Billionaire Mark Cuban was only 12 years when he launched his first side job, so he knows what it takes to start a business at a young age.
And it says that there is one simple thing you should consider if you want to do it too.
“The key to starting a business when you’re young is to do things you can do yourself, things you can do on your own time.” Cuban recently said a group of high school students at Lewisville High School in Texas.
That means starting with what you know, he noted.
“If it’s a product, make something that’s easy to get and easy to sell,” Cuban said, adding, “It really comes down to one simple thing. The best businesses are things you can control and do yourself. It’s what being an entrepreneur is all about.”
The Cuban got an early start learning how to run his own business as a pre-teen. sale of garbage bags door-to-door in a Pittsburgh suburb. Subsequently, he sold a variety of collectibles, from baseball cards to coins and sealssaying income helped pay for her college tuition.
In each of those cases, Cuban used household items and collectibles that were accessible to a child and sold them for a profit, following his own advice for today’s teens.
Similarly, as a college student, he worked as a bartender and taught dance lessons to earn extra money. Cuban then publicly displayed her dance skills to the appearing on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2007, finishing eighth in the competition.
“I was a hustler… I’ve always been selling. I always had something to do. That was my nature,” Cuban said during a 2016 episode from ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
Now, Cuban says he regularly tells kids and teens looking to start their own businesses to do what he did. Build around “something they can do or a service they can offer to friends, family and neighbors,” he said. told CNBC Do it in September.
Of course, it’s easier said than done: successfully launching and growing your own business is an infamous challenge. Approximately 20% of new businesses fail within a year of launching, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Being an entrepreneur and starting a business doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy and all of a sudden you make a lot of money,” Cuban told students at Lewisville High School. “Being an entrepreneur is the most difficult path.”
If it was easy, he added, “you guys would already be doing it and coming on ‘Shark Tank’ and taking my place.”
Finding something that you can control and do yourself is hard enough. Getting good at it, which, by the way, is the rule number 1 to earn money, it is much more difficult.
It involves thoroughly researching your business plan and potential competition, seeking financing, and creating backup plans to allow flexibility if you need to adjust on the fly, the billionaire has previously mentioned.
As long as you don’t mind doing that job, especially after you choose your business opportunity, it can open up a world of opportunity for you, Cuban told high school students.
“If you are willing to take the initiative and start a business, anything is possible,” he said.
Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”
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