He created MicroSolutions, a consulting business that he sold to CompuServe for $6 million.  Other ventures include an Internet streaming company called AudioNet and a foray into high-definition TV with HDNet.

But, when asked how technology can help improve the way a business is run, the self-made millionaire and owner of the Dallas Mavericks has a surprising answer. “It can’t,” he says. “The technology is available to everyone.” Instead, he advocates the melding of hard work, a well-defined culture and businesses calling the shots when implementing technology. “You choose, implement, support and train on the technology that can improve your company,” he suggests.

Work hard but make it fun

Cuban speaks from experience about a steadfast work ethic. “I was 12 and my dad told me that if I wanted a new pair of basketball shoes I could buy them when I had the money. All I needed was a job. One of his friends set me up to sell garbage bags door to door. So I did.” Cuban financed his education at Indiana University giving disco lessons and starting a chain letter.

“You have to keep grinding. There are no shortcuts,” suggests Cuban when asked about tips for taking a small business to new heights. “You have to keep learning about your business, yourself and your industry and play to your strengths. The secret is that there is no secret to success,” a thought he conveys as a judge on ABC’s Shark Tank.

“You have to keep grinding. There are no shortcuts.  You have to keep learning about your business, yourself and your industry and play to your strengths. The secret is that there is no secret to success."

A regulating factor

That doesn’t mean companies shouldn’t create a roadmap. “Company culture is the regulating factor for all companies. It provides guidelines and decision support for people and allows them to understand how they fit within the company. If an entrepreneur doesn’t define or understand their company’s culture, they have a problem,” he says.

He has a specific checklist before he jumps in. “I need to know I can add value. Can I do it better than the competition or create something that is new enough that I can get out ahead of future competition,” he says.

When it comes to hiring talent, Cuban prefers to defer to experts. “Proper recruitment is critical. But the honest answer is that I’m not that good at it. I try to have people that do this well and defer to them.”

That could be a good thing since Cuban says the most difficult decisions he has to make as a business owner is “firing people. Nothing else is close.” But when it comes to retention he might have the best motto — “Make work fun.”