Success & Motivation – 2009

This is the year of WTF. Yep, What the F&&&.

It doesn’t matter what got you to the point of saying it. Maybe you got fired/layed off. Maybe your company went out of business. Maybe you quit because you couldn’t take it any longer. Maybe you are just graduating from school and the prospects of living at home are far worse than cramming in with 12 roommates in a beater house or apartment you call “The Hotel”.  Whatever the reason, the question is how do you turn this time into the start of something good ?

I’m here to give you your WTF To Do List.

1. Recognize that its ok to live like a student.

It doesn’t matter where you live. It doesn’t matter how you live. It doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive. It doesn’t matter what kind of clothes you wear. It doesn’t matter.  Your biggest enemies are your bills.  The more you owe, the more you stress. The more you stress over bills, the more difficult it is to focus on your goals.  More importantly, if you set your monthly income requirements too high, you eliminate a significant number of opportunities. The cheaper you can live, the greater your options. Remember that.

2.  Take Lots of Chances

If you are living cheap, and ready to find out where your future lies, now is the time to try anything.  WTF time means fighting through your fears to take a job in a new industry. It means trying different things to find out what it is you love to do.  There will be no such thing as too many jobs.  In this type of economy getting a job is tough if not often impossible. So you are going to have bust ass to create opportunities for yourself.

Creating opportunities means looking where others are not.  Look outside where all your friends are looking.  Make a list of jobs and businesses that are outside the norm. I know you want to follow your passions and get a job in sports, movies, tv, shooting video for Girls Gone Wild,  and other things your friends would love. Why fight the crowds ?   Go where people are not. Just like you never thought you would ever fall in love with someone else, you will find another industry or job that you will love as much as your first love.  Move down your list to other things. Then get ready to work

In this kind of economy, it really is a numbers game. You are going to have to keep on applying for everything and anything that opens a door you want to walk through.  You can never slow down. Its hard work finding a job.  If you have bills you have to pay, and it means taking a night job in order to keep looking for the day job or to keep a job you want, do it.   Be a waiter, a night janitor, wash clothes, sell vacuum cleaners door to door,  whatever you need to do, all the while reminding yourself that it opens the door for your future.

Then when you do find a job, remind yourself again that  you are winging it.   Everyone always sees the bright side of the job they just took.  You have to.  The new job you just took that you thought would be amazing, will be amazing. Most probably it will be amazing for about 3 months. Then you will realize its not so  amazing and you will  need to find something else that is amazing. Thats ok. You don’t have to be right everytime. You just have to be right one time. Finding the right job is a lot like dating.  Its hard until you start, then when you start, its great till its not. Then its frustrating as hell until you get it right. But when you do, it all comes together.

3.  Figuring out if you are in the right job

Its really easy to know if you are in the right job.  If it matters how much you get paid, you are not in a job you really really love.  I’m not saying that you shouldn’t want to make more money. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t bust your ass to make as much money as possible.  Thats not the issue. The issue is whether or not you truly love your job. If you love what you do so much that you are willing to continue to live like a student in order to be able to stay in the job, you have found your calling.

4. Figure out how to be the best

Once you have found out what you love to do, there is only one goal. How can you be the best in the world at it. It doesn’t matter if you are a filing clerk, an athlete, an accountant or a bartender.  All that matters is that you do whatever you can to be the best.  Of course “the best” is all relative.  The one person who you should never believe when it comes to evaluating your abilities is you. The very worst judge of your abilities is you. Self Evaluation is never successful.  When you are the best at something, the demand for your services will grow.  People want to hire the best. They want to be associated with the best. In 2009, in this economy so many people switch jobs and industries and its so much easier to stay connected via social networks and other digital means, people who need you can and will find you. So rather than trying to convince people you are the best, let the quality of your work do your talking.

5. Start the day motivated with a positive attitude.

You are going to screw up. We all do. I cant tell you how many times I did and do. It happens too often. No matter what happens, every morning, the minute after you wipe away the crust from your eyes, remind yourself that you are going to enjoy every minute of the day.  You are going to enjoy the 20 interviews you have. You are going to enjoy waiting in the heat for your roommate to  pick you up afterwards. You are going to enjoy realizing how frayed your collar is becoming and how sick you are of your one tie.  You are going to enjoy all the bullshit you have to deal with as you chase your goals and dreams because you want to remember them all. Each and every experience will serve as motivation and provide great memories when you finally make it all happen.

Its your choice. What are you going to do ?

88 thoughts on “Success & Motivation – 2009

  1. Great post Mark – thanks!
    One of my favorite quotes, and one I strive to live by is from Abraham Lincoln “Whatever you are, be a good one.”


    Comment by mitchellmail2 -

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  5. Ok, ok, that example is enough to drag anybodies attitude down about current events,

    So here’s my motivation.

    #1. I owe Chase nothing and therefore should be thrilled that my connection (via Credit Card) is now over with that unscrupulous corporation/bank.

    #2. Lesson’s learned: Pay off your debt by the best means available to you (which I am grateful that I am able to do so). Do not live beyond your means (Put the credit cards away, if you don’t need it, don’t buy it, and if you can’t pay for it with cash, then just forget about it).

    #3. Credit Unions. Thank goodness for sanity! Yes, Credit Unions still have rules, fees and standards, such as checking out your credit score before letting you in. But they are not out to tear the flesh out of your back at any moment that they get (as many banks do). Their fees are minimal, much more reasonable and pretty much just there to cover the expenses put on them by other companies (such as VISA). If you happen to unfortunately screw up an account of yours that you have with them, it will not cost you an arm nor leg. Credit Unions think long-term, they are built for the people. Unlike many banks that have been run for short-term profits by short-sighted and illogical, self-lying, yacht-club executives.

    #4. Credit Unions offer credit cards! Not that this is necessarily a great thing, but at least you have the *option* to get a credit card from an institution that will not immediately engorge itself upon your financial flesh through absurd fees and outrageous interest (all the while regurgitating your blood, sweat, and tears into the pockets of the self-lying yacht-club executives).

    #5. Wisdom is knowledge tempered by experience. Don’t forget what you have learned about this world that we live in over the last few years. Give your past plights some meaning by making yourself stronger for the future. And remember to teach your children about it (yes, it’s called parental responsibility), through your living example and words, that is if you decide to have children.

    #6. Once again: Don’t forget and teach those that you love about it. Teach them before they suffer from the ignorance.

    #7. Don’t forget. (Turn the T.V. off tonight)

    Comment by somethingsensible -

  6. Check it out: http www consumeraffairs com/credit_cards/chase_credit_cards.html

    Comment by somethingsensible -

  7. It all depends on from where you start. (Or when and how it hits you)

    So here’s my WTF for 2009: (My motivation follows afterwards)

    This July 2009, without warning or question, Ch@se Bank closed my credit card that was transferred over to them from the failed W@shington Mutual B@nk. I had never been late in payments and always paid more than the minimum to both Ch@se and W@mu. Not a big surprise though, considering that W@mu had dropped my credit limit drastically (by 95%, after I paid off the entire balance at once) just before they went under to Ch@se. So now the f^c&-*v#r is complete with $h!+-@ss Ch@se closing-out the remaining amount of clear credit that has been paid off with them (and has been paid off for awhile now).

    Their (Chase) reason for closing my account? “Your debt-to-credit levels are too high on all your other cards” (Chase). Oh, Really? What a lame excuse. Ok, so even though I have a good credit score near 700, you (Chase) decide to f^c& it over for your own loser-sake by increasing my debt-to-credit ratio by lowering the amount of open available credit that I have by closing out a paid-off card of mine! What a bunch of two-faced losers!

    Thank goodness that I no longer have any direct involvement with any deceitful bank. (Direct? What do you mean by that? Well, did or did not your tax dollars bail out a bunch of back-stabbing banks including J.P. Morgan Ch@se?) How can I know and say this for sure? I am a Credit Union member, and I will never go back to banks. And I will never accept any type of credit card from any type of bank in the future. NEVER. Banks have the credit-house rigged, it is not designed for you or me, and the bank system will have no problem bending the laws, continuing to make their own rules, and raping your entire family of every dime that you have until the dust of you and your families bones has no value left. Many banks are nothing less than rude, cold-hearted, sick-minded, & short-sighted criminals leaving the world with nothing except more garbage, misery, and disease.

    And I am not alone in these facts and feelings of injustice:

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  11. I guess the “fire it out yourself” phrase apply in all areas. It’s a generic thought, still a few people are applying it properly.
    And it is not hard to imagine why. I mean after you lost the job, your GF left you, maybe some relative died meanwhile and you’re out of sugar for your coffee all in the same day, it is really hard to imagine one thinking properly.

    Comment by MaverickMoneyMakers -

  12. This is all part of what’s causing the Quarterlife Crisis for so many people my age. The colleges marketing departments spent the first 22 years of our lives convincing us that if we attended college, doors would magically open. Then you get out and you have to start kicking the doors down…

    It’s really eye-opening.

    Comment by Devin -

  13. This was a great article, I especially love the part about living like a student. You are definitely right, the pressure to move out and start increasing your monthly bills and debt is huge, especially if you just spent your last 4 to 5 years in college, you feel like you have paid your dues and that you should be able to start reaping the benefits. It’s especially hard if you have a lot of friends that seem like they are living “the life”. In spite of all of that you have to keep your eyes on your goals, and remain flexible, I think one of the best ways to be flexible is to not get financially tied down to early. In todays world the average college grad graduates with at least 30K in student loan debt, I really don’t think there is a reason to be in a rush to take on more debt before one even has a clue what they want to do or if they will even like the field they are in. There is nothing worst then being stuck in a job you hate out of financial necessity that resulted from poor decisions.

    M. Wanzer

    Comment by mosi257 -

  14. Yup that’s it. 1% inspiration and 99% transpiration 😀

    Affiliate marketing

    Comment by maverick12 -

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  16. hey mersin…. living like a student doesn’t mean studying academically haha, but it DOES mean maybe living in a crowded setting OR living with parents or other family, like you may have during high school, middle chool, etc. OR maybe you can join the military or a special program so you don’t HAVE to live like a student OR maybe you’ll work hard enough and get the luck to have a job that pays well enough so you don’t have to deal with it OR maybe live in a commune or set up your life in a kibutz… finally, life is a never-ending series of lessons and tests, so in a way, we’re all students… hang in there… im volunteering, making no money, living off my parents, but i may be able to change my life if i luck out or figure out something else… just keep innovating, thinking, trying, asking questions, etc. best of luck.

    Comment by dbgb1986 -

  17. Living like a student after the 20 years non-stop study life? i can’t stand.


    Comment by dizinler -

  18. The title of the post surely didn’t dissapoint, I was inspired. Instead of just reading about inspiration though , we should all be reading about how to actually successfully start our own business. There are books out there that really helped me not because it made me confident, but because they actually gave me good advice as to how to start my own company right out of college. I don’t remember them all but one example was this book Young Guns. Stop getting inspired and get educated.

    Comment by diggityjr87 -

  19. there are very interesting posts in your website.Thanks

    Comment by busokak -

  20. to trip kkks man, the meaning is just THAT, to keep going EVEN THOUGH you’ve been through hard times, to show the world that you are persistent, that you are resilient. you and i might disagree on a lot of stuff, or we might agree, who knows… BUT, so long as you try, work hard, put forth the effort, and can look YOURSELF in the mirror, that’s what counts. life is so great BECAUSE of what we must overcome, not despite it. so, the meaning is to be able to go above and beyond those who have screwed you and be the more mature, the smarter, the better and more humanitarian one. i mean, that’s just one way to look at it, and i hope you at least consider this idea.

    Comment by dbgb1986 -

  21. I have been enlightened in a few things over the past days. So I will amend my stance from above.

    Wall street is a CON—> but I think I can beat it. With short term trading strategies. Why? Cause I did it before when I was focused.

    Online Poker is garbage—> This is a fact. But now after years I have figured out why. I know all da facts.

    Walt Disney—> Ok well in regards to this. I will give them a 2nd chance. Since they gave me a deal I couldn’t refuse. If it comes to fruition. That’s a big If?

    Sports–> A very good feeling and to get a break from mundane life.

    Wife–> 60% divorce. An expensive endeavor.

    What is the meaning of life? What is important?
    When you get screwed so much how do you get your motivation back?

    puff puff~~~~~

    Trip kkks

    Comment by wildwhitewoody -

  22. As a business owner its tough to stay motivated in this economy. I appreciate your pearls of wisdom and hope fully things will ease up a bit. As times get better we can emerge a stronger company that knows how to run efficiently. Because being lean and mean through the bad times sets you up to be stronger for the good times.

    Comment by customsuitsman -

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  24. Thanks for providing this post. A friend passed along your blog to me and it was great to read. I’ve been laid off since October 2008 and it is a bit daunting at times. Personally, I’ve had 2 face to face interviews and a separate over the phone during this time, but nothing has yielded itself to me. I’m still remaining hopeful, looking in other directions and trying to make sure that something gives way before October 2009 rolls around, because then I have to worry about running out of unemployment benefits. Beyond that, I’ve been trying to beef up my skills in other areas and have started to work out (again). So, there are other things that I’ve started to grasp on to, to assist with my forward movement. You are right on about the bills, unfortunately, I’ve also had to succumb to bankruptcy for my most immediate debt. It’s not a good feeling, but it’s the best recourse I have at this time. Thank you so much for this article and for understanding what is going on.

    Comment by André Sanders -

  25. Mr. Cuban:

    Wondering if you’re still backing your ‘stimulus’ plan?
    I have a company that has been selling product online for the last three years. Recently, we were approached by a BIG BOX RETAILER to see if we’d be interested in selling our product there. If we sell it in every store, we’d be looking at a significant chunk of money.
    We’re currently exploring all avenues for financing.
    I’m confident that you’d like our product (it’s in the educational field and it’s one of those people look at and say, “Damn, why didn’t I think of that?”.
    Either way, please let me know. I think it’d be great to at least understand how you’d go about getting over this hurdle.
    You can reach me at (unrelated email to my business)

    Comment by rogerham -

  26. How can people be motivated in this type of world?

    Know one cares about the peasants in society. It’s all about survival of the fittest. The big kahuna swallows the fishes.

    Wall Street —– CON GAME. (almost impossible to win, you are scripted and wiped out gradually).

    Poker—- Online impossible to win unless you are the house.
    Poker in Casino’s—Forgeddaboudit…..

    Walt Disney—- Emailed me with a free trip. (But the hidden extra costs unbearable. Then when you try to cancel within your 7 days. They avoid your call like the plague.)

    I am getting sick of it. And I am not going to take it anymore.

    See in the old days there was recourse. In poker you cheat in the wild wild we$t you get your head blown clean off.

    Now you are at there mercy they have all the advantages. The lawyers, the contracts, the house.

    Time to give up.

    Trip KKK’s

    I will be smokin my lst cohiba and dats dat.

    Comment by wildwhitewoody -

  27. I love it. It helps me cope with knowing that eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner will all be worth it! Got to have the scrappy attitude!

    Comment by charliepinto -

  28. Pingback: WTF

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  30. First time reading your blog. This is some good stuff!!! Take a look at mine.

    Read you tomorrow.


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  31. Mr Cuban – please be sure to save this for your children. For your nieces and nephews, heck, for your friends kids. I just might set my life right, if I follow this. Thanks

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  32. This is the best advice you could give anyone, really. Post it everywhere you can. I put it on my Facebook wall.

    Comment by kitty62862 -

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  34. Sage advice, Mark. The past is of little relevance. Its perfectly fine to have a set plan for our future, but to embrace the current moment, as this moment may be our last, is the only way to live life to the fullest.

    -Madame Zora

    Comment by madamezora -

  35. do you have any job openings?

    Comment by jaedmunds -

  36. p.s. apparently Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “When it is darkest, men see the stars.” but the point remains.

    Comment by dbgb1986 -

  37. I think this is a great post for this day and age. They say that “only when it is darkest can you see the stars”… ur absolutely right… now’s the time to take advantage of a changing world and try new things, take risks, and remember that health and happiness, as well as SAVING, are more fulfilling than stuff/material/plastic/etc.

    Comment by dbgb1986 -

  38. Hey Mark,

    Good post. I think that the concept of doing something different than everyone else is doing is a tremendous philosophy and can help in other areas of life as well — not just job hunting.

    Thanks for the post.

    Comment by jcwhong -

  39. Great post. Couldn’t have hit me at a better time. I feel that I’m doing many of the things noted in this post, but you’ve opened my eyes to a few other things that I could be doing in addition to those things I’m already doing.

    In addition, your comments about job hunting is spot on.


    Comment by markmontoya -

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  41. Hey Mr. Cuban, I am going to have a positive attitude when I write this. I am planning to have a picnic for the cancer patients at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Your name popped in my head for someone to contact to help out. Don’t ask me why, cause I don’t know either. A simple no would be fine, but if you can, say yes. I am just a teacher in Glendale, Az. but I do know that you had a hand in bettering our t.v. systems with HD, and am hoping that you might want to help better these kids’ lives as well. I do not want anything personally, just your support. THANX!!
    Will Rose

    Comment by chairman4085 -

  42. Great Post Mark. As always…

    Jason Berkes

    Comment by jasonberkes -

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  44. i love this post. thank you so much.

    Comment by darcykoh -

  45. I like the comments Mark. I think you would love the message of our film. We briefly spoke with Brian about it and would like to give you some details about the project. Please let me know an email address to reach you and I will attach our press package.

    I hope to hear from you soon.

    Justin D’Agostino

    Comment by austerefilms -

  46. Marc I could not have said it better myself. I find myself between a rock and a hard spot. Its all about your outlook. I have had my bachelors degree for going on 6 months and I find myself in the same spot of an individual before I went to college 5 years prior. So it make me think was it worth it, regarding College. The answer I come up with is NO, I know that things are hard and may continue to be a struggle, but things could be worst. I choose to go about my outlook different, my grandmother would always try to instill in my to have A POSITIVE APPROACH about things, be it bad or terrible. I have been an entreprenuer from since I can crawl, but was always blessed with the abilty to play basketball, but I knew business was my calling when I was all done win the game. So I decided to take the approach of using sports and college as the Ulitmate Networking tool. If it wasant for college, who knows if I would have been alble to travel around the country, meet so many different individuals from all over the US and the world, gaining new friendships and buisness relationships. I have my associates and bachlors and know I may never go into that field of study,but I do know I can transfer that information from the classrooms and courts to the business world. Just coming from the circumstances and background that I have come from, its just more motivation to continue to stay on path for Greatness. With you touching on all the aspects that keep me Motivated and going I know that I will still make it. If you try and know you put forth your maximum effort, your time will come. I try to live by these words Desire+Drive+Determination=SUCCESS and put the rest in faith’s hands. I try to take something from every experience that I encounter with. Life is what you make and I’m glad to see that so many people go through similar struggles but continue to strive for greatness. So I will keep climbing and keep moving with the POSITIVE OUTLOOK approach and take it from there. Thank again Mr Cuban and others if you took the time to read some of my thoughts and feelings.

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  49. First off, very nice, inspiring post. One truism about the WTF over the past year is that you go into every discussion knowing that the guy/gal on the other side of the table has taken a 20-50% hit to their portfolio so we are all in the same boat. Humility AND compassion.

    The only area that I would perhaps deviate a bit is in suggesting that job seekers pursue a “narrow net” strategy.

    What is a narrow net? Well, if conventional wisdom is to cast as WIDE of a net as possible, the narrow net is all about defining yourself NARROWLY, such that you are a bullseye for a specific type of opportunity (company, industry, role), maybe 3% of the opps out there.

    The logic is that to cast a wide net is to be generic. Wide is one size fits all. Narrow, by contrast, is tailor made for someone specific.

    It arms you to know what your unfair advantage is, where you are the bullseye, and besides, it is a lot easier to iterate from specificity.

    For more fodder on this, here is a post that I wrote called:

    Career Path: The Narrow Net Strategy

    Check it out if interested.


    Comment by marksigal -

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  52. Excellent advice Mark. Fortune favors the bold!

    Mike Calimbas

    Comment by Ninja -

  53. Nice nice..

    Comment by holyzone -

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  56. Now this is the advice I needed but I think I’m too far gone.
    2009 WTF YEAR you said it. I lost all hope this year. Was it the Stock Market or being Shawshanked by a Delilah. There is only so much a human being can take before they lose all hope and ambition.

    I have to get a job I know but working in a meat factory. Nah, I rather be DeaD Meat.

    World is changing it is getting tougher. I will have to read this inspiring post tomorrow with a knew perspective and follow the advice.


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  58. More like WTD? What to do?
    Whatever is takes, for sure, but don’t forget Whatever you want.
    It’s the beauty of business. But there is a big price.

    After your full day at the new job (bills must be paid), rather than hanging out with friends, get home and get back to work building your own business. That starts by leanring some new things. (hint: start learning about things that make money)
    Yeah, I know, it takes discipline to stay out of the bars, turn off the TV, park World of Warcraft, shut down online poker and turn off twitter.
    I had to change careers over 15 years ago. I went from “working” 40 hours a week to 80 hours a week.
    I still put in 50-60, but it’s when I want.

    By the way, is Mark’s stimulus package still going?
    I have a client with an idea, a killer app, that could create a few thousand great jobs all over the country. Quickly.

    Mark, are you there?
    The forums are closed and your mavs email doesn’t work!
    You would love this.

    Comment by netwealthbg -

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  61. Mark, great post. Really hit home for me. How do we submit our business idea for your stimulus package concept? We have a really great idea for a business that is incredibly timely right now involving health/fitness. Thank you.

    Comment by smulvaney -

  62. Mark, great post – sums up my motivation for relocating to Dallas from NYC and leaving Wall Street behind. Lower cost structure down here and much more fun / challenging trying the whole entrepreneurial track. I think that as bad as the economic crisis is, it will be viewed by us few-years-out-of-college-kids as a blessing in disguise because we don’t have those high paying jobs being blindly offered to us these days. Allows us to actually think about what we want to do and not have to worry about the financial opportunity costs.

    Comment by runitsadinosaur -

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  64. The new job glow doesn’t even last 3 months most of the time. In my experience, it lasts about 4 days (doesn’t make it to Friday) and you look at everybody around you who doesn’t have to eat shit at the moment and seethe. Patience truly is a virtue.

    But it’s worth it in the end. You actually learn something. And it’s true, you only have yourself. Nobody can do it for you.

    Great post and great advice


    Comment by aureliamasterson -

  65. Your advice is pretty spot on, considering the reality of the situation.

    However, this post also illustrates a fundamental truth about our society: The existence of an “army of unemployed” and the many Americans enlisted against their will. They have no choice but to suffer in jobs they hate, searching for a job they “love,” or worse — with their dreams on hold indefinitely. In the meantime, our labor is undervalued by our collective desperation for economic stability. Your advice is, essentially, to work hard and suffer, while latching on to a dream and being prepared to settle for the next best thing. God bless America …

    Comment by Daniel -

  66. Bravo Marc.

    Comment by justin1911 -

  67. A friend of mine sent this to me, and I’m glad he did, I’ve been a little frustrated with the state of my field of business. It’s tough out there for everyone right now. The main point that you brought up Mark that resonates with me was this:
    “Find out what it is you love to do”

    I have been very fortunate to know what that is and have been doing it for quite some time. I’ve had a great time, done things most people will never have the opportunity to do, and have had rich experiences that I will always treasure. Thanks for the positive injection.

    -Chris Burns

    Comment by actorchrisburns -

  68. Assuming you made it past Step 5, I just wanted to add one additional step: perseverance and tenacity.

    When everyone and everything finally beats you down – and it will happen – tenacity is what will force you back up, and perseverance will drive you to try again.

    Go Mavs…

    Comment by buzzsaw55 -

  69. Great advice. By dumb luck I followed most of it 30 years ago and things have worked out very nicely. I think #3 (love what you do) is the key. In my experience in order to be a “success” in business you have to be prepared to work 70-80 weeks. The only way you can do it is if you enjoy what you’re doing. I’ve been lucky enough to have a job that I’d probably do for free (assuming I didn’t need money)

    As someone who started two small business, both in their third decade, I would add one observation– you should welcome tough times and difficult challenges. The harder it is for you the more likely it is to be difficult for someone else to compete. In our businesses we’ve had to development new equipment, hardware and systems in order to become what we consider the best. Sometimes it’s frustrating, usually it’s expensive, but when it’s done you have an asset that no one else has.

    Comment by mvd1959 -

  70. I’m going to do the same thing I’m doing: a drop-out student pursuing the career of an entrepreneur.

    Comment by odinchen -

  71. Pingback: Success & Motivation by Mark Cuban « Talk nineteen to the dozen

  72. Somehow I feel this blog entry is a response to my tweets (what am I a bird…tweets…sheesh), but probably not. But maybe? I’ll treat it like it is.

    I feel like I have been taking your advice, but I can only take things so far. In terms of HDNet, I’m applying for a job that doesn’t exist. Yet. But you will be creating it very soon in all likelihood, or trying to do it yourself (as in the BS Report podcast). You need someone else to do that, and I’m telling you I should do it. I want to do it.

    I’ve done all the things you have said in this blog entry. Problem is, sometimes you need to get that one person out of a thousand to say yes.

    Comment by aaroneh148 -

  73. Pingback: » Market Journal - June 9th, 2009

  74. Truly inspiring post to read Mark. Makes me feel better about pursuing and currently working at an unpaid marketing internship rather than following all the other kids at school and going to Wall Street. Wealth tends to follow passion. Thanks for reminding everyone.

    Comment by philmoldavski -

  75. Great advice Mark. This isn’t just talk…this is teh way Mark did it himself. Read his series of posts on success and motivation. Whenever someone tells me MC was just lucky, I point them to those posts on success and motivation.

    My father always told me he didn’t care what I chose to do, just be the best at it. Name any job and I can point you to someone who made a million bucks doing it. Just be the best.

    Mark made a billion. My father obviously wasn’t thinking big enough 🙂

    Comment by dondodge -

  76. Tomorrow is the day I reach out to to contract manufacturers. I am taking my risk in a product I have been thinking about for a while. Whether I make $1,000 or $100,000 it is something I have always wanted to try. Never will I look back and say, what would have happened if…

    Comment by crfbusiness -

  77. Pingback: Success & Motivation – 2009 « blog maverick « Netcrema - creme de la social news via digg + delicious + stumpleupon + reddit

  78. It’s great that i discover this post today.
    Thanks Mark

    Comment by bastianlehmann -

  79. Thank you, Mark! Powerful message of timeless, sage advice. Thank you for clearing the fog when I needed a little kick in the pants!

    My company has been going through the downturn like everyone else. Today, I decided the downturn is OVER.

    Carpe’ diem!

    Comment by the1rainmaker -

  80. Pingback: Speaker City » Links for June 9th

  81. Losers say they did their best and they tried their hardest. Winners go home and date the prom queen.

    Date the fucking prom queen.

    Comment by loucons -

  82. Marc,

    This is a former business associate of yours, Philip Fracassi, now owner of Equator Books in Venice, CA, a 3,000 sq. ft. retail store on one of the busiest shopping streets in Los Angeles. We have been in business close to 5 years selling unique, out-of-print and rare books, supporting a full art gallery with rotating exhibits and a used vinyl record store. We support large community events, charities, literary and art events. Although we were crushed in 2007 and 2008 by the WGA writer’s strike which hurt our industry clientele, and the recession of 2008 which all but crushed our business, we have to date persevered.

    We have no employees other than 1 hourly college student and we are open 6 days a week, 12 hours a day. There are two owners and we carry the shifts as well as the accounting, business development, buying, managing…and have done so for 5 years. We take no salaries and live hand-to-mouth on what we can bring in through the business. We started with no capital other than personal debt, a mortgage, and some leftover savings from a different era. We are hoping these things change, but for now we do whatever we have to do to keep this unique dream alive…and growing.

    Even with all the trouble the last year has put us in, we’ve not only managed to survive by finding new and creative ways to market ourselves and continue finding alternate sources of revenue (such as hosting private events and establishing an Advisory Board who have contributed enough investment capital to keep us afloat), we are also expanding and building new, long-term business models.

    We are opening a cafe inside of the store next month serving coffee, baked goods and pre-packaged lunch items. We will then be applying for a beer / wine license as part of the cafe which we hope to get in the next 6 – 8 months. This is being done with an independent partner who is funding the project. This cafe is a means to an end, it will allow the store to continue functining and give us time to develop our – bigger picture – Publishing & Film ventures.

    What’s important and unique about all this is that it was done with a vision and was kept alive through nothing but sweat, tears, a lot of stress and even more belief in what we are going to accomplish.

    I have attached a business plan for public viewing on Here is the link:

    [scribd id=16267231 key=key-nsaha8rnnwmkka8dkh2]

    and the web link:

    We do need help and we do believe our cause is an important one. We have sacrificed ourselves to create a different kind of company, a unique visionary retail shop and a soon-to-be widely spreading brand that will bring important, forgotten literature and amazing new art to the masses. That is my goal, and I’ll take all the help I can get to reach it.


    Comment by pfracassi -

  83. As always thank you for the common sense reality check. This is sound advice; I am the new “CEO” of my startup. I have lower living expenses than I have had in years. With 3 daughters and one on the way it is still very tough at times. I frequently visit this blog for insperation and common sense motivation. As my sales SLOWLY build up I am hopeful of the things to come. Hard work and the ability to step out and risk it all is a must. I started my journey with a “burn the boats” attitude and so far it has been scary (as it should be), and rewarding at the same time. I agree that you have to get out of your comfort zone every once and awhile to see what oppertunitys the world has to offer. I have done this many times since I started working at age 15 and have learned a lot doing so. I would have never imagined myself in the industry that I am in at this point. Now I look back and can follw the path and people that have lead me here. Take advantage of what you can learn where you are at and BE THE BEST. 16 years of working with no education other than life and I have finally made it to the starting point. The hole will not get dug looking at the shovel, so step up and make it happen.

    Thanks again for the sound advice.

    Comment by boilerroom1 -

  84. Thank you for this inspirational article.

    Comment by ivqan -

  85. It is a shame we don’t learn well the lesson of living within our means as young adults in this country. We carry bad spending habits into our personal oblivion generation after generation. Teach your children now to save, show them daily how to live within their means. Developing these habits are the foundation of success in whatever endeavor they pursure, more important than time management or even the skill of active listening, at least in our society.

    Comment by billfitz -

  86. The post is right on with keeping your costs of living low. Your available options significantly increase the lower your monthly bills are. Being involved in a business that takes nothing but sweat and perseverence to run and pays only a couple thousand dollars a month is an option when your fixed expenses are low. When your expenses are too high, growing a business or just being a part of one that does not pay much becomes exceedingly difficult.

    As far as taking a job in a new industry goes it is a great idea. I am a software developer. A couple years back I took a job at a medical parts manufacturing plant doing a completely different type of work involving quality assurance rather than strictly software. I enjoyed it for about 3 months (sound familiar [rta]) and then realized it wasn’t for me. However, I have been able to take a lot of lessons away from the experience and met some really interesting people. If things aren’t going exactly the way you want you might as well mix it up… maybe what you NEED is to try something different… even something “out of your league”. You might be surprised to find yourself right at home when you get there.

    Comment by sirahlst -

  87. As Janis Joplin once said, “freedom’s just another word for ‘nothing left to lose'”. All my colleagues who have lost jobs unexpectedly have ended up better off a yaer later. You just have to have faith in your abilities, put your pride aside, and be honest with yourself.

    Comment by harrygries -

  88. Thanks for the inspiration.. 🙂

    Comment by Aimless Traveller -

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