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Cuban’s path to billions

Cuban’s net worth is currently estimated at $7.44 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That makes him the 356th richest person in the world.

Much of this wealth was self-made. Cuban says he grew up “middle class” in Pittsburg but was always fascinated by sales and business, leading him to drop out of high school when he was 17 to attend the University of Pittsburgh a year early.

“As long as I can remember I was hustling,” he recounts, noting his first hustle was selling garbage bags in his neighborhood at age 12. “The world’s first — probably only — garbage bag door-to-door subscription company.

Selling garbage bags may not have been very lucrative but it gave Cuban the sales experience he needed to start selling software after college by co-founding Microsolutions in the early 1980s. The company was eventually sold to Compuserve for $6 million — $2 million of which Cuban collected for himself.

Instead of using the funds to splurge on a bigger house or nicer car, Cuban claims he lived “like a student” (aside from snagging a lifetime pass through American Airlines to travel around the world and “[party] like a rockstar.") He invested the cash from the sale to turn it into $20 million.

This allowed him to launch another business venture — Broadcast.com — in 1995. His net worth passed $300 million when the company was publicly listed and would eventually pass $1 billion when he sold it to Yahoo in 1999.

A series of successful ventures and savvy investments have expanded his wealth seven-fold since then. Cuban believes his formula for success can be replicated by anyone.

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Cuban’s top 4 tips for wealth building

Cuban believes anyone can be a millionaire, but there are the four big things you need to accomplish first.

“Rule No. 1: Find something you can be good at and then be great at it,” he advises. Cuban believes his passion for entrepreneurship is a key reason for his success, and others can find similar success by following their passion.

His second tip is to “know how to sell what you’re good at” This means learning how to sell your skills instead of relying on others to do it for you. He encourages people to start their own business venture so that they can have greater control over their time and resources.

Next, he says it’s key to always remain curious and willing to learn — since businesses change everyday.

And lastly, he says you need to be able to “control your own destiny.”

“When you have that knowledge, when you have that ability to sell, when you know that when you walk into a room you know your s–t better than anybody else in the room — that's when it's time to start a company.”

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Vishesh Raisinghani Freelance Writer

Vishesh Raisinghani is a freelance contributor at MoneyWise. He has been writing about financial markets and economics since 2014 - having covered family offices, private equity, real estate, cryptocurrencies, and tech stocks over that period. His work has appeared in Seeking Alpha, Motley Fool Canada, Motley Fool UK, Mergers & Acquisitions, National Post, Financial Post, and Yahoo Canada.

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