Mark Cuban Cautions Entrepreneurs Against Following Their Dreams


“Follow your dreams” is a popular piece of advice for new entrepreneurs. But at least one prominent business owner thinks it’s not the best way to operate.

Mark Cuban recently appeared on The Journal, of WSJ podcasts, where he discussed advice for other entrepreneurs, among other topics. One piece of advice he shared was, “Be prepared. It’s not about your dream. The market doesn’t care about your dreams, right? The market doesn’t care if you think you’re special. The market cares about your product or service and how well you can sell it and how happy you make your customers.”

Finding a field or purpose that excites you can certainly be a benefit to your business. It often helps entrepreneurs stay motivated and makes them naturally interested and curious about their industry. But it’s also true that the market isn’t necessarily interested in how passionate you are about your business unless that translates to consumers in some way.

What Cuban is saying is that the market cares about how well you can serve your customers and sell to them. If you’re only building a business based on your individual wants and needs but not learning about or considering the customers you want to sell to, there may be no one interested in buying your product or service.

That’s where his first piece of advice, “be prepared,” comes in. Before jumping into entrepreneurship, it’s crucial to research your market and learn about what consumers are looking for or what gaps you’re able to fill with your product or service. If you can find an idea that allows you to solve a real problem for customers and sell to them, that’s where you may find business success. And if you happen to also be passionate about that idea, that’s great. But it doesn’t have to be your lifelong dream in order to be a success.

Image: Envato

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.