How To Get Rich

I haven’t been posting a lot lately, but in light of the recent activity in the stock markets and the depressing unemployment rates I thought it would be a good time to re-post a blog I wrote almost 3 years ago

How to Get Rich

Oct 4th 2008 11:24AM

Thats what so many want. Right ? I’m certainly not going to lie and say it is not a whole lot better having lots of money. I had a whole lot of fun and loved my life when I was eating mustard and ketchup sandwiches and sleeping on the floor of a 3 bedroom apartment that housed me and 5 buddies.

I have a whole lot more fun now. It doesn’t suck to be rich.

The question everyone wants answered, is how to get there. There are ways to get there. But there is not a template that works every time for everyone. It works sometimes. Getting there requires being ready when opportunity presents itself.

IMHO, change and uncertainty create opportunity. Times like we are facing now, with complete financial uncertainty are perfect times to start on the road to getting ahead financially.

First, here is WHAT NOT TO DO:

There are no shortcuts. NONE. With all of this craziness in the stock and financial markets, there will be scams popping up left and right. The less money you have, the more likely someone will come at you with some scheme . The schemes will guarantee returns, use multi level marketing, or be something crazy that is now “backed by the US Government”. Please ignore them. Always remember this. If a deal is a great deal, they aren’t going to share it with you.

I don’t broadcast my great deals. I keep them all to myself. The 2nd thing to remember is that if the person selling the deal was so smart, they would be rich beyond rich rather than trolling the streets looking to turn you into a sucker. There are no shortcuts.

So what should you do to get rich ?

Save your money. Save as much money as you possibly can. Every penny you can. Instead of coffee, drink water. Instead of going to McDonald’s, eat Mac and Cheese. Cut up your credit cards. If you use a credit card, you don’t want to be rich. The first step to getting rich, requires discipline. If you really want to be rich, you need to find the discipline, can you ?

If you can, you will quickly find that the greatest rate of return you will earn is on your own personal spending. Being a smart shopper is the first step to getting rich. Yeah you have to give things up and that doesn’t work for everyone, particularly if you have a family. That is reality. But whatever you can save, save it. As much as you possibly can. Then put it in 6 month CDs in the bank.

The first step to getting rich is having cash available. You arent saving for retirement. You are saving for the moment you need cash. Buy and hold is a sucker’s game for you. This market is a perfect example. Right at the very moment when cash creates unbelievable opportunity, those who followed the buy and hold strategy have no cash. they can’t or wont sell into markets this low, that kills the entire point of buy and hold. Those who have put their money in CDs sleep well at night and definitely have more money today than they did yesterday. And because they are smart, disciplined shoppers, their personal rate of inflation is within their means. Cash is king for those wanting to get rich

The 2nd rule for getting rich is getting smart. Investing your time in yourself and becoming knowledgeable about the business of something you really love to do

It doesn’t matter what it is. Whatever your hobbies, interests, passions are. Find the one you love the best and GET A JOB in the business that supports it.

It could be as a clerk, a salesperson, whatever you can find. You have to start learning the business somewhere.  Instead of paying to go to school somewhere, you are getting paid to learn.  It may not be the perfect job, but there is no perfect path to getting rich.

Before or after work and on weekends, every single day, read everything there is to read about the business. Go to trade shows, read the trade magazines, spend a lot of time talking to the people you do business with about their business and the people they buy from.

This is not a short-term project. We aren’t talking days. We aren’t talking months. We are talking years. Lots of years and maybe decades. I didn’t say this was a get rich quick scheme. This is a get rich path

Now you wait for times of uncertainty and change in your business. The time will come. It may  come quickly, it may take years and years. But it will come. The nature of our country’s business infrastructure  is that it is destined to be boom and bust. Booms are when the smart people sell. Busts are when rich people started on their path to wealth.

You will know when that time is here for you because you will know your business inside and out. You will be ready because you will have been saving up for this moment in time

With all the change and uncertainty in the financial markets, there are people right now making more money than they ever dreamed of. They are the ones who have been living the real estate market and the financing behind it and understanding what actually what was going on. They re the one who understood the complexities of the credit markets. When everyone was following the crowd, they kept on saving their money and avoiding the temptation of groupthink.

Boom and busts happen to every industry. The question is whether you have the discipline to be ready when it happens for you ?

If you do, you will find out what it feels like to get lucky.

For more on how to get lucky, here is some additional reading for you

40 thoughts on “How To Get Rich

  1. Pingback: On Being a Cheap Dude | Conspicuous Leisure

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  3. Hey Mark,

    When are you going to have a biography written? It seems like it’s about that time.

    Let me know if you need a writer.


    p.s. I’d e-mail you but this is the only way I know how to get in touch.

    p.p.s. I mostly don’t think you’ll take this message seriously, but just in case you do, I really would be interested in writing your biography. I write decently well, can learn how to write a biography along the way, and someone’s got to do it. I’m up for the challenge.

    Comment by Joseph Putnam -

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  5. Dear Mark,
    I have absolutely nothing in common with you. Before getting to read your thoughts, I had this perception of you as a rich sports guy who is from another planet with no idea how it feels to struggle. I am very wrong after reading about how you got started. I’m a $40,000-salary-earning 30 year old woman with $2,000 in credit card debt and a $30,000 student loan. I unfortunately never good guidance from my parents when it came to money, but I know I shouldn’t blame them. I wanted to e-mail you personally but this will have to do. I find what you say so compelling and inspiring and just want to let you know that I really respect you so very much. I don’t know you but the words you shared on this blog have already impacted my life. I’m going to scrimp and stop buying coffee, stop paying for parking when I could just walk, etc…because you’re so very right: it takes discipline. And even though I’d like to be rich (who doesn’t?), honestly you could even have titled this “How to Get Out of Debt”. Do you realize how many of us young people are in the hole, Mark? And do you realize how rare it is to hear advice such as yours, that you have to work hard and be disciplined? I don’t know if you talk to many 20 and 30 year olds, but we are not faring well — many of us are straddled with debt, cocky, and think that something is owed to us. Entitlement for sure. So reading your story about how you studied for hours after getting home from work – it just means alot to me.

    This is a long-winded thank you. Thanks so much. I’ve told so many people about you. Also, I’m not much of a sports person but let me tell you, I was so very happy to see the Mavericks beat the damn Heat. Good job.

    Comment by driath -

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  7. Pingback: Mark Cuban’s “How to Get Rich” | Adam Dickens' Blog

  8. I’m a HUGE Mark Cuban fan. Love reading about “from rags to riches” stories. Cuban has been successful in life because he is PASSIONATE. Sounds so cliche, but it’s true. The fruits of his work show with the Dallas Mavericks. By far the best NBA owner – extremely hands on approach.

    Comment by Andrew Anisi -

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  10. Pingback: How to get Rich by Mark Cuban | Biz Gorillas

  11. Great motivational post Mark. Thanks for taking the time to spread a good word like this while other billionaires would rather be out on the golf course 😉

    Comment by erichcervantez -

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  14. I LOVE this post. It’s one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing it again.

    Comment by Joseph Putnam -

  15. Who else read this blog as a Saturday morning reading? 😉

    Comment by mtlcharles -

  16. This article would have changed my life…fifty years ago.

    Comment by Earl Stubbs -

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  18. Hey Mark, I’d rather be lucky than smart; happy than right… somehow you’ve got all the bases covered… the stars have lined up for you.

    Thanks for the words of wisdom, but come on, where’s the Stargate? I want in.

    Comment by IndieCelluloid -

  19. Great post, Mark. I really enjoyed how you highlighted the many expressions and applications of dicipline. I’m gonna have to start efficiently exercising that muscle!

    Comment by Hassan -

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  21. How does Mark Cuban recover and overcome from disappointment, loss, incredible odds….is it all self positive cliches or is it something more? What are strategies Mark Cuban has used to overcome the dire straits every business person comes across?

    Comment by heetlando -

  22. Mark, with respect, a post like this would be more effective if you posted it during the boom versus the day of a 500+ drop on the Dow. It comes across as “I’m rich because I knew when to sell and you’re not”. We can all kiss your bo bo cause we want to be rich too, but for me it comes across as salt in the wound on a bad day.

    I will say that the market, starting about six months ago, has motivated me to focus my energies in other directions of business success. So I use the pain for good purposes, but to rant on about discipline on a bad day is really bad timing.

    I like your bo bo too, but even a rich man could stand to learn something.

    Comment by hailguardian -

  23. Pingback: Mark Cuban On How To Get Rich |

  24. What about networking? Meeting people and making connections should be number 1.

    Comment by acatejr7 -

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  26. I just love this. My company is called “Never Stop Marketing” because it’s all about the long-term and the persistence. You cover it so well and I am reminded why I subscribe to your blog.

    I know that not everyone does, but I love your style and even though I’m a DC native (so have a natural aversion to Dallas-Cowboys/’skins :-)), I was thrilled for you and your team

    Game 2 was one of the greatest moments in sports history. It showed the power of not giving up, of never stop marketing, of persistence and I think your team reflected your philosophy above quite well.

    I’ve shared/tweeted, etc.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    Comment by jer979 -

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  28. I find it interesting how every guy that made it big always makes it a point to tell everyone how they went through a phase of eating out of dumpsters or living out of their cars before they made money. Really? Is that a prerequisite for getting rich or is it just coincidence that all these “war stories” sound alike? Mark: admittedly I don’t know if you slept on the floor and ate mustard and catchup for dinner, but common man, you didn’t come to this country from Cuba on a makeshift boat, your parents weren’t crack heads, and you went to a pretty good college. You made money because you worked hard; you’re smart, made good decisions and had luck on your side – no need to hyperbolize to make the rest of us (or perhaps yourself) feel better about your extraordinary, yet well deserved success.

    Comment by buzler123 -

  29. Kudos to you MC. I concur on schooling as secondary to learning via work. I offer myself as an example of that: I left one career (banking) to try my hand at my passion: cooking. I enrolled in a culinary school as well as land a job in the industry. I learned more from work than I did from school. I left the school after a year. Being the old guy in the class, I dispensed my wisdom to some of the young kids there: take a year of culinary classes to get a firm grasp of the basics and get a job in the restaurant industry…you’ll learn more from work, meet people who are in the industry, and get paid for it, instead of learning theoretically and paying out the rear, graduating, and owing $75,000 in student loans. 4 years later, I own my own retail/wholesale baking company and will be opening my first restaurant at the end of the year. I attribute this to industry work and the connections I made over the years. btw…I canned all my credit cards nearly two years ago. What an amazing difference it has made in my life.

    Comment by Bad Bad Leroy Brown -

  30. Hey Mark, a big fan of your cash is king approach.

    Seems like CDs are the biggest shift these days as they are paying just barely more than an online savings account, and that’s with a 12 month term.

    One “trick” (and it’s not really a trick) that I would add – take advantage of automatic transfers, and automate your finances online. Not just bill pay, but your savings. Pay any credit accounts (if you must have them) weekly with an automatic transfer to minimize interest. Why wait until the end of the month? Deposit $50/week into your savings. Throw in that extra mortgage payment at $50/week instead of “planning” to make an extra month’s payment at the end of the year. Treat these weekly payments as among your most important bills, and allow yourself to see the instant result of your day to day savings.

    I also like to maintain one cash back credit card with a decent limit, and pay it off every month. I only do cash rewards, at least 1% (there are usually some bonus categories that make it more like 1.25%+). I use it to pay every bill that I can, all my groceries, gas, etc. In a typical month I’ll earn $40-$50 cash back and as long as I’m willing to periodically carry a little balance my credit limit stays high (which costs me maybe $25 every few months). Over the course of a year, I actually make a few hundred dollars off of the credit card company, and have that limit in place should I legitimately need it.

    On a separate note, I’m a fan of and peer-to-peer lending in general, but that is obviously a higher risk tier to work in. Lending $50 at a time to individuals of my choosing with 800 credit ratings and getting 8-10% interest depending on term and other factors? Yes please.

    Comment by yennieb -

  31. Yes you used to post more, now they are sporadic. I get excited to read your posts man. Keep preachin. You are an astute and sharp business man.
    I really enjoy your motivational posts.
    When I was in Alberta playing poker I made a lot of money but I spent it and then got robbed. Now I keep track of all my winnings at the casino. Every dollar. I get in when the cards are in my favor. Sometimes I have losing nights. But overall I make money. Last night was rough. Should of been up. I go all in with Ak vs a guy who has 10 7. Well he spiked the 10. I can’t worry about hands that I have a better % pre flop. If they luck out. That’s life.
    I feel I can make money at this but I would like to get in the bigger games in Las Vegas. Poker is my calling. It’s not like work when I go to play. I have the discipline.

    The UFC is gonna have some ok fights this weekend. Rashad Evans should win.


    Comment by whitewoody -

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  33. Amazing how this post is just as relevant now as it was three years ago.

    By the way, thanks for the recent suggestion on The Fountainhead in Success Magazine. After “planning” to read it for about 20 years, it finally motivated me to start, and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

    Comment by bclund -

  34. Well said Mr. Cuban.


    Comment by Sean McNulty -

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  36. Mark, thank you for some of your viewpoints.

    I just shredded two credit cards three days ago!!!

    Comment by zeezeetopzac -

  37. you speak of the way things are supposed to be rather than the way they are. real interest rates are negative; put your money in a CD for 6 months and your purchasing power declines because the cost of living rises faster than the paltry return on a CD. monetary policy is responsible for this economic distortion and it is largely responsible for the widespread poverty and fraudulent bubbles in our economy. of course it also creates opportunities, for those who have done their due diligence and are ready to take action in these transitional times.

    congrats on the championship, mark. i was def rooting for the mavs out of anti-miami/lebron feelings, although i must admit i didn’t think you guys could actually pull it off. glad to be proven wrong!

    Comment by kidmercury -

  38. Mark, hope the first burst of filming of Shark Tank went well. Hope to be a part of the second burst in September. Not waiting for Shark Tank though. Touring the US with Hail Guardian this month doing demos for companies interested in licensing our technology/design. Just google Hail Guardian, Mark. If we don’t make Shark Tank season 3, we’ll always regret not going with our solar powered turkey baster. The less relevant, the more likely? Funny stuff.

    Comment by hailguardian -

  39. Congrats Mr. Cuban!For years I told people that you would bring Dallas a championship. And you’re not done yet! I don’t know if you really read your blog but I have medical mobile application that I was going to submit to the show Shark Tank but I wasn’t finish with it yet. How can I submit this application to you?

    Comment by iwanttogetrippedup -

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