B.O.S.S. Monthly Feature: RJ White
Entrepreneur & ABA Pro Men’s Basketball Team Owner
B.O.S.S. interviewed PRO ABA Men’s Basketball Team Owner and Entrepreneur RJ White about her journey to success.
B: Growing up, did you like school?
R: I did and I think the reason I liked it so much was because my parents were really big on education so I knew the importance of it. I knew whether I liked it or not, I had no other choice but to go and like it so no matter what it was there was no changing it. So I just decided to liked it.
B: What were your favorite subjects in high school?
R: I really liked history and science.
B: What are some of your highest achievements?
R:Stepping out of my shell and trying out for track in high school and actually making the team to me that was a really big accomplishment because I stepped outside of my shell and it was my first time being in a highly social and group setting. Next accomplishment was starting my first business at the age of 17 and being able to watch it grow and blossom. Then there is being a mom, going to the White House, starting my sport team (really excited for that one) then seeing the reaction of the kids and the community support our sports team’s efforts.
B: Who influenced or took part in making you successful? Parents? Mentors?
R: Definitely my parents because they were the can-do type of people where they just never gave me the notion that failure was option. My dad would tell me impossible is nothing. You can do whatever you set your mind to as long as you work hard at it and it’s yours.
B: What was a moment of adversity, and how were you able to prevail?
R: When I announced that I was going to have a men’s team. I feel like that was my biggest obstacle of adversity, just with the notion of a woman can’t run a man’s team because the men/players weren’t going to respect me as a woman and that people aren’t going to support it because I’m a woman. It was just like everything was supposed to be bad because I’m a woman. I right now have the highest respect level from my players. I have plenty of success stories from my players accomplishing their dreams and I have ventured and partnered with different countries, male-dominated countries, that show nothing but respect. II feel like I prevailed there with the whole notion that a woman can’t do something in the male-dominated sports industry.
B: How long have you been in business? What industry or (industries) did you come from?
R: I came from working within a few industries- financial, marketing, and sports. Financial wise my company has been around for 14 years. I have been marketing as an independent contractor for companies 11 years and also working with sports for 9 years.
B: Why have you chosen to dedicate yourself to this particular business/industry? What inspires you?
R: I just love basketball! I love the mental aspect of the sport, seeing growth from my team, and the success from my players. This is what inspires me- to see the youth look up to my players. It’s heartfelt to know these kids have a hero and he’s not untouchable or unreachable because he’s a gym away and still a celebrity in their eyes. I’m truly inspired by it all.
B: What makes your business/product unique?
R: The culture – we have a family culture, yet a strict culture. We run our team professionally. These guys are required to follow a nutritionist plan, run miles, practice several days out of the week. They have over 1000 hours of community service for the length of their contract for the season and required to do media training. We actually help enhance their already gifted talents to become better athletes and help them become marketable athletes.
You could have worked for anyone and would have been successful, why become an entrepreneur?
B:I hear that a lot in fact a lot of fortune 500 companies have asked me to come and work for them in either a leadership role or something of the sort but I just really like the entrepreneurial role. I like being able to kind of man the ship sort to speak, I had a lot of issues with people that see my potential and try to sabotage my position. I just didn’t like that feeling to know I had to numb down my talent so I didn’t offend anybody, so I feel like it was better to be entrepreneur rather then secluded from growth. Plus I have a lot of creative ideas and I really don’t like the idea of having to get them approved I just like to hit the ground running.
B: What was your last, “aha” moment while doing your business?
R: Recently actually which is funny and is it came from me trying to do business in another country and I had to get used to doing like the translations and listening to the conference calls in translation and someone told me like well instead of missing a conference call or listening to the call in translation to why don’t you just hire a interpreter I just looked like “aha”…I think no matter what you always have those moments because you’re always learning seeking new and inventive ways to become a better owner/entrepreneur. But the little things catch you off guard.
B: Every successful professional should have __________.
R: A network …. without it your stagnate.
B: If you could have a mogul as a business partner, who would it be and why?
R: Russell Simmons or Mark Cuban, because they are brilliant and have great business concepts. Mark is a sports legend not because of money but just because of the innovation he brought to his team.
B: What is your business motto?
R: “Let’s Eat” – it’s a short simple way for when we get on the court it’s go time….
B: If you could give other entrepreneurs up to five tips, what would they be?
- Be organized
- Be Social/ Get a network
- Be open minded
- Pamper yourself so you don’t over work yourself
- Dream daily of where you want to be –
B: As a woman entrepreneur, what challenges does this come with? What’s your advice to other women entrepreneurs?
R: Keep striving no matter what being a woman is a label and just as many of us in life face labels and preconceived notions we just need prove them wrong and keep striving with success and the end goal in mind which is the vision until we get to where we want to be.
B: If you can tell your 17-year-old some guidance or encouragement, what would it be?
R: Be humble
Write everything down
Research your market
Be open minded
Be social/build a network
Never give up
Minimize the company you keep unless they mean you well….