Since Shaquille O’Neal retired from the NBA, he has become a very successful businessman. From owning several restaurant franchises to being a former minority owner of the Sacramento Kings, O’Neal has become a powerhouse in the corporate world. PopCulture.com recently caught up with O’Neal, who talked about the challenges he faced on his road to being an entrepreneur as well as his formula for success.
“I faced probably the same successes that everybody else faced,” O’Neal told PopCulture. “Before you succeed, you must first learn to fail. So, I just tried to create a formula that’s happy for everyone. So, they’ve seen the, ‘Oh my God, he’s a genius! He does this, and does that.’ My formula has been very simple: hire people that are smarter than me.
“And that’s why I’m glad The General is also going to be funding a $25,000 grant to a rising Black entrepreneur through the NAACP Powershift Entrepreneur Grant. But so, when I mentor people, I would just basically teach them what has worked for me. My style is derived from a lot of other people that I meet. When you’re in school we say, ‘Get an education.’ It’s not always about going to school and getting a degree. If you don’t know something, and you ask somebody something, and they teach you if they educated on something.”
O’Neal went on to reveal how he got interested in going into business. “It all started in college, in Baton Rouge at Gino’s Restaurant, it was the go-to spot in Baton Rouge,” O’Neal said. “[Gino] gave me a book, The Dummies Guide to Opening Up Your Own Restaurant. And then he also gave me another book, The Dummies Guide to Starting Your Own Business. So, those are my first books, and then when I got the opportunity to apply where I work, so I asked some questions, and through trials and tribulations, it worked for me.”
O’Neal is also all about helping young entrepreneurs succeed. That’s why he and The General are partnering up with Black Entrepreneurs Day to make sure the entrepreneurs have everything they need to achieve their goals. “Throughout my entire career, it’s always been incredibly important to give back to others,” O’Neal stated. “Whether it’s time, whether it’s money, and as a part of the generous partnership with Black Entrepreneur Day, The General is engaging as HBCU partners, Morehouse College, and Tennessee State. And we want to give six Black students or student entrepreneurs the opportunity of a one-on-one mentoring session. And, with the generous part on the HBCU to support their students and graduates about offering career development and employment opportunities.”