome Mark….

    Here I am, wokring while every1 else is sleeping

    It’s also why I wake up early, to do what the competition will NOT do.

    But, I LOVE what I do and U just fired me up that much more bruddah!!

    Maverick Business….

    Thank you for this Mark!

    –Z–

    Comment by zevenesh -

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