Magic Johnson shocked the world by recently giving up his favorite job as president of the Los Angeles Lakers, but his actions fall into the life strategies for success that he touts as a world-renown sportsman, businessman, health fanatic and motivational speaker.
He started off with humble roots in a family of 10 children in Michigan where they ate syrup sandwiches and depended on government-issued cheese. He rose to became one of the richest businessmen in the nation, and one of the most recognizable athletes in the world. Along with that, he battles HIV and continues to reinvent himself and his career at 59 years old.
His advice fits in to everyone who has signed onto Sportamix, and is seeking a career in sports. He offers a more detailed list of suggestions and advice in his motivational seminars, but these are some of the highlights.
Don’t Be Fearful
Magic showed relentless spirit on the court as a 6-foot-9-inch point guard, and he recommends that young people don’t act on their fears, especially when it’s fear of failure. That includes on and off the court. He found himself facing many investors and bank officials who didn’t want to help him after he retired from basketball, and yet, he became a CEO of a major movie theater chain and property developer.
He recently didn’t tell his longtime friend and owner of the Lakers, Jeanie Buss, of his decision to move on from his plum job because he didn’t want to be guilted into staying, and he didn’t want to act on fear of the unknown. “I was afraid we would just cry for hours, and I would stay on,” he said.
Do a Great Deal of Research
Nothing in his life scared him more than finding out he had HIV in 1991 just after marrying his longtime girlfriend Earletha “Cookie” Kelly. He has three children, and worried about not seeing them grow up.
He took charge of his life and decided to eat right, take the best medicine and exercise intensely. He researched the best dietary habits, and the most powerful virus-fighting medications. In 2002, his doctors declared him free of AIDS symptoms, crediting his exercise regime.
Find Mentors and Follow their Advice
Along with Jeanie Buss and his wife Cookie, Magic found many mentors throughout his life and career, including rivals and colleagues among the legendary basketball players such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Growing up as a teen in Lansing, Michigan, he found mentors in the African American community through a real estate developer and a car dealership mogul who gave him advice about business and running a company. They taught him about fairness and sportsmanship in business that he carried into the game and onto the court.
Sportamix allows you to find coaches, mentors, teachers and advisors on the site in your field or special interest.
Always Be Curious
When working in the Laker’s office, Magic spent hours learning about more than just the game. He learned about finance, about banking, about sponsorships, about the stadium seating arrangements, about the players, the advertising of the team, and contract details. He took every employee out to lunch and met them one by one during his time at the Lakers. He studied strategies of successful business people, shared ideas, asked questions, and kept asking questions.
Spot and Opening and Go for It
Magic wanted to help his community, and he noticed that movie theaters were often too expensive for the poorer black and Hispanic communities that he wanted to help. He talked to members in the community and answered their wishes.
He lowered prices for tickets and substituted popular soft drinks with grape, strawberry and orange juices. He included spicier hot dogs, jalapeno peppers, nachos and other food items not usually found in movie theaters.
Just like he could find an opening on a crowded court to make a basket, Magic was able to find an opening in business and create a success.
Always Do Better than Expected
As he did in sports, and as he did with his health, Magic learned to overachieve. He overdelivered and gave more than what was expected.
In business, he sought out a loan for $150 million, but only was offered a $50 million loan from a bank. He bought a downscale shopping mall for $22 million, revamped it and sold it for $48 million. After getting the respect from the bankers, he quickly received $100 million because they saw how he could go beyond everyone’s expectations.
Magic is named as one of the 50 greatest players in the NBA, he won an Olympic gold medal, has a star on the Walk of Fame, and presides over a foundation doing research on AIDS and HIV, as well as runs Magic Johnson Entertainment.
Magic continues to inspire, motivate and recreate himself, and he is happy to share his advice.