4 lessons Mark Cuban taught his 16-year-old 'mini me' about business

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The "Shark Tank" investors were charmed by baby-faced Benjamin Stern, the 16-year-old founder and CEO of bottle-less bath products company Nohbo, whose pitch involved washing his grandmother's hair.

But after the high school junior from Florida explained how he cold called invention headhunters at companies like Clorox and then set forth to secure patents after hearing interest, the Sharks respected him as a bona fide entrepreneur.

Mark Cuban said he saw himself in Stern, calling Stern "Mini Me," and made a deal with him for $100,000 in exchange for 25% of the company.

Stern and Cuban closed the deal since filming the pitch last summer, and Stern said his business has been kicked up a level since his segment premiered in a Season 7 episode two weeks ago. Stern told Business Insider that Cuban and his team have already revamped Nohbo's website and secured it with a manufacturing deal, as well as given him plenty of valuable guidance. Stern shared several key lessons they've already taught him.

You have to walk before you run.

When he was 14, Stern watched a documentary about the plastic bottling industry and realized that may of the plastic gone un-recycled came from people's bathrooms, where they're more likely to toss an empty bottle into the trash. He decided to find a way to take the idea behind detergent pods and apply them to shampoo, body wash, and shaving cream. He and a chemist developed a prototype that looked like a Lindt chocolate ball, a dissoluble ball held in a biodegradable wrapper.

Stern has always wanted Nohbo to be a revolutionary product, one that could end up in hotels and licensed to major toiletry manufacturers. Cuban was drawn to Stern's passion but taught him to minimize risk and keep his ambitions grounded.

"They have taught me I shouldn't start something without knowing and preparing for the absolute worst outcome that could happen, even if we expect the best," Stern said.

You don't need to wait for the perfect time to seek a deal.

While Cuban taught Stern to stay grounded, he's also given him the assurance that reaching out to potential licensing partners this early in the company's life "is never a bad thing," and that he was right to follow his instinct when he called Clorox a couple years ago to gauge its interest in his product.

Cuban wants Stern to hedge his bets, but not to lose his aggressive confidence.

You need to foster excitement over your brand.

Stern has already exceeded the $10,000 goal for his Indiegogo campaign for the launch of Nohbo and has been fielding investment offers. But Cuban and his team told Stern the "Shark Tank" buzz won't last forever.

Stern said that he realized that "keeping up the excitement is an inevitable and ongoing challenge." He's determined to build relationships with customers and clients, making the most of the momentum he's got.

You need to surround yourself with people better than you.

"I want to run Nohbo in a way that allows flexibility and secures a sense of loyalty for all of our workers," Stern said.

"As a CEO, I'm adjusting to working with people all the time, and jumping into an area which I know little about," he said. In his journey as a founder-CEO, he's already recognized that Cuban and his team have helped him avoid mistakes he would have made on his own. He wants to bolster his team even further, and not let his ego get in the way.

"I know how many bad turns I have avoided by surrounding myself with geniuses in the business field, so if I can get them on board to back us completely, that would be amazing, and would progress Nohbo more than anything I could possibly do," Stern said.

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RELATED: Top Mark Cuban business quotes

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4 lessons Mark Cuban taught his 16-year-old 'mini me' about business

#1: "I still work hard to know my business. I'm continuously looking for ways to improve all my companies, and I'm always selling. Always."

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#2: "When you've got 10,000 people trying to do the same thing, why would you want to be number 10,001?"

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#3: "Because if you're prepared and you know what it takes, it's not a risk. You just have to figure out how to get there. There is always a way to get there."

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#4: "Go out there and get rich. Get so obnoxiously rich that when that tax bill comes, your first thought will be to choke on how big a check you have to write."

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#5: "​In the past, people used to tell me to shut up a bit. But what I believe is to put out your opinion and let everyone else react. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong."

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#6: "I've learned that it doesn't matter how many times you failed. You only have to be right once. I tried to sell powdered milk. I was an idiot lots of times, and I learned from them all."

Credit: Getty

#7: "Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it all away from you."

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#8: "Forget about finding your passion. Instead, focus on finding big problems."

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#9: "It's not about money or connections -- it's the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone when it comes to your business. And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time."

Credit: Getty

#10: "What I've learned is that if you really want to be successful at something, you'll find that you put the time in. You won't just ask somebody if it's a good idea, you'll go figure out if it's a good idea."

Credit: Getty

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