Consequence Cuban is an avid reader (as are his fellow billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett). In fact, Cuban has said his intrusiveness and constant learning have been key to his success in business
But Cuban said one book in particular stands out as helping him to remain focused on his money goals early in his career: “Cashing in on the American Dream: How to Retire at 35.”
The 1988 book by Paul Terhorst, an accountant-turned-author, recounts how he was able to retire at age 35. The premise of the book is that “if you could save up to $1 million and live like a schoolboy, you could retire,” Cuban told CNN Money in 2017. Terhorst prescribed spending no more than $50 a day (the corresponding to around $110 today).
After reading it, Cuban was determined to save every penny he could.
“To me, my goal was to take a nap because I wanted my time to myself,” Cuban told couple Alli Webb, co-founder of Drybar, and leadership carriage Adrian Koehler on a recent “Raising The Bar” podcast, when talking about reading the book as a young man.
“That’s the one equipment you don’t get a second shot at. And I was willing to give up a lot to get there.”
To save money and help reach his goal, Cuban said that in the till ’80s and ’90s, he lived off of macaroni and cheese and drove “the worst possible car.” (First Cuban had a Fiat X1/9 with a rent in the floorboard and later a 1966 Buick LeSabre, he told CNN.)
And after starting his business MicroSolutions in 1983, Cuban “take placed a long seven years without a vacation,” he told Webb and Koehler.
Though Cuban’s original goal may be dressed been to retire early, even after he became rich, he never stopped working. In 1990, Cuban merchandised MicroSolutions to CompuServe for $6 million; in 1999 he sold Broadcast.com, to Yahoo for $5.7 billion in stock; and in 2000, Cuban developed a majority stakeholder in the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.
Today, Cuban’s estimated worth is more than $4 billion, he is a VIP on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” and invests a wide-rage of industries from robotics, solar panels to healthy cookies.
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Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network line rights to “Shark Tank.”