Mark Cuban on Losing Sleep

A typical day in Mark Cuban’s life consists of a rotation of working, exercising and watching his basketball team, the Dallas Mavericks. This is a more relaxed schedule for Cuban, who claims to have sat at his computer for 20 hours a day while creating his first company, MicroSolutions.

“[Working at MicroSolutions] I didn’t take a vacation for seven years. I didn’t even read a fiction book. It was all about work.”

Then, in 1990, Cuban sold his company, which primarily worked in software reselling and integrating systems, and made $2.2 million. Seven long years of hustle finally paid off, and he spent the next five in “retirement” making up for all the fun he had missed.

Burning the candle at both ends has worked wonders for Cuban, now with a $2.5 billion estimated net worth, but working 20 hours a day may not be the best way for your projects to succeed. The dangers of burnout are now a common concern for both workers and employers, with some companies even encouraging workers to take large chunks of time off. There are also various lists of successful business owners preaching why a healthy work/life balance is necessary to stay on top of your game.

So why does Cuban cite these seven years as the favourite project of his life, instead of hell-on-Earth with a large pay-off? Because he loved what he was doing.

“I would get so involved with learning a new piece of software that I would forget to eat and look up at the clock thinking it was 6 or 7PMand see that it was 1AM or 2AM. Time would fly by.”

Cuban was able to consistently work those long hours because he loved the work, not just because he wanted a new house or car at the end of it. He shows that when you find a project you’re passionate about, there’s no manual for how to attack it, but there are options.

We definitely encourage you getting some sleep sometime, but we know what it’s like to be a night hawk. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for late-night insight, wisdom and notices for when our posts go live.

Image Credit: Keith Allison on Flickr. Modified for cropping and gradient. Shared under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0.. Image available for usage (under the terms of the license) here.