Mark Cuban grew up working class in Pittsburgh. His father installed upholstery in cars and his mom worked a myriad of odd jobs. Today, Cuban is worth more than $3 billion, owns the Dallas Mavericks and is a star on ABC’s hit reality television show, “Shark Tank.” He chased any number of random side-hustles on his way to the top, including selling baseball cards, stamps and coins. One thing Cuban did not do? Follow his passion.
“One of the great lies of life is ‘follow your passions,'” says Cuban as part of the Amazon Insights for Entrepreneurs series. “Everybody tells you, ‘Follow your passion, follow your passion.'”
Cuban says that’s bad advice because you may not excel at what you are passionate about.
“I used to be passionate to be a baseball player. Then I realized I had a 70-mile-per-hour fastball,” says Cuban. Competitive major league pitchers throw fastballs in the range of 90-plus miles per hour “There are a lot of things I am passionate about. A lot,” says Cuban.
Instead, pay attention to those things that you devote time to, says Cuban. Double down your investment there.
“The things I ended up being really good at were the things I found myself putting effort into. A lot of people talk about passion, but that’s really not what you need to focus on. You really need to evaluate and say, ‘Okay, where am I putting in my time?'” says Cuban. “Because when you look at where you put in your time, where you put in your effort, that tends to be the things that you are good at. And if you put in enough time, you tend to get really good at it,” explains Cuban.