In a conversation about business, teamwork and success, Nash maps out for us the principles that have guided him on and off the court.
Develop point-guard vision outside of basketball
Nash will be remembered as one of the greatest playmakers to ever hit the hardwood, but he’s also made a game plan for when his playing career ends. “I think about the future and how to make the most of my opportunity post-basketball for, first of all, happiness, and second of all success, engagement, all those things. I think you need to enjoy life.”
To that end, Nash is active in the Steve Nash Foundation, a charity for underprivileged youth in the Phoenix and Vancouver areas. He also started the Steve Nash Sports Club in Vancouver, a high-end sports facility that caters to professional and amateur athletes, and the production company Meathawk, which recently made the jump from ads for companies such as Nike to a feature documentary for ESPN’s highly acclaimed 30 for 30 series. Nash is also part owner of a Major League Soccer team, the Vancouver Whitecaps, and most recently helped start the seed-stage venture capital firm Consigliere.
“I felt there was a great opportunity for me to begin those things early,” says Nash, “my first career was an opportunity to develop my second and third and fourth career, whatever they may be.”
The great theorist and thinker Joseph Campbell advised his students to “follow your bliss.” For Campbell, passion leads to success, and no other pursuit is more valuable than striving to attain your dreams. Nash seems to agree. “I try to get involved with things that I actually really enjoy, rather than whatever makes the most business sense financially,” he says.
In the world of big-bucks sports stardom, his approach looks refreshingly counterintuitive. Whether it’s business ventures, friendships or the next Meathawk production, Nash lets his interests guide him. And the strategy seems to work. “We’ve kind of done a little bit of everything and we enjoy that. We find interest in. . . many, many genres ,” Nash says of his production and film efforts. “I think maybe to a fault. Maybe we need to home in on a certain genre that we want to develop, instead of just flying by the seat of our pants. But we kind of enjoy that.”
Be in it for the long haul
In an advertising age dominated by celebrity endorsement, it’s hard to conceive of a two-time NBA MVP not being overwhelmed with opportunities. Yet Nash says he doesn’t “have people knocking on my door every day” to endorse products. And while somewhat puzzling, it suits Nash just fine. “It’s been a better fit for me to find partnerships and build projects and be a part of building [a brand] into something greater.”