Earvin “Magic” Johnson Gives Business and Life Lessons at N.C. A&T Speaker Series, Building Black Businesses

By Tonya Dixon / 03/30/2022

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (March 30, 2022) – Business mogul, Earvin “Magic” Johnson spoke to a capacity-filled audience, sharing his personal story of business development and practical knowledge, at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s Harrison Auditorium, March 29. Johnson delivered a keynote presentation for the Chancellor’s Speaker Series, “Building Black Businesses.” 

Nearly as soon as he took the stage, Johnson admonished attendees to understand one thing above all else. “If you don’t dream it, you can’t become it,” he said. “See yourself in that [CEO] position. Here it is 40 years later, and I am that CEO.”

His exclamatory statement referenced his own story of working as a young janitor of a company, but envisioning himself as the CEO.

Throughout the evening, Johnson referenced the power of investing in urban America by way of increased housing and retail opportunities as well as job creation. 

“A lot of money leaves our communities because somebody else owns the businesses. We need our own businesses,” he said.

In addition to numerous other ventures, Johnson thrived with Magic Johnson movie theaters and Starbucks franchise stores located in urban areas. Knowing his customer base was key and continues to be key to his success.

“What’s the number one thing our people like to do?” he asked the engaged crowd. “We like to do things with our families. So, I built [movie] theaters in our communities. It changed the game.”

While building a business is important, Johnson says making sure the customer service and technology are just as important for continued success.

“I’m all about striving for excellence every single day. If you’re about excellence, business will be there. You must be first in class. If your customers understand that about you, they will become your brand ambassadors,” he said.

“I over deliver to my customers and clients and if you over deliver, you’ll get the customer you want.”

In addition to developing and building business acumen and proficiency, Johnson encouraged attendees with one final message to embrace a policy of “us,” not “me.” 

“My whole thing is about opening the door for other people to come through,” he said. “I want to make sure I help create other millionaires who are successful and can run their own businesses.”

Media Contact Information: tddixon1@ncat.edu

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