I am currently reading Mark Cuban's book "How To Win At The Sport Of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It.” In the first chapter, he tells the story of how he got started. Considering he currently has a net worth of close to two billion dollars, you might be surprised to know that he spent the first two years of his career drinking heavily, overweight, basically homeless (crashing at friends’ houses), and getting fired from multiple jobs. He didn't have a trust fund or some rich uncle to help him get started. He simply had a vision for what he wanted to do, a competitive spirit, and a fierce resolve to do whatever it would take to make it happen. Here are two interesting takeaways that helped with his initial launch:
1) He viewed the work experience from every job he was fired from as a paid education. Time was never wasted because he used every second as a learning experience preparing him for his next move.
2) He learned a valuable lesson early on: there is an infinite amount of knowledge available to read for free. Anyone can buy the same books and magazines that Mark can. But it turns out that most people don't want to. They aren’t willing to put in the time to get the knowledge-advantage. During Mark Cuban’s early career, this became his competitive edge. He still reads close to three hours per day.
Mark Cuban shows us that you don't have to come from money or have the Midas touch early on to become a success. You simply have to be willing to do whatever it takes. Failures can be learning opportunities and the knowledge-advantage is free.