Mark Cuban says his kids see downsides to his wealth: ‘It sets an expectation’
Plenty of people aspire to be wealthy, but fortune and fame can have their downsides. Take it from Mark Cuban — or, rather, his kids.
The three children, who range in age from 13 to 20, are keenly aware that people make assumptions about them due to their father’s wealth, Cuban recently told TikToker Bobbi Althoff’s “The Really Good Podcast.” His dream as a dad is for them to have lives and careers without being compared to him, he said.
“Sometimes I think [the money is] the part they don’t like,” Cuban, who has an estimated net worth of $5.1 billion, according to Forbes, said. “Not that they want to be poor, but it sets an expectation … it’s how other people see them.”
Cuban, a serial entrepreneur and investor, has spoken out previously about wanting his children to earn their own successes, rather than relying on his reputation or money to get ahead. “[My wife and I] are really consistent in that, ‘You have to accomplish these things on your own,'” he told NBC’s “TODAY” last year. “You don’t want to be Mark Cuban’s son or daughter your entire life.”
To achieve that goal, he uses lessons from his own childhood, telling his kids that they need to use their own money — from household chores, after-school work or summer jobs — to buy any non-essential items.
“I’m not going to write you checks. You don’t just get a credit card. You can’t just buy whatever you want,” Cuban said in 2020, on television host Steve Harvey’s talk show “Steve on Watch,” adding: “I tell them, “After your health, my No. 1 thing for you all is, I don’t want you to be entitled jerks.'”
Cuban himself sold garbage bags door-to-door at age 12 to save money for sneakers, the first in a long line of entrepreneurial hustles. He sold baseball cards and stamps to help pay his college tuition, and once there, made money by giving dance lessons and opening a bar.
He ultimately found success in the tech industry, selling a software company he founded to CompuServe for $6 million in 1990 and an audio streaming company he helped co-found to Yahoo for $5.7 billion in 1999.
Encouraging kids to work for their own money could have tangible benefits: Children who aren’t afraid of challenges are more resilient, experts say. If they can develop self-reliance and a sense of self-accomplishment too, they’ll be more likely to stand on their own as adults, regardless of how much money their family has, Cuban told Althoff.
If you’re confident in your ability to be successful, money won’t affect you anyway, he added: “If your personality changes with your bank account, then you’re f—ed up in the first place.”
At least one of his children is following directly in his footsteps: His 13-year-old son sells candy bars to classmates, and recently asked his dad how to factor the costs of goods into his business model, Cuban said on a recent episode of comedian Kevin Hart’s Peacock show “Hart to Heart.”
He loves “the hustle, being an entrepreneur,” Cuban said.
Disclosure: NBC, Peacock and CNBC are owned by NBCUniversal. CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank,” which features Mark Cuban as a panelist.
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