- Billionaire Mark Cuban rapidly accrued wealth and success thanks to an investment strategy he calls the 'knowledge advantage.'
- The strategy gives you a unique competitive advantage while leveraging industry knowledge and personal expertise to grow a business.
- Cuban suggests regularly acquiring new knowledge, homing in on complex problems and critical thinking, and staying updated on industry trends.
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Not sure how to invest your money at the moment? Billionaire Mark Cuban has advice that will propel you in the right direction.
The serial entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks has invested in over 80 companies on ABC's "Shark Tank" and has a net worth of $4.3 billion. Cuban has achieved most of his wealth without relying on the ebb and flow of the stock market.
As Cuban reflected in personal blog posts from 2007, he went from broke at 24 to a multimillionaire at 32 from the sale of his first company. By 37, he was a billionaire. What led to such a rapid rise in his wealth and continued success?
To adopt elements of the billionaire entrepreneur's investment strategy for yourself, it's time to implement what Cuban calls the "knowledge advantage."
Read more: How an entrepreneur who once received an offer from 'Shark Tank' investor Mark Cuban built a 6-figure company while managing a full-time job as the chief people officer of Tory Burch
Leverage the "knowledge advantage"
Why take chances in a stock market you know nothing about when you already have years or decades of experience in a particular industry? Mark Cuban's areas of expertise and passion included technology, media and sports; prior to his tenure on "Shark Tank," his three most notable career acquisitions all related to building a business in one or more of these fields.
- After being fired from his job as a computer salesman, Cuban started MicroSolutions, a company that focused on software reselling and systems integration. His technology selling skill set led the company to $30 million a year in revenue within seven years before it was acquired, making Cuban a millionaire at 32.
- Cuban later married his knowledge of technology and media with his love of sports, cofounding a sports radio network that later evolved into Broadcast.com. In 1999, the 330-employee company was acquired for an astonishing $5.7 billion, about 57 times the company's annual revenue at the time.
- Then you have Cuban's majority stake purchase in the Dallas Mavericks in 2000 for $285 million. Because Cuban knew sports, he anticipated that the team was undervalued. Under Cuban's ownership and expertise, the franchise is now valued at over $2.3 billion.
What's the common thread throughout these acquisitions? Simple: Cuban had a knowledge advantage he could leverage to help grow a business.
Opportunities to start or invest in a company have never been greater. Whether you plan to bootstrap a side hustle, buy into a winning franchise model, or make small investments in rising talent via crowdfunding platforms, create a competitive advantage by taking what you already know and love and putting this intellectual collateral to good use.
Read more: BARBARA CORCORAN: Here's what I'm doing to keep my team and my Shark Tank businesses alive during this recession
How to grow what you know
Don't have decades of experience in a certain industry yet? You can still run to the front of an industry by prioritizing the assimilation of new information on a regular basis. Here are a few tips to jump start your lucrative learning efforts.
- Read and absorb information ravenously. You don't know what you don't know, and as Cuban points out, it only takes one nugget of insight to take yourself and your business to a totally new level. Make it a priority to regularly absorb new information.
- Pick material that challenges your brain. A Ghent University study found that learning complex new information, such as another language, slowed the onset of Alzheimer's disease significantly more than a control group. Complex problem-solving is good to practice because it will build mental resilience, which you'll ultimately need as an entrepreneur.
- Stay up-to-date on industry trends. As markets evolve and shift, new opportunities for business solutions appear each and every day. It's not just what you know — it's when you know.
Starting a business or franchise can be scary, but there's good news: When you leverage the knowledge and passions you've acquired over the years, you give yourself a running start. Take inventory of what you know, pursue opportunities relentlessly, and you'll soon see ROI and feelings of personal fulfillment that far outweigh a stock market portfolio.
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