In Dallas Cuban lives in a tiny, three-bedroom apartment with five buddies. As he is the last to move in, he doesn’t have a bedroom or a bed, closet or dresser. None of the room mates have any money so they throw parties to save money. They vow to spend no more than $20 if they go out, and when they do they drink $12 chanpagne. One roommate collects rent from the others, until one month he skips town.
Cuban bartends until he lands a job with Your Business Software earning $18,000 per year plus commission. When he lands a $15,000 sale with a $1500 commission his boss tells him not to pick up the check, but he does anyway thinking his boss would be okay with it once he had the money.
Instead, when I came back to the office, he fired me on the spot. I had disobeyed him. He was one of those CEOs who is all pomp and circumstance, one of those guys who seems to scream: “Don’t you know who I am? What I do?” He tried hard to look and act the part of the CEO. He wore the right suits. But he had a huge flaw: He never did the work. He never demonstrated the initiative to go out to sell. I had realized by that time that “sales cures all.” That’s a phrase I still use to this day. He was my mentor, but not in the way you’d expect. Even now I think back to things he did, and I do the opposite. And he made me superstitious about titles. I’m never listed as the CEO of my companies. There is no CEO. I am the president.