As a digital nomad and journalist, I travel the world while logging around 70 articles a month. To effectively manage a country-hopping lifestyle while also building my bylines and clients, I turn to the advice of seasoned movers-and-shakers who have developed habits and strategies for success. Each month, I’ll highlight the daily routine of influential professionals, making for the right kind of fodder while you down your coffee.
You know him from his snarky attitude and quick wit on ABC’s infamous Shark Tank. But long before he made great television, Mark Cuban was building an empire. Since the age of 12, he was fascinated with business and finances, applying his ambitious and tenacious attitude toward everything he touched. From selling garbage bags to pay for a pricey pair of basketball shoes he wanted as a pre-teen to running newspapers from Cleveland to Pittsburgh for extra funds at 16 years old — he’s always had an eye for opportunity.
Today, in addition to his starring role, he’s also the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, co-owner of 2929 Entertainment and the chairman of AXS TV. Among countless other investments, this American businessman has carved a successful — and incredibly lucrative career. Just how much? Forbes estimates his net worth around $3.3 billion, making him among the top 250 wealthiest people in the country. Though you might have some major catching up to do, you can still take a few cues from his playbook on how to start each with with the intention to — well — hustle.
He starts every single day with confidence
There are plenty of reasons you wake up with a crick in your spirit: pets or kiddos who kept you up, a ticker of your to-do list spiraling through your head or an unpredictable thunderstorm. But if part of success is faking it until you make it for most people, Cuban says, tired or not, attitude is everything. Or more to the point: confidence.
In an interview with CNBC, Cuban explained his morning ritual is to wake up and know he’s going to ‘kick everyone’s a**.’ It might be a bold statement, but one that’s carried him through his humble beginnings, growing up in a working-class family in Pittsburgh.
This sense of self is paramount to succeeding, according to a study conducted at Ohio State University. They connected a person’s self-confidence to the mobility of their career. In other words: if you envision yourself leading a board meeting, running a company or crossing that six-figure mark, you’re more likely to do it. And hey, chances are slim Cuban ever doubted himself. For long, anyway.
He prioritizes the value of time
Of all the gifts you can give yourself as a professional, being strategic and thoughtful with your time is among the most precious. Or, as Cuba described this asset during an interview with Huffington Post founder, Arianna Huffington, “You can’t buy it. You can’t find it. You can’t store it. You can’t trade it.” Though a more modern approach to business, Cuban chooses to conduct much of his interactions with investors, owners and any other client over email. How come? It’s a time-saving measure. He begins his day going through any pending emails, and stays super-connected to ensure all transactions, dealings and conversations are managed. “No meetings or phone calls unless I’m picking up a check. Everything is email…. [this] saves me hours and hours every day. No meetings. No phone calls. All because of email. I set my schedule,” he continued with Huffington.
There’s science behind Cuban’s opinion of the cost of time, considering research indicates it’s priceless. In fact, those who prioritize how they use each and every single hour of their day over how much money they make are inherently happier than those who focus on the dolla-dolla bills.
He puts his family first
Though little is known about this shark’s first mate, Tiffany Stewart, he has shared a bit about his family life. During the same podcast interview with Huffington, Cuban explained how fortunate he was to create a thriving business before he met and fell in love with Stewart.
Because his business was in a solid — and soaring — place when it came time to say ‘I do’, he felt he didn’t have to struggle with work/life balance as much as other entrepreneurs. “I managed to be successful beyond my wildest dreams, which let me put family first once I got married and had kids. So now I schedule around my kids as much as possible,” he explains. It’s estimated more and more men are taking the family-first approach — and it’s paying off.
According to a small survey, professionals who place their spouses and children ahead of their jobs earned nearly $10K more than those who did not. While the verdict is out on what contributes to this difference, it might be tied to feeling more content and supported, instead of overstretched to the max.
He exercises frequently
He might run a little hot-headed on Shark Tank (though not as heated as Kevin O’Leary) –but Cuban makes an effort to destress via exercise.
According to an interview with The Dallas Morning News, he tries to maintain an hour-long cardio routine six days a week. His go-to’s include working up his heart rate on an elliptical or a stair gauntlets machine, paying basketball or taking kickball or Latin-fusion aerobic classes. It might be tough to sandwich in a sweat sesh when you’re taking calls, meeting deadlines, all while trying to squeeze in time with your partner and family — but it’s essential for prosperity.
As one study from the University of Georgia concluded, healthy fitness levels provide professionals with more confidence, a stronger ability to focus and to follow through on assignments. Another survey quizzed more than 1,000 executives who make more than $100K a year, and 75 percent named fitness as one of the main components of their success.
So if you can’t decide to sign on a dotted line, ask for a raise or if you need to quit your gig? Go for a run — and then think about it.
He watches TV to decompress
Sure, he might limit his children’s screen time — but he does manage to give himself an hour break each night. During an interview, he shared his bedtime routine: turning his phone off and watching a few episodes of Law & Order to wind down.
To ensure he’s not causing a ruckus in his household, he added he uses headphones and sets a timer so he doesn’t spend too much time burning the midnight oil. Though it could be considered a negative approach to finding zen, relaxing your mind by watching a mindless television show is helpful.
Plenty of psychologists recommend against the tube, but others explain, depending on what you’re watching, it can be a way to simmer your thoughts and help you ease into sleep. Or, at least, stop worrying about work — and immerse yourself into a more mentally stationary activity. In other words: whatever you need to release tension from the day — whether a meditation app or the banter of Stabler and Benson — you do you.
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