Mark is an entrepreneur and investor on ABC's Shark Tank. He's the owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, Magnolia Pictures, and is the chairman of the HDTV cable network AXS TV. In his recent interview on 30 Days of Genius with CreativeLive, Mark talked a lot about the mistakes many new entrepreneurs make when they think they've found a profitable business idea. Here's his business advice to those who want to start a business:


You can indeed write a book on their behalf. Although your name might not appear in the book, but you are sure of being rewarded adequately for your services. It could be a pay off or on percentage based on the number of copies of the book sold within a period of time et al. All the same it is a good way of making cool cash from the connection you can make with people online.
Likes, shares, and social media engagement have become ways for companies to expand into the online business world and gain followers who later on can be converted into customers. As a basic example, say you come across a post for a business in your local area. Initially, you might give it a like and then later remember, hey, I’ve been meaning to check this place out. Or maybe you give a company page a like and then later make a purchase from them.
Believe it or not, we keep up with blogs by a familiar and comfortable (for me) method: email. I subscribe via email and read (or at least scan) nearly 50 blogs that way. It’s actually far more than that because several of the sources I devour are actually email aggregators that pull the best posts from many, many blogs. I find that gives me the best coverage.
The Falcon blog talks about social analytics, community engagement and governance for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Don’t’ expect to see really long-form, in-depth content on their blog, but what they do provide is packed with visuals and interesting advice. If you’re looking for 5-minute reads that give you the info you need, Falcon might be for you.

There’s a high demand for coaches and consultants in specific fields, most being in health, fitness, and online marketing. And this is where you come in. If you’ve got a service or training course to offer, then starting an online course,  consultation or coaching business is for you! Say you want to teach others and train them to become adept in a valuable skill or you want them to become healthier and happier, then you can start an online course or consultation service and charge a fee.

Running a startup requires entrepreneurs to be unbelievably resourceful. Many start-ups don’t always have the most lavish set of resources and money needed to scale up the business as they would like to. Almost 90% of the start-ups are bootstrapped, have limited access to money and resources required to perform certain tasks, or hire employees or freelancers, or even consultants; which essentially means that they have to perform most of the tasks on their own within the limited resources available at hand. This means making difficult choices, what all things to invest in, what all to not spend on.
Medium is an online community where anyone can post articles and essays and get them in front of their audience of millions of monthly readers. While it can be a great place to build your audience for your own blog or find customers for your consulting business, with Medium’s new Partner Program, you can now make money online whenever someone reads your articles. Register for free and you can choose whether your articles are freely available or only readable by those people paying $5/month for a premium Medium membership. You’ll make money based on the amount of people who read and engage with your posts each month.
In this role, consultants help the company ensure they hire the right employees for the job and provide good working conditions which will encourage them to stay. Their responsibilities may also include the implementation of talent management programmes, legal aspects of employment, promotion and giving ideas on how to create a diverse and inclusive work environment.
"Instead of praying an audience (or customers) will find you, get in front of people in your space. Start a blog, podcast or create video content. Take advantage of social media. Attend in-person events. One way to make "putting yourself out there" easier is by making an effort to help others. (Sounds counterintuitive, I know!) On the individual level, maybe it's by making an introduction. For a larger audience, perhaps it's by writing an actionable blog post. However, by being helpful you'll make a lasting impression."
Another way to make money blogging is through affiliate marketing (that’s where DollarSprout makes most of its revenue). Affiliate marketing means you link to a product for sale on another site and when readers click your link and buy the product, you get a cut of the profits. Amazon has an affiliate marketing program that’s easy to use and a great starting point for new bloggers.
It’s a great way to achieve freedom in your life. Not only does copywriting allow you to work remotely, but it also allows you to control your schedule. Plus, learning the skill itself will help you in many areas of online business (i.e. building a blog, affiliate marketing, etc. – when you can write in a compelling way, all of these become much easier!)

Entrepreneurship is a challenging but rewarding path to take and you have highlighted some great tips here. I agree with your point that to be a successful entrepreneur you need to work smarter, not harder. I believe that working smarter is all about hiring the right team and delegating responsibility. Think about it this way. Today’s entrepreneurs are working with the ‘Millennial’ generation, those born after 1980 and before 2000. These people are digital natives who have very different ideas around what they look for in their leaders, compared to the ‘Baby Boomers’ generation. For example,‘Millennials’ look for their leaders to be strategic thinkers, inspirational and have strong interpersonal skills. Millennial’s will make up 50% of the global workforce by 2020, so entrepreneurs really need to tap into their younger employees and involve them in company decisions.


Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Running a business can be challenging, and it takes hard work and perseverance to achieve a high level of success. Whether you’re already in business, or looking to start a business, it pays to heed the advice of others who have walked in your shoes. I asked a few self-made millionaire entrepreneurs to share their advice for being successful in business. Here’s what they had to say:
For a service provider brand, these memberships and awards go a long way, more so than an e-commerce website. When someone is making an impulse purchase online for a $20 or $30 product, they aren’t digging as deep as they would be if they were hiring a moving company or a general contractor. The BBB, for example, is something all local service providers should leverage online.

Really good article with some great tips. Affiliate marketing has the potential to earn lots of money and I'm hoping I can make it happen. I have tried the matched betting and it DEFINITELY works. The one thing I would say is that you need to check that any bets have been accepted by the bookmaker. I have had on occasion bets which look like they have been accepted but don't register in my account. Always go into your account and check outstanding bets or your bet history.


Mobile has transformed the way people browse the Web. Even Google has now made mobile #1 in its indexing. If your site still isn’t friendly to mobile users, odds are good your brand is quickly vanishing from the Web – at least where the Big G is concerned. It’s time to take a close look at your design and make sure your site renders beautifully when viewed on Android, iPhone, and the rest.
Creating space for banner ads on your website is another way to generate a revenue from adverts. However, for this type of advertising, you will need to contact businesses directly and ask them if they would like to advertise on your website. The upside is that you can charge a set amount, or even a recurring monthly fee, to business to promote their services on your site. Using a WordPress plugin like AdSanity is an effective way to manage this type of advertising.
With over 350,000,000 websites on the internet, there is a huge demand for content. If you have experience or skills relating to writing, offering a blog posting service could be for you. Lower paid projects might start at around £1 per 100 words, with quality focused projects being in the £2.50-10 per 100 words range. Sites like People Per Hour and Elance are great for picking up paid writing gigs, without actually having a website.
Jon is the New York Times best-selling author of five books, including Do Over. He’s helped some of the biggest brands in the world tell their story, including The Home Depot, Bose and Staples. Now, he speaks to hundreds of thousands of people annually and reaches over 4 million readers on his blogs. Here's his business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business:
The mastermind behind Quick Sprout Social is Neil Patel, a nationally recognized entrepreneur endorsed by Forbes Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. Don’t let the simplicity of his blog fool you; his content and strategies speak for themselves. We love how his blog is thoughtfully organized as either a “guide,” a “current hit,” or an “all-time hit.” Quick Sprout Social touches on everything from increasing social media engagement to converting people in your email campaigns. We definitely have him bookmarked to refer back to time and time again!
A website called AchieveMint gives you points for engaging in healthy activities, like exercise, tracking your eating habits, or even taking health related surveys. Points can be redeemed either for cash (10,000 points are worth $10) or for Amazon Gift Cards. The app actually connects with other health apps, like Fitbit and MyFitnessPal, to track your progress.
There are loads of people out there who are looking for graphic artists to contract their graphics jobs to. If you are a graphic designer, then you can take your services online. You just have to be proactive and aggressive in marketing your services. One good thing about offering graphics services online is that you can sign a long term business deal with just one clients especially if you are good at what you do.
If you’re a software engineer, the perks of working at a startup or tech giant are pretty sizable, but if you’re more invested in flexibility, diversity of projects, taking on work at your own pace, and the freedom of being your own boss, then freelance coding is one of the greatest online business ideas around. Whether you’re into web design—an especially popular freelance coding category—or another kind of software development, it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to find clients you’re interested in helping out.
If it’s not clear yet, information and expertise are two of the most consistent and lucrative ways to make extra money online. If you don’t like talking on the phone, you can sign up to get paid to answer professional questions on JustAnswer. There are thousands of questions being asked every month from people looking for help from lawyers, doctors, mechanics, vets, and more. To apply, you’ll need to supply your professional verification, resume, and a form of identification.

Take good pictures. Some of the options below don’t require you to actually take the picture and sell the product, but for the ones that do, make sure you take a clear picture that makes your product stand out from the others.  If you’re going to be taking a lot of pictures, set up a small “studio-like” area in your home with a backdrop and proper lighting to really make your pictures come across as professional. And of course, you’ll want a good camera too.
When first considering email as part of your internet marketing mix, take the time to dissect the opportunity. Who is your target audience you are trying to reach by email? What types of products or services has this target audience purchased before? What type of email content would be the most persuasive to this audience? And most importantly, how do you measure whether the strategy was successful?
There are many freelance options for graphic designers who are looking to make money online. Designing layouts and graphics for promotional material, corporate reports, magazines or book covers, are all tasks that businesses are looking for online freelancers to complete. Due to its flexible nature, graphic design possibilities can range from one-off projects to ongoing work with regular clients.
You may decide to create free videos as extra content for your blog, and not sell them at all. If this is the case then you can still make money from these videos by selling advertising space on them (in the same way as discussed for monetizing podcasts). Once you have high volumes of traffic visiting your blog, and watching your videos, you can charge businesses to advertise at the beginning of your videos. Use website’s like Izea to help you connect with companies willing to pay to advertise on your blog.
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