The Official Blog of Mike Rayburn

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Magic Johnson – Success and Wisdom From A Life Virtuoso Part One

7 Success  Principles From The NBA and Business Master

A wonderfully kind man!
Magic and Mike in CA (As a perspective, Mike is 6’3″!)

This past October I was blessed to speak for the second time for Telogis, an awesome mobile asset tracking company. What a surprise when they said, “Mike, you’ll share the stage with Magic Johnson.”

As a Keynote Artist and student of success, I take copious notes and learn from every speaker and entertainer I experience. Magic Johnson was a wealth of success wisdom! As a gift for attendees I organized my notes and created “The Wisdom Of Magic,” which  I printed for the group as a surprise. They loved it, especially the meeting planner and top management (who saw their ROI for Magic increase).

Beyond NBA Hall of Fame Magic Johnson’s achievements are myriad. As an entrepreneur and human being Magic would be magic if he’d never picked up a basketball. 

The Success of Magic…

WisdomOfMagic_11.  Spend less than you make. Duh, right? We know this but we forget it, both individually and in business. This principle right away set Magic apart from so many other NBA stars who squandered their wealth. Are you spending more than you make? Is your business? How can you restore fiscal responsibility?





2.  Think strategically. There were many awesome, qualified buyers for the Lakers. Why did Magic choose the Gugenheim’s? Because he knew they had the potential for many more business deals down the road, beyond the current deal. So, how can you think strategically right now… in your current business?



WisdomOfMagic_33.  Go with what you know. What did Magic know that big business and corporate America did not? He knew the buying habits of urban America. He bet on what he knew to be true and it paid off in historic ways. What do you know well that others don’t?




WisdomOfMagic_44.  Believe in yourself when no one else does. In Magic’s rookie season he and the Lakers were up three games to two on Philadelphia in the championship when Kareem Abdul Jabar got hurt. No one thought they could win going back to Philadelphia; no one except Magic. And they did win the NBA Championship.




WisdomOfMagic_55.  Have an exit strategy. Part of thinking strategically is knowing when and how to get out or move on, especially if the parameters you’ve depended on change. Do you have an exit strategy? What if the parameters you’ve banked on change, what will you do?




WisdomOfMagic_66.  Be willing to do what others will not.
Magic began the day he spoke for us at 4AM with 30 minutes of quiet time to pray and prepare. At 5AM he was at the gym for cardio and weights. Most people do not do this. Most people are not in the NBA Hall of Fame. Most people are not multi-millionaires in business. Maybe there’s a correlation? How did you start your day today? How do you start every day? 



WisdomOfMagic_77.  Always make your business about the customer. Magic could not sell his sports wear until he stopped focusing on what he would buy and started focusing on what his customers wanted instead. Where and how could you be more customer-focused? What could you do right now to better know what your customers really want? 



Mike Rayburn is a Motivational Keynote Artist, two-time TED Talker, and Carnegie Headliner. For more information use this site or call: See Agency at 310-903-1751

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