Mark Cuban believes he became a billionaire because he’s been hustling and selling since childhood. Now it seems that his teen son might have inherited a similar outlook.
Cuban recently bragged about his 13-year-old son Jake’s side hustle selling candy at school on an episode of comedian Kevin Hart’s Peacock talk show “Hart to Heart.”
In the interview, which started streaming Thursday, the Dallas Mavericks owner and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank” called his son “a little mini-me,” on account of the teen’s interest in figuring out the best way to turn a profit.
“He’s hustling and selling stuff all of the time,” Cuban said in the interview, adding that Jake is tracking and organizing his efforts, too.
“He shows me his spreadsheet because he’s buying candy and selling it at school,” Cuban told Hart, chuckling. “But he couldn’t go pick up the candy where he wanted to pick it up because his sister wouldn’t take him.”
Looking to use DoorDash to have the candy delivered, Cuban’s son then turned to him with a shrewd question, the billionaire said: “[He] was like, ‘Does the $16 for DoorDash count as my cost of goods sold?'”
Hart noted that Cuban must have been “mind-blown” to see his son taking a candy side hustle so seriously.
“My smile got so big!” Cuban agreed.
It’s clear the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. After all, Cuban likes to boast that he “invented the word ‘side hustle,'” as he started his business career selling garbage bags door-to-door at 12 years old.
In fact, long before he became a billionaire, Cuban engaged in a long series of money-making gigs, from collecting stamps and coins as a kid to selling dance lessons as a college student at Indiana University.
“I was a hustler …. I have always been selling,” Cuban said during a 2016 “Shark Tank” episode. “I always had something going on. That was just my nature.”
Eventually, Cuban was able to turn those skills into more than just extra cash. He sold his first business, MicroSolutions, to CompuServe for $6 million in 1990. He became a billionaire less than a decade later, when Yahoo paid $5.7 billion in stock for his streaming audio service, Broadcast.com.
Despite his own business success, though, Cuban has been adamant that he doesn’t expect any of his three children to copy his path.
“I tell them, ‘After your health, my No. 1 thing for you all is, I don’t want you to be entitled jerks,'” Cuban said in a 2020 interview with another comedian, Steve Harvey.
Talking to Hart, Cuban noted that his son may be showing signs of becoming an entrepreneur, but his two older daughters have other interests. Sixteen-year-old Alyssa is more of an “artist,” he told Hart, while his oldest daughter, Alexis, is a college student and hasn’t settled on a career path yet.
“She has the world in front of her wherever she decides to go,” Cuban said.
While he’s “proud” of Jake’s hustling attitude, the billionaire says he just wants his children to be “healthy and happy.”
His advice to them is, “‘Do what you want [and] figure out who you are. You don’t need to follow in my footsteps.'”
Disclosure: Peacock and CNBC are owned by the same parent company, NBCUniversal.
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