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The Michael Jordan Guide to Sports Career Success

Michael Jordan is the epitome of sports career success.

Not only is he one of the all-time greats on the court, he wields even more power off of it. In June 2010, Jordan was ranked by Forbes Magazine as the 20th “Most Powerful Celebrity in the World,” with $55 million earned. (10 years after his final dunk!)

However, when you look behind the MJ curtain, you’ll see it wasn’t just His Airness putting in the hours and paying the price. He surrounded himself with a team of trusted advisors: Phil Jackson, David Falk and Tim Grover. Not to mention his publicist, nutritionist, financial advisor, the list goes on.

Appoint Your Own Advisory Board

Like Jordan, you need your own advisory board. Bob Beaudine (@YouGotWho), best-selling author of, The Power of WHO says, “None of us can see every possibility coming our way.” Beaudine’s advice: “Create a personal board of directors.”

That’s exactly what Jordan did. Other than his head coach, Jordan assembled his own board. (Note: some argue that Jordan did, in fact, appoint his own head coach.)

People at the highest levels appoint their own advisory board, including the President of the United States, as well as business icons such as Donald Trump. While the decisions are ultimately theirs, the process of bouncing ideas and talking through problems is extremely valuable to one’s career.

The same can be said for a college student or a career-changer looking to achieve sports career success. We all need sound advice.

Whether you realize it or not, you already have an advisory board. Girlfriend. Boyfriend. Mom. Dad. Whoever you hangout with the most. This circle of influence is your advisory board.

It may be time to beef up your board. Adding key people who hold important positions can have the greatest impact. The list below will point you in the right direction.

• Your Professors (current or former)
• Your Rabbi/Pastor
• Your Career Services Director (even if you’ve graduated)
• Your Banker
• Your Lawyer
• Your Coach (current or former)
• Your Sports Executive Hero (Better find one! More on this in another post.)

The good news: these people want to help you. Reach out to them and they will respond.

Dominate Your Own Sports World

We can’t all, “Be like Mike” on the court. However, each of us can be the Michael Jordan of our respective fields.

You need to ask yourself, “What part of the sports business world can I dominate?”

Yes, Michael could jump. Shoot. Play D. Everything. But in the NBA, everyone can. Where MJ destroyed his opponents was in his mind. It was because of his superior mindset that he dominated the basketball world.

The most critical part of Jordan’s mindset was his willingness to outwork every person that’s ever laced up a pair of high-tops. When you outwork everyone — whether in sport or in business — you will have the mental edge.

MJ’s mental strength was unmatched. What about you? Where’s your strength? Creating? Producing? Leading? Influencing? Organizing? Speaking? Writing? Deal-making?

Find your most dominating strength and attach it to your greatest love.

Be Original and Authentic

If you’re doing what everyone else does, how will you stand out from the crowd? I’m not suggesting you do something obnoxious, for the sake of getting attention.

What I am saying is this: be a trendsetter. A tastemaker. A forward observer. An expert in your chosen field. But most of all, be original. And authentic.

Michael Jordan didn’t let the NBA’s ban on red shoes stop him. In fact, he used it as marketing weapon and started a sneaker revolution.

He didn’t continue wearing those ridicules short-shorts everyone else was, he went baggy and took swagger to a whole new level.

He didn’t let losing his hair cramp his style. Instead he shaved it smooth and did the impossible: made bald cool.

TAKE AWAY: Surround yourself with wise counsel. Link your God-given talent with your greatest love. And above all, be yourself. The best self you can possibly imagine.

What are you going to do? I want to know.  Please enter your thoughts in the comments section below.

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