mark cuban business casual covid-19

COVID-19: Advice for Entrepreneurs | Mark Cuban on Business Casual, Hosted By Kinsey Grant

Check out the Business Casual Episode Page & Show Notes

Due to the timely nature of the content within, note that this episode was recorded on Tuesday, March 24th, 2020.

Key Takeaways

  • Whether giving $1200 to every qualifying American helps the economy or not doesn’t matterPeople need help. They’re scared.
  • If you’re an entrepreneur, think about what the world might look like post-COVID-19—what companies can you start?
    • “Whatever idea you may have, now is the chance to put together your thought process and business plan for the world you see on the other side” – Mark Cuban
  • “When things are FUBAR, that’s when the heroes are made. That’s when the greatest opportunities are available. You just gotta get off your ass and do it.” – Mark Cuban

Books Mentioned

  • Mark is currently reading Rebooting AI
    • “If you don’t know AI [artificial intelligence], you have to start learning and understanding it, because it’s going to have a bigger impact on business than the internet or mobile computing” – Mark Cuban

We Need a Check!

  • Mark recently tweeted“BOTH OF YOU NEED TO DO YOUR F**KING JOB! @SenSchumer, stop kissing progressive ass. We can’t solve every problem in this deal, @JohnCornyn, stop kissing big corporate ass. They don’t need buybacks or exec bonuses. They have no choice but to take any deal they can get.”
    • Followed up with: “The economy is crashing and people are getting sick and dying because you 2 hard d**ks think your agendas are bigger than the health and future of the American people. They are not. There is no perfect deal. TIME IS OUR ENEMY. Get this done today !”
  • Mark expands:
    • “I don’t have to report to anybody. I don’t care what they think. I do care what’s happening to people. I do care that people are suffering. People that can help need to help and that includes the government. But we haven’t seen a lot of action.” 
    • People are DYING and need care. Every single person in the U.S is freaking about what comes next. We need HELP. To minimize the stress, there’s one thing the government can do: get money into peoples’ hands.
      • “I’m typically an advocate of government doing as little as possible and not running a big deficit. But that was then; this is now. People feel like they’re losing control over their lives—they don’t know if they’ll be able to pay their bills; they don’t know what’s next for their kids. Getting $1200 to mom and dad doesn’t change a lot, but it sure makes it a little better. Every day we lose, that stress level grows … Time is our enemy. We NEED to do these things quickly. And it’s not like it’s impossible to do. We CAN do it. Our politicians need to get their sh*t together and come together to get this done.” – Mark Cuban

Will giving $1200 to every qualifying American really impact the economy?

  • “I have no idea, and neither does anyone else” – Mark Cuban
    • But, let’s look at the two options: Would you rather be scared shitless with or without $1,000?

What about the bailouts? Are they necessary?

  • If an airline came to Mark asking for money to stay afloat, he’d make it happen—either by himself or with help from a private equity firm/bank
    • One reason why: there will ALWAYS be a demand for air travel
  • Mark adds: “[With a bailout] you’re adding a significant level of risk to the entire country … Somebody needs to come in and negotiate for the taxpayers … I don’t think anybody is truly representing the American taxpayer.”
  • All in all, any deal is better than no deal
    • “Perfection is the enemy of progress. You’re not going to get a perfect deal—that’s just impossible.” – Mark Cuban
    • “It’s like self-quarantining: over-reacting is always the best move because you don’t want to look back and realize you under-reacted.” – Mark Cuban

If Mark Were Negotiating a Bailout Deal…

  • Here’s what he’d demand:
    • No stock buybacks
      • “I don’t think there’s a value to stock buybacks… at all” – Mark Cuban
    • “I think anything you do for an executive you have to do proportionately for every single employee in the company … Whatever value you create for the executives, you need to do the same thing for employees proportionately.” – Mark Cuban
      • For example, say you offer an executive making $1 million/year $1 million worth of stock options; you need to provide $80k worth of stock options to employees making $80k/year
    • “I’m not opposed to the government getting equity in the company” – Mark Cuban
      • When GM was bailed out, this was the case
      • “Look, when Warren Buffet comes in and bails out a bank, he’s getting preferred equity”

What should business leaders be doing at a time like this?

  • “Smart people should try to do smart and compassionate things. There’s no monopoly based off of what your job happens to be or how much you have in the bank.” – Mark Cuban
    • If a business’ stakeholders (which includes their customers) aren’t doing well, the business won’t do well
      • So, if a business leader can’t be compassionate and put their business in a perspective beyond themselves and their profits, they’ll suffer

What are the Dallas Mavericks Doing?

  • They’re:
    • Paying hourly employees for home games they were supposed to work
    • Reimbursing employees who purchase from small and local businesses
  • What inspired this decision?
    • “It wasn’t a decision; it was just the right thing to do … It wasn’t an option. I’m the luckiest guy in the world. One more dollar won’t change my life or my family’s life, but it does change the lives of those around me.” Mark Cuban

Advice for Small Business Owners & Entrepreneurs

  • Be honest with your employees—they’ll appreciate it. They’re likely stressing as much as you are.
    • Do the same with your stakeholders
  • Realize, you now have time to do what you’ve been putting off—re-writing software, creating better content, making new marketing material, etc.
  • Get in contact with your customers—chit chat, plan for the future, etc.
  • If you’re an entrepreneur, think about what the world might look like post-COVID-19—what companies can you start?
    • Someone, for instance, recently approached Mark seeking an investment for a rubber/removable shopping cart handle (one you’d place over the metal handle)
    • “Whatever idea you may have, now is the chance to put together your thought process and business plan for the world you see on the other side”Mark Cuban
  • All in all: “There are all these things this time is going to buy you. You need to use it wisely, and if you do, you’ll be way ahead.” – Mark Cuban

Are there good opportunities for investors at the moment?

  • First, make sure you have at least 6 months of savings
  • If you have money you can afford to aside, buy S&P 500 shares and low-cost mutual funds
  • Mark recently bought Live Nation (LYV) stock
    • Here’s why: To make a living, artists need to tour
    • “When we come out on the other side of this—however we come out—people are going to be so ready to party that concerts are just going to rock.” – Mark Cuban
      • Related: The number of people heading to Vegas will drastically increase after COVID-19, and because of this, Mark is looking to invest in a few casinos
  • Mark also recently bought Twitter stock

Advice That Will Never Steer You Wrong

  • Live like a student
    • “When I was 24 sleeping on the floor eating mustard and ketchup sandwiches, my goal as to retire by the time I was 35” – Mark Cuban

When will things be back to a relative normal?

  • “If I had to do an over/under, I’d do before June 1st” – Mark Cuban

What about the timeline for sports?

  • Mark thinks the NBA has a shot of returning by mid-May (without fans in the arenas)
  • And when sports come back, EVERYONE will watch—people are sick of the news!

Which of Mark’s Shark Tank investments are thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Wrapping Up

  • “The day when this ends, it’s going to be an entrepreneurial business dream. There’s going to be so much pent-up demand.” – Mark Cuban
  • “When things are FUBAR (f**ked up beyond recognition), that’s when the heroes are made. That when the greatest opportunities are available. You just gotta get off your ass and do it.” – Mark Cuban

Lighting Round

  • What’s Mark reading?
  • What’s Mark watching?
  • Is Mark learning any new skills?
    • He’s working on his jump shot
  • What does Mark look for before investing in an entrepreneur?
    • They have to:
      • Love to learn
      • Know their industry
      • Be able to sell
      • Be nice
      • Communicate well
  • Who’s the best leader of this generation?
  • Mark’s biggest recent learning?
    • The importance of social interaction
  • Mark’s favorite podcast:
  • Advice for college grads:
    • When you walk in the door for an interview, you better be an expert in that business already—do your homework
    • Take more chances. You might have student debt, but what do you have to lose?

Additional Notes

  • “The best businesses don’t require a lot of money … Sweat equity is the best equity.” – Mark Cuban
  • “When I look at a business and think, Why didn’t I think of that, then, to me, that’s a great business.” – Mark Cuban
  • Follow Mark on TikTok
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