32 Ways to Be a Champion in Business

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Overview

As a young man, Earvin ?Magic? Johnson admired his father and other small-town entrepreneurs who created jobs and served as leaders in his Midwestern community. He worked for them, watched them, and his interest in building communities through economic development grew even while his basketball career flourished. His fame as an NBA star gave him access to some of the most successful business leaders in the country. It was Earvin?s own entrepreneurial spirit that inspired them to...
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32 Ways to Be a Champion in Business

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Overview

As a young man, Earvin “Magic” Johnson admired his father and other small-town entrepreneurs who created jobs and served as leaders in his Midwestern community. He worked for them, watched them, and his interest in building communities through economic development grew even while his basketball career flourished. His fame as an NBA star gave him access to some of the most successful business leaders in the country. It was Earvin’s own entrepreneurial spirit that inspired them to serve as his mentors.

Earvin made the transition from great athlete to greater entrepreneur through hard work and by avidly pursuing opportunities. He recognized that densely populated urban communities were ripe for commercial and residential development. He partnered with major brands like Starbucks, 24 Hour Fitness, and T.G.I. Friday’s to lead a major economic push in these communities. The success of his businesses proved that ethnically diverse urban residents would welcome and support major brands if given the opportunity. Earvin continues to be a leader of urban economic development that provides jobs, goods, and a new spirit of community.

32 Ways to Be a Champion in Business will inspire and enlighten readers who wish to make a similar impact with their careers and business endeavors.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
First of all, the numbers: The "32" in the title was also Earvin "Magic" Johnson's number as an NBA star. And there's no denying that he was a superstar: He led five teams to championships; was part of an Olympic gold medal–winning team; was a 12-time All-Star and a three-time MVP; and was included in the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Star Team. He made headlines around the world when he announced that he was HIV positive in 1992. He has been the subject of no fewer than ten biographies. In this book, Magic draws on his lessons from his life in sports, charity, and business to describe what being a champion really means.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609608289
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/18/2008
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.42 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet 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.

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Read an Excerpt

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 4, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Easy Read!!

    Magic Johnson book was extremely compelling! He was excellent at "painting pictures" that will allow Leaders regardless of background to apply these skills to your everyday life. These are practical "life skills".If you are an aspiring business owner, a leader in your community, or any professional that's required to think out of the box,this book is definitely for you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I found it informative and inspirational

    Magic Johnson has been one of my favorite basketball players since his Michigan State days. Reading his book was a revelation. Anyone with entrepreneurial aspirations should read it. He was a champion in the NBA and may be recognized one day as a greater champion and role model in business.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 25, 2008

    I love this book!

    I purchased this book during Magic Johnson's book signing day at B&N. I read this book and loved it. I think that Magic Johnson is a wonderful person. Great book and worth it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Author, Light at the End of My Pen

    I'll be ordering a copy, I would like to see what you have to say! I'll write a better review later. Good Job on the book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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