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'Don't Follow Your Passion': Mark Cuban Shares the 'Worst Piece' of Business Advice He's Ever Received — And How Changing That Mindset Can Lead to Success Entrepreneur spoke with Cuban ahead of the launch of his new course on MasterClass.

By Emily Rella

entrepreneur daily
MasterClass
Mark Cuban will debut his own MasterClass on business starting February 22.

Billionaire investor and "Shark Tank" star Mark Cuban has certainly blazed his own trail in the world of business, and now he's giving entrepreneurs the chance to learn directly from him.

On Thursday, Cuban and MasterClass announced a new class for subscribers on how to win big in business, with Cuban discussing everything from his healthcare company Cost Plus Drugs to why he isn't running for President.

The class will give entrepreneurs an opportunity to look inside his decision-making processes.

Cuban will also help viewers with fine-tuning their elevator pitches and provide guidance on how to find and build the right support team — all from the comfort of home.

Related: Mark Cuban to Depart 'Shark Tank' After Season 16 | Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur chatted with Cuban about the new class, his favorite business advice, and what's next.

Entrepreneur: Congrats on the new class with MasterClass! How did this idea come together — what's been your favorite part about working on this endeavor?

Mark Cuban: I've followed MasterClass for a while now - I'm a big fan of the company and jumped at the opportunity to teach a class. The team did a great job at getting me to dig in and share things I haven't talked about before. I'm confident entrepreneurs and people who are just interested in business in general will learn a thing or two.

What's the No. 1 piece of advice or lesson you hope attendees of your MasterClass walk away with?

The No. 1 lesson I hope MasterClass members take away from this is that entrepreneurship isn't just a career, it's a way of life that you have to be completely committed to. It's something that could be all-consuming, but I've been in those shoes. Grinding it out every day, it's that fire and determination that can lead to amazing results and success.

View the trailer for Cuban's MasterClass below:

What would you say was the worst piece of business advice you have ever received?

"Follow your passion." We all hear that a lot. The reality is that most people's passions won't be a business or a career. If you want to know what you can turn into a business or career, look to see where you spend your time. Where we spend our time is where we have an interest in getting better. It's what we enjoy. Being good at something you enjoy is what will lead to success.

Don't follow your passion. Follow your effort.

That can be a tough mindset to get into when you're an Entrepreneur. Do you have any advice for how to tap into a business mindset when you're dealing with other life challenges and distractions?

It's hard. You have to find "me time" where you can focus on what you need to learn, do and focus on.

Aside from effort and dedication, what would you say is the top skill that all successful entrepreneurs need to have?

Sales. No business has ever succeeded with our sales.

It's crucial, and something business owners on "Shark Tank" have to do to get your attention. When someone is pitching on the show, what are the top three things you look for before deciding to make an offer?

I look for a few different things before making an offer. Is this unique or compelling? Is this a product or service that I can sell the heck out of? What is this going to take in terms of it being worth my time and worth economics?

Most importantly though, the thing that gets me most excited is when I'm listening to the pitch and my first thought is, "damn, why didn't I think of that?"

Related: Mark Cuban Says This Is the One Thing That Sets Him Apart From Other Entrepreneurs


If you weren't in the business world, what do you think you would be doing as a career?

I would be an Oscar-winning actor of course! [Joking!] Once I got to college, I truly never thought I would be anything other than an entrepreneur.

What was the most difficult business decision you've ever made?

Closing a business or firing people. Both are incredibly painful.

How do you keep yourself in a positive headspace when making a decision like that? Is there a mantra or thought that you always tell yourself when making a difficult decision in business or investing?

Know your business and industry better than anyone else. When you are competing, you want to be more prepared and better educated than anyone. That is where your edge will come from.

For any aspiring entrepreneurs out there that are looking for their next great endeavor, what's one industry where you see potential for growth and profitability in the next few years that people may not be aware of or considering?

A.I. A.I. And AI. There are two types of companies in this world. Those who are great at AI and everyone else.

This interview has been lightly cut and edited for clarity.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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