Mark Cuban is a powerhouse. A savvy entrepreneur, exacting investor, and professional sports team owner, his suggestions, then, carry weight. Here are five of his top picks for reading material for aspiring as well as current entrepreneurs:
1. Rework, by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
While many entrepreneurship books target those already "living the dream," this one is for everyone. Its straightforward language and simple lessons work for anyone who dreams of striking out on their own, including people still stuck in day jobs, those recently laid off or downsized, small business owners, starving artists who don't want to starve anymore, and more.
And if you've ever wanted to know whether an MBA is worth the money, apparently getting this book for less than twenty bucks may be the better decision: "If given a choice between investing in someone who has read Rework or has an MBA, I'm investing in Rework every time. A must read for every entrepreneur."
2. The Innovator's Dilemma, by Clayton M. Christensen
In this smart and absorbing read, Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen explains the ins and outs of a constantly-changing world and what it takes to get and stay ahead.
"This helped me make sense of why things worked and didn't work in the technology industry," says Cuban.
3. The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need, by Andrew Tobias
It would be easy to expect someone like Cuban to recommend sexy investment techniques, but the truth is simpler. As Cuban says, "[Y]ou can take a measure of risk on the $5,000 you have to invest in an attempt to earn 10% in the stock market, while praying that it all doesn't disappear because someone bought too many yen derivatives" ... or you can do what is outlined in this smart but readable book: save where you can, and make solid, safe investments.
The beginning of the year is a great time to reevaluate your finances and what to do with them. According to Cuban, "This is the only investment guide I have read that truly made sense."
4. Cold Calling Techniques, by Stephan Schiffman
While the title and concept of this one may seem outdated, don't judge this book by its cover. Even if you're not in sales ... you're in sales. Or, as, Cuban says "If you can't sell, you can't survive."
He argues that opening doors and making customers happy is a necessary skill no matter how high you climb on the ladder, and one worth improving every step of the way. In his words, "This is a book that every CEO needs to read."
5. Self-Made Success, by Shaan Patel
In 2015, Shaan Patel extracted a $250,000 investment on Shark Tank for his startup for SAT prep (Patel got a perfect SAT score). Self-Made Success is his 8-step blueprint to success -- an inspiring, down-to-earth, and yet somehow illuminating exploration of what it takes to become successful on your own terms.