Grand Slam Journey

79. Dre Baldwin︱Slam Dunk Strategies for Basketball, Life and Entrepreneurial Greatness

May 26, 2024 Klara Jagosova Season 3
79. Dre Baldwin︱Slam Dunk Strategies for Basketball, Life and Entrepreneurial Greatness
Grand Slam Journey
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Grand Slam Journey
79. Dre Baldwin︱Slam Dunk Strategies for Basketball, Life and Entrepreneurial Greatness
May 26, 2024 Season 3
Klara Jagosova

Ever wondered how the discipline of sports can catapult you into a life of entrepreneurial success? Join me as I sit down with former professional basketball player turned entrepreneur Dre Baldwin to reveal how the lessons from the court can translate into boardroom victories. Dre, known for his "Work On Your Game" philosophy, dives into his personal story of grit and determination, demonstrating how mental toughness and the ability to handle critical feedback are invaluable beyond the bounds of sports.

This episode isn't just about scoring points and mastering life skills. We'll unpack the nuances of transitioning from being an athlete to navigating the competitive world of entrepreneurship. From the discipline of 'third-day' training to understanding the synergy between individual skill and team dynamics, Dre's narrative is a playbook for anyone looking to harness their sports experience into professional prowess. We even tackle the traits of agreeableness versus disagreeableness and how this shapes our ability to innovate and lead.

But the true slam dunk? It's about developing a mindset that views every challenge as an opportunity. Dre shares how adopting a Michael Jordan-esque approach to business and life ensures that your energy and example resonate with your team. We'll also explore the strategies, systems, and accountability that have allowed Dre to replicate the success he achieved in basketball in the realm of business and how you, too, can collapse timeframes to escalate your expertise. Tune in for an episode that's more than just talking the talk; it's about walking the walk of a champion on and off the court.

📚 Claim Dre's offer and get your free book- The Third Day: https://www.thirddaybook.com/

Connect with and follow Dre:
https://www.workonyourgameuniversity.com/
http://YouTube.com/Dreupt
http://LinkedIn.com/in/DreAllDay
https://www.facebook.com/WorkOnYourGameUniversity
http://

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

This content is also available in a video version on YouTube.

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with someone who may enjoy it as well, and consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. You can also submit your feedback directly on my website.

Follow @GrandSlamJourney on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and join the LinkedIn community.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered how the discipline of sports can catapult you into a life of entrepreneurial success? Join me as I sit down with former professional basketball player turned entrepreneur Dre Baldwin to reveal how the lessons from the court can translate into boardroom victories. Dre, known for his "Work On Your Game" philosophy, dives into his personal story of grit and determination, demonstrating how mental toughness and the ability to handle critical feedback are invaluable beyond the bounds of sports.

This episode isn't just about scoring points and mastering life skills. We'll unpack the nuances of transitioning from being an athlete to navigating the competitive world of entrepreneurship. From the discipline of 'third-day' training to understanding the synergy between individual skill and team dynamics, Dre's narrative is a playbook for anyone looking to harness their sports experience into professional prowess. We even tackle the traits of agreeableness versus disagreeableness and how this shapes our ability to innovate and lead.

But the true slam dunk? It's about developing a mindset that views every challenge as an opportunity. Dre shares how adopting a Michael Jordan-esque approach to business and life ensures that your energy and example resonate with your team. We'll also explore the strategies, systems, and accountability that have allowed Dre to replicate the success he achieved in basketball in the realm of business and how you, too, can collapse timeframes to escalate your expertise. Tune in for an episode that's more than just talking the talk; it's about walking the walk of a champion on and off the court.

📚 Claim Dre's offer and get your free book- The Third Day: https://www.thirddaybook.com/

Connect with and follow Dre:
https://www.workonyourgameuniversity.com/
http://YouTube.com/Dreupt
http://LinkedIn.com/in/DreAllDay
https://www.facebook.com/WorkOnYourGameUniversity
http://

LEORÊVER COMPRESSION AND ACTIVEWEAR
Get 10% off Loerêver Balanced Compression and Activewear to elevate your confidence and performance

8 EIGHT SLEEP
Save $200 on 8Sleep and get better quality and deeper sleep with automatic temperature adjustment

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

This content is also available in a video version on YouTube.

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with someone who may enjoy it as well, and consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. You can also submit your feedback directly on my website.

Follow @GrandSlamJourney on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and join the LinkedIn community.

Dre:

It's a great experience to play sports for that reason alone, because you know as well as I do, most athletes don't even make it to college level, but on pro level. And still, the experience of playing sports teaches us a lot of things. First of all, to respect authority. To respect the authority of a coach or someone who has a higher rank than you in an organization, because we go into, you go work in corporate, you go work in an organization. There are people above you and you have to respect their authority, Even if you don't always agree with their position. You can disagree in a way, but at the same time, you need to be respectful of the position that they have with regards to the position that you have. Number two, being willing to take feedback constructive, critical feedback when it's coming from someone, because in the sports world I mean in the business world people have to sugarcoat things right, especially in the world that we're in today. You can't say things too harshly to anybody, because people are extremely sensitive and generally I'll just call that weak.

Dre:

In sports, you get feedback direct. Again, you mess up in the middle of a game, your coach or your teammate will yell at you right in your face for messing up and if you fall to pieces in the middle of the game now you're useless to the team. You have to build up the mental toughness to take that feedback. You go play an away game. You got the fans from the other team yelling at you. You have to take that feedback that you're getting from whoever and not fall apart just because someone's giving you constructive feedback. And the thing is, is what they said true? I always say this to athletes and I say it to professionals. These days, when someone offers you a criticism, the first thing you need to ask yourself is not how you feel about it. The first question is is it true? Is what they said true that you did mess up? Did you make a mistake? Is this not working? If it's true, then you should appreciate it, accept it, say thank you for that feedback. What can we do to fix it?

Klara:

it accept it say thank you for that feedback. What can we do to fix it? Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Grand Slam Journey podcast, where we discuss topics related to the Grand Slam Journey of our lives sports, life after sports, and lessons we have learned from our athletic endeavors and how we're applying them in the next chapter of our lives, growing our skills and leadership in whatever we decide to put our minds into For me personally, areas of business and technology. My guest today is Dre Baldwin. Dre is a former professional basketball player turned into an entrepreneur. This is a long conversation and so I'm going to keep the intro short. Feel free to check out the episode notes to see many resources that Trey had mentioned during this episode and also find a link to a free book that Trey offers the Third Day.

Klara:

If you enjoyed this conversation, I want to ask you to please share it with someone you believe may enjoy it as well. Consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss the next conversation. This episode is also available in video on the Grand Slam Journey YouTube channel. This is your Kla ra Jagosova . Thank you for tuning in, and now I bring you Dre All Day. Hello Dre, Welcome on the Grand Slam Journey podcast. How are you?

Dre:

Hey, clara, I'm doing great. Thank you for having me on. I'm excited for this conversation.

Klara:

Yes, and maybe just a quick intro for everyone who's listening, Dre Baldwin, aka Dre All Day. I actually love that. Also known as Work On your Game, Dre specializes in helping entrepreneurs and athletes dominate their game from the inside out. You're the CEO and founder of Work On your Game. You've given four TEDx talks and has authored 33 books, which is impressive I'm going to dive into that as well just the amount of content you're able to create and produce and you've had a nine-year personal basketball career playing in eight different countries, and your framework is the roadmap in reverse for professional mindset, strategy systems and accountability. So that's my quick intro and I want to dive into so many things with you, Jay, including your basketball journey, the passion you've had and how you're transferring the mindset into now your own business and helping entrepreneurs and corporate leaders adopt this athletic mindset to achieve the next level of growth. But before we dive into all of that, I want to give you an opportunity to introduce yourself. Anything else you want to add?

Dre:

Well, hopefully I can live up to that bio. I'm hoping that. Good, but as far as that, no, nothing that needs to be added. I think you pretty much summarized it there, but I think we'll get to the rest of it through this conversation.

Klara:

Yes, excellent. And maybe just to dive right in, I'm always curious about my guests upbringing, because I have guests from all different backgrounds, playing all different sports and growing up in different countries and states, so I'm curious if you could take us back a little bit to your upbringing, of what it was like to grow up I believe you were from Philly, yes and what helped you uncover your first passion, especially in basketball? I know you played many different sports when you were a kid, but basketball seemed to be really the thing that you were passionate about the most, and so I'm curious to hear a bit about that.

Dre:

Sure. So this is where I would have started anyway, had I added anything. So I think it's perfect. So I come from the city of Philadelphia, that is correct. I'm now based in Miami, florida, but played sports all through youth so I was always into sports. I think I had an athletic gene and I was pretty tall, so I was into trying to play a sport so I played. Of course, the normal backyard and where I'm from was a driveway because it was no grass so it was concrete, but a driveway sports, kickball, two hand touch football. If someone had a portable basketball court that they could pull out of the garage we would play that and things like that. And as I got older and my parents wanted me to get into maybe team sports, I tried a little bit of American football but I never even got around to the part where you put the equipment on. So I never really played football and then baseball and wasn't really good at baseball. I was kind of mediocre at best. My dad is was into coaching baseball so he actually coached a youth team that I was on Still coaches youth to this day, years and years later, still coaches youth. But I wasn't really that good at baseball. My ceiling was I probably would have been a bench player at high school if I had played baseball, so I wasn't good Then finally got to basketball around age 14.

Dre:

So at first I didn't have a passion for basketball. It's not like I just said, oh, I'm passionate about basketball and all of a sudden I started playing. It wasn't like that. It was that I just wanted to play a sport period and I had tried all the other sports that I saw were available to me and basketball was the one that, where I come from, every young man plays basketball because good thing is you need no equipment and you only need one ball and everybody can play. So I just started going to the basketball courts and again, since I was pretty tall, it was expected again where I'm from, that you should be good at basketball because you're tall. That's just how it is in our community. At least it was then. I don't know how it is now.

Dre:

And it wasn't good at first. I mean, I started playing at 14, but didn't make my high school team until I was a senior. But I would just go to the park by myself and just practice just one ball, me in the court and just practice doing things that I saw other people doing, people who were a lot better than me, which is pretty much everybody in the neighborhood, even the girls, and so over time I just started to develop and I started to get better, even though I didn't have any tangible results. I didn't really have any tangible results in basketball until I was maybe 17 years of age and that was in my junior year, and I wasn't even on my high school team. This was playing on a local recreational team, not even the school. I didn't play on my school team until I was a senior.

Dre:

And that year I like to tell people, clara, I had the best seats in the house, front row, right on the bench, watching the game. I was from the bench because I wasn't playing. I sat on the bench my senior year in high school and then getting out of high school. I high school and then getting out of high school.

Klara:

You know, I wanted to continue playing, but of course nobody was checking for me to play, so I'll stop there and see where you want to take the conversation. There are several things that stood out to me, including it seems like you actually picked up basketball quite late, because I envision many people start earlier on. A similar thing actually was with me in tennis, like if I look back in my tennis career. But going back to that beginning, I think starting later at least it was for me, I don't know if it was for you I've always had this thing in my mind that I'm behind everybody else because I missed on, let's say starting, and even six, seven. Now kids actually maybe start too early, specializing like three, four, five years old and you start developing the feel for the ball and the racket. I'm sure there's other things in basketball, but looking back at it, have you had sort of the same feeling that you're behind everybody else and that's why you've got to work harder? And how did that relate or not relate to your confidence?

Dre:

When I first started playing basketball, I knew that I was behind. So I didn't feel like I was behind. I was behind because I could see the other players in my age bracket, even some players who were younger than me, or peers who were younger than me in the neighborhood. They were just better at basketball because they had more experience and they had been playing for longer. So I knew logically that I was behind them. It's interesting the way that you explain it, the way I'm explaining it, just to juxtapose, because females tend to aim towards their feelings they talk about how they feel, whereas males, we tend to look at things logically what we think. And yes, you felt like you were behind and you used that it sounds like you used it to kind of drive you to do more work, which then led to you being more disciplined and more confident, whereas for me we ended up in the same place, but for different reasons. I knew that I was behind because I just started playing and I could see everyone was better than me. So for me it was the logical breakdown of it was okay. How do I catch up to these other players? Because all of us come to the park in the evenings and just play with each other, and I reasoned that if I only came to the park and played with all these other players, then we're all pretty much going to advance at the same pace. Again, this is just the way that at 14, 15 years of age, that's what made the most sense to me. So I figured that I needed to do something that they were not doing Now. In Philadelphia in the summer times it gets really hot, so around 10, 11, 12 o'clock it's too hot for anybody to be outside on the asphalt concrete, or too hot, relatively speaking, for them. So I realized okay, why don't I just go out there and practice during those hours when nobody else is out there? So that way, number one, I can get the court to myself and I can actually practice. I'm not playing, but practicing, and there's a difference, right? So let me take this time to practice so I can get better, and then I'll go home, they'll have a little snack and sit in air conditioning. Then I'll come back to the park in the evening when everybody else is out there, and then slowly, over time hopefully this is again my teenager logic hopefully over time I will slowly catch up to those other players, so then we can be even and then, if that works, then maybe I can keep practicing and I'll get better than them. So that was my process. So that was the logic that led to the discipline of practicing all the time. And that discipline created the confidence because over time I started to get better.

Dre:

As I told you, I started playing at 14. I didn't really have any tangible result that I could point to and say, hey, I did this until I was about 17. But over those years I could feel myself improving, even though I could not tangibly prove that I was improving. And then, by 17, I could actually show you hey, I had this many points in a recreational game last week, or hey, at least I made the high school team right and I'm sitting in the bench, but at least I'm on the team. And then when I got to college, I was actually playing.

Dre:

So the confidence really started to build around the age of 17, 18, 19, through my freshman year of college, because I now started to have some tangible results and the confidence came from not only me tangibly knowing that I was doing something, but also I knew that everybody else could see that I was actually doing something. So now the effort that I was putting in. Not only was it paying off for me looking at myself in the mirror, but also I knew that they could see the results were coming. So that's where the confidence starts to build.

Klara:

And you just grabbed something really interesting that I also personally resonate. It seems like you weren't great at basketball early on, or actually wasn't the sport you were best at growing up, which I would argue the same for tennis. I had perhaps kind of raw physical strength and skills, just because of my biology, that we don't choose for ourselves. You mentioned you were tall. I'm tall as well, which in tennis it can be advantage. It's very physical sport so you need a lot of stamina to move around and continue to run on the court for two to three hours, especially long matches.

Klara:

But I find that many kids, especially in that forming age, when you're going through the 14, 15, 16, 17 progression, if you're not great at something they typically give up 16, 17 progression. If you're not great at something, they typically give up. So there must have been some sort of passion you were discovering for the sport that allowed you to go through those hard years where you were nowhere close to best, but you were so disciplined and committed. This game is really interesting. I want to continue putting the hard work and effort to get better. How would you reflect on that? What grabbed you about the sport the most that made you put in the effort and the work to continuously improve.

Dre:

The competition. So I wasn't good. You're correct. I thought my best sport was probably either football or baseball, because those are the two sports that I would play. Well, baseball only because I was athletic, so I had the speed I could run and jump. But the thing about baseball is, in order to run and jump, you got to actually hit the ball. I wasn't that good at that, so that's why I didn't do much in baseball. Football I thought I may have had a chance in football, but again, I never got around to actually playing and thinking about football. Yes, you can run and jump, but you also got to hit and or get hit, and I don't know if my body was built for that. Probably wasn't. It's a good thing I didn't play football. I think I might've been.

Dre:

It's funny that you're a tennis player. I might've been a good tennis player, but where I come from, nobody plays tennis. So there was a playground that I grew up playing at. There was a basketball court, there were two basketball courts and right next to the basketball court is the tennis court, and we had these beautiful tennis courts in my neighborhood. It was like four tennis courts, well kept, nobody messed with them, nobody bothered them Every once in a while you would see some older people out there, maybe a husband and wife, hitting the ball back and forth, and nobody else ever played on the tennis courts ever. The only time we stepped on a tennis court is if somehow the basketball went over the fence and got on the tennis court and you had to go over there and get it. Other than that, nobody ever stepped on the tennis court. But I think I could have been a really good tennis player because, like you just said, you need stamina, you need agility, you need quickness and as a solo sport and I tend to have the mindset of a solo sport player as a matter of fact, even though so it's ironic that I played a team sport like basketball, because I'm much more of an individualist than a team guy.

Dre:

But anyway, to answer your question here, as far as developing over time, I was competing, of course, against the other kids in the neighborhood because I wanted to catch up to them. And again, the boys, we ridicule each other. Hey, you're not good. You're practicing all the time. You're not even on your high school team. You played in a game the other day. You didn't even score. We play and pick up basketball in the playground. You didn't get chosen to even be on the team. So we ridicule each other. So I would compete against that because I didn't want that to be the truth and really I was competing against the situation. I wasn't really competing against any one person. There was a bunch of people. They were all better than me, so I could say I was competing against the whole neighborhood.

Dre:

But really I was competing against the situation of how do I overcome this? Because I've always been a competitive individual and sports was my outlet for that competition. So I'm thankful that my parents introduced me to sports, even though my parents were not athletes at all. I'm six feet four inches tall 193 centimeters for those in the metric system. My dad is like five eight. My mom's like five seven. They're not tall at all. They never played basketball and they had no basketball talent whatsoever. Again, I had the athletic genetics, but I didn't have the. Nobody was training me. Nobody was teaching me, nobody took me under their wings. And again, I was.

Dre:

I grew up in the nineties, so there's no social media. It's not like I can go to the internet and get information from anybody. So I really was just self-taught and I was just competing against the circumstance. And as I saw myself getting better, I knew that I could discipline everybody. I was not out-talenting them and I hadn't outperformed them, at least not yet. But I could continue to show up to the park every day because I would see, because I would go by the park sometimes in the afternoon, I would see it was empty. Why is nobody out there? It's beautiful, but it was too hot. So I said that's my opportunity. So I took advantage of that opportunity to slowly catch up, eventually, by again around age 18, I caught up and then from college years on, I completely surpassed them because a lot of them you mentioned this a moment ago when you're not getting the success, most people quit pretty easily and often pretty early.

Dre:

So by the time we all around age 14, 15, we're all going to high school. Everyone in my age bracket and everybody goes and tries out for the high school basketball team. Not because they're passionate about basketball, that's not the reason they try out. People try out because it's available, it's there, so okay, it's like the basketball course there at the playground. Everybody hangs at the playground, everybody's playing basketball. So I might as well play basketball. That's kind of how it works. Where I'm from, that's the default. You just play because it's there. If everybody had been playing tennis, we'd be having a conversation about tennis right now. But since everybody played basketball, I played basketball, so that's how it goes.

Dre:

So then everybody tries out at their high schools for the team and if you don't make it your freshman year, a lot of people just pretty much drop off. About 60% of them drop off. They don't try to take basketball serious anymore. They might play in the playground but they don't take it serious. Sophomore year you get another percentage of people drop off.

Dre:

Because what happens is I find that a lot of people just didn't want to deal with the embarrassment of knowing that everybody else knew that you tried twice and didn't make it. So my junior and senior year it would just be every year there'd be fewer people trying out for the basketball team. My senior year it was hardly anybody at tryouts. It means from my grade I mean the ninth grade, the younger guys they tried out. But my senior year, my senior classmates, very few of us tried out for the basketball team our senior year if we weren't already on the basketball team.

Dre:

So me, I just was immune to that feeling of embarrassment. Oh, you keep trying, but you haven't made it. It reminded me because I could feel internally, as I said, that I was getting better, even though I had no tangible proof that I was getting better. So that was always what it was for me. So, to answer your question here, tying this up is competing again against the field. I was competing against everybody and I was competing against the circumstance of. I know that this can work out because I could feel slowly that the improvements were coming.

Klara:

And I love what you're mentioning, especially in those teenagers, I think it's really hard to focus on improving and measuring improvements mostly against yourself, because that's what I'm kind of hearing you say. You've seen a big scheme of things. You were still underperforming in comparison to the team, like trying to make the team. You didn't make it until your senior year, but you didn't give up because you felt that the effort you were putting in on a daily basis is actually making you better at this sport, and so you measured yourself against that. I think that's so important in life to not lose track of where am I in the big scheme of things. But as far as you're seeing that the effort that you're putting in makes sense for you and is creating the progress, that at least you see your own improvements. I will compare it even just now.

Klara:

And obviously I work out. I know you work out too religiously as well, but a lot of people, especially in the middle age years who haven't been athletes before realizing well, I better start working out because I'm aging, it's not going to get better. I need to start doing something in order to be able to get up from a couch when I'm 70 or walk around right, because that's way more difficult and I find often they come over. For example, I invite people to work out with me and they start to comparing themselves to me. Who's had like a 15 years of tennis career where I've played like four to six hours a day and then worked out religiously for another 10, 15 years? And then they come and they're embarrassed they can't do the same things that I can.

Klara:

And I was like look, I have like a very different background. You can't compare yourself to me. You just compare yourself to the discipline and come and putting the effort. So I've had many people come in, show up once or twice and they're like we do hard, I'm not coming anymore, and I think that translates to many other areas of life. So just to pause, anything you want to add on that, dre, as you now coach many different people in many different fields and speak about sort of this level of mindset and I've heard you talk about the third day as well. I don't know if that sort of relates to this conversation and point. Talk about the third day as well. I don't know if that sort of relates to this conversation and point.

Dre:

Well, yeah, the third day does relate I mean, third day relates to everything, because the third day is all about showing up and giving your best effort when you least feel like it which of course every professional has to deal with and especially when you're playing a sport. Because when you're playing a sport and you're taking it serious, you know very well there are days that you don't feel like doing the training. But when you're taking a sport serious, you have to train every day. So there are days you don't feel like training. There are days you don't feel like doing the stuff that goes around the training. So I don't know exactly what it is in tennis, but in basketball we have a lot of stuff we do that's not actually on the court, but you have to do it because you're playing a sport. So in basketball you might have conditioning workouts where you have to go and run a couple of miles, or you have to go to the weight room, you have to lift some weights, or you might need to do some hop in the ice tub or something that is not actually on the court, which we usually found fun, but it is related to it and is one of the requirements if you're going to be on the team or if you're going to be a serious player. So the third day is all about the moments when those things happen and the decision that you make in that moment is really about the decision, not the moment itself, because the decision is a choice. You can't always choose the circumstance, because you have a coach and there's a team and here are the requirements of the team. You don't choose that, but you do choose your decision on if you're going to show up all the way during that training session. You want to show up and give your best effort in that workout that you didn't even have to do, but you have a trainer and your trainer says we have a workout right now. So that's what the third day is about, and that third day is really about that highest level of discipline.

Dre:

And, as I said earlier, discipline creates confidence. The more disciplined you are at the thing that you do, the more confident you will be, and that's where the performance comes from. And discipline is a byproduct of structure. So all of these pieces work together and you're serious about it. Usually that means you have some type of trainer or coach. They create the structure, you plug into the structure, then you become disciplined. You're so disciplined at doing the training Now your confidence goes up. And then, when you're so confident, then you get in the match and you perform. So it all works together. So the third day is a piece in the puzzle, but it's a big piece.

Klara:

I do want to go back also again to your example and everything I've read about you, that you pretty much self-taught yourself how to play basketball. And, sorry, I don't know exactly how old you are, but reflecting on my childhood, which maybe was still slightly different, I always joke Czech Republic because of the communist era. It shifted the development of the country back. So actually when I was growing up playing tennis, there was nothing like the social media. You couldn't find, obviously, all of the science of performance and recovery. I wish I had access to all of this information that's available now. That would make me certainly a better player. So, reflecting back on that, 13, 14, 15 years old, how did you self-taught yourself? Because I'm guessing not much of this information was available as well. So how did you know what to do, how to practice? Did you observe others or were there other aspects that kind of made you decide this is what I'm going to do to outperform the other people on the team?

Dre:

I'm 42 years of age as of this recording, so anyone want to backdate that? That means in that age period we're talking the mid-90s. So there was TV and there were magazines and there were books, but there was no. I mean, the internet existed, but it was nothing like what we have now and it wasn't. There weren't people putting information on the internet about hey, here's how you do this and this. That didn't start till around the turn of the century, around 2000,. Moving on. That's when you got bloggers and all of that stuff, and I jumped into that pretty soon.

Dre:

So for me, when it came to basketball, I was 100% self-taught and it was just my ability to look at another person doing something and, even though I couldn't perfectly do it, of course, just by watching them I could see what they did. And then the next day I could come to the park by myself when there was nobody watching and no one waiting for me to do it right. I could just practice on my own. So the good thing about being able to practice by yourself is that you can make mistakes, you can try things, you can mess up and there's nobody watching you, there's nobody waiting on you, there's no clock, and you can just basically use it as a sandbox kind of, so to speak, to just practice. And that's all I did. And I realized pretty quickly there were a few things that I needed to master. I knew the most important things I needed to master was number one I needed to be able to make a layup with both hands. To be able to make a layup with both hands, so with the right hand and with the left hand, make a layup. And then I needed to be able to dribble the basketball. Those are the two things I knew I needed to master and that's what I practiced.

Dre:

I spent a lot of time just practicing dribbling and making a layup and then, since I was tall and a lot of people would say, well, you're that tall, you should be able to dunk Then I started trying to work on how to dunk the basketball. So those are really the first three skills I tried to master. And then, of course, you get the shooting and then you start combining all this stuff dribbling into a layup, dribbling into a dunk, dribbling into a shot. And actually basketball is not that complicated of a sport. There's only a few things you can do. It's just the combinations of putting them together is what makes it look more fancy than it actually is.

Dre:

But as I got older and I was able to articulate and explain this stuff, I started I'm sure we'll get to this I started explaining it to other players once I understood the game. So the biggest thing for me was just having that empty space where nobody cared if you messed up. Nobody actually knew that I was even doing it because nobody was paying attention. I got to use that as my breeding ground for my development and my game, and it was just the willingness to show up consistently, my ability to just look at somebody on Tuesday night do something and say that's interesting, what he just did. I can't do that. Then Wednesday I would come to the park in the afternoon by myself and I would try to practice doing what I could remember of that guy doing. That's pretty much how I developed my game.

Klara:

I love that observation that you've had and just I guess, again going back to discipline and willingness to put in the work and try things out, I do want to touch base also what you mentioned earlier the solo player, that you were more of a solo player. Because this is interesting, I interview guests from different sports. Obviously, being a tennis player is a very individual sport. You have some team aspect and doubles which I actually always enjoy. Usually you pick a partner that you match with and then you're perfecting the game and strategy as much as you can to play tournaments together, because then you sort of recognize strength and can balance each other out. I'm curious about your aspect of what you consider to be more individualistic type of person and how you fit into the team sport, because I'm always trying to kind of compare in through my guests why did you choose team sport versus why did you choose individual sport? And that can be always complicated. Balancing the teamwork Is there anything you want to share on that, trey?

Dre:

Sure, there's a lot I can share on that. Are you familiar with the big five personality traits? Clara Ever heard of it?

Klara:

Yes, I have. But you can describe it in high level for anybody who hasn't.

Dre:

Sure I'm going to. So I don't even remember what all five are, but I know one is conscientiousness, one is neuroticism and one is disagreeableness or agreeableness. So that's the one that I want to focus on. So the part about being disagreeable or agreeable and the thing about the big five personality traits for people who are not familiar with the concept and you can Google it, it's easy to find it lays out five traits that everyone has some level of in life, and some people are high on a trait and some people are low on a trait. But it's not about good or bad. It's not a measure of good or bad, where you are on the scale. It's just a measure of who you are as a person, because every personality is unique. So one of those five traits is agreeableness.

Dre:

People who are high on agreeableness tend to be very compromising people. They're the type of people who want to get along with everybody. They like to go along and get along. They may be more compromising. They just want to make sure everyone's together. They're the type of people who don't like to be by themselves. They like to be part of groups. They're very team and group oriented type of individuals part of groups. They're very team and group oriented type of individuals, whereas those who are low on the agreeableness scale. These are the type of people who are much more willing to voice disagreement with other people. They're the type of people who like to do things by themselves. They are the type of people who don't mind being by themselves and doing things on their own. And from the people who are high in disagreeableness, this is where you find a lot of entrepreneurs. You find a lot of solo athletes. You find a lot of people who just do things their own way. Doesn't mean that they don't like people, doesn't mean they can't get along with people, but they have a much more independent streak. Let's just put it that way.

Dre:

I am extremely high on the disagreeableness. Of the big five personality traits, I'm not a very highly agreeable person and, again, that doesn't mean you're a negative person. It doesn't mean you're a bad person. I have a lot of friends. I can make connections, I can talk to people. We're talking right here, right, so I have the ability to be agreeable, friendly, personable, life of the party. I'm not an introvert. I like to be around people, but I am high on disagreeableness. Being that, what that means is if I'm in a room full of people and someone offers an opinion and I disagree. A person who's high in agreeableness won't say that they disagree. A person who's high in disagreeableness won't say, right in front of everybody, I don't agree with that, and they'll tell you why they don't agree and they don't mind if nobody else agrees with them. That's a disagreeable.

Dre:

I'm that type of person and from that space you usually find people who do things that are more individualistic. So this is why I said I probably would have been a great tennis player or boxer or runner or something like some sport that is just you by yourself, as opposed to a team sport, because in a team sport everybody has to do everything together. So even when I started playing on teams, let's say, I made the high school team and then in college, when I was actually playing and I was on the team, I never wanted to limit myself to only doing Clara, what the team was doing, because even then I'm thinking to myself okay, well, if we're all on the team together, together all season, and we all have to practice this many days per week, how am I going to become better than the rest of my teammates? Because we're all doing the same stuff. I need to advance faster than they're advancing. I had to do more than they're doing. So if we had practice one hour a day, six days a week, that's six hours a week of practice I got to do like nine or 10 hours of practice. I need to find four hours where I can practice when everybody else is not practicing so that my progress is faster than theirs. That's a disagreeable thought. Just even think that, because a lot of my teammates and I play with a lot of players and from high school to college to the pros most pro players and I don't know if this is the case for you in tennis, I would love to hear it but most of the pro players who I dealt with, even at the pro level, college level, they don't really practice. They didn't really work on their games that much outside of what was required of them.

Dre:

I always wanted to do more than what was required because I knew I wanted to go further. I wanted to do it faster and I wanted to be better than even the people who I was teammates with. I wanted to make sure I was better than them. Forget the opponent, I wanted to make sure I was better than them. Forget the opponent. I wanted to be better than my teammates.

Dre:

So I always had that mindset and it linked itself perfectly to me becoming an entrepreneur, because entrepreneurs are usually high in disagreeableness. Because, I mean, if you just think about what an entrepreneur is, clara, we are people who looked at the landscape of what's going on in the world professionally and we said I can do it better, I can do it differently than how it's being done now. And it's better than what's being done now, because if you were hiring agreeableness, you would just go fit in somewhere, whereas entrepreneur says I'm not going to fit in, I'm going to go do my thing and I'm going to make everyone else fit in with me. This is a different mentality. So as I got older and I got into entrepreneurship and I started to understand these things, that's when I said, man, I missed out by not being a tennis player or a boxer, because I probably could have been really good at it, because I wouldn't need to get along with teammates. I could have just did my thing the way that I wanted to do it.

Dre:

And the other thing I was going to say here was when it came to playing sports. Again, as I told you, my parents were not athletes and they were not trying to raise an athlete. Their thing with me was they just wanted me to, and I have a sister who's a year older than me. They just want us to go to school, get good grades, go to college, graduate, because my parents had not graduated from college At least when we were born they had not and they wanted us to at least do that at a level higher than what they did was what a parent is supposed to do. Right, they want their kids to do a little bit better than them, at least to the best of their knowledge.

Dre:

They didn't know anything about sports, so they weren't pushing me to sports. They were just like, okay, we didn't graduate college, so you two are going to do that, so that hopefully theoretically sets you up to be more successful than we. Were my parents' mindset, and they didn't say that, but I'm assuming this is the way that they were thinking. And when I got into basketball, it was fine for them because, okay, he's doing something productive, he's not hanging in the streets, he's doing something productive. And it didn't cost them any money. See, the reason why I didn't play football American football is because football equipment costs money and my parents would always try to balance it out between my sister and I, like we had to spend money on you doing this activity.

Dre:

We got to spend money on your sister doing this activity. Well, there's no female activity that has the financial equivalent to football, at least not that my parents knew about, and that's why I never really played football. They knew I wanted to play, but they're like, hey, we can't afford this equipment, so how about you play baseball? That's literally what they said to me. We can't afford the equipment for you to play football, so how about you play baseball instead? That is how my football career ended. I didn't tell you that, but that's how it happened.

Dre:

Now, had they known about, let's say, a solo sport and I know you know this a lot better than I do, but from what I understand, because I live down here in Miami, so you know tennis is huge down here Tennis is an expensive sport. It's not cheap to play tennis. It's like golf. It's not cheap to play these sports. So had I decided to play something like tennis eventually, my parents would have seen the bill for a trainer or to go to some camp or to go to.

Dre:

Had I shown any promise, whoever the tennis person was would have went to my parents and said, well, look, this boy has an opportunity to do this and this and this. So we want to send them to this and here's how much it costs, and they would have said, okay, that's the end of tennis. So that would have been the end of my tennis career. So the thing about basketball, and again coming from the environment that I come from in the inner city everybody can play basketball and it doesn't cost anything. You just go to the park and you just play. So it kind of linked itself not only to who I was as far as my physical genetics, but also to my situation. So had I been exposed to other things, as I said, we'd be having a conversation about a different sport right now. But that was just my circumstance.

Klara:

And in many ways what you're mentioning. I love the low barrier to entry in some ways in basketball and the team sports is definitely one of the things that's being talked about in tennis. Obviously, how do you diversify and bring more of that talent, even just some of the underprivileged environments? Because it's so expensive, and I mean it's expensive earlier on but it becomes even more expensive as you need to get better and need to travel around the world for tournaments, world for tournaments, and then the better you get, then you want to travel with a coach because if the coach is there you can practice with the coach and they can sort of observe and see what you're doing good or bad and you can fit in more practice within the tournaments as you kind of play your year out. So I agree I do want to touch base.

Klara:

Going back on the agreeableness and I love that you brought it up I actually use it very often. I obviously follow Jordan Peterson. That in many ways is the better side, and be a female and have more of a masculine side. He sort of averages it out to where most men and women fall into and I've actually used specifically the agreeableness a lot, even in our corporate world and for women overall, because, on average again, not every woman actually not me specifically, I don't count into that group but most women agree more often than most men would, and so I actually think that agreeableness is important, especially when negotiating salaries or promotions, because even if you're just being hired and we women tend to agree on average sooner than men, that will put us into like starting at a lower pay bracket category and that goes with like everything, including climbing hierarchies in any sort of corporations of where most men are.

Klara:

I have been in male dominated industry and that can also create challenges when somebody doesn't expect women to be that disagreeable as I am. But I'm curious if you would be willing to share where on the disagreeableness level you are. Drake is just to give one more hint. I live with a partner who's one percentile disagreeable, so which means if you put 100 people in the room, 99% of them will agree sooner than he will, which is always fun because we're always debating and discussing things. But are you open to sharing where you at? Dre?

Dre:

Well, I've never officially measured it. I don't know if there's a measurement, but I'm probably close to your partner that you mentioned. So, again, I'm the type of person who is not even disagree in being negative. It's just that when I disagree, I'm willing to openly disagree in front of a room full of people, in front of whoever. Whoever this person is, they're expecting everybody else to say yes and I'm going to say no. And, on top of the fact that I'm willing to defend my disagreements, I'm disagreeing.

Dre:

But I'll tell you why I disagree and articulate it, and I even have people in my audiences. I'll put out some content and I'll say something. I'll talk about some topic that everyone's talking about and I'll offer a different type of approach to it. And someone will write me back and say, dre, I don't even agree with what you said, but I appreciate how you said it and the way that you explain where you can back up your position and that's one of my top skills is just being able to articulate the disagreement and just always being the type of person who, ever since I was in middle school I can remember it this far back I was always the type of person who my thinking always went against the grain. So the group, the crowd, the class would all be thinking one way and I'll be thinking another way. And again, I don't think I was the only one who thought differently. I don't think I'm just some genius who thinks differently from everybody else. I think a lot of people think not a lot. Let's say there are 30 people in a room. There may be 10 people in a room who don't agree with the consensus, but nine of them won't say anything, they'll just go along to get along. Again, that's the agreeableness, whereas I would actually say something like no, I don't agree with that, and here's why and I would explain it and I didn't feel uncomfortable when the group will push back against me because I disagree with them.

Dre:

That's the difference, is the willingness to actually stand on a disagreement, not just disagree. Because even these days, when I say something that I know I'm going against the grain of what appears to be, quote unquote, everybody's opinion, there are people who will quietly agree with me. And this is what I tell people who are in a thought leadership space is that when people agree with you, they do so quietly and in private. When people disagree with you, they do it loudly and in public. So it seems like when people disagree with you it seems like it's everybody, but really it's about half and half.

Dre:

It's just the people who disagree don't do it loudly because they don't want to deal with that blowback, whereas the people who disagree with you, especially if you're going against the grain, they think you're crazy because you're the quote, unquote, only one with this opinion. So they'll come at you and they'll make sure everybody sees it. But you just have to understand that. And because I understand it, it doesn't bother me to go against the grain, especially because I know that what I'm saying, I can defend it. So that's the thing when it comes to disagreeableness with me.

Klara:

I actually love disagreeable people. I think it makes for better ideas because I truly believe, especially when you are doing anything, whether it can be in sports, what strategy you're going to play for this important point, or whether it's going to be a business opportunity that you're creating within corporations there is a truth to group thing. So the more people that are thinking like you and agreeing, I think there's less opportunity you have to see the differences. And that's the beauty of having people come from different backgrounds, perspectives and having different backgrounds, because if you disagree and you voice it out loud, that makes people think, huh, why disagreeing? How are you seeing this differently than me? And that allows at the end, always for better outcomes and solutions, like having this debate and arguing between different points of view.

Klara:

So I actually think too much agreeableness is not good for innovation and productivity and I hope more people will embrace sort of productive disagreeableness. And obviously you can debate and disagree at some point. Somebody needs to make a decision and then you commit and go with it right Once. You kind of put everything out there and you present your best reasoning.

Dre:

But I really enjoyed that trade. Can I add something to?

Klara:

that Please.

Dre:

So have you read Jim Collins' book Good to Great.

Klara:

I've heard about it. I have to admit I haven't read it.

Dre:

Okay, you should read it. So one of the things in that book that Jim Collins talks about because the book for those not familiar with it he and his team. They researched a bunch of publicly traded companies that had been successful over an extended period of time and they had certain metrics of how they measure success. And when they found the most successful companies, what they did was break down what are the commonalities amongst the most successful organizations, and one of them was the concept of getting the wrong people out of the organization and getting the right people in. And when he's explaining it in the book about getting the right people in and when he's explaining it in the book about getting the right people in, he talks about how companies would find the best people, the best performing individuals, not even for a specific job, but just the highest level types of people. They would just find high level people, get them all together, and then they would figure out what they were going to do. They would get the quality of person first, then they would figure out the job second and then, when it came time to actually do the jobs, they would say okay, here's the ideas of what we're going to do. What does everybody think about this. And because they were high level people, they did not all agree. They would not be in a group thing. They would disagree on what to do or how to do it or where to do it. They would disagree on all the details. And what Jim explained in the book and he gave many examples of this is that the high level workers in the companies they would have these knock down, drag out arguments over what to do, how to do it, when to do it, where to do it, why to do it. They would just argue and argue and argue, fight tooth and nail over who had the better idea or how we were going to do things, and then they would finally come to a consensus and then all the people they could put aside the fact that they disagreed and then all get aligned and then go do the job and they would do it at a really high level. Those are what disagreeable people are able to do.

Dre:

What I find I don't know if you have this experience, but especially using social media, I mean especially whenever I speak on hot button topics or whatever they may be. I don't do all the time, but I am willing to do is that people tend to take the topics personally. They tend to take disagreement personally and that's the biggest challenge with people who are more on the agreeable side is that they take disagreement as if it's a personal attack on them. And I try to explain to people all the time I'm not attacking you, I'm attacking your point and there's a difference. I can love you, but I just hate your point. Your point sucks. You're a great person, but the point's no good. I'm just beating up the point and a lot of people can't take that. I would say like 95% of the people who I see engaging, they take a disagreement as if I'm attacking them when I'm not. And I don't have that problem.

Dre:

If I put out an idea and you think the idea is terrible, you can tell me. You can tell me right to my face that the idea is terrible, as long as you can tell me why it's terrible. And if you can explain it to me, I will say you know what. You're right. The idea is terrible. What's your idea? Let's go with yours and if yours is better, then I'm on board with yours and it's nothing personal.

Dre:

There's no residue from the fact that you disagree with my point and this is why I value, as you said, the disagreeable people, because we can get in a room. 10 of us can have 10 different ideas. When we put all 10 ideas on the table, each of us will have to defend that point and everybody else gets to attack it and in the end, the best idea is going to win and the 10 people in the room will say okay. Nine of them are going to say okay, that wasn't my idea, but it is better than my idea. I'm behind that idea. And then you put the minds of those 10 people together and that's an unstoppable team. But you got to find the right people who have the ability to separate their opinion from who they are as a person. They're not taking it as this is my child because you're disagreeing with it. It's just an idea.

Dre:

Ideas are a dime a dozen, so none of my ideas need to quote, unquote win. If my idea is terrible, I want to know. Tell me. I want to know now. Let's not waste time. Tell me now that it sucks so we can get something better, because the outcome and I tell people this in my audiences all the time that we're in a performance and results-based business. This is not an ego-based business, it's about the result. So whatever produces the result, let's do that. Just because it came from me does not mean it's going to win. It's whatever produces the result. That's what I'm behind, because that's the business that I'm in.

Klara:

I love everything you said and agree with it and I have seen it in practice and corporations that I have worked in and I strongly believe that we ourselves are unable to see fully our own biases and it's because we've just been grown up and gone through this experience. So obviously the way we think will come naturally or we will feel that's sort of the right path to progress. But it takes somebody else to point out look, maybe you haven't thought this through. This could be a good idea, but if you do this then you can take it to a next level. So really that beautiful, productive disagreement is, I find, so helpful and obviously everything in life business as well as sports right.

Klara:

I think that's why, being an athlete, you kind of get to also take disagreeableness, because you're from early on, typically have coaches and sometimes teammates are yelling at you very straightforwardly what do you have done wrong. And so I find that athletes sometimes can take those disagreements and very transparent feedback as far as if somebody can explain and you know it's true and they can reason through it why you should do this this way or that way, perhaps a little bit better than some of the people that perhaps haven't seen athletics. I know I'm making big generalized statement, but what do you think, drake, because you have experience with coaching many athletes, as well as entrepreneurs and corporate leaders? How do you look at that? The athletic versus non-athletic population?

Dre:

It's a great experience to play sports for that reason alone. Because, clara, you know as well as I do, most athletes don't even make it to play at the pro level. I mean, most don't make it to Kyle's level, but on the pro level. And still, the experience of playing sports teaches us a lot of things. First of all, to respect authority. To respect the authority of a coach or someone who has a higher rank than you in an organization, because when you go work in corporate, you go work in an organization. There are people above you and you have to respect their authority, even if you don't always agree with their position. You can disagree in a way, but at the same time you need to be respectful of the position that they have with regards to the position that you have. Number two, being willing to take feedback constructive, critical feedback when it's coming from someone, because in the sports world I mean in the business world people have to sugarcoat things right. Especially in the world that we're in today, you can't say things too harshly to anybody because people are extremely sensitive and generally I just call that weak. But in sports you get feedback direct. Again, you mess up in the middle of a game, your coach or your teammate will yell at you right in your face for messing up. And if you fall to pieces in the middle of the game now you're useless to the team. You have to build up the mental toughness to take that feedback. You go play an away game. You got the fans from the other team yelling at you. Now I know in tennis they had to be quiet, but in basketball they don't. In basketball they yell at you during the game. So you have to take that feedback that you're getting from whoever, and not fall apart just because someone's giving you constructive feedback.

Dre:

And the thing is is what they said true? And this is what I always say to. I always say this to athletes and I say it to professionals these days, when someone offers you a criticism, the first thing you need to ask yourself is not how you feel about it. The first question is is it true? Is what they said true, that you did mess up? Did you make a mistake? Is this not working?

Dre:

If it's true, then you should appreciate it, accept it, say thank you for that feedback. What can we do to fix it? That's the way that you're supposed to respond to these things, and I believe this is not really what you asked me, but I'm going to say it anyway. I believe this starts at home. It starts at home that when you are used to accepting that kind of constructive feedback from whoever raised you, whatever adults around you, your parents then when you go into school you'll accept it from the teachers. You go to sports you'll accept it from your coaches. You get a job, you'll accept it from your bosses. And when you don't have that from your upbringing, then it's much harder to take that feedback from someone because you're not used to accepting it.

Klara:

I love the last one you mentioned because early on growing up I've always had that coach authority. But in many ways I have been privileged to have some amazing coaches that knew so much about the game and I could fully trust their feedback and guidance. I think this is mainly in my corporate career as I have been building, and especially the higher up you go weirdly. Sometimes it can get very lonely and the more I find you've got to filter through, is this feedback true? It may sound counterintuitive but I have found the more senior I get in corporations, the more I need to be aware of the space I'm coming from in my own experience and my intentions and the way I say things versus other leaders, because they may have a different style and they may not know me fully, my style and in business corporations there's actually many leaders that don't even get to know you enough. You work with them very cross-functionally and so they may see you in just very narrow view and window to not have a full context and see you kind of behind the scenes. So the filtering through of what is true and isn't true and, as people say, one of these things I try to practice.

Klara:

I'm not perfect at it. But take feedback seriously, but not personally I think feedback is always just a bit of a snippet of information. But then what you decide to do with it and sometimes actually disregarding it and doing nothing can be the best thing. And sometimes actually really giving a deep thought and trying to figure out there's really something good here, how do I implement it and augment maybe the way I do this or that that will allow you to just slightly pivot and achieve sort of the next level of growth 100% and what you said there is take it seriously, but not personally.

Dre:

And that's really what everyone needs to be able to do be able to emotionally detach from the feedback so you can read into things and care about things mentally, but not emotionally. I think it's the same thing.

Klara:

Yeah, I think we can talk about many of these things forever. I do want to go back to your career, and we talked about your upbringing. You actually haven't been the top player in high school or college and despite of that, you have been able to create an impressive personal career in basketball, where you played in eight different countries, and so I'm actually curious, going back to this mindset that we discussed, if you could lead us into that part of your life and how have you been able to achieve that.

Dre:

Coming out of college. Division III college I played, but it didn't set the world on fire and it was only D3. So you play Division III college sports. For those who don't follow sports, division I is the March Madness, the tournament you see on TV. Most pro players come from Division I. Then you have Division II and and division three. Most of these players are not even dreaming about becoming pros, let alone Do they actually become pros, because they don't have the pedigree to be professional players for the most part. So when I got out of college, nobody was checking for me to play pro basketball. So my first year out of school, actually, I worked a couple of regular jobs. I worked at a footlocker selling sneakers. I worked at a gym selling gym memberships, because I had no opportunities to play pro basketball. So a year removed from graduation, this is I graduated 2004, by the way. So this is 2005.

Dre:

I went to this event called an exposure camp, which is you probably are familiar with those, but for those not in the sports world, it's like a job fair for athletes and you pay to go to this event. It's not free, you pay and it's your opportunity to showcase that you have the talent and the ability to play at the pro level, because there's a bunch of people who are all either already pros or want to be pros and we all come here to show our skills and, hopefully, impress somebody. So the audience is agents, managers, coaches, scouts, talent evaluators from all over the world. They come to these events as a destination event, looking for talent, because they need players the same way the players need jobs. So I went to one of these events and I played pretty well. It was only two days, saturday and a Sunday. I played pretty well at this event. I got a good scouting report from one of the evaluators there and I had the footage from the games. And when I got back home I'm from Philadelphia. The event was in Orlando. So I had to drive to Orlando. Me and a couple of teammates former teammates rented a car, drove to Orlando 19-hour drive, played pretty well there, drove back, had to be back at work on Monday and that's when I started cold calling basketball agents because I needed an agent.

Dre:

And usually the way agents work in sports is that the agents are calling the players because the agents are looking for players and they want to represent you because they think they can help you get a contract and if you get a contract and you get paid, they get paid. But no agent was calling me so I had to call them. So this is not usually the way that it works. So anybody listening to this, you don't know the sports world. This is abnormal the way things went for me. So I was calling agents and telling them hey, here's who I am. Now I had some proof, I had the scout report and I had that footage and of the 60 who I called, I was able to get in touch with 20. The 20 who I spoke to, they said, okay, let me see your footage. Now this footage was on this thing called a VHS tape. You remember those?

Dre:

Yes, I do, okay, so the VHS tape is what I had to send them. So I was making copies of the tape because you didn't have a link, there's no link. You had to physically mail them a tape. I sent this tape out to 20 agents. Of the 20 who I sent it to, one of them I was able to reconnect with and he said OK, I will represent you.

Dre:

Because basically the reason I was sending the proof of the scouting report and the tape was to show these agents that yes, even though I came out of a Division three college, I am a pro level player and I need to prove it to you Once. I prove it to you now. Hopefully that made them want to represent me and then they will go and call who they know and they can get me a job playing basketball. That was my mindset, that was the process. So I found one agent who agreed to represent me and he did actually give me a job. So I got my first job in Lithuania in late summer of 2005. So that's how I got started playing pro basketball.

Klara:

And I know you went through eight different countries. If I remember correctly, Slovakia was one of them. Was it Macedonia or Montenegro? Montenegro. I don't know which other Mexico. I wonder if you had a favorite country that you had played in, and I don't know if that country is tied to perhaps the culture, or mostly to the team and the results that you create as part of the team. How would you evaluate that?

Dre:

Favorite country, I would have to say I could really cheat and give you three answers. So I'll give you three answers. So number one I would say Lithuania is number one, and these actually know in particular order. But I would say Lithuania because that was the first place I went, so that was the first time that I even left the United States was to go to Lithuania. So it's like your first born child You're never going to forget that one. So Lithuania number one. And also because just the it was surreal just walking around in Kaunas and I don't know if you've been to Kaunas, but you're from Europe, so you know a lot of tall black guys is walking around Kaunas, countless Lithuanians.

Dre:

So everybody knows you're a basketball player. Everyone's looking at you twice and a lot of people don't speak English. But at that time a lot of the younger people around my age, at that time they'd grown up speaking English, watching TV, american TV so they would speak to you. You're signing autographs, taking pictures with people they don't even know who you are. They just know you're a basketball player. So they're taking pictures with you, girls looking at you, wanting to talk to you, all this stuff. So that is number one.

Dre:

Number two answer I would give is Mexico. And a lot of people are surprised, especially Americans are surprised when I say Mexico, because Mexico is a third world country. So it's nothing like Lithuania, not like any of the places I was in Europe. But Mexico was very fast and free is what I would say about Mexico. There were no rules. You didn't know what was going to happen day to day. It was very wild. Mexico's a very wild experience. I would not want to do that now, but I would do it then. I was only 24 years of age when I went to Mexico, but it was very fun because it was just wide open. Anything goes. That's how Mexico was pretty much on the court and off the court.

Dre:

The third third place I would give is uh, hercygnovi. Montenegro and those who are not familiar with Hercygnovi is basically like uh, I don't know what town I would compare it to in America. It was like Miami, but in Europe and not as warm, not no tropical climate, but it's right there on the water, right on the Bay of Kotor, and it doesn't get that cold in the winter maybe 50 degrees is the coldest that you get. It's a tourist destination in Europe, at least in that area. People know that place is a place to go for vacation and my team was right there in that city so I could look out my window from my apartment over there they call it a flat. Out of my flat I could see the water and it was beautiful.

Dre:

And Montenegro was a place where that was the first time I had negotiated my own contract. I negotiated that whole deal by myself because my agent no longer had that agent and I reached out to the team myself. They responded I negotiated the whole contract, did everything and on that team we practiced more on that team than I did any other team. I was ever on just the practice. We practiced twice a day, every day, monday through Friday, and the games are only on the weekends. So it was just so much practice.

Dre:

My jump shot was automatic. When I was playing in Montenegro, I could have made three pointers with my eyes closed because we practiced so much. That's all you did. So I was probably as far as my shooting that was my best time was there in Montenegro because of the amount of practice that we did there and it actually bled into the rest of my career and something that I would even tell my audience. I developed that 10 to 1 ratio 10 practices for every one game from my time playing in Montenegro. So those are the top three places Kaunas, mexico, herzegovina.

Klara:

Anything you want to call out when it comes to your basketball career. When it comes to your basketball career, any games that really stood out or experience that you like to reflect on. This is some of the best games in place or teams that I have had yeah, I can give you three games in particular while you're talking about that.

Dre:

So number one was I remember I was in mexico. Mexico, Mexico's basketball is different than European basketball. In Mexico the whole thing is about scoring points, getting stats, basically like the playground, but professionally. I had a friend, an American. He's the one who introduced me to the job. He introduced me to somebody who knew somebody. He got me the job playing in Mexico.

Dre:

I remember he sent me a text message because I told him my first game was coming up. He said don't pass the ball to anybody, Shoot it every time. That's what he told me. He said don't pass anything, Shoot every time. Because he explained to me the whole deal.

Dre:

There they judge you by how many points you have. They judge you by your stats. So if you score 30 points, you're a superstar, and if you score 10 points you're a bum. That's how it is. Even if your team wins and you score 10 points, you're not good because you only had 10 points. So he says score as much as you can. That's how they judge you. You want to make more money in Mexico. You got to score more points.

Dre:

So I did exactly what he said. I just shot the ball every single time. I scored about. The most I ever scored in a pro professional game was I scored 40 points in Mexico. And because I shot the ball every time, I didn't pass the ball I. And because I shot the ball every time, I didn't pass the ball, I just shot it every time. And after that game people were looking at me like I was Michael Jordan because I scored all these points. And that's how he was right. So everything he told me was true. So that was number one in Mexico. So number two was in Montenegro and on this particular team, European basketball is way different than Mexico.

Dre:

Mexico, you're an American, you play the whole game, you shoot as much as you want, Nobody cares. In Europe, you could be the best player on the team and you don't even start, You're not even in the starting lineup and you might not even play half the game. And you're clearly the best player on the team because you're not playing and you're sitting on the bench and you're like why am I not playing? I'm better than everybody on the team. Remember, we played a game, a road game. I didn't start. When I finally got in the game, in the middle of the second quarter we were already down by like 25 points and I'm like why am I not playing? And this is how it is in Europe. You'll see players who will be in America. They'll play Division I.

Klara:

They'll be Conference Player of the Year, division I in America go to Europe and they don't even start for the team they play for in Europe. That's how it is. Sorry, just to interrupt. Why did they do it that way? It?

Dre:

seems so illogical. Yeah, that's how it is. If I could explain it then, I don't know, maybe I would have been playing more, but this still happens to this day, because I see players all conference in America They'll play in Europe and they're not starting and the game is 40 minutes. They might only play 19 out of the 40 minutes of the whole game and they're clearly the most talented player on the team, but that's how it is. They just have a different style.

Dre:

In Europe, the game is not about the individual. See, in America South America, central America the game is about the individual. How many points do you have? Who's the superstar, who's the best player? That's what our culture is when it comes to basketball is proving that you're the best guy. That's what our culture is when it comes to basketball is proving that you're the best guy. In Europe, the game is about the team, is about the team, is about the town, is about the country you represent. If you represent, the country is not about the individual, ever about the individual. Even if you're a really good player, you must fit into the team structure, no matter how good you are, and this is why in Europe, you never see somebody averaging 35 points a game. In Europe it doesn't happen because you don't play enough to score 35 points and you won't shoot the ball enough to score 35 points. It's impossible, and if you try to play like that over there, they'll send you home. You won't play, whereas in Mexico they want you to score 100 points and shoot every time to score as much as you can, and in the NBA as well, you see this. So over there it's all about the team, it's all about the town that you're representing, it's all about the pride of the town, not the person. So in this team we're down by 25 points.

Dre:

I'm getting in the game in the second quarter and I remember this particular game. I didn't miss any shots. Every time I got the ball, pretty much I shot it, but it wasn't in a selfish way. It wasn't the same way that I did in Mexico. I didn't get as many shots, but every time I did shoot, I made it and we still lost the game. We still lost by about 20 points, but I had a great game and after the game all my teammates are coming up to me shaking my hand and everything. Even the management came up to me and said man, you had a great game and, man, if I had gotten in the game earlier maybe we probably would have won the damn game, but I played a great game. That was my best game playing in Montenegro and it was important because up to that point I hadn't been starting any of the games. I never started a single game the whole time I was in Montenegro not one, even though I was the most talented player on the team and we were not always winning because the coach wasn't putting me in the game. But that game I had a great game and everybody could see. Okay, when this guy plays and he's playing more we probably do better, but the coach did what he did and again, that is universal in Europe. That happens all the time.

Dre:

So the third one was in. I was in Germany. I was on this team Actually, I wasn't even on a team yet Technically I was messing with an agent because I go on there. I was on the team. Then that team basically couldn't keep me, so I was in Germany looking for a team. I connected with an agent.

Dre:

Now this guy had gone to school in America but he was a German guy and he said I'll take you around to some teams and I'll help you find a team. And the reason he wanted to do this, clyde, is because, again, if he could help me get a contract, then he would make money. So he saw me as someone who had potential to make money. All right, I'll help you out. So he brings me to this local team. He says, all right, play with this local team. In a couple of games.

Dre:

And I remember playing in a game once and I sat with him at dinner after the game and he said well, dre, you didn't do that good, you weren't very impressive. And I was like well, over here we measure Americans by. You got to score. You got to be a person who scores. You got to score easily. You got to get points. He was basically sounded a little bit like Mexico Not exactly, but a little bit closer. It was a similar thing. You got to score points. You got to make it look easy. You got to dunk on guys. You got to do all these things.

Dre:

American players, you all are held to a higher standard. American players, you all are held to a higher standard. You can't just play good basketball. You got to look like. You got to go like Kobe Bryant out there. You got to look like LeBron and I'm like that doesn't even make any sense, because I was doing all the right things.

Dre:

But he was saying it wasn't that good. I said, okay, all right, so we had another game the next day. I said, okay, so he wants me to score points? Okay, I'm going to just drop the ball every time. I scored a whole bunch of points. We won the game. After the game, he was like yeah, that's how you got to play, just keep doing that. That was one of my favorite games, just because of the circumstance, that game also.

Dre:

I'll tell you one last thing. When I was playing in that game, there was an American guy. He was a player. He wasn't on the team we were playing against, but he was part of their system, because in Germany you may have a team that has three or four levels of teams. So he was on one of the other teams, but he came to the game to support his guys and we're playing against his guys. So he's in the crowd talking trash to me from the sideline. He's in the bleachers talking trash to me because we're not the Americans in the gym. So he's talking to me and I'm talking back to him during the game and we ended up winning, so he shut up by the end of the game. After the game he came over and shook my hand and said good game. So those are my top three games.

Klara:

What is interesting really stood out to me is how you actually had to adjust to the different cultures within the teams and countries, and I never would have thought that there's actually a different way to play basketball or a strategy to play as a part of a team as a result of, it seems like, the culture that the league and the country has created, and so that is interesting. It seems like in Mexico you found out through a friend who guided you, but some of the other times it seems it was just really finding through your own experiences that you then kind of had to level set or other people who guided you. This is what you have to do to be successful within the team and the league. Is that accurate? Anything else you would want to call out that really helped you adjust faster? I?

Dre:

remember the first place I played Lithuania. I didn't really know anything about European basketball. Again, this is 2005. So it's not like you can go on the internet and somebody has written a book about it. It's you just show up and you just figure it out along the way. So I remember my first practice. We were just doing a drill and you had to catch the ball, go to the basket and make a layup. And I went and I dunked the ball and all the players were like Whoa, I guess they had never seen anybody do that. So it was like surprising to them to see someone do that.

Dre:

But I knew I needed to do that to impress. I knew I needed to impress from the very first day, because the way it is in Europe in basketball, especially as an American player, is that your job is on the line every day. So if you don't look impressive in practice, you may have just gotten there two days ago, but if you don't look impressive in practice, they might say we don't like this guy, he's not that good, and they'll get rid of you. They'll send you right back. You just left two days ago, you're right back home, and it happens like that. I've seen it happen to players. So I knew I had to come in and impress, and there would be coaches asking me to do things that I had never done before. But they expect you to be able to do it because you're an American. You're an American, so they look at Americans like you're Superman when you're playing in these places and they expect you to do it, and if you can't do it, they will find someone who will do it. That's pretty much how it goes. So you have to make your adjustments on the fly, and for me, it was always just all right. Let me figure out what it is that they want from me and let me prove that I can do it, even if I didn't know I could do it. I need to figure it out and prove that I can, because the alternative is I'm back home and now I'm looking for a job all over again, and the jobs are hard enough to get one. Get one, lose it and I have to get another one. So I'm just figuring out how do I adjust in the moment and do whatever is being asked of me If this is what they want. This is what I had to do, because when you're playing basketball professionally and traveling the world again, all these places that I named.

Dre:

I never would have gone to these places had it not been for basketball, had it not been for my ability to go out there and perform and all my friends back home. Because, mind you, this is the early days of social media. So I'm writing blog posts and posting pictures on Facebook and all my college friends are looking at it and they're looking at me like you're living a dream, like you're living a movie, because you're traveling the world playing basketball. So I didn't want to lose that. I mean, it was good for me too. It wasn't just the matter of what they were saying, it was what I was saying to myself, because I wanted to play basketball. Mind you, my first year out of college, claire, I was working a footlocker. So this was not some guarantee, right? I needed to keep these jobs. So, whatever I needed to do to keep the job, I was at least willing to try doing it. That wasn't always successful, but I wanted to try.

Klara:

Yeah, I love hearing you and describing your career and all of the lessons you have learned traveling around and adjusting to different teams and cultures within the teams to thrive. It seems like you were in a position where you really needed to set the level for the rest of the team, or there was the expectations, because you come from the US, a country of basketball, and so you have been put by in some ways. I want to say default to this leadership position and if you weren't up to lead then they would pick somebody else who would.

Dre:

That's right.

Klara:

So there's a lot of pressure that comes with that and the need to level up your game to meet, as you mentioned, those expectations that others put on you and sort of standards. Any tips you want to share of what was the mindset and what helped you step into that mindset, to thrive on that pressure? Because sometimes when you have this pressure, there's, I believe, two types of people One that break underneath and they play worse, versus another that see it as an opportunity to thrive and then step into those shoes to then play better, and I think that's what the best players do, whether it's Michael Jordan Kobe. Better, and I think that's what the best players do, whether it's Michael Jordan Kobe. When you're in the most important points, you need to find a way how to believe in yourself and score. That's what the best of the best do, and it's in any sport. What's your reflection on that, dre? Or any tips you would want to share, even how you coach people through that.

Dre:

I remember reading even though the internet wasn't much of the internet when I first started playing I remember reading books of, let's say, like Michael Jordan, for example, and he talked about how, when he first came to the Chicago Bulls, his whole thing was to impress. He wanted to make sure from the very beginning, that everyone realized that they made a good choice in picking this guy as the guy. And I remember hearing stories and people said people who were on the team at that time they said you could tell from the first day that he was the guy, he was going to be the guy because he showed up with the right energy, with the right skills, with the right mindset and all of those things. So when I got my chance to play, I wanted to do the same thing and that wasn't quite Michael Jordan, but I was looking to do the exact same thing. And when it comes to people who I work with these days, a lot of them are not athletes. They are people who run their businesses, but they're in leadership positions. One of the things that I always eventually need to tell them is that your energy is going to trickle down to the rest of the team.

Dre:

So however you show up is how everybody else is going to show up, and they're not as good as you. Usually they're not on your level. They might be 80% of what you are. So, whatever you want them to be, you need to be that and more. They're never going to be exactly who you are, because you're the person, you're the guy, you're the girl. They're going to be about 80% of your level.

Dre:

So you have to show up consistently every day with the right energy, and no one should be able to tell how good or bad you're feeling based on your energy, based on how you show up.

Dre:

Your energy should be consistent every day, regardless of what's happening, and that's what an athlete needs to do as well, because if you had a terrible last two games, that has nothing to do with this game that we have today, and if your last game went amazing, that has nothing to do with the game that we have tonight. So it's always being able to have the and I put this under the umbrella of mental toughness clutter, being able to clear the mental sleep you got, to clean your sleep, regardless of what happened in the last match. Whether it went terrible or went amazing, it has nothing to do with this match. You have to show up as if the last match did not happen good or bad because this one is a brand new game. So that is a discipline. It does require mental toughness and it's something that's very difficult for a lot of people to do, but through a sporting experience I learned it very well and that's how I can help people who have not played sports at a high level. I can help them understand it.

Klara:

And I guess, going back to you, I'm always curious how people decide to quit their athletic careers. It's typically something quite hard we have to go through because the sport becomes our identity, and so you literally go through identity crisis and now you have to move on, through all the hard work and effort you have put in and decide who you want to be next. So I'm actually curious. You have had this impressive career that less than 1% in the world achieves to play basketball professionally. What made you decide to retire? And I want to dive a little bit more into your transition, which is fascinating. Dive a little bit more into your transition, which is fascinating. I want to build on everything you said about basketball and the skill sets that you have been applying now to creating your online presence coaching, business, speaking, business. But yeah, first curious about the journey of deciding to quit basketball and then starting something else over.

Dre:

Well, the first thing I never considered myself retired. I don't know, it sounds like an old person, it sounds like my dad or something. I never considered myself retired. I don't know, it sounds like an old person, it sounds like my dad or something, but I never considered myself retired. I just stopped playing. That's what I like to say. Retired makes it sound like I'm 65 years old, but anyway, when it came to moving away from basketball, we would have to go back in the story and I'll make this quick.

Dre:

I got introduced to network marketing when I was in college. Now I did not build a career in network marketing, but I did go to a few of the meetings and in those meetings I got introduced to two things. Personal development was number one, which I didn't know about before then. I was always into reading books but I didn't know there was a whole category for this stuff, like books on just making yourself a more valuable person. And number two, I got introduced to the concept of entrepreneurship because the speakers at those meetings they were just breaking down your false beliefs about how to make money and how to do business and inserting new beliefs about hey, there's alternative ways to generate income in life besides, just go and work somewhere, which is what school was preparing me for anyway. So I kept that in the back of my mind because I read two books that kind of drove home these two concepts. One was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and the other was Rich Dad, poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki. And as I read both of those books, think and Grow Rich told me that there was a way that you could consciously and intentionally change your patterns of thought, to alter your behavior, which alters your outcomes in life. And Rich Dad, poor Dad, taught me that there's a way to again, an alternative way of doing business in life outside of just going to work.

Dre:

And then you work, you get paid. Now, as an athlete, that was what I was doing. Now, again, as you said, I'm doing something only 1% of people get to do, but it is still a job. Now, when you play basketball, it's a job. You get hired, you get paid. If you're not hired, you're not getting paid. So I always had in the back of my head after basketball I want to go into business. And that's because the seed was planted through Robert Kiyosaki, rich Dad, poor Dad and my network marketing experience, and because I understood, clyde, that basketball does not last forever. Athletic careers are very short. The average basketball career is like four or five years. I happen to go longer than that, but that's an anomaly. And by the time you're most basketball players, by the time you're age 40, you're out of basketball, it's over. So you still have another 40, hopefully, years to live and you need something to do. So I already knew entrepreneurship was the way.

Dre:

So, going to the middle of the story here about 2009, I found myself unemployed. I was a free agent and nobody was calling. I did not have any offers. So this is when I ballplayers watching me just how to dribble, how to practice, how to shoot, how to dunk, just basketball stuff. They had begun to ask me questions about mindset because they found out one year of high school, walked on to play D3 college. You kind of hustled your way into playing pro basketball, everything that we've been talking about here. They knew about that because I would respond to the comments and every once in a while I would make a video just talking about high school or college or my experience. So they wanted to know what was the mindset behind a guy who would keep trying despite these setbacks.

Dre:

And I started talking about the mindset pieces that I had been using myself and how they could apply to basketball. I just started talking about them just on a mindset basis. I wasn't really talking about sports, I was just talking about mindset period. So I started talking about discipline and confidence and mental toughness and taking initiative, and I called it the weekly motivation and I did those videos every Monday and it would just be a little two to five minute selfie video before selfie videos were a thing Again it's like 2009, 2010. Were a thing Again. It's like 2009, 2010. And I did that video, claudio, every Monday for 400 Mondays in a row, and that laid the foundation for where we are today.

Dre:

Because what happened was two things. Number one is I realized that there was an entire framework here that was valuable for people. As I kept explaining it, I started to realize I got more material on mindset than I thought I had, because the players were asking for it and they were starting to tell me, like Dre, this stuff is really valuable. I can use this because you're showing me how to dribble and how to shoot, but when I get in the game, I'm not doing it. They realized that the mindset piece was missing. I have the ability, but I don't have the mentality. So the mentality was the missing piece for them. And the other thing was people who didn't play sports started finding those videos and they would say to me, dre, I don't even play basketball, but I still follow you on YouTube because that mindset stuff you're talking about is applicable to me in my situation. So this told me this is going to be my segue from sports to the rest of the world. I don't have to just talk to athletes, I can talk to anyone with this mindset stuff because they're already telling me that they need it and they don't play sports.

Dre:

So I always knew I wanted to step outside of the realm of sports. I knew that after basketball I did not want to be a coach, I didn't want to be a trainer, I didn't want to be an analyst, I wanted to do something that had nothing to do with basketball, and that's exactly what this offered me the opportunity to do. So that was 2009. Luckily, the phone did eventually ring again. I kept playing and I didn't stop playing until 2015. But by then I had already again laid out the foundation of what became Work On your Game, this whole framework. I had it in place already. I started writing books, so I had books written. I was already creating courses.

Dre:

Eventually, very quickly, someone came to me and said hey, do you offer coaching? I started coaching people and I had an audience, an audience of people. They were already following me on the internet and my business was going to be online anyway so all the pieces that someone would want if they're going to run an online business. I already had a lot of that foundation in place while I was still playing. So when it was time for me to stop playing or when I decided to stop playing, I already had all the pieces in place.

Dre:

So it wasn't a very difficult decision for me. I could have kept playing if I wanted to. I stopped playing. I was 33 years of age. I could have gone a couple more years, but I decided that there was an opportunity for me to capitalize on what I was doing business-wise and I took that opportunity and ran with it. So that was in 2015.

Dre:

So my decision to stop playing again was a lot easier than it is for most players, because I knew exactly what I was going to do the very next day, whereas a lot of players, when they stop playing, they put 100% of themselves into just that thing and they haven't even thought about the next thing.

Dre:

So now they're starting at zero. I wasn't starting at zero and again, it's not because I wasn't focused on basketball when I was playing. It's because I was focused and nobody was calling back. Nobody was answering the phone. I wasn't getting any calls. So I had to start thinking about what are my alternatives here, because this might be over. And what a lot of people don't understand about sports is that you often don't know that your career is over. You're often the last person to find out that there's no more games At 2009,. I was thinking to myself this might be over. I might not get another call, so let me figure out what I'm going to do next, just in case it's right now. Luckily, I got a few more years, but that's how my transition started, way before I was actually done.

Klara:

And what a just, beautiful example and beautiful note and like what you had to go through. But it reminds me of sometimes the hard times that makes us realize something new and learn, and it probably must have been such a hard year for you, right, because that's what you wanted to do in basketball. But it made you face another reality and I love how you embrace it, because in many ways, you could have just sit there and continue practice, but you decided to again continue with your grit and resilience and mental toughness that you have built and you beautifully described through your example, even in childhood and your basketball career. Actually, through that, that seems like carries over as the through line to everything, including hassling to create your basketball career and then, obviously, using that gap year of having a contract in basketball as something what else can I create and how can I be useful here? And then you put in your full effort and consistency into creating your brand and value for people in a different way, which is just a beautiful example on its own.

Klara:

And what strikes me when I'm looking at your online presence and YouTube video and obviously, the books 33 books alone to write. It's just the amount of volume that you're able to produce, and so, in my view, just going through and listening to your story, it seems like you're applying the same principles of what made you successful in basketball, and it's like the not giving up getting out there practicing and you only can improve by practicing and getting better, because I find it as well in my podcast. If you listen to your first podcast, it's probably very crappy versus like the 25th becomes better and the 50th and we'll see when I get to my 100th but there's always something that you learn and improve. So any other things you want to share and leave for listeners, anybody who wants to start either their influencer presence or any other business that they're creating, what have you found are the things that work the best when it comes to some of these growth principles that you have uncovered again from basketball and applying to growing your entrepreneurship business now?

Dre:

Wow, well, we could have a whole other conversation just on that alone.

Klara:

But I know big question.

Dre:

To answer your question. I'll just tell you the four pieces of what we do now. Our framework is based around mindset, strategy systems and accountability, so I'll go briefly over each one. So mindset is the foundation I believe, I've always believed is the foundation of all success, is the foundation of all failure and everything in between, because the process for achieving anything in life is being, then doing, then having so, be do and have.

Dre:

So if you want to change your outcomes in life most people think about their outcomes, their goals, which is a good thing to think about you should think about what you want, because if you don't have a target, you can't score. You don't have a goal, you can't score, and usually people understand that you can't get something for nothing. So we had to do some kind of work in order to get to our goals. That is a good idea too. I mean, I'm the work on your game guy. I'm not going to tell you not to do work. Now the challenge is most people only think about those two things. They never ask themselves the question who do I need to be as a person, or how might I need to change as a person so that, when I do these things, I can get the result that I want, and most people are the same person by the time they hit puberty and through the rest of their lives. They never change personally, even though they do a whole lot of different things. And then they wonder why the things they're doing are not producing the desired result. It's because you haven't changed your being.

Dre:

You have to change who you are as a person, and by change what I mean is you have to change your energy, your honor, your mindset, your thought processes. You have to eliminate the ideas of what you can't do, those limiting false beliefs. You have to eliminate the ideas of what is impossible can't do, those limiting false beliefs. You have to eliminate the ideas of what is impossible, what you could not possibly get done today, maybe eliminate some ideas of things that you think are true but actually are not true. You got to get all that junk out of there. You got to get all that junk out of your mind so that your mind is clear enough to insert new ideas, new beliefs. And when you change your beliefs and then do that, you can do even the same actions that you did before, with a different set of beliefs and a different energy. It produces a different outcome, and this is the key right here. When people really understand this, this is when things start to change. You can do the same things today that you were doing last week with a different energy and a different understanding. They produce a different result, because energy matters. Energy is 85% of the game in life. So energy starts with the way you think, not with what you do. So when we change the thinking that's the mindset then we can do the stuff and get the outcome. So that's the mindset piece.

Dre:

The second piece is the strategy. Strategy is just a plan of action. What are we going to do? Who, what, when, where, why, how, what exactly is going to happen here? And a lot of people who I work with they want help with strategy for their business. I want to get to this outcome, but I don't know exactly how to do it. So what we do here is what we call the roadmap in reverse, where we basically deconstruct from where you want to go to where we are right now and then we map out a plan for how to do that. The third piece is the system. The system is just how do we execute on the strategy over and over and over again so you can get a consistent result. So you think of a company like Starbucks, anyone that you go to. If you go to the Starbucks and I believe you're in Texas- yes, Austin.

Dre:

Okay, so you go to Starbucks in Texas and I don't even drink coffee. But if I go to the Starbucks in Miami, then the coffee comes out exactly the same, and it's not because they're calling each other on the phone and saying, how'd you make yours, how'd I make mine, it's because they have a system. The system is if someone orders this drink, this is how you do it, and it's exactly the same everywhere you go. And many big businesses, national companies that's exactly how it is. You get the same experience, no matter which one you go to, because they have a systematized process. So this is what I help people do, and this could just be one person. You don't have to have a national company. You can have a system for yourself. So I would guess, clydon, when you were playing tennis, you had a system for how you warmed up before your workouts, right. You had a system for how you cool down. You had a system for stretching. You had a system for foam rolling. You had a system for working on your serve. You had a system for working on your backhand, right. Whatever you did in tennis, there was a system for it. You did the same things, the same way every time. That's what a system is.

Dre:

And the fourth part is accountability. That is just making sure that everything is doing its job, because just because you have a strategy doesn't mean it's going to work. You have a strategy, it just doesn't work. I got this plan, this is what I'm going to do, to jump higher, but you're not jumping higher. Okay, we got to change the strategy. It's not working. Or this is the system that we're going to use to achieve this outcome, but the system's not working, so we got to change the system. So accountability is about making sure the pieces work and, of course, it's about making sure the people work. So a lot of times as a coach, I'll get people coming to me saying Dre, I already know what the things I need to do. I just need someone to hold the pieces, make sure everything is working the right way. So those are our four pieces Mindset strategy, systems, accountability. They apply in sports, same way they apply in business.

Klara:

Love it, dre. I think we could go forever, but I want to give you one more opportunity Open mic, anything else you want to share. Really love the perspective and how you have taken everything you have learned through your basketball journey. That hasn't been easy at all, but I think because of that and the fact that it hasn't been easy for you, I'm actually even curious how much it actually helped you understand these principles, because as I talk to guests, it seems like, especially the things that don't come naturally to us, we often become better in explaining them. So I'm wondering if that's also true for you. Because you had to learn all of these steps by yourself, you're actually now better in helping others understand them and obviously, anything else you want to mention. Then I have a couple quick, short questions for you for closing. Quick, short questions for you for closing.

Dre:

Sure, and I would agree with what you said, your assessment there, your insight there, in that it allows someone to become an expert when they have kind of experienced the full scale of something.

Dre:

So it's hard to be an expert at, let's say, confidence if you've always been very confident because you don't know what it feels like to not have any. So how are you going to help someone who doesn't have any? You don't know what it feels like to be them, and this is another reason why you see a lot of the best athletes like the people who are the superstars and the hall of famers. A lot of times they are not very good coaches or trainers because they don't know what it feels like to be the guy at the end of the bench, because they can't relate to them. Does A lot of the best coaches you see in basketball who used to be players? They were okay players. They weren't like the residents. They were okay because they know what it feels like to be the guy at the end, the guy at the middle Maybe you're a starter for a little while, but they can relate to pretty much everybody because they've been in every position.

Dre:

When it comes to the mindset stuff that I talk about, I have been the person who was again counted out, or I wasn't even counted period, but not even counted out in. I wasn't counted at all. So I had to develop the discipline to work on my game on my own. I built up my own confidence because nobody was telling me I was going to be somebody. I had to be mentally tough enough to keep dealing with the setbacks and I had to have the initiative to even try in the first place. Because, again, it's not like I had the whole neighborhood behind me saying you're going to be the best basketball player out there, so go do it. I had to do that on my own initiative. It was a personal choice. It wasn't like somebody was pushing me to do it.

Klara:

So, absolutely, when it comes to that and I forget the other piece of your question there- Anything else you want to leave with people when it comes to what they should know about what you do and your business. I actually have like side questions. I even left Dre all day. How did you come up with this slogan? So it reminds me just of yeah, really sort of catchy phrase. So anything else you want to share that you want people to know about what you do.

Dre:

Yeah.

Dre:

So everybody has a game, whether you're playing a sport any sport whether you're running a business, whether you're in a career, whether you are a student, a teacher, a parent, or you're just trying to figure it out, because there's some people listening to this who are just trying to figure it out. What am I, who am I and what am I? What am I going to do Is that we all have a game. So first thing you must do is figure out what game you're in, and I find people who I work with a lot of times. I find people think they're in one game but they're actually in another game. So you need to know what game you're actually in. That's number one. Once you understand that, then you go, develop your ability to play that game. Then, when you get your opportunity, you have to perform, because we're in a performance-based business. When you perform, you must produce results, because this is a results-based business, and if you produce results, you get whatever rewards you wish, and you can name your rewards when you're producing results consistently. So that is what Work On your Game is all about. Our focus is Work On your Game University. That's the place where you can find out what we're doing and see about us. Again, that's just WorkOn your game, universitycom and as far as Dre all day.

Dre:

To answer your other question, I came up with that because I knew around, probably around 2002, I saw where the internet was going and it was oh, you can have your own website with your own name. Call it whatever you want. I said, all right, I want to have a website that's by me and about me. So drebaldwincom doesn't really ring off, it's not really memorable. So I said I need something better than that. I do own drebaldwincom, but I needed something better, something that was more ringy, more catchy. So I remember reading this book called Pop, p-o-p and his body's often named Sam Horn, and in the book P-O-P stands for pithy, original and purposeful, and the whole book is about. In the book, pop stands for Pithy, original and Purposeful, and the whole book is about coming up with phrases and titles for your stuff. It could be a course, a book, a website, a business, whatever that is Pithy, original and Purposeful.

Dre:

And one of the things that she talked about was trying to find something that's alliterative, so where the sounds rhyme, and short enough that people can remember it. So it has to be simple enough that people can remember it without writing it down. So I was just trying to figure out how can I do that? How can I make that work? Baldwin, nothing rhymes with Baldwin, so I didn't know how to do that. So then I was thinking Dre All right, a lot of stuff aligned with Dre, that sound, that A sound. So how can I do that, dre? And I just kept playing around with it and I just followed. She has some exercises in the book and I just kept messing around with it in my mind, trying to figure out what to come up with. And then I just came up with Dre All Day. So that's where it came from. I just made it up Dre All Day. It was perfect. When you hear it, I mean you get it, you remember it, you don't forget it, and it worked.

Klara:

Love it. I'll try to go find the book because I think coming up with these slogans sometimes the hardest thing, so kudos on that. Last two questions. There's lots happening in this world, obviously ongoing wars, economy, anything you want to leave people with in 2024, what would you want to invite them to be doing more of or less of?

Dre:

Collapsing your timeframes. That's the most important thing you can do and that's the biggest focus that I have for myself right now in life is collapsing timeframes, and what that means is, instead of getting something done over the course of a month, let's see if we can get it done in a week. Instead of it taking three days, let's see if we can get it done in three hours. That's what collapsing timeframes means, and the biggest impediment to someone collapsing a timeframe is not can you just move faster and run faster and sleep less and drink more coffee? That's not. Yes, that can be part of it. If that's what you want to do, you can try it. But the biggest part about collapsing timeframes is our limiting beliefs about what we cannot do, what's not possible and what is not logical. That's the biggest reason why many of us take as long as we take to get things done, because we think that's how long it's supposed to take. But if we remove those thoughts from our brains and say, okay, well, instead of just taking 10 days, let's see if we can get it done in 10 hours, you probably could, as long as you don't have the belief that you can't.

Dre:

The biggest thing for a lot of people is what they think is true, but it's actually not true. And if we can remove that, then the world opens up to you. So that's the biggest thing that I'm focused on right now. So opens up to you. So that's the biggest thing that I'm focused on right now. So anybody wants to know. That's it. I mean besides working in a game university, but I mean, for me personally, biggest thing I'm focused on is how do I collapse timeframes? And instead of it taking this long, let's make it take this long.

Klara:

It's a good challenge, even for me personally. I'll see how I can perhaps add some of specifically maybe to my podcast production. So thank you for that. I know you have a bunch of resources. I will add your website, your YouTube channel, instagram, to the episode notes, but is there a best way for anybody who's listening want to reach out, get in touch with you? Do you have a preferred platform?

Dre:

Yeah, best way would be, of course, through any social platform. My number one social platform is probably Instagram. I use that the most actively. It's just my name at, Dre Baldwin. I do offer people a free copy of one of my books. Can I share that? Yes, please, yeah, that'd be great, are we on video?

Klara:

Yes, we are.

Dre:

Oh good. So this is my book. The Third Day the Decision that Separates the Pros from the Amateurs. You asked me about this earlier, so I've read a whole book about it. It's all about how you share it and give your best effort when you least feel like it. So the book is free. We'll send you a paperback copy of this book to your physical mailbox. All you have to do is cover the shipping. Just go to thirddaybookcom. Thirddaybookcom. Show up, give your best effort when you least feel like it. This is what our pros do On a high level. People do this. So thirddaybookcom.

Klara:

Excellent. I'll ensure to add the link as well so people can easily click and find it. And thank you so much, dre. It's been a pleasure. I think the two of us could talk for hours and still have fun things to say, so yeah if you have a trip to Austin, please let me know. Happy to take you on the tennis court. I'm awful basketball player, but if you want to give me any tips, I'll take them. We can trade lessons from our sports on the actual courts, so that would be fun too.

Dre:

Excellent, I need to get out to Austin, if you enjoyed this episode.

Klara:

I want to ask you to please do two things that would help me greatly. One, please consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts, spotify or any other podcasting platform that you use to listen to this episode. Two, please share this podcast with a friend who you believe might enjoy it as well. It is a great way to remind someone you care about them by sharing a conversation they might be interested in. Thank you for listening.

Lessons From Sports
Overcoming Challenges Through Basketball Passion
Competing and Overcoming Challenges in Sports
The Discipline of Serious Sports Training
Basketball Skills and Team Mentality
Agreeableness vs Disagreeableness in Individuals
Productive Disagreements and Innovation
The Value of Constructive Feedback
Professional Basketball Journey and Highlights
Basketball Cultures
Transitioning From Athletics to Entrepreneurship
Mastering Mindset, Strategy, Systems, Accountability
Developing Expertise and Collapsing Timeframes