What Mike Tyson and Friday Night Lights Taught me About Investing

Mike Tyson’s story isn’t that different from ours...

I had just finished 3 days of filming in Las Vegas and having a pretty upscale dinner at the famed Bellagio Resort on the strip. One of the gentlemen at dinner that evening was a serial entrepreneur and had exited multiple startups for- HUGE RETURNS!

As we wrapped up dinner- this high profile investor leaned over to me and began to tell me about a deal he was currently invested in and how Mike Tyson was the face of the brand. He then asked me if I wanted to hop on a private flight in the morning and come meet and interview Iron Mike. It took me less than a second to sign up for this adventure and gave a resounding YES!

We boarded the flight- landed a small private airport in SoCal and headed toward Tyson’s business headquarters. The offices weren’t really offices- it was a very modern designed building with every room having its own vibe. There was an open room that was a blank canvas where we would have our interview, his podcast studio was very impressive and of course there was the consummate large open room with couches and games like foosball and ping pong.

We had some time to hang before the cameras got rolling, so myself and a couple others ended up having lunch with Mr. Tyson in a loungey couch filled space. To my surprise and I even think Mike’s, NBA World Champion Dennis Rodman came strolling through the door at the same time we sat down to eat. I quickly realized my role in this room was that of- ‘Fly on the Wall Guy’. As the conversation unfolded with Mike, his wife and Dennis I was shocked by what I was hearing.

As a product of the 80’s and 90’s the image I had in my head of Mike Tyson was one that most of the world probably had or still has to this day. The man was a beast in the ring- a force to be reckoned with. Also- there was a turbulent past, including jail time in my home state of Indiana. But as I sat across from this man, he was none of those things. I mean- don’t get me wrong- he could drop in one second with a right hook. Even at the age of 54 it was clear he ‘must work out’. But as he spoke- he shared stories of hardships of the past, but gratitude for his present life. This man who has ‘tasted success’ and been to the top of the mountain and in the lowest valleys had a peace and resolve in his words. I’m not sure what I expected of this day- I guess I was open for the ride and adventure. But the biggest take away- that I want to share with you is that Mike Tyson isn’t running from his past and he is taking responsibility for it and his future… To sum it up in one word, Mike was taking: Ownership

Taking ownership isn’t always the easiest thing to do. No matter who you are. To acknowledge your failure is hard, but if we want the future we have in our minds- we have to own it!

This doesn’t mean we have to hold onto it and sit in it, actually that’s not good for us. True freedom comes when we move past our faults and failures. And we began to take ownership of our future. Setting a course and path that will line up with the vision and plan we desire.

The same is true when it comes to Investing. When we don’t take ownership of our strategy and investing game plan- we lose! It’s not someone else's responsibility to pull the levers of our life. The buck stops with us!

So today- I want to encourage you- no matter what mistakes or failures you’ve made. When it comes to investing or life in general- we all make mistakes. But the piece that is going to help you stand out as the world champ to your spouse, your kids and your community will be when you take ownership of it all. This is when you begin to craft a future that lines up with the vision in your head and heart. And when that vision becomes a reality!

So- let’s take ownership of our life- our past and the future. Specifically, when it comes to investing in early stage startups. You’ve got this. You know more than you think and the future is bright, you just have to believe that and own it.

With that said- of course your story isn’t the same as Iron Mike’s, but just like Tyson- today, we can take ownership and craft the future we desire!

Let’s go change the world.

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