The life of a startup founder is an epitome of uncertainties, inherent risks, hard work, and passion. Right from stepping out of bed in the morning, an entrepreneur needs to manage loads of things, from work to team to clients to themselves. So, what are the things that you can do to get this work-life balance? What changes you can do to your daily routine to become more productive?
Here are 6 pointers from Mark Cuban, an American businessman and investor. He is the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Maverick’s Landmark Theatres, and Magnolia Pictures, and is the chairman of the HDTV cable network AXS TV. He is also a “shark” investor on the television series, Shark Tank. In 2011, Cuban wrote an e-book, ‘How to win at the Sport of Business’, in which he chronicles his life experiences in business and sports.
Manage Your Priorities
People always tend to desire the work-life balance. Mark Cuban, however, did the different. He created a life where things he loves to do – his work, his life, all just merged seamlessly. It’s difficult to list priorities; it depends upon what stage of life you are in. If you are 22, than work life balance would mean party v/s working. If you are 25, than may be relationships are there. There are questions to be answered like – do you have a car, do you have to pay rent, are you married and more.
“Lean and mean.. You don’t have to be a $100 Mn business. Substance is greater than show. There’s so much more opportunity, there’s never a lack of opportunity. If you don’t think that you have an opportunity there, you should found it..It’s not the opportunity, it’s you.”
To manage work and life together, one should focus on completing the To-Do list in morning and mix-up rejuvenation with work.
“For instance, I never watch TV just lying on the bed. Either I was working out, or I was social networking or reading stuff online.. You have to have something that works for you. Whatever that is, I know what my goal is. Whatever I need to do, to get that, I work on that first. I push myself to where I can’t go and then catch up and start again. You get to recognize when it’s cosy time, whether you will make or lose.”
Self-Awareness Is The First Step To Success
One should always ask a question to oneself, ‘Have you wired what you are meant to do?’ Self-awareness is one of the most important skills set that anybody could have, whether you are an architect, designer or photographer, or an entrepreneur.
“Being an entrepreneur you got to know, what you are good at, what you are marginal at, and what you suck at. You got to find people that complement your skills. You got to know – what type of thinker you are, you got to know how you work and once you start to understand who you are, than you can start finding places where you can be successful. You shouldn’t lie to yourself. Entrepreneurs love to sell themselves, lie to themselves. I am to be this, I am to be that, right!, but you are not all that, you are all this..”
Always Work With People Who Are Good At What You Suck At
As Cuban says, he sucks at being organised. “I am like ready, fire, aim, and somebody has to keep me at the baseline.” That’s the reason, he always partner with people who are organised and structured. “I am good at taking new concepts and applying them to the business.”
“I am into 150+ businesses but I have also got some great people working for me. And with almost from all these businesses, I get weekly and bi-weekly reports (bad news first), because if I am investing in you I expect a news and I expect you to do good things.”
Focus On Building Your Knowledge Base
Being an investor, Mark has the got that skill to identify the opportunities even in the deepest corners. From where does he get this insight?
“It’s effort. It’s loving to learn, it’s to build the base of knowledge. I can take the machine vision to build on what I already know and come up with something new. So, if you don’t have that layer of knowledge of things with you, you are way behind.”
Reduce The Stress Around You
If you want to be successful, working for an entrepreneur or working for anybody, reduce the stress around you. If you think you are indispensable, you are not indispensable.
“If you think you are indispensable, I will spend an amount to create more stress than you can reduce because there are a lot of people who measure their indispensability but not how much stress is around them. The reality is, if in our job there’s not stress, which means things are working smoothly. I am micro-manager in the beginning and once I trust you, than just give me weekly reports and that’s it.”
Mark Cuban believes in having completely ‘stress’ free routine for him as well as others. He wake up early, spend time with kids, get his tea and cookies, read three morning newspapers (Financial Times, wall Street Journal, The New York Times), then get to his email and then to lunch. “I get 500 emails overnight and I delete 90% of them. I deal with only those I have to, as I said earlier. The weekly reports, etc.”
Be Creative And Value Time
As Mark says, he feels that he is creative in terms of business. One of his key skills is – give him any business to talk about whether a high profile one or just a cookie business, he will figure it out in a click. He will be able to understand where the pain points are.
“When I look at an idea, I see what are the upsides, how differentiated and competitive are they, what is your core competency and can the entrepreneur realise that. Does the entrepreneur/s have the ability to create a solution, to grow that company and move that forward. Some people can do that in their first quarter but fail to do that in the fourth quarter, and as an investor it’s hard to realise that. The ultimate thing that I value in life is ‘time’; as it is the only thing that you cannot hold off.