For most people, childhood is a time when humans experience and learn things about life that they will remember forever. Whether it be fin...

His Parents Couldn’t Afford To Buy Him Shoes, So At 12-Y-O He Made A Life-Changing Decision His Parents Couldn’t Afford To Buy Him Shoes, So At 12-Y-O He Made A Life-Changing Decision

His Parents Couldn’t Afford To Buy Him Shoes, So At 12-Y-O He Made A Life-Changing Decision

His Parents Couldn’t Afford To Buy Him Shoes, So At 12-Y-O He Made A Life-Changing Decision


For most people, childhood is a time when humans experience and learn things about life that they will remember forever. Whether it be financial trauma, parental neglect, or bullying on the playground, many adults spend their older years needing to heal their inner child.

But, we don’t have to let our childhood repeat itself. From broke to billionaire, this story about a self-made businessman who changed his family’s financial fate will inspire you to reach for the stars. All because of a decision he made when he was just 12 years old.

Started From The Bottom

Born in the late 1950s and raised in a middle-class Jewish family, Mark Cuban was the eldest child of three boys. Son to a homemaker and automobile shop worker, Cuban’s immigrant parents worked hard to make sure their children always had food on their plates.

A dirty pair of converse.
Phil Shaw / Unsplash

Growing up in a lower-income household can be tough for a child, and Mark Cuban will forever remember the day he learned the importance of hard work. When he asked his father, his father told him they couldn’t afford it. Instead, he encouraged his son: “If you want a new pair of sneakers, you need a job and you can go buy them.

A Life-Changing Decision

At the young age of 12 years-old, Mark Cuban made a decision. Inspired by the hard work his parents demonstrated, he began looking for his own ways to bring home money. He started thinking outside the box and made rather than working at the mercy of someone else, he decided he will find ways to provide for himself.

A small boy from behind, looking at a map and standing in a field.
Annie Spratt / Unsplash

His first job was to sell garbage bags for double the price he bought them for, door-knocking on his neighbours. It was a completely made-up job based on the decision that he will not depend on others to survive. He carried this mentality through and when a strike began at his local newspaper, he seized the opportunity to get a few extra dollars. The pre-teen ordered newspapers from a different city to make the profits that the local company would've received.

Older And Wiser

As Mark Cuban grew up, he desired to live a better life than the one he was set up for. While some people believe that their living conditions will keep them stuck in a life they don't want, this teenager saw his family's lack as a challenge to overcome for them all. He was just as determined as the day he wanted to buy new shoes when he was twelve.

Two hands holding a blue, red, and yellow Rubix cube.
Olav Ahrens Rotne / Unsplash

A Business student at Indiana University, Cuban trusted his fate to lead him in the right direction. With hard work at his low-pay job as a dance teacher and party planner, he saved enough money to buy out the bar he was once an employee at. His business ventures would not stop there. His decision to only ever depend on himself was finally seeing fruit.


Debt Follows

The reality of the harsh real world set in. Cuban realized that as a kid he had not realized the weight of debt. After returning home from University, Cuban lived with the stressor of student debt. The familiar location of the uninspiring hometown he grew up in led him to make a move to Dallas, Texas, where he shared a 3 bedroom apartment with 5 other people.

An American dollar bill with change on top.
Kenny Eliason / Unsplash

His life was at a standstill that he was unsure he would ever get out of, "I didn't have my own bedroom. So, I slept on the couch or floor depending on what time I got home. I had no closet. Instead I had a pile that everyone knew was mine. My car ... burned a quart of oil that I couldn’t afford every week."


The Storm Before The Rainbow

Once again, Cuban found himself living a life that he felt unhappy with. For the first time since he was a young child, the man felt uncertain at the possibility of reaching everything he desired. The decision he had once made now felt like a distant dream.

Glasses placed in front of a computer screen with coding on it.
Kevin Ku / Unsplash

However, he would not lose hope, and eventually, he got a job as a computer software salesman. Despite hoping to only ever depend on himself, he knew he had to start somewhere. At last, his hard work paid off! But not for long ... Cuban was fired and faced unemployment less than a year after celebrating this milestone of success. What would his 12-year-old self do?


Coming Full Circle

History repeats itself, and Mark Cuban found his life come to a full-circle moment. Like when he was a pre-teen, and his parents could not afford to buy him what he wanted, the lack of income the man was faced with pushed him to his next great idea.

A man, from the collar bone down, dressed in business attire.
Hunters Race / Unsplash

Mark Cuban started his own business: MicroSoultions. Becoming more successful than the boss that fired him was the least of his accomplishments. In 1990, Cuban sold his business for $6 million, more than enough money to pay back his immigrant parents for everything they sacrificed for him and his brothers.


Becoming A Billionare

Mark Cuban quickly shot up to success. All because he held on to that a decision that spoke to him on a deep level when he was a boy. He is walking proof that good luck is often the result of hard work. To this day, the man born an underdog is one of the most successful billionaires.

Mark Cuban balancing a basketball on the tip of his finger, smiling at the camera and wearing a blue suit.
mcuban / Instagram

Cuban has made the Forbes Billionaire list, he's a partner of, a Shark on the T.V. show "Shark Tank" and is part of various other successful business ventures. He was not born into a wealthy family nor did his good fortune come easy. He wanted something bad enough, and so the universe rewarded him with it.


You Can Do It Too

Mark Cuban was once a regular child born in a low-class family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Now, the world knows his name. He is not someone who came from money but someone who put in the work to find success on his own.

Mark Cuban standing on a driveway wearing a red hat and a black t-shirt that says,
mcuban / Instagram

From this self-made billionaire, we can learn many lessons about hard work, believing in ourselves, and creating the life we want no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in today.

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