Many people know of Trevor Noah as the most recent host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and for hosting the Grammy Awards the past three years.
In a Jan. 18 episode, he sat down with billionaire Mark Cuban for a deep conversation on a wide range of topics.
Among the items they discussed involved Cuban’s thoughts on how he would tackle the challenge of building wealth if he had to start all over again.
Much common personal finance advice centers on challenges such as getting out of debt, saving for retirement, making major financial purchases such as buying a house or a car and making smart investments.
Radio host Dave Ramsey, for example, urges people to get out of debt and establish an emergency fund before making big decisions about spending money.
Cuban offered some insight into what he believes leads to financial success. Given his background, he focuses not just on finding ways to get by, but on how to get rich.
The secret to prosperity Cuban revealed might take some by surprise.
Billionaire Mark Cuban says that luck has a major role to play in becoming a billionaire.
Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Vox Media
Mark Cuban chalks a lot up to pure chance
In the podcast episode, Noah asked Cuban — if he had all the knowledge he has today but was forced to start all over again — whether he thinks he could repeat his success in becoming a billionaire.
“No, unless I got lucky again, right? I mean, could I find opportunities to get me there? And there are only a few of those types of opportunities,” Cuban said. “You can start a hedge fund and hopefully do well, then you raise a lot of money. You could take a company public. You can start a private company and be bought out. Those really are the primary ways to get to that level of wealth. And so could I try any or all of those things?”
“If you put me in the witness protection program and nobody knew who I was and I had to just start purely from scratch but I still knew what I know now, I could do well,” Cuban added. “But I would have to search out some unique opportunity, because to be a billionaire, there’s gotta be something that’s very leverageable, right? Something that just explodes financially.”
Noah talked with Cuban about another subject that many people with families are concerned about.
“Do you think you’re raising normal, well-adjusted kids?” Noah asked.
“That’s the hope. That’s the plan. You get unsolicited comments from friends, or not even friends, but just people your kids come in contact with, and they say they’re good kids, and they are good kids, but they do the math,” Cuban said.
“You know, they read the stories, and so they know what’s coming their way,” he continued. “And so, as much as we try to keep them grounded, we’re not a household that has servants and somebody doing everything for you all the time. It’s just, we try to just live as normally as we can, having a plane.”
How Cuban spends his time on a typical day
Noah also wanted to understand how Cuban approached his day-to-day routine.
“This is something that’s always fascinating,” Noah said. “What’s your day?”
“I get up probably 7 a.m. — 6:30, 7 a.m. — just depending on the day. Lay in bed, look at my emails, because I try to do everything by email,” Cuban said. “And so then I’m in bed for like an hour chilling, doing my emails, responding to anything that’s urgent, and then get up, get something to eat, go work out. And then come back and rinse and repeat.”
“Because I literally try to do as few meetings and calls as possible and try to gear everything towards email,” he continued. “And so, I mean, I’m on my phone or my PC all day every day. And that’s it. I mean the whole value of being in this position is just being able to control your time.”
Cuban has recently announced that he will be selling his majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks NBA team and that he will be leaving ABC’s (DIS) – Get Free Report television show Shark Tank after 16 seasons.
About leaving Shark Tank, Cuban said that self-awareness and “reality setting in” contributed to his decision.
“While my kids were all in high school or younger, all their schedules were aligned,” Cuban said. “And when we were shooting Shark Tank in September and June, all right, we can make it all work, and then in between, the kids would do what we tell them to do.”
“Now my oldest is a sophomore in college, and she wants to do her own thing,” he added. “The middle one is a really, really good rower, and she’s getting recruited, and she’s working her ass off to be amazing. And so their schedule drives the train, not mine.”
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