Mark Cuban: Here’s why you should teach your kids to be entrepreneurs
The earlier kids start thinking like entrepreneurs the better, according to billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Those skills can help young people throughout their entire lives.
“Those are skills that are valuable to everyone and are difficult to pick up in school,” Cuban tells CNBC Make It.
Cuban explores the importance of entrepreneurial thinking in the new book “Kid Start-Up: How You Can be an Entrepreneur.” The book was co-written by Cuban and two young entrepreneurs: 26-year-old Shaan Patel, who appeared on “Shark Tank” (and closed an investment deal with Cuban), and 16-year-old Ian McCue, founder and director of educational startup Spark Skill.
Entrepreneurs know how to adapt to new challenges, Cuban says. They also know how to set their own goals and create a plan to execute on those goals.
McCue agrees. “Being proactive and creating opportunities – not waiting for them – is crucial to success whether you are studying at college, starting your own business or working for a company.”
Being an entrepreneur at a young age can also teach you about failure, says Patel, the founder of SAT test prep company Prep Expert. “The older you get the harder it becomes to deal with the financial, social and emotional repercussions of failure.”
Kid business owners are often students, McCue tells CNBC Make It, meaning that they learn early how to “get more done in less time.” This can easily translate to the workplace, where employees are typically pulled in many directions.
Cuban himself demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. After his father refused to buy him a pair of sneakers at age 12, Cuban sold garbage bags around his Pittsburgh neighborhood.
“I would literally go door to door to door: ‘Hi, does your family use garbage bags?’ And who could say no? So that’s where I learned to sell,” the serial entrepreneur said in a 2014 episode of Bloomberg’s “Masters in Business” podcast.
At age 16, he began collecting and trading stamps, a practice that introduced him to ideas such as scarcity, demand and setting a price. “I bought, sold and traded so many [stamps] that the experience taught me as much about business as any class I have ever taken,” Cuban once told the United States Postal Service.
For young people looking to be more entrepreneurial, Cuban offers these words of advice: “Learn about things that are interesting to you. The quest for knowledge opens up opportunity to do things you may not have thought possible.”