We know Mark Cuban as a billionaire, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and one of the stars of the hit television show Shark Tank. However, did you ever wonder how he managed to make his fortunes? It all started in a working-class household as a youth but ended when he made $5.7 billion in one day. Cuban didn't come from a lot of money, but through hard work and unwavering sales ability, he is wealthy beyond belief.

Mark Cuban's humble beginning 

Cuban began his sales career as a 12-year-old, going door-to-door selling trash bags in the Pittsburgh suburbs. He bought trash bags for $3 each and then sold them for $6. Cuban realized that everyone needed trash bags, so he went door-to-door, handing out his phone number and offering to deliver garbage bags whenever the customers wanted. In theory, Cuban had created a subscription garbage bag company in an era before all the subscription-based companies.

Cuban moved to Dallas when he was 24, and after working as a bartender, received his first sales job. He was a top computer salesman at the company, but they fired him in the first year due to an event showing his unwavering confidence and drive to improve. Instead of opening the retail store as his job description said, Cuban met with a potential client. Cuban realized that he needed to be in charge of his own company so that these things wouldn't happen again. He founded MicroSolution, a software reselling company, in 1983.

Cuban goes big 

Cuban's work ethic was relentless at MicroSolutions, working 16-hour days as owner and top salesman. The hard work paid off, as he made $30 million in revenue. Cuban's client list included Perot Systems. Cuban realized that the market may be closing on this industry, so he sold the company to CompuServe for $6 million. It was around the time of the internet boom which Cuban decided to explore.

Cuban's internet exploration is where the story of the $5.7 billion day comes in. He and a friend launched Broadcast.com, a video and audio streaming service to watch and listen to live sports broadcasts and other events. The move to live sports streaming is another example of Cuban being well ahead of his time, as he did in 1995, well before the cord-cutting trend we've seen today. Cuban used his sales background to land events like the first-ever Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.

Mark Cuban's business deal nets him the Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks minority owner Mark Cuban reacts after their win against the Boston Celtics in game four of the 2024 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center.
© Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Broadcast.com was the first streaming service of its kind and set the tone for all the apps we see on our devices today. Yahoo! recognized this trend and decided they wanted a big piece of the action. In a deal that may have been a mistake, looking back at it, Yahoo! acquired Cuban's company for $5.7 billion. The deal made Cuban an overnight billionaire, setting him up for a life of owning a professional sports team and unlimited business deals on Shark Tank.

The acquisition for Yahoo! turned out to be one of the worst ever, as the stock market dried up mere months after selling.

Ironically, the reason Cuban built Broadcast.com was to have an avenue to listen to his favorite basketball team's broadcasts. He couldn't have guessed that the company would set him up to own the Dallas Mavericks and be able to attend every game courtside. Mark Cuban's rise from rags to riches is an inspirational tale and something that sports fans can admire as the billionaire used his wealth to purchase a sports team.