Mark Cuban is the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks and the entrepreneur behind a slew of other companies that have helped him amass an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion, according to Forbes. Looking at the 55-year-old family man, it’s easy to assume that being the 613th most affluent individual in the world is fun (it is), but the title also comes with many risks and responsibilities. We talked with Cuban briefly about his busy schedule to see how he makes time for being a billionaire.
Hard work means handling it yourself
No one gets rich by clocking out at 5 p.m. when there’s still work left to do. Cuban’s day starts “probably at 7 a.m., and ends when I’m done,” he says. He takes his responsibility as head of Mark Cuban Companies seriously and personally handles many of the hard decisions sent to him every morning by email—all 400-500 of them. To keep his head above the fray, he also never picks up the phone. “No phone calls, unless it’s my wife. None—literally,” he says. “I make everybody go to email so I can keep track of it.”
Make time for those who matter a priority
When asked who among the people closest to him is most necessary to keeping his enterprises afloat, Cuban gives us the runaround: “Oh, not many. Do you see any?” he laughs, gesturing to no one in particular. He may be creating a distinction between the people he works with and the people he works for—his family. He sets aside time for them as a priority. “I plan it, right? That’s why I don’t go to as many games as I used to,” he explains. “I just make sure I make time.”
Take a moment to examine the risks
As fun and privileged as extreme wealth appears, there are always negatives to being a billionaire. More philosophical discussion can centre on losing oneself in the pursuit of money, allowing hanger-ons into your life, or losing sight of the important things such as family. Cuban checks his own position in life to make sure he doesn’t lose what’s important to him. “[I have ] no regrets [for being wealthy], but I try to be nice. I try to be fair. I try to be the same person, just with more stuff,” he says. “I guess the hardest part is making sure my kids grow up normally and don’t have a sense of entitlement. That’s probably the biggest challenge, the biggest risk.”
Commit time to become your own boss
As many other entrepreneurs (including Kevin O’Leary and the rest of the Dragons) have said before, Cuban’s rise to riches suggests that becoming wealthy is no happy accident: it takes time and commitment. It’s a decision one makes by pushing at their boundaries, taking risks and putting in the necessary hard work. If you’re not your own boss, well, that might be your choice, too. “I could be a regular, nine-to-five Joe if I wanted to,” says Cuban, laughing. The difference? He doesn’t settle for that.