I Asked Mark Cuban About My Personal Brand…And His Response was Awesome
When I was a sophomore in college, I had the chance to meet Mark Cuban. Yes, the billionaire entrepreneur turned Shark Tank star, Mark Cuban. He had just spoken at an event in Milwaukee, and I caught him for a moment afterwards to ask him a question.
“What would you say to young people who are starting to establish their personal brand?”
That was my question. I remember being proud of it. As a sophomore in college, I felt it was a good question that would allow him to give me some pointers on building a future in business.
His response was one I was not ready for and one I’ll never forget:
“Drink more PBR.”
There was an awkward pause as I just looked at him, confused. I was relieved that he didn’t stop talking there.
“Everyone is walking around making all of their decisions based on what other people think. Stop judging yourself by other peoples’ standards. Take a step back, have a beer, or a few beers, be yourself and don’t worry so much about your personal brand.”
Then he asked me a question.
“How old are you?”
“You have plenty of time to grow up and worry about your personal brand. Enjoy your time with your friends. Enjoy the college experience. Take everything in now. You have your whole life to be boring.”
That’s some pretty cool advice that has stuck with me through the years.
However, what I’m not sure Mark Cuban realized when he was saying this is, everything he said is exactly what makes up a personal brand.
A personal brand is simply the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that others have when they think of you. While I don’t condone underage drinking (for the younger folks reading this), being easy-going, valuing friendships, and enjoying life are all great things to be known for. What seemed almost like “anti-advice” was actually a pretty solid personal branding nugget.
I think my biggest takeaway from meeting Mark Cuban was this:
Have the confidence to be yourself; it will take you a long way.
Spending time worrying about what other people think can deter you from achieving what you’re meant to achieve. Be yourself. Go for it. Who knows? Your original self may just get you further than you would have gotten otherwise. Apparently Mark Cuban made a billion dollars while drinking PBR. Who says you can’t be next?