Best Books by Mark Cuban

PUBLISHED ON FEB. 5, 2019 | 10 MIN READ

best books by Mark Cuban

They say you can easily tell a lot of things about a person just by knowing which books he/she reads. This might sound cliche, but it certainly applies to several individuals, and self-made billionaire Mark Cuban is no exception.

If it’s the first time you’re hearing the name, you might start to wonder: who is Mark Cuban? What is he known for? Which books does he read? And what books has he written by himself?

That’s exactly what we’re going to cover in this article.

In this article we will cover the following topics;

Who was Mark Cuban?
What is Mark Cuban Best Known For?
Best Books by Mark Cuban: The List
Top Books Recommended by Mark Cuban
Final Thoughts

Who is Mark Cuban?

If you’ve been following basketball, you’ll find out that Mark Cuban is the name behind the Dallas Mavericks team. He’s also a major part of various world-known companies, making him a multi-billionaire man with a net worth sitting at $4.1 billion.

While you might think of big money and success when hearing the name, Mark Cuban’s life wasn’t always so easy. Before he reached his billionaire status, Mark came from a working-class family that was struggling to meet ends meet. At a young age, his mom recommended him to learn carpet laying in the hopes that he’ll have a somehow brighter future.

However, that didn’t stop him from pursuing his dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. His hustler mentality prompted him to start his own company, MicroSolutions, and in April 2000, he ended up successfully closing a deal with Yahoo for $5.7 billion worth of Yahoo stocks.

What’s really interesting about Mark Cuban that you can surely appreciate is the fact that he read books! And more so, he has written a few of them as well.

What is Mark Cuban Best Known For?

Mark Cuban is best known as the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks team. In fact, he’s loved by basketball fans around the world as the owner of the highly successful basketball team. Apart from that, he also appears regularly as a main “shark” investor in the popular ABC reality TV series, Shark Tank.

Best Books by Mark Cuban: The List

1. Best Sports Cliches Ever!
2. How to Win at the Sport of Business
3. Kid Start-Up: How You Can Become an Entrepreneur
4. 100 Things Mavericks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die

1 – Best Sports Cliches Ever! We’re Taking Them One at a Time

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The world of sports is commonly filled with the so-called sports cliches that seem to boggle the minds of sports fans each time they appear. If you’ve been following sports for a long time, then you’re already familiar with these cliches that are often an irritating part of a player interview. It’s for that reason this book was created – to give you a breakdown of some of the most frustrating sports cliches and present them in a more entertaining way.

The book is actually written by Dr. Don Powell (a.k.a Dr. Cliche) and includes a very expansive list of the best cliches that typically happen in the field of sports. If you’re amused by all things sports, then you’ll definitely find the book interesting.

It features the best and most popular sports cliches and arranges them by sports and various topics. Mark Cuban didn’t exactly co-author the book, but he was the one who wrote the foreword.

Cliches from the book; 

“He Thre Up a Brick”

“They Play In Your Face”

“He Did His Homework”

“We Shot Ourselves in the Foot”

“He Beat All Odds”

“He Thre Up a Hail Mary”

“It’s a War Out There”


2 – How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It

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No doubt Mark Cuban’s most popular book to date, How to Win at the Sport of Business details the key business lessons Mark has learned himself and presents them in a way that young professionals can easily grasp. It basically involves the ins and outs of the business world straight from his own blog, the Blog Maverick.

According to Mark, he has received tons of requests to write his own book throughout his years of blogging experience. However, he resisted at first because of the tons of work involved in distributing a traditional book. However, with the revolution in book economics, he’s able to leverage social media and sell the books under 3 dollars without the need to go out there on a book tour.

The book is summarized this way:

Anyone has the ability to turn his dreams into reality, though a lot of hard work is necessary. Therefore, you have to remain dedicated and focus your sight on something realistic before shooting for something big. However, never stop trying to improve, and always remember that customers will always be the most important part of your business.

However, you don’t have to take the advice too literally. For example, Mark tells you that you should prepare for long nights and lots of overtime. However, that might not be your style at all. What matters is that you look at Mark Cuban’s way of thinking and apply it to your own.

Quotes from the Books;

“What makes a good salesperson? Let me be clear that it’s not the person who can talk someone into anything. It’s not the hustler who is a smooth talker. The best salespeople are the ones who put themselves in their customer’s shoes and provide a solution that makes the customer happy.”

“Relaxing is for the other guy. I may be sitting in front of the TV, but I’m not watching it unless I think there is something I can learn from it. I’m thinking about things I can use in my business and the TV is just there.”

“Investors don’t care about your dreams and goals. They love that you have them. They love that you are motivated by them. Investors care about how they are going to get their money back and then some. Family cares about your dreams. Investors care about money.”

“It’s not whom you know. It’s not how much money you have. It’s very simple. It’s whether or not you have the edge and have the guts to use it.”

“It would have been easy to judge effort by how many hours a day passed while I was at work. That’s the worst way to measure effort. Effort is measured by setting goals and getting results.”

“In sports, the only thing a player can truly control is effort. The same applies to business. The only thing any entrepreneur, salesperson or anyone in any position can control is their effort.”


3 – Kid Start-Up: How YOU Can Become an Entrepreneur

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Aim towards kids with the intention of teaching them to become an entrepreneur at a young age, the book Kid Start-Up: How YOU Can Become an Entrepreneur explores the importance of entrepreneurial thinking among kids. The book was co-written by Cuban and two other entrepreneurs: Ian McCue (16, founder of the educational startup Spark Skill) and Shaan Patel (26 who has made an appearance on “Shark Tank”).

According to Mark, parents often get in the way of their kids’ success. Therefore, he urges parents that as soon as their kids start showing an entrepreneurial streak from a young age, they should take those ideas seriously and offer support and advice to their kids.

He also emphasized that parents can provide guidance for their kids to make them succeed in the world of business by simply helping them set their goals and creating an action plan for their business.

For young people who are aiming to become a young entrepreneur, Cuban advises them to learn about things that interest them. He added that their quest for knowledge will eventually open doors to opportunities that they thought might be possible in the first place.

The book is essentially a revised edition of the book “How Any Kid Can Start a Business” which has been co-authored by the three.

Quotes from the book;

“But have you ever heard someone say, “I want to be an entrepreneur? Probably not. That’s because most people don’t know what an entrepreneur is.”

“Another word for anyone who starts a business is “founder.” 

“A successful business must help people in some way. If you’re looking to both make money and help people, then business is for you.”

“Business is about building something great that you love. There is nothing more fun and fulfilling. If you care about your idea and are willing to work hard, become an entrepreneur by starting a business.”


4 – 100 Things Mavericks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die

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If you’re a die-hard fan of the Dallas Mavericks, then you’ll surely love this book. Just like the first book we have on this list, the book has its foreword written by Mark Cuban while the rest is written by Tim Cato.

The book covers 100 interesting facts about the Mavericks team and serves as the ultimate resource intended for the true Maverick fans. However, regardless if you’re a diehard fan right from the era of Rolando Blackman and Mark Aguirre or just joined in during Mark Cuban’s era, you’ll surely find this book a pretty interesting read.

Quotes from the book;

“If you’re a longtime MFFL and you remember all these moments, or if you’re a new fan who wants to know more about the wonderful moments that made the Mavericks who we are today, then 100 Things Mavericks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die is the perfect book for you. All of those unforgettable moments from 1980 to 2017 are in here.”

“The Mavericks were the league’s laughingstock in the 1990s. From 1991 to 1999, the team won an average of 22 games per season, even going 11 – 71 in 1993.”

“With Nowitzki came heartbreak in the 2006 NBA Finals and elation when they finally won it all in 2011. The Mavericks remain the only major sports team in Dallas to win a league championship since the turn of the century.”

“For Jason Kidd it was the same thing. Kidd will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer one day soon, and his ring makes sure his career doesn’t end with any regrets.”


Top Books Recommended by Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban didn’t really write a lot of books by himself as he’s more focused on the entrepreneurial side of things. However, he did take a lot of inspiration from various books that focus on building your own business or getting ahead in your career.

Without further ado, here are the top books that help shape Cuban’s career:

1. The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need
2. Rework
3. Cold Calling Techniques
4. The Fountainhead
5. The Innovator’s Dilemma
6. Self-Made Success

1 – The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need | By Andrew Tobias

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According to Cuban, this book is the only investment guide that actually made sense. The guide – which was written by Andrew Tobias – includes a number of additions since it was first published back in the late 1970s. However, the core elements still remain: saving your money to invest in retirement essentials instead of spending them on inessential stuff.

As it stands now, just about anyone can write his own “helpful investment guide” then call it a book. However, according to Mark, this one is definitely that one book that has a little bit of something for everyone – a book that anyone can count on.

Quotes from the book;

“YOU HAVE some money in a savings bank; you are contributing to your company’s 401( k) at the maximum rate allowed; you have equity in a home, if you want it; you’ve tied up $ 1,000 in bulk purchases of tuna fish and shaving cream; you have lowered your auto and homeowner’s insurance premiums by increasing your deductibles; you have adequate term life insurance; you’ve paid off all your 18% installment loans and insulated your attic—you have done, in short, all the things that scream to be done. Now what?”

“A very basic thing to know about your money is that, over the really long run, people who buy equities—stocks—will almost surely make a lot more money (if they’re at all sensible in how they do it) than people who make “safer” investments.”


2 – Rework | By Jason Fried

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The #1 best-seller in the Business Pricing section, Rework by Jason Fried encourages its readers to pursue their dreams and ideas. While a lot of entrepreneurship books focus on individuals who are already achieving their goals, this one provides advice for everyone.

It comes in a very straightforward language and includes simple lessons that will work for just about anyone aiming to make it big. In fact, it’s been endorsed by Entrepreneur.com’s Diane Danielson and Tribes author Seth Godin.

According to Cuban, he considers reading this book as a better investment than investing in someone who has an MBA – and that’s really saying something.

Quotes from the book; 

“What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan.”

“When you don’t know what you believe, everything becomes an argument. Everything is debatable. But when you stand for something, decisions are obvious.”

“Plus, if you’re a copycat, you can never keep up. You’re always in a passive position. You never lead; you always follow. You give birth to something that’s already behind the times—just a knockoff, an inferior version of the original. That’s no way to live.”

“Working without a plan may seem scary. But blindly following a plan that has no relationship with reality is even scarier.”

“If you are trying to decide among a few people to fill a position hire the best writer. it doesn’t matter if the person is marketer, salesperson, designer, programmer, or whatever, their writing skills will pay off. That’s because being a good writer is about more than writing clear writing. Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking. great writers know how to communicate. they make things easy to understand. they can put themselves in someone else’s shoes. they know what to omit. And those are qualities you want in any candidate. Writing is making a comeback all over our society… Writing is today’s currency for good ideas.”


3 – Cold Calling Techniques | By Stephan Schiffman

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Even though the concept of cold calling might sound old school with the emergence of the social media era, this book by Stephan Schiffman still offers solid and valuable advice regarding the importance of creating conversations with your prospects.

According to Cuban, opening doors and satisfying your customers remains an important skill regardless of your current position. He widely recommends this book to every CEO and aspiring entrepreneur out there.

Quote from the book; 

“Initial Contact Script Good morning__________, this is__________from__________. The reason I’m calling you today specifically is so I can stop by and tell you about our new__________ program that increases__________. I’m sure that you, like__________, are interested in__________. (Positive response). That’s great__________; let’s get together. How’s__________? Third-Party Endorsement Script Good morning__________, this is__________ from__________. (Insert your brief commercial on your company.) The reason I’m calling you today specifically is that we’ve just completed working on a major project for__________, which was extremely successful in increasing__________. What I’d like to do is stop by next__________to tell you about the success I had at__________. How’s__________? Follow-Up Script Good morning__________, this is__________ from__________. A number of weeks ago I contacted you, and you asked me to call you back today to set up an appointment. Would__________ be good for you? About the Author STEPHAN SCHIFFMAN is president of D.E.I.”


4 – The Fountainhead | Ayn Rand

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Ayn Rand introduces her readers to this short novel with a controversial blend of capitalism and individualism. It depicts the story of architect Howard Roark as he goes against society’s conformist powers. Like the character in the story who has struggled to maintain his own outlook on architecture following rejection after rejection, Rand also struggled publishing this book after getting a dozen rejections.

Cuban revealed having read the book three complete times, and he further added that it has encouraged him to think as an individual and take risks in order to achieve his goals while holding himself responsible for his failures and successes.

The book emphasis the elements of genuine motivation and encouragement as key elements to success alongside hard work.

Quotes from the book;

“I could die for you. But I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, live for you.”

“To say “I love you” one must know first how to say the “I”.”

“Have you felt it too? Have you seen how your best friends love everything about you- except the things that count? And your most important is nothing to them; nothing, not even a sound they can recognize.”

“Man cannot survive except through his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. Animals obtain food by force. man had no claws, no fangs, no horns, no great strength of muscle. He must plant his food or hunt it. To plant, he needs a process of thought. To hunt, he needs weapons,and to make weapons – a process of thought. From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and we have comes from a single attribute of man -the function of his reasoning mind.”

“I regret nothing. There have been things I missed, but I ask no questions, because I have loved it, such as it has been, even the moments of emptiness, even the unanswered-and that I loved it, that is the unanswered in my life.”

“Don’t fool yourself, my dear. You’re much worse than a bitch. You’re a saint. Which shows why saints are dangerous and undesirable.”

“But you see,” said Roark quietly, “I have, let’s say, sixty years to live. Most of that time will be spent working. I’ve chosen the work I want to do. If I find no joy in it, then I’m only condemning myself to sixty years of torture. And I can find the joy only if I do my work in the best way possible to me. But the best is a matter of standards—and I set my own standards. I inherit nothing. I stand at the end of no tradition. I may, perhaps, stand at the beginning of one.”


5 – The Innovator’s Dilemma | By Clayton M. Christensen

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This book is written by a Harvard Business School professor and talks about how business leaders could still be relevant despite the many changes in technology. It’s even described by Michael Bloomberg, a well-known businessman, to be “absolutely brilliant”, and Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos is a fan as well.

The book offers an explanation of how technological innovations can have an impact on already established companies. For example, the simple innovation of disk drives has become quite convenient to customers that it was able to establish its spot in the marketplace, even above its competitors.

Quotes from the book;

“In contrast, investing time and energy in your relationship with your spouse and children typically doesn’t offer that same immediate sense of achievement. Kids misbehave every day. It’s really not until 20 years down the road that you can put your hands on your hips and say, “I raised a good son or a good daughter.” You can neglect your relationship with your spouse, and on a day-to-day basis, it doesn’t seem as if things are deteriorating. People who are driven to excel have this unconscious propensity to underinvest in their families and overinvest in their careers—even though intimate and loving relationships with their families are the most powerful and enduring source of happiness.”

“Will flash cards invade the disk drive makers’ core markets and supplant magnetic memory? If they do, what will happen to the disk drive makers? Will they stay atop their markets, catching this new technological wave? Or will they be driven out?”

“The techniques that worked so extraordinarily well when applied to sustaining technologies, however, clearly failed badly when applied to markets or applications that did not yet exist.”

“To succeed consistently, good managers need to be skilled not just in choosing, training, and motivating the right people for the right job, but in choosing, building, and preparing the right organization for the job as well.”

“The reason is that good management itself was the root cause. Managers played the game the way it was supposed to be played. The very decision-making and resource-allocation processes that are key to the success of established companies are the very processes that reject disruptive technologies: listening carefully to customers; tracking competitors’ actions carefully; and investing resources to design and build higher-performance, higher-quality products that will yield greater profit. These are the reasons why great firms stumbled or failed when confronted with disruptive technological change.”


6 – Self-Made Success | By Shaan Patel

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Shaan Patel co-authored the book Kid Start-Up: How YOU Can Become an Entrepreneur alongside Mark Cuban and fellow young entrepreneur Ian McCue. Back in 2015, he managed to get a $250,000 investment on Shark Tank to help his startup for SAT prep.

The book talks about his 8-step blueprint which allowed him to reach success. It details an inspiring yet down-to-earth exploration of becoming successful in your own field on your own terms.

Patel was once called by Cuban as a “young Tony Robbins”, and this book depicts his story of how he managed to find his way to the top.

Quotes from the book;

“Billionaire Mark Cuban said the above to me during my pitch on ABC’s Shark Tank. Shark Tank is a television show in which hopeful entrepreneurs pitch their companies to a multibillionaire panel of business magnates for an investment.”

“The Law of Attraction states that you attract what you think about. You can achieve any goal by visualizing it in your mind, writing the goal down, and positively affirming to yourself that the goal has already been achieved.”

“Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to connect with your audience. You must learn how to tell stories that are exciting, meaningful, and touching. People love stories.”

“The secret to happiness is to focus on the present moment. Most stress is caused by anxiety about the future or regret about the past. By living in the present, rather than the past or the future, you can eliminate worry from your life.”


Final Thoughts

For Mark Cuban, reading has always been that one old habit that helped him reach where he is right now, and it seems that it’s a habit he’s stuck with for life. His success story – which is basically “living the American dream” – has been attributed to this one simple habit.

To sum things up, the message is quite simple. Learning never ends. Even if you’ve already finished your studies in college and feel quite confident in your skills, you should never stop reading and learning new things. Doing so will keep you confident, competitive, and be always on top of your game.

And just like Mark Cuban said, if he can do it, so can you!


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Books Best Books by Mark Cuban – Summaries – Quotes