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32 Ways to Be a Champion in Business Paperback – December 29, 2009
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About the Author
For speaking engagements or to book Earvin “Magic” Johnson for your next corporate engagement, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Hardcover edition.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Each of us can make a difference, even if it is one street corner at a time.
My father and other entrepreneurs in my hometown, Lansing, Michigan, were my first business role models and mentors. Later, I got to know major entertainment executives such as Joe Smith of Elektra/Asylum Records and Peter Guber of Sony Pictures because they had courtside Lakers tickets. When we socialized after games, they’d ask me about basketball—and I’d pick their brains about business.
Still, it was J. Bruce Llewellyn, one of the most successful black men in America, who sent me off with a mission on my journey from basketball player to businessman. The son of Jamaican immigrants, he built an empire that includes one of the nation’s largest Coca-Cola distributorships, a cable and broadcasting company, and Essence magazine.
When we met, I got right to the point.
“I want to be a businessman after basketball,” I told him. “I want to make a lot of money like you.”
Mr. Llewellyn let me babble on like that for several minutes before he cut me off with a wave of his hand.
“No, Magic,” he said; “if money is all you want, there willnever be enough of it and you will never be happy. You’ve got to be about more than that.”
He had my attention. What did he mean?
“You have the opportunity to be a leader who can do great things and change people’s lives for the better,” he said. “You can be a businessman who is also a catalyst for change.”
This great entrepreneur offered me more than I’d bargained for. Since high school, I’d sought out advice from every successful businessperson I’d met. This was the first person who had a bigger vision for me than I had for myself.
A catalyst for change?
That was a role I’d never imagined. I thought you had to be Nelson Mandela or the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., to change the world. I learned instead that each of us can make a difference, even if it is one street corner at a time.
I still saw myself as an athlete—a player who performed well on the basketball court and hopefully excited a few fans. I figured once my NBA days were over I’d fade from the public view and focus on building wealth and a family.
God has a way of telling you what you are supposed to be doing. He gets the message out one way or another until you finally pay attention.
That meeting with J. Bruce Llewellyn was a defining moment. He changed my perspective by challenging me to expand my goals as a person and as an entrepreneur.
A few weeks after my talk with him, God sent another messenger by the name of John Mack, who led the Urban League of Los Angeles for more than thirty-five years.
Mr. Mack asked me to join the Urban League. Then he too challenged me.
“You’ve got to become a leader in this community,” he said. “You need to get involved and learn how things work.”
Bruce Llewellyn and John Mack opened my eyes and my mind to a much bigger world.
I’d thought I was living large as a member of the Lakers. Yet once I immersed myself in business and joined the Urban League, I realized that an athlete’s life offers a very limited perspective.
Over time, I came to understand the vision others had for me. I made the next big step in my manhood when I heeded the advice of those two strong and committed leaders. They refocused my vision for my life, and I resolved to first make a difference in the world and let the money take care of itself.
To accomplish that mission, I went back to school in the classroom of the real world. I was lucky. I had access to brilliant men and women of all races who gave me guidance—from Black Enterprise publisher Earl Graves to Lakers owner Jerry Buss and Hollywood superagent Michael Ovitz.
Even with those great minds to guide me, I had a lot to learn. Certainly, I made mistakes, and I will share what I learned from them in the pages that follow. To stay true to my mission, I will share the story of my journey from basketball to boardroom while also providing guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Before we begin, I encourage you, just as Mr. Llewellyn and Mr. Mack encouraged me, to think of yourself and your business as catalysts for positive change in your community. Make a difference, and making money will follow.
Top Customer Reviews
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32 Ways to be a Champion in Business by Earvin "Magic" Johnson
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I can't believe how excited I was to pick up a book written by Earvin "Magic" Johnson concerning information that would make me a better businessman. I have been hearing about his business success as an entrepreneur for years. Honestly I didn't even know that this book was even out until recently. My excitement dates back to the 80's when he lead the Los Angeles Lakers to many victories. That's when I use to watch basketball all the time. It was a better ingredient of athletes back then. Magic was a nickname given to him based off of what he did as a "play-maker" on the court. Well guess what ladies and gentlemen? He is still magical.
His book 32 Ways to Be a Champion in Business is no different from him being a superb play-maker. This book lists all the special ingredients to become a powerful force as an entrepreneur. I pose the question, what African American leader is giving back to his/her community? I asked that question because in my opinion giving knowledge is the ultimate gift. Earvin "Magic" Johnson gives back everything he has learned as a businessman with hopes of inspiring the future generation.
He teaches in his book not to just be concerned about making a sale. He is more consumed with showing you how to invest in your own creativity so you can establish a mission for your company. Does your company have a cause or goal? If making cash is the only reason then one might truly fail.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This a great book for those that would like to start a business or currently owning. I have been owning a business for 4 years now, and start-up small businesses struggle with so... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Silly book full of empty catchphrases with nothing of substance. Nothing here should be new to anybody with a high school diploma. Read morePublished 9 months ago by thebomisthebomb
Very good information for anyone trying to start a business or wants to be a successful leader. Magic has done a great job since leaving the NBA and is a wonderful inspiration. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Leon Atterberry
Magic share some very important aspect to building a Business a Brand & networking.Published 21 months ago by Danny Thompson
I'm new in the business field and my Mr . Johnson has informed me lot about the business field and how to become a successful business man.Published 22 months ago by Robert
It's an easy read and real page turner. I like the simple ideas he detailed for that any one can follow for success!Published on May 23, 2014 by kelvin funches