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Why Mark Cuban didn’t retire early after becoming a millionaire


When Mark Cuban was in his 20s, he desired to get wealthy and retire by age 35.

He succeeded at the primary part: At age 32, Cuban sold his first company, a pc consulting business called MicroSolutions, for $6 million. But today, the 64-year-old remains to be working. And on a recent episode of the “Re:Considering” podcast with Wharton psychologist Adam Grant, Cuban admitted there is a reason he hasn’t stopped investing, starting recent corporations or helping run the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.

“I’m not retired because I’m too competitive,” Cuban said.

Cuban said his competitiveness has evolved over time: When he was 25, his goal was to “get wealthy” as quickly as possible. “That drove the selections I made,” he added.

But selling MicroSolutions caused his mindset to shift, he said. As his profession gained traction, he felt his increasing influence within the business world was like a game he could proceed to win.

“Every entrepreneur [in] the back of their mind says, ‘I would like to be that entrepreneur that disrupts an industry and changes it,'” Cuban explained. “What’s higher than that?”

Plus, the more competitive you might be, the more likely you might be to seek out retirement pretty boring. Retirees of any age often find themselves engaging deeply into their hobbies or finding volunteer opportunities to pass the time.

Kevin O’Leary, Cuban’s co-star on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” has spoken about the same dynamic. In 1999, O’Leary and his co-founders sold Softkey Software Products — later called The Learning Company — to the Mattel Toy Company for $4.2 billion. O’Leary promptly retired at age 36, and ultimately regretted it.

“I achieved great liquidity and I assumed to myself, ‘Hey I’m 36, I can retire now,'” O’Leary told CNBC Make It in 2019. “I retired for 3 years. I used to be bored out of my mind.”

O’Leary got here out of retirement for a similar reason why Cuban won’t quit: Working provides him with challenge and a way of identity, he said.

“Working is just not nearly money,” O’Leary, now 68, said. “Work defines who you might be. It provides a spot where you are social with people, it gives you interaction with people all day long in an interesting way. It even helps you reside longer and may be very, superb for brain health.”

In 2014, a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that working past age 60 can keep you mentally agile and socially engaged. Cuban doesn’t seem to be he’s planning a full-scale retirement anytime soon: Earlier this yr, he launched a web based pharmacy called Cost Plus Drugs aimed toward lowering the costs of prescribed drugs.

He also stays actively involved with the Mavericks, and still stars on “Shark Tank” — though he’s dropped hints about potentially leaving the TV show inside the subsequent couple years.

The choice to create Cost Plus Drugs shows just how much Cuban’s mindset has modified since he was 25, he told Grant: As an alternative of chasing the business idea that might make him probably the most money, he’s trying to maximise the social impact a financially sustainable business can have.

“If I’m 25 and I’m doing this again, I’m probably [thinking], ‘OK, what can I do to get acquired?'” Cuban said. “But now … the marginal value of my next dollar is [minimal]. It isn’t going to vary my life loads. So my decision-making process is totally different.”

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