THE BLOG
11/22/2011 03:00 pm ET | Updated Jan 22, 2012

Mark Cuban on How to Win the Sport of Business (Interview)

The problem with most business books is that they take too damn long to read. They're filled with fluff from people who really don't know what they're talking about or and who are only rich from selling books about well, how to be rich.

What I really want (and what many really want when they look for a book that will inspire them and guide them in business) is advice from people who weren't born into money but grew it and cultivated it from scratch. That's what I was hoping to read when I ran across billionaire Mark Cuban's How to Win at the Sport of Business.

In short, it exceeded my expectations. In one sitting, I completely devoured the pages. Short chapters that got right to the point and were not filled with "stuffing." That's the beauty of today's generation of eBooks -- the page-count is not used as a justification for higher prices.

Yet in Cuban's book, you get way more than you paid for. He takes you through the emotional journey he went through -- struggling to make it, sharing an apartment with six people, sleeping on the floor -- to where he is today.

He guides you by the hand through the rules he's developed for himself over the years that have lead him to becoming one of the most successful men in the country. I was fortunate enough to have a short interview with Mr. Cuban about his experiences as he describes in his book and how he made it through the rough patches.

There are many college students who are just beginning and can relate to you when you said you were sharing a small apartment with six people and sleeping on the floor. How can someone keep their eye on the prize when they're living on Ramen noodles?

Who cares how you are living today? I loved every minute of living in that dump. The low rent and utilities and eating Mac and Cheese all the time allowed me to afford the startup of my business. Instead of paying myself much, I could put it in to my business.

One of my favorite parts of your book, How to Win at the Sport of Business, that completely broke my heart was when your ex-secretary robbed your first company of over $83,000, leaving you only $2,000 after a year of work. If someone has lost everything, what advice do you have for them to pick themselves back up?

Keep working. Don't feel sorry for yourself because it won't do any good.

One part in your book I loved and my heart sank at is when your fiance lost your $7,500 engagement ring. What's your advice for those who are distracted by a relationship? How do you balance a real life with your dreams?

I never was able to balance. Each person has to make their own decisions. But remember, your competitors aren't sitting by idly waiting for you to have a nice dinner with your significant other. They are trying to kick your ass. So, choose wisely.

There are many out there that dream of creating their own business but haven't a clue where to start. What advice do you have for them?

Find something you love to do, can do on your own and doesn't require any more capital than you can afford to lose personally. The most valuable asset you have is your time, talents and ability to communicate. Focus on those strengths and what you can do rather than what you can't do.