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32 Ways to Be a Champion in Business Hardcover – November 18, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

EARVIN “MAGIC” JOHNSON—known worldwide for his talent on the basketball court—has an equally impressive career off the court. As the chairman and chief executive officer of Magic Johnson Enterprises, he has helped launch major business initiatives focused on revitalizing ethnically diverse urban communities by bringing brand-name businesses into them. He has been voted number one among organizations and individuals in representing the urban community, and is the celebrity most able to influence minority consumer purchasing.

For speaking engagements or to book Earvin “Magic” Johnson for your next corporate en­gagement, e-mail: info@magicjent.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1
The Mission
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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (November 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609608282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609608289
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #969,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Green on November 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If there's one word to describe the content of this book, it would be substance. I picked this book up last week after listening to Magic's radio interview with Steve Harvey. Normally, I would actively listen to book discussions and if interested, add to my list for later. However, during the discussion on the radio, Steve highlighted some of the points covered in the book such as forming business partnerships, following your entrepeneurial passion, franchising and of course financing. This book was told through Magic's experience from beginning to end. It covers finding your dream, to building your business, exiting your business and my favorite, social responsibility. I enjoyed the level of detail in his experiences. You don't normally get this from a well-known athlete/celebrity or even from other business books who's intent is to educate OR tell a story. Magic's book educates through real examples. He takes you through the journey of getting in that board room and pitching your business plan which lead to a "no" at first. Many entrepenuers can relate to that! There's cautionary advice, a host of options for you to consider as a entrepeneur. Magic did not learn everything in one day and he gladly gives credit to those who have taught him along the way. I believe because of his mission, he taught a lot of pessimistic opportunists a lot. Earvin does speak a little about how his past NBA-career may have helped or hurt during his entrepeneurial journey. It's worth the read for inspiration and direction. This book is a comprehensive look at what it takes to lead a community while pursuing entrepenuership. Ironically, given all of Magic's business dealings, I don't think I've ever read of anyone maintaining an evolving door of entrepeneurship. His mission is steady and his investments are diverse. Truly an honest read. I walked away with a full discussion with my family and a sense of additional research I needed to do as a budding entrepeneur. Again, this book has substance.
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Format: Hardcover
Reviewed by: Leandus Poe
Titles: Strawberries and Blackberry Cheesecake
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Companies: Million Dollar Book 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.
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Format: Hardcover
I listened to the audio book. This book has inspired me like no other to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams . The subject is very close to my heart. I am purchasing the book to keep as a reference.
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Format: Paperback
Awesome, Awesome, Awesome! I am the owner of a small real estate investment company. I am writing this review to let all Amazon readers know that if your looking for a book that will motivate, mentor, and educate you all at the same time, you have found the book that you were looking for! I received this book as a Father's Day gift from my son. Truth be told, before I read this book, no matter how much I heard about Magic's success in business, I just stereotypically couldn't see him as anything but the typical athlete/investor. However after reading this book you start to wonder how someone with so much genuine passion, knowledge, and talent for business ever did anything else besides build and run successful companies in his life. Magic's knowledge of the world of business is all that and then some! I mean it's like watching Smitty & Hoppy from Sanford & Son. Magic Johnson seems to be saying in this book, "now let me explain to you what Robert Kiyosaki, Donald trump, and the other top level executives in the board room was actually talking about." He explains/summarizes with extraordinary detail the business model from start-up to exit-strategy and the importance of learning how to balance business with family! How he did this within the confides of a 300 page book I do not know. It's like Magic! (pun intended) Again if your looking for a book that will educate, inform, inspire, motivate, coach, make you smile and sometimes even laugh all at the same time, look no further because '32 Ways to Be a Champion' is the book for you! Magic is one of the few business moguls that I know of that is truly giving it all away!!
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