Many folks are feeling as much anxiety about the end of this contentious presidential election as they were feeling during the long months of campaigning. It’s impossible to predict with 100% accuracy what a new president and a new Congress are going to do. That feeling of uncertainty can send out ripples through our financial and political systems until we get a clearer picture of the agenda for the next four years.
As important as elections are, we believe that a solid financial plan gives you the tools to keep improving your Return on Life no matter what’s happening with our nation’s politics. Instead of fretting about what may or may not happen starting in January, try to focus on these three areas of your life that will help you control major transitions.
You can’t control the economy … but you can control your career.
Elections sometimes spark short-term volatility in the financial markets. But the economy is bigger than any one president, especially while Covid-19 continues to change everyday life and global business.
As companies continue to adapt to the pandemic landscape, job opportunities are becoming less centralized and more diverse. You might be able to take your dream job on the other side of the country without leaving the home your family loves. Or you might spot an emerging market in the middle of all this displacement where you can open your own company.
You can’t control taxes … but you can control your saving and spending.
Presidential candidates talk a lot about their tax plans on the campaign trail. The need for Congress’ cooperation to put that plan into action usually isn’t discussed quite as much.
Whether your preferred candidate won or lost, there’s no guarantee that your taxes are going up or down. But you can anticipate when your kids will be going to college, if you’ll need to replace the family car soon, or if you want to move to a beachfront condo when you retire.
Your tax rates will play a role in handling these transitions. But your levels of saving and spending have a bigger impact on your financial plan than any other factor. If you’ve never kept a monthly budget before, make 2021 the year that you start. Sit down with your spouse and weed out all those recurring subscriptions and memberships you’re not using. Make a weekly meal plan so you’re not eating out so often. The couple hundred dollars you economize every month could grow into a comfortable padding for your nest egg over time.
You can’t control who’s president … but you can take control of your financial plan.
Per the clamor on social media, was this really “the most important election of our lifetimes?” It could be decades before we have enough perspective to judge. But as far as your financial planning goes, here’s another way to think about presidents:
A 67-year-old baby boomer eyeing retirement might have taken her first part-time job when Lyndon Johnson was president. As of 2020, that senior has lived and worked through ten different presidents.
It’s very doubtful that you’re going to love every single president who serves during your career. Yes, certain things that each one does might move the needle on your retirement accounts in the short term. But it’s folks who stick to their plans and continue to save and invest regardless of what’s happening in the outside world who build long-term wealth.
Millions of people dream of becoming entrepreneurs, but they never take that all-important first step. Too many things get in the way of their pursuit of business ownership, or they keep convincing themselves that their dream isn’t realistic.
If you ever want to move past this phase and found your own business, you need to acknowledge the specific obstacles that are holding you back and work to resolve them. Here are seven of the most common challenges that may be standing between you and your entrepreneurial dreams—and ways you can kick them to the curb.
1. Financial limitations
Launching a business takes money, and most people don’t have ample cash to throw at a startup. There are several options here. First off, you could begin saving now for the funds to establish your business. If you shop for a better mortgage and reduce your house payments by refinancing, you can sock the savings away in your startup fund. You can trim costs in other areas to put away a few hundred dollars each month or save even more by picking up a side gig.
Barring that, you can secure funding in a variety of ways, such as borrowing from friends and family, crowdfunding, seeking loans and grants or even working with angel investors and venture capitalists. There’s always a way forward.
Becoming a successful entrepreneur typically demands experience; you need to understand your industry and business management in general if you want to earn a living from your venture. When you have limited experience, you may be reluctant to move forward, and understandably so.
You can make up for this, however, by actively seeking the experience you lack. Take an online course to gain a grasp of business management basics. Strive for a leadership position with your current employer so you’ll acquire strategic planning and people management skills. Work with a mentor or shadow an entrepreneur you admire.
3. No standout idea
You can’t build a business if you don’t have a promising idea for a product or service you can sell. Without a solid business plan, you won’t be able to convince investors or partners to join you—and you won’t even know where to begin. Unfortunately, this is one of the least “fudgeable” obstacles on this list. Without a good idea, you can’t start a business, period.
Luckily, there are ways to stimulate better idea generation, such as talking to a broad range of people, reading entrepreneurial content and taking a more robust approach to brainstorming. Techniques like mind mapping and word banking can get your creative juices flowing.
4. Current responsibilities
Some people avoid starting a business because of existing responsibilities or constraints on their time. Their current full-time job, their status as a parent or other personal responsibilities hold them back from their entrepreneurial ambitions.
Here the best approach is to determine how much of an impact these responsibilities have and consider ways to delegate or remove them. Could you realistically quit your day job, for example, or hire someone to help with household duties or childcare?
5. Fear of failure
Lack of confidence is an entrepreneurship killer. It’s true that the failure rate for new businesses is relatively high, with half of new companies failing within five years. To buck those odds, you’ll need a healthy dose of confidence in yourself and your idea.
The only solution to a fear of failure is to change your mindset. You have to see failure as an opportunity for learning and growth and stop seeing it as the end of the road, an indictment of your abilities or a stain on your character. Reading accounts by successful entrepreneurs will inspire you to see the possibilities rather than focusing only on the risks.
6. Aversion to stress or hard work
Starting and running a business demands a lot of effort. You’ll likely be putting in long hours and dealing with stressful issues. On top of that, your first few years are apt to be highly inconsistent, with your business only making a profit some of the time. This can wreak havoc on your finances and peace of mind. If you’re not feeling up to this kind of pressure, or if you’re loath to work more than 40 hours a week, entrepreneurship may not be for you.
Again, the only way around this obstacle is to change your attitude. Remember that all this hard work will be in service to yourself, not an employer. While the risks are on you, so are the rewards.
7. Poor timing
One of the most common excuses you’ll hear (or hear yourself saying) is that it’s “just not the right time” to start a business. The truth is, there’s never a truly “right” time—you can always find some reason that today, or this month or this year isn’t ideal for launching your venture.
But like beginning a diet on a Wednesday or joining a gym in February, the trick is to make your own right time. Microsoft was born during the oil crisis of the 1970s, while Airbnb and Uber were founded in the depths of the Great Recession. Remind yourself that the success of your business will depend not on “the times” but on you.
The Realities of Entrepreneurship
It’s true that anyone can become an entrepreneur with enough grit and persistence. Most entrepreneurs with solid ideas have a good chance of becoming successful if they remain adaptable. But it’s also important to realize that not everyone is cut out for entrepreneurship.
If you’re intimidated by the stress, inconsistency and long hours associated with startup life, or if you truly love your day job and you’re afraid to leave, maybe business ownership isn’t right for you. That said, if you feel the pull of entrepreneurship but keep making excuses to avoid getting started, you owe it to yourself to challenge those excuses and try to move past them.
This article was written by Serenity Gibbons and published on Forbes.com.
Apple hit a new milestone on Wednesday, becoming the first publicly traded U.S. company to reach a market capitalization of over $2 trillion and doubling in valuation over the last two years.
The iPhone maker’s stock is up almost 55% so far in 2020, and shares have rallied more than 106% since the market hit a low point amid the coronavirus recession on March 23 (compared to the benchmark S&P 500’s gain of 51% over that period).
Now trading at nearly $470 per share, Apple’s stock is at an all-time high, and Wall Street analysts are still quite bullish that it can continue to rally: 61% give it a “buy” rating and 27% a “hold” rating, according to Bloomberg data.
Apple’s market cap now eclipses that of other U.S. tech giants, including Microsoft ($1.7 trillion), Amazon ($1.6 trillion), Google parent Alphabet ($1.1 trillion) and Facebook ($761 billion).
Apple was also the first U.S. company to reach a $1 trillion market cap, which it did just over two years ago, on August 2, 2018.
On July 31, 2020, after reporting strong third-quarter earnings, Apple surpassed Saudi state oil giant Aramco to become the world’s most valuable publicly traded company.
At $2 trillion, Apple’s market value is now higher than the GDP of numerous developed countries, including Italy, Brazil, Canada, Russia and South Korea, to name a few.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Apple shares are about to get more affordable for investors, too. The company will finalize its four-for-one stock split at the end of August, which means a single share will be worth around $117. While the value of the company will remain the same, there will now be more shares available trading at lower prices.
Apple has thrived during the pandemic, as many people were forced to stay at home. The company has benefited from work-from-home trends and strong online sales; It posted record third-quarter earnings in late July, with nearly $60 billion in revenue, not to mention double-digit growth in its products and services segments.
Uber is changing tack after acquisition talks with Grubhub fell through by switching its attention to food delivery startup Postmates, the New York Times reports.
Three sources familiar with the matter told the Times that Uber and Postmates were holding ongoing acquisition talks. One of the sources said Uber is offering to buy Postmates for roughly $2.6 billion.
Uber was reportedly in acquisition talks with food delivery startup Grubhub earlier this year, but Grubhub announced on June 11 it was instead merging with European takeaway service Just Eat. Sources told CNBC Uber walked away from the deal over concerns it would attract antitrust scrutiny.
As a much smaller player in the food delivery business, Postmates could be a safer option.
According to analytics firm Second Measure, Postmates makes up a significantly smaller chunk of the US market than Grubhub. Grubhub captured 32% of food delivery sales in 2019, while Postmates made up 10%. Uber Eats meanwhile accounted for 20% of the market.
Antitrust fears are not the only possible reason why Uber may have walked away from Grubhub, various reports emerged that the two firms struggled to agree on a price for the acquisition. Just Eat paid roughly $7.3 billion to acquire the startup.
Uber’s desire to bolster its food delivery service has reportedly been spurred on by the coronavirus pandemic, as demand for taxi services has plummeted while food delivery has skyrocketed.
Two sources told the Times Postmates has also held sale talks with Grubhub and DoorDash over the past year.
Postmates confidentially filed plans for an IPO with the SEC in February 2019, but has yet to go public. Sources told Reuters on Monday that the company is considering reviving its IPO plans due to the boom in food delivery brought on by the pandemic.
Uber and Postmates were not immediately available to comment when contacted by Business Insider.
Many people I know have concluded that retirement was worth waiting for and worth planning for. Those who planned well (and who are lucky enough to have good health) are generally finding this to be a very satisfying time in their lives. But those who didn’t plan well or who couldn’t save enough are finding that retirement can be difficult.
My commitment is to help people, but this week I’m switching roles so I can give you some dynamite tips for having an unhappy retirement. (Of course, what I’m really advocating is that you do not do these things.)
Don’t save enough money.
Spend (and borrow) whatever it takes to keep yourself and your family happy. You can always catch up later when you get into your peak earning years, when the kids are gone, or when you’re finally finished paying for whatever else is more important right now.
The likely result: You could find yourself in “panic mode” in your 50s and 60s. You could have to work longer than you want. Another popular choice, you could have to reduce your living standards after your work life is through. You could fall prey to persuasive salespeople (see my final tip below) who do not have your best interests at heart. Or maybe even all of the above.
Be careless about how you plan and budget for retirement expenses.
When I was an advisor, I was amazed how many investors neglected to include taxes as a cost of living in retirement. If you’re living off of distributions from a non-Roth IRA or 401(k), the full amount of those distributions is likely to be taxable. For extra credit: Don’t spend any money on a financial advisor to help you plan.
The likely result: You may go into “panic mode” when your accountant hands you an unexpected tax bill.
Lock in your expectations about your life in retirement and make rigid financial decisions.
There are plenty of ways to do this. You could sell your house and move somewhere cheaper even though you don’t know anybody there. Another option, you could buy a fixed annuity to have an income that’s certain. You could fail to establish an emergency fund. (After all, what could go wrong?) You could get sick or need surgery that isn’t covered by Medicare or other insurance.
The likely result: Things will happen that you don’t expect, probably sending you once again into “panic mode” and making you vulnerable to the pitches from all manner of enthusiastic salespeople.
Ignore inflation, since it doesn’t seem like a current problem.
Assume that $1,000 will buy roughly the same “basket of goods and services” in 2026 and 2036 that it will today. Be confident that you know what the future holds. After all, the years of high inflation that are often cited happened a long time ago. Things are different now.
The likely result: You probably won’t be thrust into “panic mode” since inflation is usually gradual. But one day you will realize with a start that things are costing a lot more than they “should,” and your income can’t keep up.
Keep all your money where it’s “safe,” in fixed income.
You’ll have lots of company among current retirees whose “golden” years are being tarnished because they have to rely on today’s historically low interest rates. Don’t just blindly invest in equities, because, as we all know, you can lose money in the stock market.
The likely result: You may start retirement with sufficient income to meet your needs, but those needs will probably increase, especially for health care, in your later retirement years. Your fixed income may be safe, but it won’t expand to meet increased needs.
Attend investment seminars and trust the presenters, then make important decisions without getting a second professional opinion.
You could follow the unfortunate example of a couple I know who, in their 50s, attended a retirement seminar and got some bad advice. They met privately with the presenter/saleswoman, then rolled their entire retirement accounts into a variable annuity. They thought they were giving themselves good returns, future flexibility and saving a lot of money in taxes.
In reality, they gave themselves huge headaches and nearly lost half their life savings. I helped them fight the unpleasant (and ultimately successful) battle to get out of their contract and recover their money.
This couple could teach us all some lessons, but the terms of their settlement makes that unlikely. If they disclose that they got their money back, or if they disclose how they were deceived and cheated, they will have to give the money back to the insurance company.
The likely results: You will be disappointed in the decisions you make. You will have many reasons to never trust an investment sales pitch again. You will have less money in retirement than if you had never heard of that particular seminar.
So now you have it: Six easy steps to ruin your retirement. I hope, of course, that you do just the opposite of each one of these. Unfortunately, I think there’s a high likelihood that somebody you know has fallen into one or more of these traps.
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked economic havoc in recent weeks, causing unprecedented levels of unemployment, extreme stock market volatility and falling consumer confidence and spending across the board. It even spurred major financial players like Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, to predict a “bad recession” on the horizon.
If he’s right and the economic downturn continues, Americans will need to act fast to recession-proof their finances — especially if there’s debt on the table.
Recession-proofing your debts
Credit cards, mortgages, and student loans can all complicate things when times get tough, and it’s important to take steps to get ahead if you want to keep your head above water when things get hard.
As Mike Desepoli, vice president at Heritage Financial Advisory Group, put it, “Navigating a recession can be difficult enough, but it’s increasingly more difficult when you’re saddled with debt. A job loss during a recession could set off a spiral of financial issues from missed mortgage payments, student loans and credit cards. In difficult times, it is important to control what you can and prepare yourself in advance.”
Here’s what experts say to do before it’s too late:
“Start by focusing on your highest-interest balances,” Desepoli said. “These are the debts that are most damaging to your finances because they compound so quickly. This may cause you to redirect some of your monthly payments from lower-interest vehicles towards the higher ones. Your out-of-pocket will remain the same, but you will be having a more profound impact.”
Consider a balance transfer
Transferring your credit card balances to a new, zero-interest card can be a good option. This allows you to consolidate your other balances and pay no interest for a set period of time — usually at least six months or more.
While these promotional offers are generally widely available, according to Ted Rossman, industry analyst for CreditCards.com, they may be hard to come by in today’s economic climate.HOW TO AVOID HAVING YOUR CREDIT CARDS CLOSED
“You probably need a steady job and a credit score of 700-plus in order to qualify for the best balance transfer credit cards these days,” Rossman said. “If this describes you and you have credit card debt, I’d recommend signing up for one of these cards as soon as possible. You can save hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest, depending on how much you owe. And you can get a long runway — up to 21 months — with no interest being charged.”
Refinance student loans and mortgages
If you’ve got student loans, a mortgage, or a personal loan to your name, refinancing might be an option. The goal here would be to lower your interest rate, thus lowering your monthly payment as well as the long-term costs of your loan. You can then use those savings to pay down your debts faster or help offset any financial strain you’re dealing with.HOW TO RECERTIFY YOUR STUDENT LOAN INCOME-DRIVEN REPAYMENT PLAN?
A word of caution here: If this is a route you’re considering, you’ll need to act fast — especially if you expect your income or job may be effected in the impending recession. These changes could impact your ability to refinance (or the rates you’d qualify for when doing so).
If refinancing isn’t possible, a debt consolidation loan could be another option — as long as it would lower the total interest you’re paying, thus freeing up more cash.
Ask for help
Many financial institutions and credit card companies have options for consumers who are dealing with financial hardship. These can include loan modifications, repayment plans, deferment, forbearance and more. The recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act also offers a number of options if you’re unable to pay your rent, mortgage or student loan bills.
“Most banks are offering hardship programs that allow cardholders to skip payments — sometimes even without interest,” Rossman said. “Sometimes they will lower your interest rate upon request, waive other fees, and even raise your credit limit in some cases. As long as you have permission to pay late or to pay less for a time, this won’t hurt your credit score. Help is available, but you need to ask for it.”
Have a financial safety net
You should also figure out ways you can start cutting back expenses (could you reduce 401(k) contributions, for example), and start funneling those savings into an emergency fund.
In most situations, experts recommend having at least six months of household expenses saved up, but given the current economic uncertainty, it might be best to go beyond that — potentially up to a year of expenses — just to be safe.
This article was written for FoxBusiness.com by Aly Yale.
Michael Rubin has always been a self-starter. He sold vegetable seeds door-to-door around his Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, neighborhood before he was 10 years old. He organized kids to shovel snow for cash and then opened a ski-tune-up operation in his parents’ basement at 12. The companies got bigger as the career entrepreneur grew up. Today, he is the majority owner and CEO of Kynetic, which counts e-commerce retailers Fanatics, Rue La La and ShopRunner in its portfolio, and is worth $2.9 billion.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Rubin mobilized his companies and his deep Rolodex to help. Fanatics, which makes the official MLB jerseys, stopped production last month on the jerseys and pivoted to making masks and hospital gowns, with plans to donate one million masks and gowns.
This week he launched a campaign to address another of the major issues exacerbated by the global shutdown: food insecurity. The All In Challenge kicked off Tuesday with a Rubin video on Twitter. “Together what we want to do is literally build the largest movement with all the best entertainers, celebrities, athletes, business titans, coming together to make a real impact on this issue,” he says.Today In: SportsMoney
The goal is to encourage celebrities to offer one-of-a-kind experiences and items in an auction and share them on their social media channels in videos. There are 145 offerings available as of Sunday morning. Total donations are at $11.4 million and climbing fast.
Rubin, 47, who is a partner in the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils’ ownership group, started the process with tickets, travel and lodging to ten top-tier championship sporting events, including a luxury suite for 20 at the Super Bowl. He threw in a $100,000 Fanatics gift card. The package is worth more than $500,000 but is available to win with a donation as little as $10.
There are dozens of experiences available, with a winner drawn for each from among contributors. They include co-hosting a show with Ellen DeGeneres, who also personally donated $1 million to the cause; a round of golf at Pebble Beach with Justin Timberlake and Bill Murray; and a private performance at your home from Justin Bieber. A walk-on role with Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro in Martin Scorsese’s next film, plus lunch with Leo and the cast, has raised the most money so far.
Another set of prizes is being awarded via auction, like golf and dinner for ten with Peyton Manning, Meek Mill’s 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom, and a private magic show with David Blaine. A handful of these auctions have hit six figures already. The top one involves new Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and includes four tickets to the Bucs’ home opener and either dinner or a workout with the six-time Super Bowl winner. Bidding reached $775,000 Sunday. Brady challenged his wife, Gisele Bundchen, as well as rapper Drake and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to also go “All In.”
All funds raised will be donated to Meals on Wheels, No Kid Hungry and Americas Food Fund, which directly benefits World Central Kitchen and Feeding America. These charities are targeting food insecurity issues facing kids who usually get meals at now-closed schools, the elderly population cut off from food sources, and the millions of people losing their jobs.
Rubin says he is just getting started and targeting a goal of $100 million for the All In project. As the fundraiser kicked off, Rubin said, “I believe when the world faces a crisis, businesses and sports have an obligation to step up and make a difference.”
Kobe Bryant is one of the best basketball players on the planet. If you were to put a Mount Rushmore of ballers out there, the Los Angeles Lakers’ legend’s face may just be on it, given the fact he won five NBA titles and racked up 33,643 career points — which is good enough for third on the league’s all-time scoring list.
What’s even more impressive is what Bryant has done since retiring from basketball in 2016. In addition to the sports accolades, Kobe’s won an Academy Award for his animated short film “Dear Basketball,” and continues to inspire people with his book, The Mamba Mentality: How I Play. It’s really incredible to see a superstar athlete transition from hoops success to business success so seamlessly.
But, like most successful people out there, Kobe Bryant hasn’t accomplished all that he has by sheer talent alone. Sure, that’s helped, but really separates the basketball icon from other people is his work ethic — which is legendary.
As Bryant turns 41 years old, we look at 41 stories that prove just how insane his passion and desire to be the best really is. So let these serve as motivation for you to roll up your sleeves, push yourself and achieve everything you want to.
Kobe Bryant’s 40-Mile Bike Ride
Bryant told his longtime trainer, Tim Grover, that he wanted to add in bike training to his summer conditioning. Grover researched a trail in Las Vegas, rented three bikes — one for Bryant, one for himself and one for Bryant’s security guard — and on the night before the first day of practice, they each put on headlamps and headed out to the trail and rode.
“We finished up around 2 a.m.” Grover said. “And we were back in the gym working out by 7:30 in the morning.”
Kobe Used To Challenge High School Teammates To One-On-One Games To 100
Talk about exhausting, right? Kobe Bryant didn’t need a quick game to 10, but, instead, used to play a benchwarmer on his high school team in one-one-one in games to 100. As the legend goes, even in Bryant’s worst game, he still won 100-12.
Shaquille O’Neal Says Bryant Used To Practice Without A Basketball To Get In Shape
Shaq wrote in his book: “You’d walk in there and he’d be cutting and grunting and motioning like he was dribbling and shooting — except there was no ball. I thought it was weird, but I’m pretty sure it helped him.”
Kobe Bryant’s Game Day Pushups Were More Intense Than An Earthquake
From ESPN’s Rick Reilly: “Among a dozen other drills, Bryant does suicide push-ups. At the top of the pushup, he launches himself off the mat so hard that both his feet come off the ground and his hands slap his pecs. He does three sets of seven of these. This makes me turn away and whimper softly.”
Bryant’s Always Studied Himself And Teammates (Even During Halftime Of Games)
According to ESPN’s Jackie McMullen in 2010: “He often corrals teammates, fires up the laptop, and shows them precisely how they can carve out easier shots for themselves.”
Kobe Bryant’s Work Ethic Even Impressed Kevin Durant
“We had the day off, but they said we could get some shots up if we wanted, so I decided to head over to the gym with [Oklahoma City teammate] Jeff Green. “Kobe [Bryant] was the only guy on the bus to the gym, and that spoke volumes to me — he’s the best player in the game, yet he’s always willing to come work on his game, so that kind of motivated me and Jeff,” Durant said. “He went by himself, he got a lot of shots up, and by the time he was done you could see he had gotten better over that hour. Like I said, it was a big inspiration to me and Jeff.”
When Kobe Bryant Nearly Led His Team From An Absurd Comeback, Per Tyson Chandler
“The thing that makes him so unstoppable is that he never stops coming. This year we were up in New Orleans by like 12 in the 4th quarter with 5-6 minutes left, and we pretty much had the game in control. And (Kobe) was there on the free throw line and he was like ‘You know I ain’t going to let us lose right?’, and I looked back at him and I was like ‘What!? Man I ain’t letting my team lose!’. And he was like ‘Alright but I just know I ain’t going to let my team lose.’ And I went back at him ‘Well I ain’t going to let my team lose!’
“Right after that, man… he ran off like 15 straight points on us. And I was looking at the scoreboard going ‘Come on, let the time run down’, and I’m like he can’t beat us single-handedly especially after I was just sitting there talking crap back and forth to him.
“We ended up winning the game, but he almost beat us! He almost beat us by himself. But his drive, looking into his eyes, some guys can say ‘Yeah we gonna win the game’.
When Bryant Changed The Work Ethic Of His Team USA Teammates
After training for three weeks together before heading to Beijing, former U.S. Olympic teammate Carlos Boozer noticed the entire roster had adopted Bryant’s routine.
“We all clung to it,” said Boozer, who later played with Bryant as a member of the Lakers in 2014-15 and recently agreed to a deal to play in China. “It soon became our workout, not just his workout.”
When Hall Of Fame Center Hakeem Olajuwon Helped Bryant Perfect His Post Moves
Just a week before training camp began in September 2009, the Olajuwon gave Bryant a two-hour step-by-step lesson on everything from head fakes and ball fakes to spin moves and jab steps.
“It was an honor for me to have the opportunity to work with him, and I want to make him proud of what I’ve learned,” Bryant said. “I have wanted to work with him in the past, but the timing was right this year. I got a chance to work with the greatest post player ever. I’ve always been a student of the game, and he was very patient with me.”
Michael Jordan Compared Kobe Bryant’s Work Ethic To His Own
From Roland Lazenby, author of “Michael Jordan: The Life”, per L.A. Times: “He said Kobe had done that work to deserve the comparison. He says Kobe’s the only one to have done the work.”
During His Rookie Year, Bryant Was Found Getting Shots In… In A Dark Gym
Per Business Insider: “I heard the ball bouncing. No lights were on. Practice was at about 11, it was probably about 9, 9:30. And I go out to the court and I look, and there’s Kobe Bryant. He’s out there shooting in the dark. And I stood there for probably about ten seconds, and I said, ‘This kid is gonna be great.’”
Even With A Cast On His Hand, Bryant Was Still Getting In Work
According to former teammate John Celestand: Celestand was excited, because he thought with Kobe injured, he could beat him to the gym in the morning, particularly because Bryant lived over 30 minutes away from the practice facility.
“Kobe was already in a full sweat with a cast on his right arm and dribbling and shooting with his left.”
Bryant Shot Left-Handed During A Game After Injuring His Right Shoulder
He actually made one of the shots, too, after insisting he return to the game.
Dwyane Wade And Chris Bosh Were Sleeping As Kobe Bryant Was Working Out
Per ESPN: “We’re in Las Vegas and we all come down for team breakfast at the start of the whole training camp,” Bosh said. “And Kobe comes in with ice on his knees and with his trainers and stuff. He’s got sweat drenched through his workout gear. And I’m like, ‘It’s 8 o’clock in the morning, man. Where in the hell is he coming from?’”
Wade added: “Everybody else just woke up… We’re all yawning, and he’s already three hours and a full workout into his day.”
Bryant Was Obsessed With Perfection
According to a piece from Ball is Life, a Team USA trainer said that Kobe Bryant once held a workout from 4:15 a.m. to 11 a.m., refusing to leave the gym until he made 800 shots.
Bryant Would Use Teammates As Guinea Pigs After Practice
Per Sports Illustrated: In 2008, Sports Illustrated reported that Kobe will keep random players after practice so that he can try out new moves on them
Scouts Praised Kobe Bryant For Doing More Than Other NBA Superstars
Per Sports Illustrated: An NBA scout said in 2008, “Allen Iverson loves to play when the lights come on. Kobe loves doing the s— before the lights come on.”
O.J. Mayo Once Confused 3 A.M. For 3 P.M. When Training With Kobe Bryant
Per CBS Sports: In 2007, O.J. Mayo was the top recruit at Bryant’s Kobe Basketball Academy. Mayo asked Kobe to work out with him and Bryant graciously accepted. Kobe said he’d pick him up at three. After Bryant failed to show up, Mayo asked Kobe what happened. “Three in the morning,” Kobe replied. “Not three in the afternoon.”
Bryant Stuck To A Strict Diet To Maintain His Advantage And Physique
He eliminated sugar and pizza and only eats lean meat.
He told ESPN: “There aren’t really any supplements that I’m taking from that perspective. What I’ve done really is just train really hard and watch my diet. I think that’s the thing that catches guys most. They don’t do self assessing.”
He Wasn’t Going To Cut Corners, Even When It Came To Telling His Own Story
Per Business Insider, Kobe Bryant once trashed a documentary about himself and started from scratch after being unsatisfied with how the original one turned out.
Kobe Bryant Will Cold-Call Entrepreneurs And Successful Business People To Get Advice
Per Bloomberg: “I’ll just cold call people and pick their brain about stuff. Some of the questions that I’ll ask will seem really, really simple and stupid, quite honestly, for them. But if I don’t know, I don’t know. You have to ask. I’ll just do that. I’ll just ask questions and I want to know more about how they build their businesses and how they run their companies and how they see the world.”
Billionaire Investor Chris Sacca Said Bryant Studied Hard AF About Investing
Per Bill Simmons’ Podcast: “For the next few months my phone never stops buzzing in the middle of the night. It’s Kobe, reading this article, checking out this tweet, following this guy, diving into this Ted Talk, diving into the Y Combinator Demo Day stuff. And I’m getting these texts, literally two or three in the morning, and my wife is like, ‘Are you having an affair with Kobe Bryant? What is happening here?’”
Kobe Bryant Goes Above And Beyond Showcasing His Passion In Everything He Does
Per ESPN: “We are obsessive,” Bryant said. “We wouldn’t want to be doing anything other than what we are doing. That’s where obsession comes in — when you care about something 24 hours a day.
When Bryant Taught Jay Williams What It Really Meant To Put In Work
During a regular season game against the Championship Lakers, Jay took the court for practice four hours before the game against Lakers, but he was shocked to see Kobe practicing already. Williams practiced for an hour and after he was done practicing, he sat down, but he still heard the ball bouncing.
Jay was shocked, because Kobe had been in a dead sweat when he got there for practice, and he was still going after Jay got done. He also added that Kobe was not practicing lazy or nonchalant moves, but full-on game moves.
Kobe scored 40 points that night and torched Jay and the Bulls. Williams therefore decided to go ask Bryant why he was in the gym for so long. When Jay finally asked him, the Black Mamba replied, “Because I saw you come in and I wanted you to know that it doesn’t matter how hard you work, I am willing to work harder than you. You inspire me to be better.”
Jay also revealed that it was the first time that he saw this level of competitiveness and he told himself, “I need to start doing more.”
Shaquille O’Neal Describes Bryant As A ‘Scientific Dawg’
Per L.A. Times: “Kobe is a scientific dawg,” O’Neal wrote. “He works out every day, practices every day. Most of the other stars are just dawgs, not scientific dawgs. Kobe will always have the edge because of his range and killer instinct. LeBron has the killer instinct, but he can’t shoot like Kobe can.”
Jamal Crawford Heard Kobe Bryant Once Practiced Just One Shot For An Hour Straight
Per The Players’ Tribune: “I heard one time in a workout that he practiced a shot for an hour. The same shot. For one hour. And it wasn’t like a three-pointer, it was a little shot in the mid-range area. Do you know how tedious that is? Do you know how locked in you have to be to do one shot for an hour? To trick your mind that way? That’s unbelievable.”
Bryant’s Former Teammate, Tony Gaffney, Detailed Kobe’s Routine
Per Basketball Insiders: If the Lakers had a 10:30 a.m. practice, Bryant would be in the gym at 6:00, take his daughters Natalia and Gianna to school at 8:00, then come back around 9:00 to shoot some more.
“No one would have any idea that he’s been in the gym working for three-to-four hours,” Gaffney said
Kobe Bryant Would Count The 400 Shots He Put Up During Practice
Per Sports Illustrated: Later, as he toweled down and sat for an interview, he was asked if he had a certain shooting routine.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I go from spot to spot. Today I quit when I made 400 shots.”
How do you know?
“What do you mean, How do I know? I know because I counted them.”
Former Team USA Teammate Carlos Boozer Described Bryant’s Unmatched Dedication
“You know what it was for me? And me and him are good friends, but I hadn’t really trained with him — is how hard he works. We saw his dedication to the game. He would get in the gym, lift weights, he would go over to the gym, get shots up before practice, go through the whole practice, and that was his routine every day. He’s not great by accident is my point. He puts the work in. And I think what I learned about Kobe is he’s so hungry to be good, he puts the work in. I just think his hunger and his determination is what I was most impressed with.”
Syracuse And Former Team USA Coach Jim Boeheim Described Bryant As The ‘Hardest-Working Player’ He’s Ever Been Around
“Kobe, from day one, is just the hardest-working player I’ve ever been around. He just does an unbelievable job. He came in, he worked out before practice and practiced harder than anybody and then worked out afterwards and continued the whole trip. The first trip we are qualifying and then the Olympics themselves. He’s just an unbelievable competitor and in practice goes 100 percent every day in practice and that brings everybody else up to that same level. He was a huge part of us being ready in the Olympics to be able to win.”
Former NBA All-Star Gary Payton Recounts Kobe Bryant’s High Expectations For Himself
Per Phil Star: “Kobe was so young and so immature in some ways, but I can tell you this: everything Kobe is doing now, he told me all the way back then he was going to do it. We were sitting on the bus once and he told me, ‘I’m going to be the number one scorer for the Lakers, I’m going to win five or six championships, and I’m going to be the best player in the game.’
“I was like, ‘Okay, whatever.’ Then he looked me right in the eye and said, ‘I’m going to be the Will Smith of the NBA.’”
Former Teammate Laron Profit Couldn’t Believe Bryant’s Determination In A 3-On-3 Game
Per StationCaster: “We were playing a pick-up game before the season started, we were playing 3-on-3, and it was game point.
“Kobe had the ball and it came off, Kwame knocked the ball away from him. Again [this was] a pick-up game, September, nothing on the line. And the ball rolled to half court.
“Kobe then ran to half-court, dived under Kwame’s legs with the ball for about 10 feet, picked the ball up, came back down, made some incredible move, then hit the game-winning shot to end the pick-up game.
“I walked off the court, and I called my mom, and I said, “I think I’ve just seen the second best player ever [behind Jordan].”
How Kobe Bryant Is ‘An Alien’ Because Of The Things He Does
Per Complex: Stu Lantz said, “I tease him all the time, about not being from this planet. I call him a semi-alien. Because some of the things he does, the way he prepares, the way he can play through pain. It’s not usual. He hurt his shoulder in Minnesota and they told him he was going to be out like 6 weeks. I think he was out like a week. That’s not human.”
Bryant’s Unwillingness To Ever Give Up… Even If It’s A Ping-Pong Game
Per Complex: Mike Trudell said, “Inside this room there’s a Ping-Pong table and some of us are playing, and I grew up with a Ping-Pong table, so I’m pretty good.
“At some point, Kobe makes a comment about one of the players I had just beaten. So I said, ‘Kobe if you want to, I’m happy to give some to you next.’ So, we play the first game and you can tell he can play, but he’s not a super experienced Ping-Pong player, so I sense a couple weaknesses and beat him rather handedly the first game. He is talking a bit of shit, mostly just calling me a MF-er.
“But, the reason I’m telling this story is not as a humble brag but because during the entire game, he was literally watching every point and learning as the game is going on. So, we get done with the game, and he wants to go again. Now, I beat him again the second time, but he got much closer.
“Within 5 minutes, he was taking the Ping-Pong game so seriously, and I thought, this is why he’s so great at basketball. I’ve never competed against anybody in anything, and I played a D1 sport, that felt as intense as that Ping-Pong game.”
The Time Bryant Went From Drinking Beer To Working Out Within A Few Hours… And Winning A Championship Later That Day
Per Complex: Arash Markazi said, “2009 NBA Finals in Orlando, going into the clinching game, Game 5. I was covering for Sports Illustrated at the time and they put me up at the team hotel. I had been out with some other reporters, and I came back to the hotel and saw Kobe Bryant in the hotel lobby bar at 2 a.m., sipping on a Corona, talking to his friends, enjoying himself.
“I went back up to my hotel room, but couldn’t really sleep that night, so I took a walk around the hotel around 4 or 5 in the morning, and I see Kobe leaving the hotel gym in a full sweat, and the sun wasn’t even out yet. I had heard all these stories about Kobe’s insane training, but you never know if those are real or hyperbole. Then I had that experience. They clinched the next day.”
Kobe Bryant Taught Former Teammate Luke Walton About Showing Up Hungover On His Watch
Per Silver Screen And Roll: Walton said, “I probably had too much to drink the night before,” Walton recalled. “So I came in, I was a rookie, I felt good, and they could smell some alcohol on me, and Kobe informed the rest of the team that nobody was allowed to help me on defense, and that I had to guard him the entire practice.
“And I was laughing at first, like ‘oh, this is funny,’ Walton continued. “But in Kobe’s mind, in his eyes, he was like ‘no, I see and smell weakness, I’m going to destroy you today.’ He taught me a lesson (laughing), he taught me a lesson. He probably scored 70-something in practice that day, and I’m begging for help, but none of my teammates would help. His killer instinct, and his work ethic will stick with me forever.”
Hearing Kobe’s Own Words On Greatness Shows A Lot About Him
“If you really want to be great at something, you have to truly care about it,” writes Bryant. “If you want to be great in a particular area, you have to obsess over it. A lot of people say they want to be great but are not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve greatness.”
Bryant Followed A ‘666’ Workout Plan
The numbers represent Kobe Bryant’s wild daily workout plan, which consisted of doing six hours a day, six days a week for six months in the offseason. The six hours of training consists of two hours of running, two hours of basketball and two hours of weightlifting.
Bryant Even Demanded His Nike Shoes Gave Him A Small Advantage
Per Sports Illustrated: He had Nike shave a few millimeters off the bottom of his shoes in 2008 to get “a hundredth of a second better reaction time.”
Even In High School, Bryant Was Putting In Work That Showed His Greatness
According to a Sports Illustrated piece, Kobe Bryant used to practice at five in the morning while in high school, ending his workout at 7 a.m. because school started shortly after.
Kobe Bryant Sums Up His Greatness With How He Wants To Be Remembered
Per Yahoo!: “To think of me as a person that’s overachieved, that would mean a lot to me. That means I put a lot of work in and squeezed every ounce of juice out of this orange that I could.”