Most people look at a Michael Jordan, a LeBron James, a Jeff Bezos, a Tom Brady, and even a Steph Curry and say, “Man, I wish I could have the success they have.” I would just respond to that with a few questions. Are you willing to do everything it takes to become that successful? Will you be the first one at the gym/office and the last one to leave? Are you willing to miss a party, a vacation, or even time with family and friends? Or are you willing to get the proper training and/or take the proper courses required to master your craft?
In some cases success is born through a lot of pain, a lot of struggles, a lot of failures, and a lot of hard times.
It’s not as easy as it looks. It takes a lot of sacrifice, a lot of hard work, faith, patience, and long hours away from your family and friends.
Terrell Sheppard is an entrepreneur, financial advisor, and host of Nbusiness, a Facebook live show focusing on the business of sports. He says, “Sports is a metaphor of life. No Pain, No Gain. You have to willing to give up everything just to get the opportunity to play the game! I recommend for anyone pursuing their goals, go ALL IN. If you fail, you will have no regrets that you gave it your all. I guarantee you, going ALL IN is the only way you will succeed!”
Let’s look at 5 people that started with nothing and ended up with everything.
Serge-ing to the Top
NBA player Serge Ibaka was born in Brazzaville, Congo. His parents had 18 children. Basketball saved his life, as he used it as an escape to get his mind off of his mom’s death. His father was imprisoned during the Second Congo War. He tried numerous times to escape Congo. Finally at the age of 17, he was successful when he moved to France, where he played second division basketball.
In 2008, he was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics. He is the first player from the Republic of Congo to be selected in the NBA draft.
Chang-ing His Fortunes
Do Won Chang is the owner of Forever 21. Do Won immigrated to America from Korea in 1981. He had to work three jobs to support his wife and himself. He was a janitor, barista, and gas station attendant. Chang worked tirelessly to make ends meet until he saved up enough money to open up a small clothing store in 1984. That tiny store ended becoming Forever 21, which is now worth billions.
Choosing the Light
Former NBA player Caron Butler was born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin in a lower class neighborhood. He had an impoverished childhood. Butler started dealing drugs by age 11 and was arrested 15 times before the age of 15.
He says one of his most defining moments was watching his mother’s eyes as he rode away in the back of the police car. He reached a crossroads in which he could have went left and met death or right to see the light. While serving time at a detention center, he fell in love with basketball.
He moved to Maine to attend Maine Central Institute. Caron saw the light and never looked back. Butler received a scholarship to attend UConn. After his sophomore season, Butler declared for the 2002 NBA Draft. He was a lottery pick in the draft, selected tenth overall by the Miami Heat. The rest of the story is history.
Overcoming Negative Family Influence
Tyrann Mathieu is an NFL player currently with the Kansas City Chiefs. Most people remember him because of the trouble he got in while at LSU. What you may not know is his dad has been incarcerated his entire life after being found guilty of murder. On top of that, his mom was unable to care for him.
After staying with his grandmother, his aunt and uncle decided to take him in and raise him as if he was their own. Their children were into sports, and before long, Mathieu was on the football field scoring his first touchdown at the age of 5. His sports career took off, and he was offered a scholarship to attend LSU.
While at LSU, his coach called him the Honey Badger. Coach then showed him a video of a Honey Badger. Once he saw that the Guinness Book of World Records considered it the most fearless animal in all the animal kingdom, he loved the name.
Mathieu took off at LSU, becoming a Heisman Trophy finalist in his sophomore season.
You would think he would have been happy with all the attention he was receiving from around the country. It was just the opposite. The pressure of being the best player on the team made him feel that he was the reason the team won or lost. That pressure became too much, and it didn’t take long before trouble followed.
Before training camp his junior year, Tyrann had failed multiple drug tests. He was ultimately kicked off the football team. His head coach didn’t want to let him go but had no choice. He was attending rehab with the hopes of being able to rejoin the LSU football program. That dream went up in flames when he was arrested on marijuana charges.
That was the tilting point for Mathieu. He decided to turn his life around. His former college teammate and best friend Patrick Peterson, who played for the Arizona Cardinals, moved him to Florida to help him train for the NFL draft.
Peterson even went to Cardinals management to tell them Mathieu was the game-changer they needed. The organization listened but would only draft him under two conditions. One was if he agreed to their drug testing policy, and two they would only sign him if he agreed to roster bonuses instead of signing bonuses. Mathieu agreed. On May 23, 2013, the Arizona Cardinals signed Mathieu to a four-year, $3.05 million contract that includes $817,187 guaranteed and a signing bonus of $265,000. He was tested up to 10 times a month and had to report to the organization whenever he went anywhere.
That same season, he tore his MCL/LCL and hamstring. The organization put a solid support system around him, and he came back better than ever. He is now a successful regular starter in the NFL.
Not Dunn Yet
NBA player Kris Dunn had to go in to survival mode at an early age. His mom was in and out of jail. While she was in jail, his 13 year old brother had to feed, clean, dress, and make sure Kris went to school every day. Dunn was 9 years old at this time.
Before you know it, their mom had left them for good. Fearing they would be sent to foster care, they survived 5 months before anyone knew she was gone. The two of them had to go to the middle school to shower at times. They had to go into survival mode. To support themselves, Kris would play guys in the neighborhood for money and even fought teenage drug dealers, stealing their money.
Their dad lived in Connecticut and had no idea what was going or where his kids were living. He called every number that his older brother had previously called while visiting him in Connecticut, trying to locate them. After many calls, he was told they were staying at their aunt’s house. Dad filled his tank and took the long trip down to Alexandria, VA to go get his kids. When Kris saw his dad, he broke down crying because he couldn’t believe he finally found them.
What brought Kris and his dad together was sports.
Kris became a 2-time All-State player and All-American at New London High School. He then took his talents to Providence College and blossomed into a superstar.
On Dec. 2, 2013 Kris received a text from his brother that ripped away at his heart. The text said his mom had passed away. She was 50 years old. Kris’ goal in life was to get his mother out of that situation.
His sophomore season was a breakout year. He became the Big East Player of the Year, but instead of turning pro, he went back to college. He wanted to graduate and have another run at the NCAA Tournament. Dunn went nuts in the NCAA Tournament against USC and UNC and turned the heads of every team in the NBA.
Kris was then drafted with the 5th pick in the 2016 NBA draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
What Is Stopping You?
Geena Young is the CEO of NexxtOne Sports and Entertainment Management Firm, who represents Lisa Willis, the first women’s coach in New York Knicks franchise history. She says, “The need for sacrifice and hard work is a must when an athlete is striving to reach elite status in sports. My vision when founding NexxtOne was to instill that same focus and commitment in our clients to reach elite status in all aspects of their lives, whether it is with lifestyle decisions or in the management of their finances. We want to see them not only push for the Hall of Fame in sports but also have that same tenacity for greatness when their playing days are over.”
Success doesn’t happen to you… It happens because of you. What are you willing to give up to become SUCCESSFUL?