Shaquille O’Neal Discusses Investing, Franchising, and Donuts | WSJ

Shaquille O’Neal Discusses Investing, Franchising, and Donuts | WSJ

– I wanna be something more than Shaq. The Shaq guys gonna fade away. Cause you’ve got Steph Curry and all these guys stepping up. This Shaq guy will fade
away at some point in time. But Dr. Shaquille O’Neal will be around forever and ever and ever. (laughter) (soft hip hop music) – Dr. Shaquille Rashaun
O’Neal, welcome to you. – How are you sir? – Good and I call you doctor because, unbeknownst to a lot of people, you hold a Phd in education. – Yes, that’s true. – [Lee] Tell me about the franchises that you’re involved in. – My favorite one right
now is Krispy Kreme. I’ve had relationships
with 24 Hour Fitness. Five Guys, and you know…. But my favorite one right
now is Krispy Kreme. – And why is that? – Cause I like donuts. And Charles Barkley loves donuts. And he’s my biggest customer. (laughter) – No, but Krispy Kreme
is just a fabulous donut. I was introduced to it in college, and been in love with it every sense. So right now I’ve got
a few for franchises. I’ll look into get more. I wanna be a large part of that business. – So I was reading abour your
relationship with Carnival. And they called you the
CFO, it was confusing. Because usually that’s
Chief Financial Officer. But for you it’s a different title. What is it? – It’s the Chief Fun Officer. Have you not herd? – No, bout what? – CFO. – Oh really? – Want to know what else? Tag you’re it. Run. (objects crashing to floor) That’s my job to bring
awareness to the people. About how fun Carnival Cruise Line is. I admit, I used to be
a hypocrite about it. I lived across the
street from the terminal. And all I saw driving by was a big ship with a bunch of windows. So I assumed, that’s for old people, it’s boring, there’s nothing to do. But I was riding around
one day and I said, let me go check out one of these ships. It was one of the best things
I’ve ever said in my life. Restaurants, activities for
the kids, full court basketball court, swimming pool, nightclub. I was amazed. So I had a meeting with
Micky and Carnival and said hey, I don’t think the people know what you rolling with over here. Let me be the one to tell them. Cause again, when you, back in the day when you say cruise to me, I’m thinking, bro, I’m not, no, that’s for old people. I’m not doing that. But it aint for old people. It’s for everybody. And it’s affordable. And I’ve stayed a a lot of
luxury, plush hotels in Vegas, it’s the same thing. I’m talking about the rooms, the decor, everything is amazing. – What was your first investment? – My first big investment? I wanna say it was Google. I mean, I had a lot of
little minor investments that people would come to me and say “hey we gonna do some pinstripe jackets, “with the”. – The crest? – Yeah with the King of England crest. People are gonna like it. You give me $100,000 and I’ll
give you a million in a year. I did a lot of stuff like
that, that never worked out. So one day I’m sitting, playing, at the Beverly Hills
Hotel and I hear these two gentleman talking about
Google Search Engines, and one day your phones gonna be this, and you type in anything and it comes up, and I was like uh, say that again. “oh hey, how you doin Shaq, come over here and listen to this.” Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. I would like to invest in this. My guy hooked it up, we invested, and then I forgot all about it. And then I read an article, and everybody else read a article about, the big hit that some of the early, early investors received. When you look at the perfect picture, it looks like I’m at home saying, do this, do that, do that, It aint. It’s just, being in the
right place and time. And just opportunities coming. – You still have to have
a skill for being able to weigh those opportunities. How do you know who to trust? – My skill is, if something
comes across my desk, and I don’t believe in it, won’t even look at it. At all. – It’s just a gut feeling? – Well it’s just one, I
can’t lie to the people. Right? And two, yeah it’s a gut feeling. My favorite story, and I don’t
wanna disrespect anybody but, after my first championship, Wheaties. My people said “Hey man, won’t you be on
the cover of Wheaties”. I said I can’t do that. They said, “What do you mean brother? “Breakfast of champions”. I said, don’t know what it tastes like, never gonna taste it. “What do you mean?” I said well, Frosted Flakes
will always be my first option. If you want to talk
cereal business with me. And Fruit Loops, then Fruity Pebbles. Period, there aint nothing to talk about. When I do business, it’s never
about the monetary aspect. It’s about changing people’s lives. Then people understand that
you can still have fun. That’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be like hey, you
don’t know what’s on this ship. I do. Let me show you. Let me tell you. And by the way, not expensive. I know I just told you
we’ve got 50, 60 options, but guess what, this is the price. Bam. So that’s what I’m doing. Now, along the way, you see a opportunity, you go back and have a conversation with them. And say, you got a lot of
great restaurants on here, however, people like chicken. I don’t see that you have a chicken spot. This is what I’m doing, would
you like to be involved? See I never throw it. You always gotta have business
conversations with them. So I’m launching my first
Big Chicken in 2020. On a ship, Radiance, that’s
gonna be our first one. But again, whenever I do business,
it’s not about the money. I herd Jeff Bezos say one
time, when he was talking, he say he makes his investment, based on if it’s gonna
change peoples lives. And once I started doing the strategy, (whistles) I think I probably quadrupled
what I’m worth now. – Lets talk about the future. You’ve had a lot of success
in the business world. You’ve done movies, you rapped, you’ve done all kinds of things, but what’s most important to you now? – I have a lot of dreams and aspirations. First one is to be Sheriff somewhere. That’s my next big dream. Second one is law school. Third one is to open
up children’s schools. K through 4. There’s a school around
the corner from my house, I love it. I call it the no problem school. All the stuff we got going on. And I live in deep south Georgia, well not south, but south of Atlanta. All the stuff we got going on, I ride by the school everyday. Black and white kids playing
and hugging and kissing, Spanish kids, they’re all running around. And they all know me as Uncle Shaq. I’ll stop by and I’ll
play with them, love that. – Law and owning a law firm
is part of your plan, right? – Yes, that will be. – What sparked that interest? – Well what sparked that
interest is having a little bit of success in owning things. Don’t wanna be lawyer. I know but, I would like to educate myself in what it takes to become a lawyer. Take the bar. Pass the bar. And then go back to my teamwork concept. Let me get a law firm. I’m gonna get me a hell of a point guard. Boom. I’d like to get five or six lawyers. We put them together, get one guy under me,
I manage all of them, we’d be very successful. That’s one of the dreams I have. I like to sit down and just make up stuff that I wanna do. And then at some point, go for it. – When you went to LSU,
it was a tough run. People were hacking you. What what that like? – Wouldn’t say it was tough. It was something that I relished. And I always looked at
it as a sign of respect. Can’t play you, can’t guard you, two of my teammates added to me, which makes three on one,
we still can’t stop you, now we gotta beat you up. But, you know, growing
up with a drill sergeant, and being a football player first. See, a lot of people don’t
know, football was my love. So I always liked contact. I always liked bringing the pain. And I could receive the pain. – So that gave you the
toughness that you needed for basketball.
– Yeah. It definitely gave me the toughness I needed. And it actually helped me make a great business decision. Because again, my parents stress education, so my whole plan was to stay four years, graduate, then go pro. But the first time I had to
make a business decision, taking all those business courses and reading all those
books, my favorite book is the “Dummies Guide to
Starting Your Own Business”. A friend of mine named Gino
Marino gave me that book. He said “Your gonna be rich,
you need to read this book”. So I’m sitting there and
I’m saying to myself, okay, if I get hurt this year, from people tackling me in the air, a lawyer to the London will provide me with a million dollars. But Derrick Coleman just
signed for 30 million in ’88. Economically, it’s gonna
go up 15, 20 percent, so I could probably
ask for 40, 50 million. Do I stay and get the one
million if I get hurt, or do I take a jump at this 40 million, then come back to school. That’s when I started at
the age of 18 years old. I started thinking like a businessman. And I think it was a great decision. – As a kid, how did
you relate to business? Did you see yourself as a
business person in the future? – No. No, I was, I was taught by scare tactics
to become a businessman. And then, cause again I didn’t
wanna be one of those guys. And my family relied on me. And everybody looked up to me. My grandmother used to
tell me at an early age, you gonna be the one. The one for what grandma? You’re gonna be the one that just make life easier for everybody. And I used to tell her, you know what grandma, when I get rich, I’m gonna buy you a big ole house, in Newark New Jersey. And that was one of
the first things I did. So to not be one of those
things, I said to myself, okay, alright, I’m making a lot of money, now what do I do with it. I met a gentleman one time, he had a piece of paper, said this is a 100 dollars, rip in half, 50 dollars. He said smart people invest whatever, real estate, with this 50. But then he had 50 left. But he said the wealthy people take half of that 50, now you got 25, you put that away, and
this, you have fun with it. Cars, jewelry, whatever you want. So I started doing that. And then when I started going to LA I started seeing the
things that Magic Johnson was doing in the community. I was like okay, this is what
peoples was talking about. Then I started dabbing into it. My first big purchase was
40, 24 Hour Fitness’s. We did that. And then we did some real estate. Redeveloping Newark New Jersey. We dibbled and dabbled. I got four or five
restaurants in Las Vegas. Did a couple local car washes. Got a coupe annuities. – What’s so attractive about
the franchising business? – Its just you know, again, partnering up with another
reliable, excellent brand. Being in business with people. And just owning stuff. Magic Johnson said to me at 18 years old. When I first met him, first day I met him, because he had an event and they clapped Magic Johnson (hands clapping), newcomer, Shaquille
O’Neal, (hands clapping), and Magic pulled me to the side and said, “it’s okay to be beloved by the fans, “but at some point, you
wanna start owning things.” And at 18 years old, I had no idea what he was talking about. But as I got older and moved to LA, and saw how he moved around the community. I was like okay, this is
what I have to start doing. – You were criticized
earlier in your career for diversifying, but now, that
seems to be your strength. – Criticism to me, is a double edge sword. You can take it, and
listen to it and fade away. Or you can listen to it,
find some truth in it, and better yourself. But I only take real
criticism from my panel. Mother, father, Dale Brown,
Mike Perish, Jerome Crawford, Collins Neaten, and Perry Rodgers. That’s my panel. They the only ones can affect what I say and what I do. Ever. So again, when I hear something, growing up with a drill Sargent, you can’t hurt my feelings. No words can hurt my feelings. I’ve been to San Antonio,
Baton Rouge, Germany, so they’re no words you can
say to hurt my feelings. So I’m programed to go, alright, you’re doing to many rap albums. You got swept three, three rounds in a row
for the last three years, all right, fall back on the rap. Just fall back on that and
let’s see what you can do. Oh championship, boom. Fall back on the rap again. Another championship, boom. Fall back on the rap, and the
movies, and the commercials. All right three in a row. So rather then go (screams), you listen sometimes to
what the people are saying. Especially if it’s people you respect. Now people you don’t respect, you don’t even listen about. Just people you respect. Like right here, cause I like you and I respect you. If you said something, I
wouldn’t get mad at you, I would just rewind it a couple times, close my eyes, and listen. Alright, he has a point. He has a point. And that’s how I do criticism. Because you have to take
advantage of opportunities. Everybody don’t get these opportunities. I never wanted to be a rapper. I never wanted to do movies. I thought about it, dreamed about it, so when I got drafted,
Arsenio Hall kept calling me. Hey man why don’t you come one the show. But it always go back to the
story I told you earlier. My mother said make
them remember your name. I don’t want to come on your show Arsenio, in a $5000 suit, and tell you corny stories
and have you laugh. I’m gonna do that,
because that’s the format. But at the end, I gotta
make them remember my name. Gotta do something different. Let me rap with my
favorite rap group Arsenio. Well you can’t rap. Let me show you. Did it, boom, boom, boom. Record companies called the next day. I’m like nah, I don’t want to do an album. We can get 10 million, three album deal. Saw opportunity. I said okay, but I don’t
wanna do albums by myself. Let me do it with all my favorite artists, and you gotta pay my
artists whatever they want. All right so now I’m
trying to help them out, get them some money too. Deal. So that was my first opportunity. So then, I’m walking around, in LA, and I see I guy, Billy Friedkin. He said, “you know who I am?”. I said no sir. “My names Billy Friedkin. “I directed “Exorcist”.” I went man, you a legend in my house. Boom, we started talking. “I gotta project for you sir. “We’re gonna do a movie.” Man, I’m not a actor. “Good thing for you, is you
gotta play a basketball player”. Man, I don’t know if I can do that. “We’ll pay you three million dollars.” What? Me? So this is about, it aint about sitting at home going I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do that, a lot of times these things just come up. – It’s widely known that your relationship with you mother is close. And the one thing that really struck me in prep for this interview, was learning also about
Philip, your father. And he wasn’t just tough on you, he was also tough on the people who were working around
you as well it seemed like. Tell me about him. He was a drill Sargent? – He was a drill Sargent, he
was a major disciplinarian. And he was a major, high level, juvenile
delinquent growing up. Newark New Jersey. And he knew what the
surroundings could bring. He knew that if I didn’t
follow the right path, I could end up a follower,
as opposed to a leader. So his mindset, I’m gonna
do whatever I have to take, to make sure you go down the right path. And I thank him for it everyday. – I saw an interview with your
couch, Dale Brown from LSU, and he said that Phil told him once, “I think it’s time for blacks
to go another direction, “and develop intellectualism, “so they can be presidents
of corporations, “instead of janitors. “So they can be Generals in
the Army, instead of Sargent’s. “So they could be head
coaches, instead of assistants. “If you’re interested
in my sons intellect, “we might talk someday”. What inspired him to be that way, and how did that impact you. – Well because he knows that
education can bring out a lot. Education is something that can never be taken away from you. You have to retire from basketball. You have to retire from NFL. You have to retire from being a rapper. You have to retire from being an actor. But if you don’t have education, while you’re doing all that, you’ll be in one of those
stories that we all know about. It’s a shame that 60% of
professional athletes, after they’re done, they have nothing. Well he made that statement
because at the time, I was a terrible basketball player. 6′ 9″, third team, couldn’t play. – Couldn’t dunk. – Couldn’t dunk. It wasn’t looking good for me. So the only way I could
probably go to college is get a academic scholarship. So he was really, he didn’t want no C’s no B’s, if I didn’t get an A, gonna be trouble. And his thing is, I don’t
care what you do in life, if you’re an educated man, they can’t take anything away from you. – And you were in Germany at the time. It’s what, four years in Germany as a kid. How did that influence you? – I tell people all the time that I lived the Karate Kid, sort of life. The things I went through in my childhood, prepared me, to become the charterer known as Shaq. For example, born and raised in the projects of Newark New Jersey. Had to move to Germany, learn
how to deal with Europeans. Left there, moved to San Antonio. You deal with everybody
including the Hispanics. Leave there, got to Baton Rouge, had to learn how to deal with Cajuns. So the point I’m trying to make is, it enables me to deal with all people. I speak every language. Shalom, Assalamualaikum,
what’s up big homey? How you doing sir? I speak every language to everybody. And that’s another great thing
that my father did for me. Moving every four years, I got to learn different
cultures, different religions, and just learned people. – When you think about legacy. A lot of self made people,
they worry a lot about whether their kids will
have the work ethic, that they had to be able
to get where they are. Is that something that you worry about? Legacy obviously is a
big deal to you because. – I use the same talk
tech as my father used. Education first. Cause I tell them all the time, look, we don’t need another
O’Neal basketball players. I’d like to have engineers,
lawyers, hedge fund operators, there’s six of y’all. Y’all can go any direction you want. Two of them wanna go the basketball route. And I have two older ones,
and have two younger ones, that are very, very intelligent. I don’t really worry about them. But I don’t stress what I did. I just stress education. And I’m also stressing business. I’m telling them now, think about what you wanna do we you grow. I can get you there. But you’re gonna have
to take it over the top. Like I lived in Beverly Hills a long time. Seen a lot of rich, spoiled
brats riding around. They feel entitled, I see that. And based on what I
saw Micky Arison doing, and a lot of other friends, who make their kids start from the bottom. Exactly what I have to do. And my kids are beautifully smart. They’re so smart sometimes I say to them, I think we need to go on
the Maury Povich show, because there’s no way I’m your father. You got all A’s. Because I listened to my
parents I’m very successful. I wasn’t one of those guys
that made a 1900 on the SATs. Or 40 on the ACT. I wasn’t one of those guys, that when it come to
academics, you talk about. For me to listen to two
people, who saw the vision that I didn’t see, follow
that vision to a T. Have good people around me, I would say I’m a lucky individual. – Shaq. – Thank you. – Thanks a lot. – Alright brother, I appreciate you. (upbeat techno music)

100 thoughts on “Shaquille O’Neal Discusses Investing, Franchising, and Donuts | WSJ

  1. It takes money to make money . We all got our stunt our skill that’ll take us to the check. ITS OUR CHOICE TO MULTIPLY THE CASH

  2. “There’s nothing you can say to me that can hurt my feelings”

    I think inside the NBA tries every week to do just that lol

  3. @Shaq let’s start a company: 6ft+. Look at that completely unfitting chair you are sitting in!

    There’s some many things that are just too small for people over 6ft.

  4. With a Ph.D outside of the medical realm, it is incorrect to use the "Doctor" title. One shouldn't be addressed as Doctor. Do your research 😎

  5. Thanks for interview….
    D.R.E.A.M.S.-Developing Real Entrepreneurs And Monies…

  6. Opportunity only comes with knowledge and preparation and little luck . No knowledge means you’re missing opportunities you don’t even know you missed

  7. wow…shaq is really a smart dude. good head on his shoulder unlike other ex-nba players that went broke (cough cough charles barkley, allen averson etc.)

  8. lol please, he had investors come to him, all he did was play basketball and get rich in the 80s. He has business advisers, financial advisers, hes just a face.

  9. man it's cool that wsj can make shaq talking about things in serious way, well i used to see him having fun and goofing around a lot, but this one is cool i guess a good interviews

  10. Big respect to Shaq! Thank you for sharing simple ideas to follow. Prayers to you and your family in this time of sorrow!

  11. Shaquille O’Neal seems like one of the most genuine people. He has such a positive outlook on life and has accomplished so much but yet still wants to accomplish more. He said lofty goals for himself and then seeks them out. He seems to be a very wonderful human being that a lot of people can learn from. Good job brother keep up the good work.

  12. Egomaniacs want to be remembered. You will die and will be forgetten by EVERYONE no matter what eventually, no matter how hard you try. Get over yourself dumbfucks. You're not here for yourself.

  13. WOW! Shaquille was my role model growing and listening to this interview reaffirms him as being someone to look up to. Education truly opens doors for people of all ages, ethnicities and breaks the dividing lines and connect bridges.

  14. Awesome interview, Shaq is a wise man and it shows, he keeps says he is not smart but I think he is and he has proved it by achieving so much

  15. SHAQ is telling the truth that he isn’t doing it for the money. Mad respect for him the fact the he offers shoes at an affordable price but Jordan sells high over priced shoes that people get hurt, robbed, and murdered over is just sad.

  16. He’s a Freemason that’s how all the opportunities came along… people looking at him like he’s this great entrepreneur.. wake up people

    “(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:”
    ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:18-20‬ ‭KJV‬‬

  17. I respect Shaq, but business without the monetary aspect is a farce. Business is all about money, otherwise it's a charity Shaq.

  18. if shaq reads this and his influence in one of the largest cruise lines, please have them look into their emissions which produce more CO2 emissions than the country of Europe. Invest in alternative fuel sources and become more environmentally friendly for our oceans and the waste they produce.

  19. Changing people lives with Krispy Kreme? Yes you are!Sending them to the hospital. I still like you though. Please invest in healthy brands and not diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

  20. today I learned, you have to know the journey of a person for be able to understand why is success and other don't.

    he find the recipe haha, love Shaquille.

  21. when living in Orlando, he used to volunteer at soup kitchens on holidays. No press team, just doing what his family raised him to do. I respected him ever since

  22. Shaq You My Homie I am From Newark Nj……..And Wadoo Is My Boy And I know Officer Jerome Crawford , Mario And Braswell…….I am From Hawthorne Ave ……And like I Said Wadoo and Mustafa Dent is My Boy's ……Ask Them Do They Know Stevie Dee !!!!!! Im A G

  23. can't understand why shaq is endorsing all the unhealthy foods like black folks don't already have enough unhealthy habits

  24. Man what you talking about yeah he spit a lot of experience about investing cause he took a few hits. There's a saying a famous person can sell easier and a famous person gets pitched to more often. Besides that he's not a dummy. He knows what he's doing I will give him that. Respect for going into finance. thats where it is

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