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Shaquille O’Neal was as big as they come on the court. His towering presence made him the NBA’s most feared player and later turned him into a Hall of Famer.

But he has also had massive success off the court.

Thanks to his significant popularity, Shaq has not only become a pop culture icon, but he has also developed into a savvy businessman. The Big Aristotle has found success by following a specific strategy and finding the right investment opportunities.

One of his most rewarding ventures, though, only happened because of a random babysitting gig.

Shaquille O’Neal follows a specific business strategy

NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, who has racked up a massive net worth through his work on and off the court.
Shaquille O’Neal laughs at the unveiling of the Shaq Courts at the Doolittle Complex in Las Vegas, Nevada on Oct. 23, 2021. | Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Icy Hot

Throughout his legendary NBA career, Shaq’s hard work helped him become one of the most dominant players of all time. He won four championships — three with the Los Angeles Lakers and one with the Miami Heat — and earned 15 All-Star selections to go with one MVP award.

He hasn’t just worked hard at becoming great on the court, though. O’Neal has figured out a perfect strategy for finding success in the business world.

“My formula is always to have people that are smarter than me,” the big man said to Sportscasting in October while discussing his and The General’s partnership with Black Entrepreneurs Day. “… It’s all about having great partners. I get that from basketball. You never win a championship by yourself; you have to have great partners. Then also what I’ve learned in business is you can’t micro-manage. … And then also realizing that there’s always going to be a problem, but you never focus on the problem; you focus on the solution.”

Shaq’s formula certainly sounds smart, and it appears that it has been successful. One of his biggest ventures, though, only happened because of a random opportunity.

Shaq’s random babysitting gig led to his Google investment

One of the major reasons O’Neal has stayed wealthy in retirement is because of Google. Shaq was an early investor in the company, and that, as expected, has paid off big time.

However, he wouldn’t have struck gold had he not been at a hotel early in his NBA career.

“I’m in the Four Seasons Hotel, and I’m playing with somebody’s kids. They’re in a meeting, so I’m playing with the kids at the next table,” O’Neal said on a 2018 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “I’m actually babysitting the guy’s kids while he’s in the meeting.”

Once the meeting was over, the father of the kids then approached Shaq about a business opportunity.

“He says, ‘You know what, you’re good with kids. I like you. I’m going to bring you in on this investment,’ and it was called Google,” Shaq said. “He said, ‘You know in the future, you’re gonna be able to type on your phone, search engine this, do this, boom, boom, boom. You should invest.”

O’Neal, of course, invested.

“A couple of years later, I got a really big return,” he said.

A big return, indeed. Now, that investment has played a role in the three-time Finals MVP racking up a massive net worth.

Shaq’s business endeavors have helped him rack up a $400 million net worth

Google isn’t the only opportunity O’Neal has hit big on. He was an early investor in Apple as well, and he has purchased numerous restaurant franchises like Auntie Anne’s, per CNBC. He also owns various gyms and car washes, and he has launched his own restaurant chain from scratch called Big Chicken.

Those ventures, combined with the approximate $286.3 million he made in the NBA, have helped Shaq rack up an estimated $400 million net worth, per Celebrity Net Worth.

So, whether it’s through his dominance on the basketball court or his diverse investments off it, Shaquille O’Neal is going to find success, and he will make boatloads of money while doing it.

Career earnings courtesy of Spotrac


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