While some retired top professional athletes have made a name for themselves off the field or court as disastrous stewards of their fortunes, a small amount of sports stars have enviable business acumen that’s made them millions.
In an interview with ThinkAdvisor, David Meltzer, CEO of Sports 1 Marketing, co-founded with NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, discusses the central business strategies of the likes of superstars Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Michael Jordan, among others.
Meltzer, formerly CEO of Leigh Steinberg Sports and Entertainment (Steinberg inspired the film “Jerry Maguire” with Tom Cruise), has just released a new book, “Game-Time Decision Making: High-Scoring Business Strategies from the Biggest Names in Sports” (McGraw Hill-July 16, 2019), a guide to developing game plans based on superior decision-making techniques.
He argues that achievers in any field can apply these athletes’ successful business strategies because all of them essentially stem from the same three universal elements.
In his book, Meltzer, 51, discusses what he calls “perhaps the most dangerous, most destructive” habit. That would be procrastination.
In the interview, he bluntly provides a remedy: “The Law of GOYA” (It isn’t Goya Foods, by the way).
What’s made this executive and entrepreneur a career success is “not limiting [his] point of entry or specialty” to a particular field, he stresses. Thus, his resume includes stints as an oil-and-gas attorney, CEO of smartphone PC-E Phone, a publisher and executive producer of movies.
He writes freely, however, about a big downer that occurred after he became a multimillionaire: bankruptcy. But he often uses that 2009 experience to teach folks to “do the right things” about their “relationship with money,” he says.
ThinkAdvisor recently interviewed Meltzer, on the phone from his firm’s Irvine, California, office. The business coach and keynote speaker peppered his conversation with other advice too, such as being consistent and persistent in one’s pursuit but to always plan for adjustments.
Here are highlights of our interview:
THINKADVISOR: Are the successful business strategies of pro athletes too specialized for others to use?
DAVID MELTZER: I don’t think so. The three components that make a person successful on the field are the same three that make them successful off the field: skill, knowledge and desire.
You write about “The Law of GOYA.” What’s that?
GOYA stands for “Get Off Your Ass.” Dreaming about what you want is the first step, but then you need to actually take action to get what you want — and then prepare for adjustment using discipline, strategy and awareness to maximize productivity.
Let’s talk about some star athletes’ strategies you discuss in your book. For example, Kevin Durant, the 10-time NBA All-Star whose company invests in 30-plus ventures, according to Forbes. This month, after playing for the Golden State Warriors for three years, he signed with the Brooklyn Nets. His four-year contract is worth as much as $164 million, Forbes says. Is that move part of his business strategy?
Without a doubt, basketball is his business — an activity he gets paid for. So, yes, he’s maximizing how much he gets paid for that activity, which he enjoys and enjoys pursuing. Absolutely this was an economic decision that suits his values.