If you're a kid who dreams of being a billionaire, taking advice from Mark Cuban would be a wise decision.
The billionaire investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks entered the world of business at the ripe age of 12, selling garbage bags to finance some fancy basketball kicks. In high school, he started a stamp collection that paid for his college education.
Wednesday, Cuban posted some financial advice for students on his blog and it's just about as strange, and oddly brilliant, as selling garbage bags.
"Sometimes you just need to make some money for the summer," he wrote. "Or to pay for your braces. Or to pay for the phone bill your parents killed you on. Whatever you need cash for, it's always a problem that needs solving."
So what would Cuban do if he was a broke kid? Sell shoelaces and program remote controls. Seriously.
Cuban believes in the power of the shoelace market, especially during football season. All you need is a box of shoelaces in your team colors (or, say the colors of a rival school in your district -- good business knows no boundaries). Even when school is out, there are dance recitals, city league games and farmers markets. And don't forget country clubs. Lots of money there -- and the need for extra pizazz on the course.
Offer to lace up shoes for $10 or even $20, depending on your lacing skills.
"If you are really enterprising, you can put up on the poster about 5 different ways to lace the shoes and charge a premium for anything but 'Missionary' lacing," Cuban advises.
And who can argue with his advice on learning to program those awesome but frustrating universal remotes? We've all been there: "It's the black one. No, the other black one. Push the arrow. No the red arrow. Oh, wait, hit 'TV' first. Then 'enter.' Wait, why is the audio off?"
No one wants to take the time to learn it on their own, but everyone wants to get rid of the remote clutter on the coffee table. Cuban's advice? Go to every store that sells them. Become the world's expert on every single one. Make business cards. Saying you have a Ph.D. in Remote Control Programming is completely allowed. You could even work out some kind of deal with the stores so they send you business and you give them a small cut.
Or, if they're really lucky, a really cool new pair of shoelaces.
Now, you're on the road to becoming the owner of a professional sports team. Or at the very least, your first car.
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