Mark Cuban didn’t hold back on what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. The billionaire joined Bala co-founders, Natalie Holloway and Maximilian Kislevitz, on a panel moderated by TikTok star Tinx during SXSW over the weekend. There, the group spoke about what it takes to scale a business.
Cuban invested in Bala, the wearable wrist and ankle weights company, during an episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank” in February 2020, and the business has since sky-rocketed. (Tennis star Maria Sharapova is also an investor, while Tinx has been vocal about her love of the brand with her nearly two million followers.)
The fitness accessory brand has disrupted the industry for its $50 product that is inherently stylish, plus, their marketing — such as putting a woman in heels wearing the Bala bangles — is intentional. It’s also what caught Cuban’s eye.
Here, the media mogul gives his top tips on how entrepreneurs can embrace imperfection and find success.
1. Stand Out
Said Cuban, “Sometimes having too many sales can be bad if you can’t keep up. The good news and what made the difference here was that Max and Natalie made personal connections with customers. The unique design made them stand out. People were willing to wait.” He added, “You never want to start a business and be 1,001. Uou want to be your self. That’s what Bala has done and now there are the imitators.”
2. Hire Slow, Fire Fast
As for unlocking scale, Cuban said it comes down to who you hire. “Be honest with yourself. Know what your good at,” he explained. “It comes down to people. It’s about efficiency. Move fast, fix mistakes quickly and then you can scale.”
3. Be Nice
Another tip for budding entrepreneurs? Simply be nice, Cuban added. “Nice works. It gets you so much further — it cost me a lot of time being a dick.”
4. Don’t Quit Your Corporate Job Just Yet
If you’re starting a new company, Cuban said “You’ll know when the times comes — you need to pay your bills.”
5. Make Mistakes
“I’m a f—k up,” explained the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team. “I make far more mistakes then I get right. But it doesn’t matter how many times you fail. You only have to be right once.”
Cuban added that curiosity is key. “You have to take chances. Why not try everything?”