Did you know that the man who manages LeBron James is a Mogul Millennial?
Yeah, I didn’t know that either.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Rich Paul literally started from the bottom and has made it to the top due to his relentless attitude to succeed and his unwavering entrepreneurial spirit.
Without an extensive background or a long history of experience in sports management, Paul entered the sports management industry, and within a short few years managed to earn a client roster that includes pros like LeBron James and Ben Simmons through his company Klutch Sports Group. Without a doubt, Paul has become one of the most sought after agents in the game and for him, his game has just begun.
In a recent article with Beats by Dre, Paul discussed his sports management career journey and dropped a few gems along the way that all aspiring Mogul Millennials will be motivated by. Here are our top takeaways from his interview.
1.”Try hard and never settle.”
Paul has always had an attitude of always believing in himself and not falling victim to his current situation. Even when the naysayers doubted him or when he was grinding it out, selling throwback jerseys in his hood, he always kept his eye on the prize and kept his vision and goals in mind. Most importantly he maintained confidence in himself and never gave up on the life he knew the universe had in store for him.
2.“How can I turn this into a business?”
Before Paul became LeBron’s agent, LeBron first met him in the airport wearing an authentic Warren Moon throwback jersey. LeBron was so impressed by his jersey, and this is what jumpstarted their relationship. Prior to this, Paul would always find unique jerseys and when others would see them, their response would be unexpectedly wild (in a positive way). From there, Paul knew that he had a gift in identifying unique apparel and knew he shouldn’t take his gift lightly (so he turned it into a business). From this, we can take a note from Paul’s book. What are some of the things you are great in that you can turn into a profitable business?
3. “I don’t really get into what somebody has to say or doesn’t have to say.”
In his interview, Paul answered that being a young Black man in the sports management business and dealing with naysayers has been his biggest challenge. Paul noted that the haters would say things like “He hasn’t done this” or “He can’t negotiate that”. For Paul, he knew he could either believe what they say and let it affect his dreams and business, or say forget the haters and maintain the confidence in himself.
4.”You’re only going to be as strong as your team.”
Starting a business can be hard, and maintaining it can be harder. When starting his sports management company, Paul knew that in order to really take his business to the next level, he needed to level up and get a team. As an entrepreneur, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not staying true to yourself when you need help and letting your ego get ahead of yourself, thinking you can and should do everything alone. Luckily for Paul he did not fall victim to this, and early on found people to join his team.
5.”You gotta shoot your shot to make the shot. If you don’t shoot, how can you make it?”
As Paul said, “[We are] living in a world where people will discourage you from taking a leap.” Sadly, often times we let the negativity from other people drown out our own dreams and that goal we had turns into “I’ll start on it next week, to next month, to next quarter, to after the start of the new year, to essentially the ish never happens.” It’s crucial that we remain confident in ourselves and in Paul’s words “shoot our shot.” If you don’t shoot your shot and just try, you will never know if that business idea that you have will be the one that will turn your life around for the better.
6.”You can’t know who you are trying to please somebody else. You have to please you.”
As Millennials we are always trying our hardest to please everyone and forget to do what makes us happy. We live a life trying to do what everyone else wants, and before we know it, we forget about what makes us tick and what brings us joy. As Paul said, “Everyone’s out here trying to please somebody else. For what? For a couple laughs or a pat on the back? What’s that going to do? You can’t eat that. You can’t eat likes.”
Take a lesson from Paul’s gems: Your value comes in knowing who you are as a person.
Everything else is secondary.