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4 Entrepreneurial Lessons You Can Learn From Michael Jordan

4 Entrepreneurial Lessons You Can Learn From Michael Jordan

When most people think about Michael Jordan, they consider the athlete. After all, we’re talking about the best basketball player to ever play the game. He finished his career with six NBA championships, five MVP awards, 11 All-Star nominations, two Olympic gold medals, and a long list of other worthy accomplishments. On top of that, Jordan took a shot at playing professional baseball at the age of 31. He played in 127 games for the Birmingham Barons of the Southern League before deciding to transition back to basketball. That’s not something any athlete can just decide to do. Yet, Jordan did it and never missed a beat.

But when you start to look past all the athletic accolades, championship rings, trophies, and stats, you realize that Michael Jordan is much more than a superior athlete — he’s a polarizing businessman. Forbes estimates his net worth somewhere north of $1 billion, thanks to his part ownership in the Charlotte Hornets and lucrative marketing deals that bring in more than $100 million annually from global brands like Nike, Gatorade, and Hanes. Jordan also owns seven restaurants, a car dealership, and is involved with a handful of other ventures.

The takeaway? Jordan is more than one of the greatest athletes of all time – he’s one of the savviest businessmen of the twenty-first century. As an entrepreneur, there are plenty of lessons to be gleaned from his time on and off the court. Let’s take a look at a few of those:

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1. You Must Desire to be Great

“When you are around Michael enough, you realize very quickly that his rise to the top was far from coincidental,” said Andrew Walters, one of Jordan’s former business advisers. “I observed his leadership style, his quick mind, and his pure desire to be the best.”

There’s a common misconception that successful people stumble into greatness. While it may make for a good Hollywood story, this is rarely the truth. Successful people aim for greatness and do what it takes to get there. In Jordan’s case, he’s obviously been blessed with the talent to match his desire, but it’s the latter that fuels the former.

2. You Must Rebound from Failure

It’s a worn-out story, but is worth reiterating. Did you know that Michael Jordan was actually cut from his high school varsity basketball team the first time he tried out? That’s right, the coaches told him he wasn’t good enough to play high school basketball.

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In the NBA it wasn’t all success, either.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career,” Jordan once famously said. “I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

People who say Jordan has it all obviously haven’t watched closely enough. There have been times when he failed, failed again, and failed some more. However, at the end of the day, he always picks himself back up and learns from his mistakes. As an entrepreneur, you’re going to fail. You’ll probably fail more than once. Do you have the courage and tenacity to get back up and succeed?

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3. You Must Get the Fundamentals Down

As an entrepreneur, you have to identify the handful of skills that you need to succeed. Those skills will look different depending on the industry you work in, but you have to recognize them and master them before focusing on more complex, bigger-picture things.

“You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way,” Jordan warns people. “Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise.”

4. You Must Stay on Guard

In your pursuit of success and greatness, people will try to bring you down. They may call you callous or greedy. You can’t let the noise drown you out. Sometimes you’re the only one that can protect yourself, so don’t be afraid to take a stand.

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Just recently, Jordan was forced to do so himself. After a supermarket used his name in an advertisement without his permission, Jordan decided that he couldn’t sit back and let people devalue his brand. He filed a lawsuit and was eventually awarded $8.9 million (which will ultimately be donated to local Chicago charities).

“He was compelled to send a message to the marketplace that he takes the protection of his identity seriously,” said Kevin Adler. It was a risky move that could have damaged his reputation with many, but it ultimately paid off. Jordan stood his guard and provided a lesson for entrepreneurs everywhere: Success doesn’t come by taking the easy route.

Featured photo credit: Jason H. Smith via flickr.com

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Schuyler Richardson

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Last Updated on March 12, 2019

20 Inspiring Vision Statement Examples (2019 Updated)

20 Inspiring Vision Statement Examples (2019 Updated)

There is normally a lengthy list of things you need to consider when starting a business, and if you don’t manage them properly, your excitement can quickly turn into overwhelm. What can support you to stay inspired and on the right track when starting out? You guessed it: this is your vision statement.

What Is a Vision Statement?

A vision statement is like a photograph of your future business, which gives your business shape and direction.

A vision statement provides the direction and describes what the founder wants the organization to achieve in the future; it’s more about the “what” of a business. It is different from a mission statement, which describes the purpose of an organization and more about the “how” of a business.

If you were to take a photo of your future business now, what would it look like? What do you want your business to be recognized for one day?

You need to have a crystal clear vision when you start out, otherwise you can get easily lost in deciding the best way forward. When you are making strategic decisions for your business and even daily operation decisions, your vision statement will give you the inspiration and targeted direction you need.

The Importance of a Vision Statement

Without a vision statement, your business will lack motivation to keep going.

If you don’t aim for anything, you might not hit anything. The more specific and clear you are, the better your chances are at seeing your vision turn into reality.

The importance of a vision statement cannot be overlooked; not only does it provide long term direction and guidance, but it also gives you the inspiration and the necessary energy to keep going when you feel lost.

Always keep your vision statement alive by revisiting it regularly and communicating your vision with other members of the team, to inspire and motivate them as well.

How to Craft an Inspiring Vision Statement

1. Dream big and use clear language

An inspiring vision statement should inform a clear direction and priorities for the organization, while challenging all the team members to grow together. Based on our expert sources’ advice, we’ve got some great tips for you:

  • Imagine how you want the business to be like in five to ten years.
  • Infuse the business’ values in the statement.
  • Make sure that the statement is implying a clear focus for the business.
  • Write your vision statement in the present tense.
  • Use clear and concise language.
  • Ensure the statement is easily understood.

There are many different types of vision statements and there is no wrong or right way to do it. The most important thing is to resonate with it. It will always inspire you and give you a clear targeted direction.

2. Get inspirations from the successful companies.

Having researched on a number of successful companies’ vision statements, I’ve shortlisted 20 good examples for the new startups:

Short vision statements made up of a few words only:

1. Disney

To make people happy.

2. Oxfam

A just world without poverty.

3. Ikea

To create a better every day life for the many people.

Quantitative statements are based on numbers, quantities:

4. Microsoft

Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

    5. Nike

    Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)

      Qualitative statements are based on qualities that you want to have:

      6. Ford

      People working together as a lean, global enterprise to make people’s lives better through automotive and mobility leadership.

      7. Avon

      To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needs of women—globally.

      Competitor based statements – this type is becoming less common, but famous examples are:

      8. Honda – in 1970

      We will destroy Yamaha.

      9. Nike – in 1960s

      Crush Adidas.

        10. Philip Morris – in 1950s

        Knock off RJR as the number one tobacco  company in the world.

        Role Model Vision Statements – using another company as an example:

        11. Stanford University – in the past

        To become the Harvard of the West.

        12. Reach for Success – in the past

        To become the next Tony Robbins in self development.

        Internal Transformations vision statements:

        13. Apple

        To produce high-quality, low cost, easy to use products that incorporate high technology for the individual.

        14. Giro Sport Design

        To make sure that riding is the best part of a great life.

        15. Tesla

        To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

        16. Sony

        To be a company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity.

        17. Facebook

        To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

          Longer and more detailed vision statement:

          18. Walmart

          To give customers a wide assortment of their favorite products, Every Day Low Prices, guaranteed satisfaction, friendly service, convenient hours (24 hours, 7 days a week) and a great online shopping experience.

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          19. Coca Cola

          To achieve sustainable growth, we have established a vision with clear goals:

          Profit: Maximizing return to share owners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.

          People: Being a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.

          Portfolio: Bringing to the world a portfolio of beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy peoples; desires and needs.

          Partners: Nurturing a winning network of partners and building mutual loyalty.

          Planet: Being a responsible global citizen that makes a difference.

            20. Heinz

            Our VISION, quite simply, is to be: “The World’s Premier Food Company, Offering Nutritious, Superior Tasting Foods To People Everywhere.” Being the premier food company does not mean being the biggest but it does mean being the best in terms of consumer value, customer service, employee talent, and consistent and predictable growth.

            The Bottom Line

            Remember, always keep your vision statement up-to-date to direct your company’s actions.

            Remember, once you reach your vision, it needs to be changed. General Motors overtook Ford as #1 automotive company in the world because once Ford’s goal was reached, they never updated it.

            Keep your vision statement alive and visibly in front of you, revisit it and let it help direct your actions and activities. This is the fun part: this is where you get to dream really big and allow your imagination to fly as high as you want.

            Don’t hold back, let your creative juices flow and give yourself permission to explore what is possible for your business.

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            To your success!

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