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LEADERSHIP

There’s a scene in the 2012 summer blockbuster

The Avengers

where

Tony Stark—a.k.a Iron Man—is asked what kind of man he is behind his

nearly indestructible suit of armor. He doesn’t hesitate before answering:

“Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.”

Mark Cuban doesn’t have an Iron Man suit, or anything else, to hide

behind. But like Stark he doesn’t pull any punches. He’s a game changer.

Billionaire. Family man. Serial entrepreneur. Unlike the comic book hero,

however, when it comes to the public and private persona of this business

leader, they are one in the same.

In an age where celebrities carefully craft their public image, and it’s

hard to discern who the person really is through the lens of social media,

Cuban is wholly himself in any arena. The crowd at a

Mavericks

game,

colleagues and interviewers asking about his passion and next venture, or

the potential entrepreneurs he mentors and strikes deals on

Shark Tank

all

know the same man.

Through his powerful personal onlin

e brand—

the first of its kind for an

NBA owner—he shares updates about his life, his health, his political

views, and just about anything else you may or may not be interested in.

For anyone in the public eye, this amount of openness can draw a lot of

negativity. But for Cuban, the benefits outweigh any of the “noise.”

“It helps me learn. There is no shortage of feedback on social media,” he

shared with BOSS Magazine. “While there is a lot of filtering of noise, all

it takes is one nugget of knowledge for me to benefit.”

And benefit he has. People who don’t know much about Cuban may

recognize him from

Dancing with the Stars

in 2007 or from his continued

presence on the acclaimed entrepreneurial reality show

Shark Tank .

Some

may just know him as the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks. But

before this, Cuban was a pro at turning a profit with anything, from selling

garbage bags as a kid to selling stamps and coins to collectors in his

teenage years.

“I was probably 12 when I learned

to embrace and enjoy selling,”

said Cuban. “That gave me the

confidence to dig into starting

businesses.”

He may have made an impression

on his neighborhood as a kid, or

on his college campus for teaching

dance lessons and owning the local

bar in his early life, but he gained

the attention of the business world

fast back in the 90s before the

Dotcom Bubble Burst.

His company

CompuServe

sold in 1990 for $6 million.

Broadcast.com

, an entrepreneurial

venture centered around the

desire to listen to Indiana

Hoosier

basketball games and initially called

AudioNet, sold for nearly $6 billion

just a few years later. Although his

timing in the market was part luck,

his ability to create success despite

a widely out of control marketplace

was not.

“None of my success is credited

to luck,” he said, “the scale of

my success is. I was lucky that

the Internet stock market went to

extremes.”

He’s one of the

top billionaires

in the United States, and unlike

other billionaires real or fictional

(we’re looking at you, Donald Trump

and Tony Stark) Cuban’s wealth is

all self-made. Usually with wild

success comes equal amounts of

failure, and Cuban doesn’t hide the

fact that he’s passed on some

great chances.