After a successful NBA career full of individual and team accomplishments, Metta World Peace found a new passion in entrepreneurship and helping other companies reach their goals. We spoke with Metta about his new initiative with Orbiiit Technology, in which the goal is to find the best company for them to invest in but also provide guidance and advice on scaling the business.
Metta also mentioned what makes entrepreneurship similar to having a basketball career while describing the preparation process and why all NBA players should educate themselves early on all the potential business opportunities that are out there for them after their careers are finally over.
How did your partnership with Orbiiit Technology come about?
Well, I think I've been working with a lot of new up-and-coming companies, and we're looking at investing in companies. We have services where we get some services for equity in companies. And we have different type of deals, deal structures, and we're getting into technology where sports can affect the outcome of success. We feel like Orbiiit is a really good company with an amazing founder. We're just so excited to be working with them.
The program's name is Pitch, which can be described as the virtual version of Shark Tank, which will allow young entrepreneurs to raise money directly from you. How did the inspiration for that idea come to fruition, and what did the actual process look like?
Yes, the process was cool. So my buddy and partner from Canada connected me with Nader, and we went back and forth. I was involved in a lot of other deals at that time, so I wasn't really brought in until the end of the contract we signed. Came up with a strategy that was an Orbiiit strategy, and they thought it would be a good idea if I were a judge. And then we just built a marketing campaign around that, and now we're not only pitching for founders, but we're actually marketing a new company. So it's like a new company that's set up to market new companies, which is really cool. It's that everybody's just being creative in the space and just communicating, building relationships, and trying to build big companies.
The winners of the competition can expect $25,000 in cash and mentoring session by yourself and the Investment committee. What are you looking for in a potential winner, and what will be your selection process exactly?
I mean, for a winner, there's going to be a lot of submissions, so we're going to go and look at the companies and scan them through. We're going to pick which ones we like, and then we will narrow it down to ten. And then we have some internal rules that we're setting for those ten companies. It will be more of a system in place, but yeah, we're going to try to get the best ten companies to the finish line, no matter what type of company it is, and go from there. So it's really exciting
Following you on LinkedIn, I got the impression you were working very hard to educate yourself on business and all the intricate details of how to develop businesses. How did that process look like for you, and what have you discovered so far in this journey?
Well, I discovered that if you want to launch a business, you're going to need people to agree to go on this journey with you. Depending on where you're at in your career, you got to take so much into consideration. Is there a market for it? What is your funding situation, equity shares? How are you going to get people to work? And now they're saying using human capital and different things like that. So there's a lot of things that come into play, but then once you get it in motion and you can actually move the needle, then you can move forward, generating revenue, expanding the company, raising money if you need to. Sometimes you can just create a company that's generating revenue. So you don't always need to raise money if your company is already generating revenue. So that's something to take into consideration. But I'm having a good time learning about the journey I'm on and going on that journey, even for me, building a big management company. But even going on that journey, I'm helping other companies because I'm not only betting on my company, I'm also betting on other people. It's a fine line between what I can do as human capital, where I am putting my time, and then where's my company putting their time, meaning my managers and my staff. That's kind of how I'm getting to where I'm trying to go, and it's through partnerships, relationships, and networks all that comes into play.
What is the main difference between preparing yourself and learning to become the best basketball player you can be compared to learning about entrepreneurship and business? What are the similarities, and what you saw are the biggest differences?
I think there are a lot of similarities because when you're playing with a team, playing with Mike Bibby, you already know what he's going to do to try to win, and you could just compliment that with offense or compliment it with defense. Right. Trying to win. Then it's going to come to a point in time where it's the fourth quarter, where it's very important, deadlines need to be met, and which way are you going? What are you doing? Do you know what you're doing? Are you ready to pivot and adjust if you have to while continuing to move everyone forward through adversity? So that happens a lot in business also. You just got to keep things moving forward.
You obviously had NBA players you looked up to growing up but are there any people in the business field you follow and admire, and you could say they are your role models?
I think I looked at a lot of different people, from even how people manage their careers. Artists, rappers, singers, and comedians. Guys like Kevin Hart, you see, these guys are building their brands, and then people like, Warren Buffet or the Bill Gates of the world, Robert Smith's off the world, just kind of looking at the news, reading stories, and really trying to get to know how they did it, how they created their business. Then also a lot of local officials, also running communities and different things like that. Logistics are super important in everything, and sometimes we forget that piece. You're surrounded by people and logistics, and logistics are needed for everything. For the most part, logistics is going to be in play forever. So if you're not thinking like that early then you're going to have a problem. Sometimes I'm around people and logistics and have nothing to do with anything I'm doing just to build relationships. Eventually, I will need some money like that. For me, it's all about patience because sometimes you don't have the funding you want, so you got to have patience.
Many current and former NBA players are now more open to investing and getting a better understanding of how the business works. What would be your advice for players looking to invest their money into something that can benefit them in the long run and possibly create a source of income in the future?
Yeah, I would say you definitely want to be diversified, and you want to be conservative, and you also want to take advantage of aggressive opportunities which will diversify you. I definitely think you should own a home, buy your property and learn about where your money is going to be. You actually spend time in that industry because you got to always pay attention to what your money's doing. So you should know a little bit about taxes. You should know a little about finance, stocks, and real estate. You should know a little bit about all these places because you're going to have a house, and you're going to have bills. You are going to invest in the stock market, maybe in a private equity, VC, fund, index, or something. So just kind of being familiar with that space. You're not going to get it overnight, but it's going to come over time. I would advise them to just stick with learning about all areas of finance.
I guess one of the most important things is also surrounding yourself with the right people that are educated in the right manner and whom you can trust as well.
I would definitely say you should try to find a CEO. Once you're making that type of money, it got to be somebody in your life, especially if you are creative, it has to be a CEO, and I ain't talking about just anyone. I'm talking about somebody who is sincere, and they don't have to be as close as your father or your mom or your wife. It should be somebody in your life that can run a corporation like you. That's not expensive, though. That's not charging millions because the price for a CEO, a good CEO, is $100,000 to $250,000.So we'll keep it right there. We don't need to go into millions, right? You just do your job. But I feel like athletes are becoming businesses, and they should be treated as such.
I feel that the younger generation of NBA players, you included, are getting more knowledgeable about what they can do with their money while having different investment opportunities, which wasn't the case back in the day, like 20,30 years ago.
It's true, and everybody's into it. The veterans are into it. I'm learning from the young ones. Hopefully, we're doing some s**t that they're going to learn from and do anything with, and that's it, and everybody's having a good time. I love what I see. It's just so inspiring to see everybody around you getting involved, it's so inspiring
Your son Jeron is someone you mentioned a few times as someone who inspires you daily. He is a young entrepreneur in his own right, and he, as I understand, already got into coding at an early age. What have you learned from him, and what lessons in life are you trying to teach him right now when it comes to business and basketball
Well, he's doing his own thing. He's a very smart kid. He's launched his venture studio, and now he's raised money for his game that he is developing. He's 21 years old, and he worked at Griffith Gaming. He worked out into it as a developer, worked as a VC, majored in Computer Science, went to USC Cinematic School of Arts, and also went to UCI and was a major in Computer Science. UCI is the best gaming school probably in America right now. So with that being said, he just launched his own company, and then he's also working on a gaming fund. So yeah, he's really advanced and will be very, very successful.
With all the things now happening in your life, do you even have time to watch the NBA, and if so, what are your thoughts on the season so far?
I like to watch it, and one of my favorite players is Marcus Smart. I think Marcus Smart is really good. I think Jason Tatum is really good. Yeah, there are a few players that I like.
Even though it's early in the season, which teams do you think are favorites to come out of the east and west conference?
I think Milwaukee is probably going to win it all, I think.
Which players are the biggest candidates to win the MVP award this season?
I can see Giannis taking it all again.
What would be your message and advice to all the young aspiring entrepreneurs out there that are looking to build businesses from their ideas
I would say learn what you're going to do, understand what you're going up against, try to learn it, and then attack. Try to understand everything that's going to be needed. Take your time, really come up with a plan, a full plan, just a good foundation on how your company is going to run. Then as you move forward, some things will be idle, meaning you're not going to be having a full administration or full marketing team when you launch. But understanding what it's going to take, I think that's super important, and then move forward, have patience, and move forward. When you start catching that momentum, then pick up speed.
When it comes to business and life in general, where do you see yourself in the next five to ten years?
I really love what I'm doing, so I'll probably do this for a couple more years, helping people launch companies and businesses. We get a chance to see a lot, and I'm having fun. I'm coaching a lot, also. I coach Cal State girls. We won today. So having a good time. It's really cool to be able to play an NBA and now retire and then go to other things.