Born in 1958 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Mark Cuban is an American entrepreneur and pop culture icon, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of the hit television show, Shark Tank. However, things weren’t always so rosy for Cuban. He learned failure the hard way, by failing numerous times, again and again before he ever attained any semblance of fame.
In his earliest years, Cuban was always a tinkerer with an entrepreneurial spirit. From selling garbage bags to running newspapers and everything in between, Cuban learned early on how the mechanics of business worked, but that didn’t mean he didn’t experience the gut-wrenching pain of failure along the way.
In 1982, at the age of 24-years old, he moved to Dallas, Texas, on the word of some of his college friends, in a 1977 Fiat X19 that had a hole in the floorboard. Upon his arrival, he worked numerous odd jobs. He simply couldn’t find something that he was good at.
He failed at bartending because he couldn’t open a bottle of wine without the cork falling in. He failed at short-order cooking because he never knew when the food was ready unless he cut off a piece and tasted it. And he failed as a salesman at a computer distributor when he was fired after less than a year on the job.
Cuban simply couldn’t get anything right. At the age of 25 years-old, one year after he arrived in Dallas, he decided to start his own company, MicroSolutions, selling software, doing training and configuring networks and computers. He grew that company to $30 million dollars in revenue, and it was later acquired by CompuServe in 1990 at the age of 32-years old.
That gave him the ability to create Broadcast.com in 1995, at the age of 37-years old, a company that was later acquired by Yahoo in 1999 when it was sold for $5.7 billion in stock. Cuban was 41-years old, famous and wealthy beyond measure. Although he had failed numerous times and been through the ringer, he never gave up.