Before he became the tech billionaire and outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban tried his hand at a bit of everything.
In fact, he claims he invented the concept of the side hustle.
As he explained to Jim Rome in a podcast this week, Cuban sold baseball cards and garbage bags, stocked shelves, worked in a deli, where he sliced the tip off his finger, and even paid for his junior year of college with a chain letter.
But one job, in particular, brings back his fondest memories:
‘I got paid $25 an hour back then to teach [disco] dancing to sororities. It was the best job ever… I’d take that job now.’
Cuban then explained how a bar he owned with a friend in Indiana got shut down for underage drinking, which was “the best thing that ever happened” to him, because it led to a new chapter in his life.
It was then that he moved to Dallas, with only $60 to his name and a 1977 Fiat that barely ran. “I had a hole in the floor board… I had to put oil in every 60 miles.”
He ended up getting a job at a place called Your Business Software, one of the first retail software stores in Dallas. Cuban ultimately got fired, but learned one lesson that would serve him well: “If you’re gonna start a company, you gotta sell.”
Fast forward to 1998 and, after years of hustling, Cuban brings Broadcast.com public, which he says was, at the time, the biggest one-day jump for an IPO ever.
“We had to do, you know, what knuckleheads would do. We went out and found some bar,” said Cuban, whose net worth is now estimated to be just over $4 billion. “We turn on CNN or CNBC or whatever it was called back then, and every time they mentioned Broadcast.com, we had to do a shot.”
Listen to the whole entertaining podcast:
As for those dancing skills…