The purpose of EO is to help entrepreneurs reach their full potential. One way EO makes this possible is through programs like the EO Powerhouse Series, which provide exclusive access to thought leaders and changemakers from various industries.
In May, EO member and Chairman of the Global Learning Committee, David Nilssen, hosted a virtual interview with Earvin “Magic” Johnson, an American National Basketball Association (NBA) legend, entrepreneur, philanthropist and motivational speaker. EO members heard firsthand about Magic’s challenges and the path to making their company the # 1 urban brand in America. Johnson has developed the skills and tenacity to distinguish himself as an athlete, entrepreneur, and changemaker.
The EO Powerhouse Series interview with Magic Johnson is available exclusively to EO members until August 26, 2021. Part 1 of our interview summarizes seven Magic Learning Moments from the program.
In case you missed it, here are six additional “Magical Learning Moments” this inspiring entrepreneur shared during the interview:
- When you’re going through something, you need your support system. Magic withdrew from basketball three decades ago because it learned he was HIV positive, which shocked the sports world. “When the doctor told me I had HIV, I went down on my knees in disbelief,” said Magic. Then he had to go home and tell his wife Cookie, who was pregnant with their first child. “When you make mistakes, you not only hurt yourself, but also your family members and everyone who loves you,” said Magic. “It hurt to see her cry.” (Fortunately, they found neither Cookie nor the baby were HIV positive a week later.) That night, Magic told his wife that he was HIV positive, she told him she was staying and they “beat this thing up would ”. Magic said, “If she had left, I probably wouldn’t be here today. I needed my best friend, I needed my wife, who was there for me – and that was her. “
- You get knocked down, but just keep going. When he first got into business, people didn’t think Magic could be a good CEO. He used his own money, but if he wanted to scale and achieve growth and sustainability, he had to borrow more. “I went to seven banks – they all turned me away. I had a strong business strategy and a track record. They still all said no. They all wanted my autograph, but they didn’t lend me any money, “Magic recalled. “Only when I went to the eighth bank did they say yes.”
- Always deliver. When he got the loan, Magic knew he had to deliver. He bought a mall that was 40% occupied for $ 22 million and then worked on increasing it to 100% occupancy. He sold it for $ 48 million and brought the profit of $ 26 million to the same bank; they loaned him $ 50 million. “Tradition. If you over-deliver, you can come back to that bank and get more capital. Now, based on my track record, I can raise as much capital as I need and want. “
- Get people to the deal. Sometimes you have to physically show potential partners where the possibilities are. When Magic made a deal to bring Starbucks coffee locations to urban America, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz flew to Los Angeles to see how Magic runs its cinemas. “I took him to South Central and drove him around to see the beautiful, well-kept houses in this community. Whitney Houston’s hit film Waiting to Exhale premiered that night, so people were standing down the block, every theater was sold out, there were a thousand women in the lobby, and the concession booth made a lot of money. “After the movie, Schultz said,” Magic, me saw everything i had to see You have the deal. Thank you for coming to see these communities with my own eyes. Let’s build 125 Starbucks in the city centers. “
- Know your target customer. When Magic opened its downtown Starbucks coffee shop, it wanted to appeal to its target audience. “Starbucks coffee is great, but their desserts didn’t go down well with urban consumers. I took scones out of my Starbucks and put peach cobbler, sweet potato pie, and ankle cakes in them. ”As a result, the profit per cap in his store was $ 5.59, while other Starbucks locations were $ 5.51. “I beat the suburban stores because we made this little tweak.”
- You can do good and do good at the same time. When asked what his legacy was supposed to be, Magic said nothing about his epic basketball career. He is most proud of the jobs he created in urban America for minorities in the United States and the Magic Johnson Foundation’s 10,000 scholarships for “minority children who had the grace to go to college, but not the financial means.” He also mentioned the technology centers his company has built that give downtown kids access to technology. “Downtown kids are way behind suburban kids because they don’t have access to technology. I’m really proud of the 20 technology centers we’ve built across the country. “
Additionally, Magic provided $ 325 million during the pandemic to help small Black, Latin American, and female business owners keep their businesses open. “We saved over 15,000, including 20,000 companies across America. I’m really proud of that. ”You can do good and do good at the same time.
“I want to be a voice for those who have no voice. I want to help people to be successful. Make sure these 10,000 children who received these Magic Johnson Foundation scholarships can achieve their goals and dreams the way I achieved my goals and dreams. I don’t care about the championships – I want to change the communities in this country. Influence and make a difference. “
Don’t miss Part 1 of this interview where Magic discusses seven additional lessons he learned during his entrepreneurial journey!
And get ready for upcoming editions of the EO Powerhouse Series – including Jay Shetty on July 13, 2021, Trevor Noah on August 31, 2021 and Jane Goodall on September 23, 2021. EO members can register here for this exclusive to enjoy free speaker series.