Robert Frost wrote “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference!”

Taking the road less traveled is acting independently, freeing one’s self from the conformity of others by making your own choices. Perhaps its time for you to forge a new path and start leading instead of following.  Can you remember the revolutionary guitar style that emerged when Chuck Berry hit the music scene, the uncompromising sense of elegance and sophistication Steve Jobs brought to the world of technology and the sometimes controversial brand of entrepreneurship Mark Cuban brought to the business world? All of these people did it their own way and we can learn a lot by their example.

When everyone zigged, Mark Cuban zagged!

Mark Cuban came from a middle class family, at a very early age he displayed a tenacity for making a deal and carving out a better life for himself.  For example, at the age of 12, he sold boxes of garbage bags to save up for a pair of shoes he sought after.

Once Cuban reached high school his desire to walk a different path became very obvious.  By his junior year in high school he began taking psychology classes at the University of Pittsburgh. He then skipped his senior year and enrolled full-time at the college and after his freshman year, he transferred to Indiana University. To pay for his tuittion he gave dance lessons which lead to hosting lavish disco parties (just to remind you this was in the late 70’s) at the Bloomington National Guard Armory.

After graduation in 1981, Mark immersed himself in the study of computer networking and by 1982 he moved to Dallas to take a job selling software.  Shortly thereafter he formed his own consulting business, MicroSolutions and by 1990 he sold the firm to CompuServe for $6 million.

For most, the story would end there, but Mr. Cuban was just getting started and in 1995 he started a new company called, AudioNet.  This company was created to address a simple desire to be able to listen to Indiana Hoosier basketball games online. Despite its many critics the idea proved to be an enormous success.  The firm went public in 1998 under the new name of and soon saw its stock sell for $200 a share.  Cuban sold the company to Yahoo for nearly $6 billion just one year after it went public.  So in less than 20 years Mark Cuban went from a dance instructor to a multi-billionare.

Just a few years later in 2000, Mark purchased the Dallas Mavericks NBA basketball team for $285 million. With his trademark enthusiasm and one-of-a-kind style, he revamped the culture of the team, changed its roster and even erected a new stadium. He pampered his players and was the club’s biggest fan. He also chose to sit amongst the fans, egging on opponents, yelling at the refs and creating a very positive energy from the Maverick’s players and fans.  By the year 2011, the Mavericks finally won the NBA title by defeating the Heat.

Cuban built a unique brand for himself and embodies the meaning behind the Robert Frost poem. He is a true inspiration for anyone brave enough to take the road less traveled!

Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. It’s where all the fruit is.

Applying this approach to your business requires a different thought process. It all starts with determining whats unique about your company and having the conviction to pursue strategies that don’t necessarily follow the rules. Sometimes you have to take risks to come out a winner, so don’t be afraid of making mistakes, because it often means you’re one step closer to success.

Good luck on the road less traveled!   


About High Tide Creative

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