Serena Williams and the 9 Most Successful Entrepreneur Athletes

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Clive Brunskill | Getty Images
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1. LeBron James

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2. Serena Williams

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3. Michael Jordan

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4. Maria Sharapova

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5. Earvin "Magic" Johnson

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6. Tony Hawk

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7. George Foreman

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8. Arnold Palmer

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9. Tiger Woods

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10. Roger Staubach

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Some of these athletes have led squeaky-clean public lives. Others? Not so much. But controversies aside, there is one thing that can not be disputed: these superstars have been super smart when it comes to business. Here is a look at some of the most entrepreneurial-minded men and women in sports.

Known for: Winning NBA titles wherever he goes

Net worth: $300 million

Businesses: Uninterrupted, a social media company that connects athletes with fans. Blaze, a restaurant chain that’s been called the Chipotle of pizza. Spring Hill Entertainment, a production company that recently signed a deal with Warner Bros. Signed a lifetime deal with Nike.

He said it: “You can't be afraid to fail. It's the only way you succeed -- you're not gonna succeed all the time, and I know that.”

Related: 5 Lessons From LeBron James About Big Goals and Proving the Doubters Wrong

Known for: Dominating her opponents to the tune of 21 Grand Slam singles titles

Net worth: $150 million

Businesses: Signature Statement clothing line for HSN. Endorsements for Nike, Chase, Beats, Delta Airlines, Gatorade, and Pepsi. Co-owner of Miami Dolphins (with sister Venus)

She said it: "The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you're very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble."

Known for: Dunking his way into the best basketball player of all time

Net worth: $1.2 billion

Businesses: Majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets. Pitchman for Hanes, Gatorade, Nike and other brands, earning him estimated $100 million per year.

He said it: “To be successful you have to be selfish, or else you never achieve. And once you get to your highest level, then you have to be unselfish. Stay reachable. Stay in touch. Don't isolate.”

Known for: Grand slamming to five major titles. Getting suspended two years for failing a drug test.

Net worth: $125 million

Businesses: Sugarpova, a candy line specializing in Gummi bears and chocolate

She said it: “If everything was going smoothly you would never build character.”

Related: Maria Sharapova to Attend Harvard Program Amidst Doping Scandal

Known for: Dazzling the world with five NBA championships, advocating for HIV/AIDs awareness and being a business powerhouse

Net worth: $600 million

Businesses: Magic Johnson Enterprises, an investment conglomerate valued at $1 billion. Co-owns LA Dodgers, LA Sparks and LA Football Club

He said it: “Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates.”

Known for: Landing 900s on the half pipe and video game icon

Net worth: $120 million

Businesses: BirdHouse, his skateboard and apparel line. Tony Hawk Pro Skater video game franchise. Kohl’s clothing line.

He said it: “Follow your passion, whatever it is. Learn everything about it.”

Known for: Knocking out fighters in the ring and grilling steaks in the kitchen

Net worth: $250 million

Businesses: George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine (also know as the George Foreman Grill). The indoor, electrically charged grill has sold 150 million units worldwide.

He said it: “Be the nicest person anyone’s ever met in business. ... People want to feel good, and feel good about their purchases. So be nice to work with. And be who you are when no one’s looking.”

Known for: Putting his way into golfing superstardom and inventing that deliciously refreshing drink

Net worth: $675 million

Businesses: The Golf Channel. Bay Hill Golf Resort. Arnold Palmer Enterprises. The Arnold Palmer line of AriZona beverages

He said it: "Winning isn’t everything, but wanting it is."

 

Known for: Teeing up 13 major golf championships

Net worth: $825 million

Businesses: Tiger Woods Design, a golf course design firm. Sol Republic Tiger Woods Headphones. The Woods Jupiter restaurant. Endorsements for Rolex, Nike, Upper Deck.

He said it: “Never listen to other people’s expectations. You should live your life and live up to your own expectations.”

Related: Professional Athletes: The Next Generation of Tech Entrepreneurs

Known for: Passing his way into the hall of fame for the Dallas Cowboys

Net worth: $600 million

Businesses: His real estate empire The Staubach Company sold for $640 million in 2008. Executive chairman of JLL, a global real estate advisory firm.

He said it: “There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.”

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