Mark Cuban has “a secret that all successful people know,” he says: Beware of anyone who claims they can sell you a foolproof strategy for making easy money.
“When you see somebody on social media telling you how they’re going to make you money, they’re lying,” the billionaire entrepreneur and investor told his 940,000-plus TikTok followers in a recent post on the social media platform, while sharing his “tip of the day.”
The reason is simple, Cuban said: “If they were really that good, they would be making themselves rich and not sharing [their strategy].”
From there, he transitioned into advice. “When you have a great idea, when you have a way to make lots of money, the No. 1 thing you are not going to do is sell [it] to anybody else. You’re going to use it for yourself,” said Cuban.
You don’t have to browse the internet for long to find so-called business gurus, who offer themselves up as consultants for aspiring entrepreneurs. Be especially wary of ones who specialize in particular industries, or tell you they’ll help you set up a specific kind of business, Cuban said.
That’s because anyone selling you a business idea or strategy is likely selling it other people, too.
“When somebody is selling their idea — shoes, drop shipping, whatever it may be — to you, and they’re selling it to other people, you know what they’re doing besides lining their pockets?” Cuban asked. “They’re creating competition for you.”
He added: “You know what they call somebody that goes into a business where there’s an unlimited number of people who you already know are doing the exact same thing as you? They call them stupid. Don’t do it.”
Some services advertised online and on social media can be legitimate — but both the Federal Trade Commission and the nonprofit Better Business Bureau warn that you should always be on the lookout for potential scams, especially when it comes to business coaching services or investment advice online.
Consult with someone you trust, and research the consultant or advisor before sending them any money, both organizations recommend. You can start by checking their credentials, searching their name with terms like “reviews” and “scam,” and checking with your state’s attorney general to see any complaints filed in the past.
If someone tries to rush you into a decision, that’s a red flag, the FTC’s website notes: They may be hoping your guard is down, and that you haven’t had time to do your research yet.
Instead of cutting corners, do the difficult work of figuring out your best business strategy for yourself, Cuban advised. Making that extra effort is one of the best ways to give yourself “a huge competitive advantage,” the billionaire said in an interview with entrepreneur and investor Randall Kaplan earlier this year.
Cuban closed out his TikTok video by reiterating that sentiment. “Save your money,” he said. “Figure it out. Do it right.”
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