LeBron James is one of the greatest basketball players and athletes of all time. His accomplishments on the court can be matched by only a handful of basketball players. He is also someone that makes a significant impact in many different ways outside of basketball. Between his career earnings, endorsements and other business ventures, he was worth about $850 Million as of August. He has a very realistic chance of joining the elite group of Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as athletes that become billionaires while still competing professionally. There is a lot that we can learn from LeBron James’ life and career. Here are 5 of his biggest keys to success.
#1. Make Sacrifices
It’s easy to succumb to your every desire, whether that means eating that extra slice of pizza, skipping your work out to grab drinks with a friend or watching the football game instead of getting your work done. When we are able to overcome those momentary desires, we can gain a lot more down the line. This is the power of delayed gratification. It might be difficult to skip dessert and go out for a jog instead of watching Netflix but if you have specific fitness goals, you will have an easier time remaining disciplined and focused. LeBron James has embodied this mentality throughout his whole life, constantly turning down opportunities to see his friends and family so that he can get in that extra work out or practice session. He’s missed out on countless parties so that he can get all of the sleep his body needs to recuperate. If you remain dedicated to achieving your goals, you will eventually get that delayed gratification that feels much better than it would to succumb to your daily vices.
#2. Invest In Yourself
LeBron James reportedly spends $1.5 Million every year for his body. While that might seem like a lot of money, it is a very wise investment that he’s making in himself. That money allows his body to be in peak physical shape throughout the whole year. He’s able to get the most out of every workout, practice session, regular season game and playoff game, in part because of this investment in his body. He makes over $40 Million a year from his playing salary alone, so the longer he’s able to play at a high level, the more money he’ll be able to make. If his yearly investment of $1.5 Million allows him to play even just 1 or 2 extra seasons at a high level, it will have paid for itself many times over.
You need to adopt a similar mindset and approach to your own life and career. The greatest investments you can make are the ones you make in yourself. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll want to invest in your company by gaining knowledge through books, podcasts, mentors and seminars. You’ll want to invest in the right employees to help your business run to its full potential. Invest in yourself and the profits will be substantial.
#3. Learn From Others
LeBron James has always made it a point to study the great basketball players that came before him. Legendary players such as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson have all laid blueprints for success that LeBron can and has taken advantage of. As the popular saying goes, he is “standing on the shoulders of giants.” You need to do this as well.
Study the people that have accomplished great things in business, sports, politics, arts or any other competitive field, so that you can take away lessons to apply to your own journey. You should especially study people and companies that are in the specific field you are pursuing. This will really help you avoid some common pitfalls and use other people’s wisdom and guidance to find a more straightforward path to success.
#4. Give Back
LeBron James understands the value of giving back. He has been a force in the field of philanthropy and has especially helped people in his home town of Akron, Ohio, where he built a public school and has given away millions of dollars in scholarships. He is able to make a positive impact in his community and help a lot of people reach their full potential in life by giving them opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. While these things might not directly benefit LeBron in a tangible way, they do have a positive effect on him in a more spiritual and emotional sense, which undoubtedly play a role in the positive growth mindset that he clearly has.
#5. First Principles
As much as LeBron James is a man of many talents and interests that range from business, philanthropy and entertainment, he will always be a basketball player, first and foremost. Even though he has made hundreds of millions of dollars outside of basketball, he only had those opportunities because of the superstar player that he has been throughout his whole career. His continued excellence on the court has afforded him sponsorships, acting roles, exclusive investment opportunities and much more. If he didn’t always make basketball his main priority, his game would have fallen off at some point. Most 36 year old players are either role players on the bench or they’re already retired, yet LeBron James is still one of the 5 or 10 best players in the NBA, if not better. He has always stayed true to his first principles, basketball, and this has allowed him to accomplish great things in several other fields as well.
As much as you can be swayed to try many different things to make money and become successful, you always need to have 1 main skill set or career path that you focus the majority of your time and energy on. Truly excelling at one thing will allow you the opportunities to start excelling at more things, but you must always maintain your first principles.
There are many lessons we can take away from LeBron James’ incredible life and career. If he can adopt these 5 principles and apply them to our own lives and careers, we can make significant improvements in ourselves and make tangible progress towards achieving our goals.
I hope that you’ve found value in this blog post! Feel free to share it with anyone that you think will benefit from it as well.
If you’d like to hear more of my thoughts on this subject, you can check out my video here:
If you’d like to be even more effective as an entrepreneur, check out my blog post on How To Journal For Self Growth.