Professional athletes who have successfully made the transition to life after sports through business are extraordinary and more rare than you think. But players doing so while still playing — and doing it well, are rarer than one may suspect, and should provide inspiration to upcoming entrepreneurs, like you and I.
I want to highlight 3 incredible individuals who have navigated the murky waters of business, to maybe open your mind, to never settle upon one thing. Never get to comfortable, and always expand.
Yes the athletes may have been blessed with athletic gifts, and yes they are rich, but they jumped into an unfamiliar — and often cutthroat world they had to learn. Business is a skill no one is born with. It’s filled with twist, turns, and plenty of risk. And before you say, “but they have the resources to do what we can’t” remember, 70% of pro athletes go broke within 3 years of retiring from their respective sports. Mostly from business ventures.
One thing we can all agree on about LeBron is, he never settles. He has the hunger for more. When one becomes content, you are destined to get mediocre results from life. LeBron had all eyes on him for the better part of 15 years, in the basketball world. But it’s the business world where he should be applauded. To go from a young kid trying to live up to the hype and pressure of nation wide expectation, to transforming yourself into a business mogul, virtually under the radar. That’s the part kids should be looking up to.
Business Highlights include:
Lifetime contract with Nike that could pay him more than $1 billion. SpringHill Entertainment is LeBron dipping into the entertainment industry with a plenty of options on tv. It’s unique because many athletes don’t think of the executive producer side of revenue. Then there is a deal with Beats headphones, and the fact that James owns a piece of Englands most prized soccer team.
Easily the king of all ex athletic entrepreneurs, Magic Johnson inspires me to become the best businessman I can possibly morph into. Part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the owner and founder of Magic Johnson Enterprises, which has an estimated worth of more than $700 million with involvement in franchises such as Burger King, Starbucks, T.G.I. Friday’s and 24 Hour Fitness, and probably everything else in Los Angeles. And now he some how found some time to become the President of Basketball Operations for the Lakers.
The Williams sister that is often left out of the topic of conversation when it comes to women athletes or even black athletes is winning. On and off the Tennis court. Flying under the radar can be a good thing. She quietly put together quite the resume. Ms. Williams not only has a a singles record of 742-208 (78%), and 49 titles, but she is the CEO of V Starr Interiors, a partial owner of the Miami Dolphins, a franchise owner of Jamba Juice and managing an athletic clothing line called EleVen. I bet you knew none of that. It pays to keep a low profile, and to literally be about your business.
I only highlighted three, but there are many more making moves. I just wanted to give you a quick motivation, with some familiar faces this great Monday. Remember, they started off at the bottom too. Twice. In sports, as well as business.
Now go prosper.✌🏿
Writer for TheCouchSports.com, LiveFromWoodward.com, & PTA. Editor, and Co-Host of The Couch Sports Podcast, and a Certified Beardsman.