If you had told Eric Bailey that playing professional basketball would cost him as much as it did, he would have probably quit long before he got started. As a result of playing basketball, he has had nine knee operations, a hip replacement and chronic arthritis. But Eric also knows that if he had not gone through that pain, he would have been stuck in the hood and failed to become the person he is today. He says he was willing to go through whatever it took if it got him out of the hood and out of poverty.
Eric Bailey is a former professional basketball player and a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP). He is considered one of the world’s most sought-after motivational speakers. Becoming a professional athlete is extremely hard, and very few people ever make it to professional sports. Eric says to become a professional athlete he not only needed to be hardworking, skilled, dedicated and committed; he also needed to be passionate. He needed to be passionate enough to keep going even when times got hard.
Eric was brought up in south Los Angeles. His parents adopted him when they were in their forties. As a young person, Eric used to go to a barbershop near their home where he would polish people’s shoes and get paid some money. He loved the conversations that were going on at the barbershop, ranging from politics, race, unemployment, travel. The conversations created a desire in him to want to get out of the neighborhood and travel the world.
Today, Eric works with companies and individuals to help them become the best in whatever they do. He coaches people to think like the best, for them to become the best. He presents a message of resilience and bouncing back emphasizing the need to embrace the mindset of a champion. His life is a testament that your race, your religion or your financial background does not have to dictate how your life pans out. And with everything going on in the United States today, Eric feels he has a message of freedom he can share with the nation.
“I have a really profound message that I would love to deliver to as many people as I can that, ‘hey, you know what, it does not matter where you are right now, you can get to that next level’”, He says, “We were born to win. I want to free people to be able to dream bigger than they ever dreamed in life.”
Eric helps people identify within them their passion; what they could do even if they were not getting paid for it. He says that where your passion lies is where your ability is. Combining passion and ability creates purpose and with these three, taking action is inevitable.
For those people who struggle with motivating themselves to take action, Eric says they should create a daily playbook. This is a plan of things they must do every day for them to become successful. He says this plan will eventually become part of who they are and what they do. Eric says failure to create structure and disciple in the start of an action plan results in chaos. As a coach, he also holds people accountable for their action plan so that they can gain momentum and reach their set goals.
Eric’s ideal client is anyone who is serious about making some improvements in their lives. He goes through a rigorous structure of identifying how serious his clients are. Over the past three years, he has mainly been dealing with corporate clients. He’s worked with many Fortune 500 companies, including Procter and Gamble, Ford, McDonald’s and Nike. He has specifically been helping people in the sales departments in various companies. He says selling is not just about the actual product that you’re selling. It is also about selling yourself and your confidence. And coming from a sports background, he says he had learned to sell to his opponents his confidence, showing them that they needed to bring their ‘A-game’.
Eric believes that we were all born to empower and enrich the lives of other people.
“When you can put other people’s aspirations and goals a little bit higher on the priority list, then you allow yourself to give more of yourself. And when you can give more of yourself, it’s just a good feeling,” he says.
In goal-setting, Eric says people should set stupid goals; big, wild goals that will require you to work really hard to achieve them.
“Sometimes people set their goals and their goals really aren’t high enough. Most people in life, they don’t fail because they aimed high and missed, they fail in life because they aimed too low and they hit.”
Eric’s daily personal rituals involve getting up at 5 am every morning to go for a walk, ride a bike or go to the gym. He then takes breakfast, reads some books and listens to some audios. During the evening, he goes home, debriefs, chills and relaxes with his family. He loves spending his weekends with his family.
To Eric, success is hanging in there no matter the situations, circumstances, challenges, obstacles and pitfalls you may be facing. He defines greatness as doing what you have to do without stepping on anyone, harming anyone or compromising your values and beliefs.
In a period of just a month, Eric wrote his book “Bring Your A-Game”. The book is about helping people take their game to the next level. He wants to help people gain consistency and momentum. At the time when he was writing the book, he was at a low place. He had just lost a major international position with a company, his beautiful dog of 18 years had died and he had a cancer scare.
As he wondered why all these things were happening to him, he looked at his life and realized that he was supposed to use whatever he was going through to write the book. He wrote the book while still hurting. He says he would be typing with tears rolling down his face. In the book, he has highlighted 12 A’s that have been very prevalent for him. Some of the A’s include abandonment, adoption, attitude, and accelerate. The book will be released in February, 2016 and will be available on Amazon. It will also be available on his website: http://ericbaileyglobal.com/