Urban Entrepreneur: Sports -- (career book, nonfiction), sample page:
Even if you’re a great athlete, you still need to be an entrepreneur. You won’t play forever. As you’ve seen, many athletes find a new career in business when they retire from sports. The irony is that there’s just as much money to be made off the field. This is something that many young athletes discover.
In the previous chapter, we talked about a former Detroit Piston named Vinnie Johnson. Ironically, years before the “Microwave” was heating up the NBA, the Pistons had another all-star guard. His name was Dave Bing. He averaged more than 22 points and seven assists in 10 seasons over his career. He was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.
As a basketball player, Dave Bing didn’t even make a whole lot of money. Those were the days before big salaries or a lot of products to endorse. In fact, the most he ever earned in a single season was $225,000, in 1977. Compare that with the average NBA salary of today, which is around $5 million.
After his retirement, Mr. Bing formed a company named Bing Steel. Within five years, the company was bringing in revenues of close to $50 million. Here’s the amazing part: in its first year, Bing Steel was losing a lot of money. Yet it turned around and became hugely successful. It shows that business is very much like sports. Perseverance and determination pays off in the end.
One last thing: these days, if you run into Dave Bing on the street, please don’t call him Mr. Bing. It would be more correct to address him as Mayor Bing. That’s right. In 2009, this basketball star/entrepreneur was elected by the city of Detroit to be its Mayor. Who knows, maybe one day you will be calling him President Bing. This is America—where every one of us can accomplish amazing things.
You may or may not become a pro athlete, but everyone can be an entrepreneur. You can start building your brand right now. It starts with simple things: good grades at school. An idea for a new product. A scholarship to college. Once you lay the foundation for a good life, good things will follow. Hopefully you’ll be an MVP in sports. No matter what, you can be an MVP in business. So, are you ready to start building your brand?