Magic Johnson’s Inspirational AAPEX 2023 Message

NBA Legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson delivered an inspirational message on winning to AAPEX 2023 attendees, sharing insights and advice that guided him during his basketball career and later as a businessman working primarily in urban communities.

“My brand and I started on the basketball court … I was all about winning at an early age,” said Johnson. He recounted his high school basketball journey in Lansing, Mich., that with hard work and practice, turned a team with a losing culture for 40 years into winners.

He spoke about his NBA days of competing against Larry Bird, saying, “All of us here have competitors. They make you better and guess what, you make them better.”

After a successful 12-year NBA career, Johnson knew he wanted to be a businessman. He turned to mentors to help him better understand business and learn what resonated best in urban communities. He invested in movie theaters and built 125 Starbucks in 40 different markets across America. “You have to understand your customer base and overdeliver to them. Then they become your brand ambassadors,” said Johnson. “When you treat your customer well, they’re going to tell 100 people. They’re going to tell everybody their car is running well because you took care of them.”

In the same way Johnson reinvented himself, he encouraged audience members to be prepared to reinvent themselves when facing change. He also suggested to reach out and give back to help others achieve their goals.

Johnson shared how to cultivate a winning mindset even when facing difficult situations. His advice: “Move on very fast – if someone didn’t do the job, next time let’s do it better. Don’t dwell, life keeps moving. Understand what you don’t know, do your research and hire the best of the best.”

Johnson’s keynote took place on Oct. 31 and was preceded by a presentation on the automotive aftermarket by Paul McCarthy, president and CEO, MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers, and Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. Their message focused on Right to Repair, one of the most critical challenges facing the automotive aftermarket, and how it is vital to ensuring a prosperous future for the industry. For more information, visit