Mark Cuban: Any billionaire who says they ‘could do it all again’ from scratch is ‘lying their ass off’

Wealth

Mark Cuban worked hard to amass his net worth — currently estimated at $6.2 billion — creating multiple successful businesses and investing in promising startups.

If he had to start over from scratch, he probably wouldn’t be nearly as successful the second time around — and the same goes for every billionaire on the planet, Cuban recently told GQ.

“Anybody who has a ‘B’ next to their name, and they tell you they could do it all again, they’re lying their ass off,” Cuban, 65, said.

That’s not to say he wouldn’t do well for himself: In recent years, he’s expressed confidence that in this hypothetical scenario, he’d still rebuild enough wealth to live a comfortable life. But becoming a billionaire isn’t just dependent on your sales talent or ability to craft a great business idea, Cuban said.

“You’ve got to have luck,” said Cuban. “You got to have timing.”

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In Cuban’s case, timing was crucial. He started his software company MicroSolutions in 1982, just ahead of the digital revolution, and sold it to CompuServe for $6 million in 1990.

Then, when his audio streaming service Broadcast.com sold to Yahoo in 1999 for $5.7 billion in stock, he quickly sold most of his shares — just before the dotcom bubble collapsed.

That was intentional, he told Real Vision in 2020: “In the ’80s, I watched PC companies just blow up, just go straight up and then come straight down. I was like, it’s going to happen again.”

Putting yourself in a position to be lucky — and making the most of it — is what exactly makes people highly successful, according to Richard Wiseman, author of “The Luck Factor” and a psychology professor at the University of Hertfordshire.

Lucky people have a few character traits in common, Wiseman wrote:

  • Listening to their intuition
  • Practicing optimism
  • Being resilient
  • Leaping at new opportunities

“It is easy for people to exhaust the opportunities in their life. Keep on talking to the same people in the same way. Keep taking the same route to and from work. Keep going to the same places on vacation,” Wiseman wrote in a 10-year study, published in 2003. “But new or even random experiences introduce the potential for new opportunities.”

Cuban echoed that same concept in his GQ interview.

“I was really lucky in that I was a tech guy who understood networking when the internet stock market blew up,” he said. “And I was an entrepreneur who was willing to invest his own money to try to take this new thing called the internet and see if we could put audio and then video over it.”

“If I would have been born three years earlier, three years later, we probably would not be having this conversation,” Cuban added.

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank,” which features Mark Cuban as a panelist.

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