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A Businessman Who Brings an Athlete’s Edge to Making Deals: The Mindset of Success

Ryan Lenett

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If you want to be successful in life, you’ve got to have a winning mentality. Truth be told, the road to success is never a smooth one, but it begins with a person’s willingness to win. Before you strive to achieve anything in life–  a career, a marriage, a new health regimen, or a business, you must make up your mind to succeed.

A lot of people lack the discipline, grit, and the dedication needed to achieve the success they want. The majority of people think the success of others is good luck or perhaps was easier than the things that stopped them. That incredible talent they were gifted with is why they stand alone in their field. Almost all of these people have stories of huge setbacks with errors in judgment, bad luck, taking bad advice that nearly bankrupts them (or actually did bankrupt them) but they didn’t let it stop them.  

Few people know that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson failed at his dream of being a professional football player–he wasn’t drafted by the NFL after college, but made it onto a professional Canadian team only to be cut after one season, Lady Gaga was bullied throughout school and told she would never be a star, teachers at NYU said her voice wasn’t good enough to sing professionally, and just when she thought she had made it, Def Jam dropped her from their label after three months. There is something for all of us to learn in these examples… would you believe Steven Spielberg was rejected by three (3) film schools? JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter novel was rejected by 12 different publishers before she sold it. Walt Disney was fired from a job at a newspaper because he “lacked imagination” and, as my grandfather was always fond of telling me, Abraham Lincoln lost eight out of 10 elections, failed in business, had a nervous breakdown, all before running for President and winning. It’s incredible what people can do when they are determined to succeed.  

The Athlete’s Mindset

Being an athlete comes with several things that work well in business. A tenacity for competition, the ability to be part of a team, raw talent, and hard work. We interviewed Thaddaeus Koroma, a successful “business accelerator to the stars” to discuss how he successfully transferred the athlete’s mindset to the business world after suffering a series of injuries that ended his basketball career. 

Koroma, President of Limit Breakers (limitbreakers.com) has been very successful after he shifted his love and commitment to basketball into curating profitable and sustainable businesses for top athletes and celebrities. 

A series of injuries ended my professional career but it became the foundation of my success today. I love basketball because I learned how to push myself and build discipline. I see it now as the ideal training ground for what I am meant to do in the world… build businesses.” 

With offices around the world, Thaddaeus, along with his partner (and cousin) Patrick Sesay, and the combined efforts of their team, leverage the assets and influence of world-class athletes, actors and artists to create unique and lucrative ventures. Often bringing multiple clients together to create new partnerships and leverage their reach to generate revenue streams beyond their current paycheck before their time in the spotlight ends.

Proceed as if success is inevitable. If you don’t, you won’t succeed.  I have seen athletes and entrepreneurs with incredible genius far superior to the people at the top, but they fail because they don’t have the mindset to win. They don’t make the necessary adjustments, keep taking action which is needed in business. When I first started my company, I went full speed. People would ask how long I had been an entrepreneur and I would say ‘a few months’ without blinking,” Koroma says.

Get Ready For Opportunity

No matter how small or large your wins are, always celebrate them. However, don’t assume that you’ll arrive at your goals by hard work alone. Be ready to grab the next opportunity that comes your way. Don’t lose focus on the horizon after you have success. The next opportunity could be where your business grows exponentially. You can have talent, resources, and connections, but when you lack the mental dexterity and passion to look at obstacles as learning experiences for greater success, failure is right around the corner. 

As in sports, you need a team and community bigger than you. Many people think they have to do it all. This is limiting your success and wasting time. You’ve got to take action, and work hard, but no athlete is ever a superstar without a strong team and great leadership. 

As we learned more about Koroma’s past, we learned he had this propensity to find a way to succeed at a young age. Koroma was able to prepare and position himself for a scholarship opportunity away from where he grew up in Germany. He practiced hard, but knew that he wasn’t going to get success without being around great players. 

“I was trying to find a way to get to the US. I had no money, nothing. Then one day, I found an outlet for someone telling me there’s something happening. If you get a GPA of 4.0, you can get scholarships to go to the US and play basketball with the best of the best. So I just became better at school. And not long after, I had a 4.0. But not because I was interested in school, it was just a means to an end.” Koroma claims.’

Bounce Back

Rejection and failure are non-negotiable in business. At times, everything may take a downturn and you start feeling like all hope is lost. Remember, we’ve all failed at things, lost money, didn’t get the girl, etc. at some point in our lives. Failures of any kind don’t mean anything. It’s what you do next that will define your path. 

Just like in sports, if you prove resilient, adjust, and keep your head high above stormy waters, you’re bound to become better. “People laughed at me when I told them I’ll go pro but it never deterred me. I found mentors and learned from those who understood the game better than me,”  Koroma says.

Is this a perfect process? No. Can you also grip the dream you are going after too tight?  Koroma is open about not letting go when he should’ve, “I’ll be honest, it took me a long time to let go of basketball.  The other side of this drive is that I didn’t listen to the doctors, my family, concerned friends when they said to stop playing.  I knew I could beat the odds if I wanted it enough.  After the pain was too much to bear, I stopped. I was depressed but willed myself to stay open to new opportunities. Years later, I came to understand that I was still using what I had built within myself with basketball.”

Don’t Make It “About You” or get Fixated on the outcome

“If you are only thinking about your own success, you are thinking too small. Make it more about other people. One way I find meaning and purpose everyday is to make other people’s lives better.”

One of the things that drives Koroma in business, he shares, is also his non-profit—Garden of Eden (gardenedenglobal.org). Similar to Limitbreakers, it combines people from different backgrounds to become a team that nurtures and provides a safe upbringing for orphaned children around the world. This organization identifies established nonprofits that help children in underdeveloped countries and brings to them new resources that bolster their infrastructure and expand their reach.

Ryan is a car enthusiast and an accomplished team builder passionate about crafting captivating narratives. Known for his ability to transport readers to other worlds, his writing has garnered attention and a dedicated following. With a keen eye for detail and a gift for storytelling, Ryan continues to weave literary magic in every word he writes.

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Tesla’s Stock Tumbles After Q4 Earnings Miss and Production Growth Warning

Ryan Lenett

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Tesla, led by CEO Elon Musk, revealed its fourth-quarter earnings, which fell below the predictions of analysts. Consequently, Tesla’s shares dropped in value. In Q4, Tesla reported revenues of $25.17 billion, missing the anticipated $25.87 billion and marking merely a 3% increase from the prior year. Their adjusted earnings per share (EPS) came in at $0.71, shy of the expected $0.73, and their adjusted net income of $2.486 billion was under the projected $2.61 billion.

Downward Pressure on Profit Margins

The company’s drop in profits can in part be traced back to lower margins due to price cuts that started in late 2022. Q4’s gross margin was 17.6%, which is down from last year and slightly less than the 17.9% seen.

Lowered Production Growth Expectations

Tesla also hinted that its vehicle growth rate in 2024 might be “noticeably lower” than this year’s rate. It suggests that hitting analyst’s predictions of 2.19 million vehicles for 2024, up 21% from 2023, might not happen. The slower growth rate is partly because they’re starting a next-gen vehicle at their Texas Gigafactory.

Next-Generation Vehicle Launch

  • Anticipated Release: Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla’s next-gen vehicle is expected to enter production in the second half of 2025.
  • Innovative Manufacturing: Tesla aims to revolutionize vehicle manufacturing with its new platform, focusing on efficient production at Gigafactory Texas.

Challenges and Opportunities Ahead

Looking ahead, Tesla faces hurdles like slower growth and more competition; however, it’s also seeing new possibilities. They’re launching the Cybertruck and working on an Optimus humanoid robot, showing Tesla’s eagerness to mix up its offerings and break into fresh market areas.

Elon Musk’s Ambitions and Leadership

As for Elon Musk, he stays firm at Tesla’s helm, ready to push the company even further. Even though some are questioning his intention to own a quarter of Tesla, Musk is all in to steer the brand towards bright prospects in AI and robotics. His plan covers more than just making electric cars – he’s looking at reshaping Tesla into an AI and robotics powerhouse.

Conclusion: Navigating a Transition Phase

Wrapping things up, Tesla’s newest financial results, followed by a dip in their stock price, show a biz that’s changing pace. Even though Tesla’s always moving forward and coming up with fresh ideas, it’s starting to deal with a market that’s not so new anymore. Plus, they’ve got to figure out how to make more of their latest goods without messing up. The next twelve months are super important for Tesla. They’ve got to get through these tough spots but still stay at the top of the game when it comes to electric cars.

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Amazon Prime Video to Incorporate Ads Starting January 29th

Cam Speck

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Beginning on January 29th, folks with Amazon Prime Video will see a big switch: TV shows and movies will start to include ads. Amazon is shaking things up by rolling out these ads across big markets such as the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Canada to start with. Later down the road, places like France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia will have them too.

Subscription Changes and Costs

To avoid ads, users have the option to pay an additional $2.99 per month. This means the current $14.99 per month Prime subscription would increase to $17.98 per month, and the standalone Prime Video subscription would jump from $8.99 to $11.98 per month. Amazon has assured that their ad-supported tier will have “meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers.”

Financial Implications and Market Analysis

  • Revenue Projections: Morgan Stanley predicts that Prime Video ads might rake in an impressive $3.3 billion in 2024 and could climb to $7.1 billion by 2026. Moffett Nathanson, a different analyst group, gives a lower forecast yet expects big gains too.
  • Market Impact: Analysts from MoffettNathanson predict Amazon’s move will disrupt the market, potentially stealing share from cable networks and ad-supported VOD players. They expect this change to be a “disruptive force” in the advertising and streaming landscape.
  • Prime Video’s Viewer Reach: Alexys Coronel, head of U.S. entertainment and telecommunications for Amazon Ads, highlighted Prime Video’s potential to reach 115 million unique viewers in the U.S. alone.
  • Amazon’s Expanding Digital Ad Market: Amazon reported an ad revenue of $12.06 billion in the third quarter of 2023, a 26% increase year-over-year, underlining its growing dominance in the digital advertising space.

User Response and Projections

Despite the introduction of ads, most Prime Video users are expected to continue with the ad-supported version. MoffettNathanson’s projections assume about 15% of Prime Video users will opt for the ad-free subscription. The firm’s models also predict an incremental revenue of $500 million per year from Prime members who choose to avoid ads.

Comparison with Competitors and Future Trends

Amazon is not alone in this shift toward ad-supported streaming. Competitors like Netflix, Disney Plus, Max, Paramount Plus, Hulu, and Peacock have already implemented similar strategies. However, Amazon’s move into advertising is significant due to its massive market share and extensive viewer reach. By 2025, the U.S. connected TV and ad-supported VOD market is estimated to be around $16 billion, with Amazon and Disney expected to lead the segment.

Amazon’s Long-term Content Investment Strategy

Amazon points out that it needs to keep pouring money into great shows and movies and plans to do so for a long time. This is part of a bigger trend in the streaming world, where services are leaning on ad money to grow their list of offerings. 

Implications for Amazon Prime Members

Choice for Consumers

Amazon’s new ad strategy gives Prime members a choice: stick with the version that has ads and not pay more or cough up extra cash to watch without any interruptions. Consumers will have to decide if they’re okay with ads or if they’d rather spend more each month. 

Impact on Viewing Habits

Putting ads into the mix might change how some Prime members watch stuff. Amazon plans to have shorter ads than you’d find on regular TV to make things less annoying. But whether this will keep viewers happy and engaged is still up in the air.

Conclusion

Ads are now on Amazon Prime Video, and it’s a big deal. It’s going to change the way we watch stuff and how businesses make money from their services. Amazon has tons of users and a lot of money, so they’re likely to become a really important part of the world where streaming services are free but show ads. This is a fresh start for Prime Video. They’re trying to make sure viewers still have a good time while they also make more cash in this fast-changing area of digital fun. For the nitty-gritty on Amazon Prime Video’s shiny new way that includes ads, click here.

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The Impact of the Blocked JetBlue-Spirit Merger on the Airline Industry and Communities

Cam Speck

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This week marked a significant turning point in the U.S. airline industry as a federal judge blocked the $3.8 billion deal between the sixth-largest and seventh-largest U.S. airlines, JetBlue and Spirit. This decision by Judge William Young not only impacts these two airlines but also signals an end to four decades of consistent airline consolidation that has affected passengers, workers, smaller communities, and commerce. The ruling is seen as a triumph for the Biden Justice Department’s aggressive antitrust enforcement and sets a new precedent in the regulation of airline mergers.

The Local Impact: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport

The ruling leaves Spirit Airlines with an uncertain future, a situation that could profoundly impact the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport (LBE) in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The airport, serving areas east of Pittsburgh, is heavily reliant on Spirit Airlines, which is its only commercial carrier. This dependency highlights the broader implications of the merger’s failure on smaller communities and regional economies.

  • Economic Contribution: A 2022 study by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation estimated the economic impact of arriving and departing passengers from LBE at $213.9 million, with $100 million attributed to Spirit Airlines travelers.
  • Reduced Service: Currently, Spirit has scaled down its services at LBE to a single direct flight to Orlando, though hopes remain for the resumption of service to Myrtle Beach in the spring.

The Unique Role of Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines has made a name for itself by focusing on vacation-goers, university students, missionaries, and anyone else on the lookout for cheap flights without fancy extras. This approach turned the airline into a key lifeline, especially in places like South Florida. Here, it battles competitors with low prices, providing budget-friendly holiday choices and playing a significant role in the tourism industry.

  • Impact on Consumers: The absence of Spirit from the market could lead to increased prices for tourists and limit vacation options for families in South Florida.
  • Service to Offbeat Destinations: Spirit’s focus on destinations like Port-au-Prince during times of unrest has been invaluable for certain communities. However, its approach to baggage and low-cost tickets has drawn mixed reactions from consumers in these regions.

JetBlue and Spirit’s Struggle in a Constrained Industry

The halted merger highlights bigger problems in the airline business. This industry is an oligopoly with just a handful of big companies in charge, which makes it tough for smaller ones, such as JetBlue and Spirit, to expand on their own. Also, there are issues with making enough planes: Airlines can’t get new planes as fast as they’d like. Supply chain troubles play a role here, and so does Airbus’s stronghold on plane making, which limits its growth. Boeing’s recent quality control challenges further exacerbate this problem.

  • Engine Issues and Airline Growth Constraints: Spirit’s exclusive use of Pratt & Whitney engines, which have had reliability issues, highlights the technical and operational hurdles facing airlines.

Implications of the Ruling

The ruling against the merger is seen as a necessary step to prevent further consolidation and maintain competition in the airline industry. However, it also emphasizes the need to address the larger issues of oligopolistic control and manufacturing constraints.

  • Future of Air Travel: The blockage of the merger could prompt a reevaluation of strategies within the industry, focusing on fair pricing and expanding manufacturing capacities.
  • Potential Appeal and Industry Response: The airlines have formally appealed the decision, citing the potential benefits of a larger JetBlue in fostering competitive pricing and service innovation.

Conclusion

The outcome of the JetBlue-Spirit merger blockage extends beyond the airlines themselves, affecting regional economies, consumer choices, and the broader airline industry. While the decision has been hailed for preventing further consolidation, it also highlights critical challenges that the industry must address to ensure sustainable growth and competition. The situation underscores the delicate balance between maintaining competitive markets and supporting the growth and development of the airline sector. For more in-depth analysis, you can read a related article here.

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