It seems as though Magic isn’t a good enough nickname for sports icon Earvin Magic Johnson. When he came and spoke to us last Thursday afternoon it seemed as though he wanted to steal the nickname of another basketball great, Karl Malone aka the Mail Man, as he stressed how important it was not only to deliver, but to over deliver, and boy did we get the message.
Most of the time when former athletes speak to a group of business people, it’s more or less of a chance to pump their own ego and speak of their glory days. Not Magic. When he came and spoke to us he stayed true to his most overseeing statement, “know your customer.” He spoke of his days before playing basketball and how is interest in business got started and he spoke of his current and most recent endevours. To be honest, the 5’5″ owner of a mortgage company spoke more passionately about his basketball achievements that day than the legendary Johnson even alluded to.
Magic’s simplistic message and charsimatic delivery style made for an amazing lesson in achieving success. Contrary to popular belief, his status of a superstar didn’t make start up easy for Magic. He got turned down time and time again from investors who just saw him as a dumb jock who had gotten out of sports and needed something to fill his time It wasn’t until someone took a chance on Magic that the world began to see the business genius he truly is. The amazing part is no matter how much he achieves, every time he goes into a new area of business it’s the same story. He has to prove himself like a rookie in the league before anyone decides to back him.
All and all, Magic’s words on his business success and failure made for a great session of Business Wisdom. The way he stressed the importance of serving and knowing your customer never resonated as clear as it did that day and continues to stay clear in my mind every day as I think of business ventures.