Billionaire Mark Cuban was just 12 years old when he launched his first side hustle, so he knows what it takes to start a business at a young age.
And he says there’s one simple thing you should consider if you want to do it too.
“The key to starting a business at a young age is what you can do yourself. things you can do with your time,” Cuban recently told a group of high school students at Lewisville High School in Texas.
It means starting with what you know, he noted.
“If it’s a product, make something that’s easy to get and easy to sell,” Cuban said, adding: “It really comes down to one simple thing. The best businesses are the things you can control and do yourself. That’s it. What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?
Cuban famously started learning to run his own business early as a teenager selling trash bags door-to-door in suburban Pittsburgh. He later sold a variety of collectibles, from baseball cards to coins and stamps, saying the proceeds helped pay for college tuition.
In each of those cases, Cuban used household items and collectibles available to a child and sold them for profit, following his own advice to teenagers today.
Similarly, as a college student, he worked as a bartender and gave dance lessons to earn extra money. Cuban later showed off his dancing skills in public by appearing on Dancing With the Stars in 2007, placing 8th in the competition.
“I was a killer… I always sold. Something always happened to me. It was my nature,” Cuban said during a 2016 episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
Now, Cuban says he regularly tells kids and teens who want to start their own businesses to do what he did. Build around “something they can build or a service they can offer to friends, family and neighbors,” he told CNBC in September.
That is, of course, easier said than done. successfully starting and growing your own business is terribly difficult. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 20% of new businesses fail within a year of starting.
“Being an entrepreneur and starting a business doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy and all of a sudden you’re making a lot of money,” Cuban told the Lewisville High School students. “Being an entrepreneur is a more difficult path.”
If it were easy, he added, you all would have done it already and come on Shark Tank and take my place.
Finding something that you can control and do yourself is hard enough. Becoming great, which is Cuba’s #1 rule for making money, by the way, is much more difficult.
It includes extensive research into your business plan and potential competition, seeking financing and creating backup plans to allow flexibility if you need to adjust on the fly, the billionaire previously said.
As long as you don’t mind putting in the work, especially after you’ve chosen your business opportunity, a world of opportunities can open up for you,” Cuban told the high school students.
“If you are willing to take the initiative and start a business, anything is possible,” he said.
Revelation. CNBC owns the exclusive offline cable rights to “Shark Tank.”
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