In this video segment from SUCCESS magazine’s May/June cover interview with Shaquille O’Neal, he discusses his relationship with money, the benefits of education and his personal definition of success.
O’Neal’s relationship with money is primarily focused on what he can do for others—his mother first and foremost. Throughout his childhood, his mother put her children first, and now he’s using his money to pay his family back for everything they’ve done for him. “If it wasn’t for my father pushing me and my mother helping me believe I wouldn’t be here,” he says.
Part of his success has been found through education, which O’Neal is a great proponent of. It’s easy to feel as if you know everything when you’re young, but O’Neal feels that children need to focus on listening to those around them, arguing that “those that follow and listen are the ones that come out successful.” His own children are encouraged to do anything they want to—without any pressure to follow in their father’s footsteps—but they are, however, pressured to stay educated.
Personally, O’Neal likes to listen to the people who are successful and revise his own strategy accordingly. Now an investor, he looks for people with a product he believes in, he likes and he knows about. He got his MBA to take charge during these talks, and so that his agents would be working for him during those meetings, not the other way around.
The definition of success, however, is a little less clear. To O’Neal, success is fulfilling dreams, now and in the future, and making sure his mother is happy.