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4 Lessons to Learn From Lebron James’ Return to Cleveland Cavaliers

In a press conference last week, Lebron James announced he was returning to play basketball for the Cleveland Cavaliers. In his press statement he gave reasons for this decision and yes they are reasons from which every entrepreneur can learn when making next big decision. If you are an entrepreneur you need to read through these four lessons as there a lot of takeways from James’ decision.

There’s always a time to walk away

“I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.” – Lebron James

Lesson 1:

No matter how connected or how passionate you are about your business, there’s always a time to walk away. You could sell, merge or get a CEO to help you continue the journey; however you should know and be able to make that decision when it is time. Take a cue from Richard Branson when he sold Virgin Records to EMI music, it was simply time to ’walk away’ and move on.

 Repositioning could serve your business goals better

“When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.” – Lebron James.

Lesson 2:

Achieving your business goals could mean you have to seek a new direction, location or a new product launched into the market. You have to be flexible and always seek newer grounds when you have to. Imagine Richard Branson telling his partners it was time to start an airline rather than sticking to music which had brought them so much money in the past. A new direction or position could mean redefining and surprising your customers. Which customer won’t love to be shocked and wowed?

 Make mistakes, yet admitting a mistake and willing to correct them makes you a better leader

 “The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned -- seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, “OK, I don’t want to deal with these people ever again.” But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I’ve met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?” – Lebron James

Lesson 3:

Taking risks and chasing some business dreams sometimes shows courage. But what if we become disappointed and fail. We have to be the ideal entrepreneur and admit responsibility for the actions and decisions we have made.

 Focus not only on opportunities but on adding value

“Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball.” – Lebron James.

Lesson 4:

There is more to be gained as an entrepreneur when you see you are making an impact or adding something extra to better living. What will the world be without the innovations of Steve Jobs (Apple) or Jeff Bezos (Amazon)? These entrepreneurs have focused on adding value rather than just the opportunities of being glamorous entrepreneurs.


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