Actively Black Is Not Just an Apparel Brand

Audio Description

A Black-owned athleisure brand that’s also a movement? Former athlete turned trailblazing entrepreneur Lanny Smith has created just that.


This transcript has been generated by an A.I. tool. Please excuse any typos. 

00:00 - 00:31

The name is really a double entendre, because obviously we're encouraging our community to be more physically active. But also, you know, what it means to be actively Black, right? Black fathers being active in their kids’ lives, that's being actively Black. You know, the Black student who is doing everything they can, struggling through college to get this degree so they can better their lives and their family's lives, that's being actively Black. The people who are on the front lines fighting for our civil rights to be protected, that's being actively Black. It's really a big umbrella of what that means to be active and to be actively Black.

00:37 - 00:43

This is Changing the Trajectory. I'm James Thompson, Bernstein's Head of Diverse Market Strategy.

00:43 - 00:47

And I’m Maci Philitas, the Emerging Wealth Strategist here at Bernstein. Thanks for joining us.

00:48 - 01:13

Our guest, Lanny Smith is a former athlete turned trailblazing entrepreneur. His NBA dreams ended in 2009 when just 33 days after signing his first NBA contract with the Sacramento Kings, Lanny suffered a career ending knee injury. In 2011, Lanny founded Active Faith Sports, and in 2020 he founded Actively Black, a brand we love because of its mission to authentically re-invest back into the Black community.

01:14 - 01:19

Welcome, Lanny. Thank you for having me. Still tough to hear that part of the story every time, but I'm glad to be here.

01:20 - 01:59

So, Lanny, you've spoken about how as a kid, you know, pretty much every day of your life, all the way through adulthood, away, is dedicated to basketball and really harnessing that game. You made it to the NBA before your first season began. Your basketball career abruptly ended. How did you lift yourself up out of this and make the transition into entrepreneurship? I have friends who this has happened to as well, and I know it can be a really, really challenging time. So how did you pull yourself out of this, make the transition? And more specifically, what's the story behind your first business Active faith Sports?

01:59 - 02:41

Yeah, well, when it finally ended, it was actually my second experience with being given the news that my career was over with. So I actually had an injury in college that, you know, I broke my foot and I had three surgeries on my foot. The last surgery was to save half my foot from being amputated. Wow. The way my foot broke, they tried to put a screw in to fuse the two pieces of the bone together, and it got infected. And so we ended up having to have the third surgery to go in and hurry up and get that screw out, clean out the infection. Because if that infection had reached another part of my foot, they were saying that they might have had to amputate that part of the foot. And so that was the first time the doctor told me I may never play basketball again.

02:41 - 03:20

It was catastrophic to me because the NBA was my plan A, B, and C, you know, I didn't have a backup plan, as I should have. And so I went against the doctors wishes and I started training again and got a medical redshirt to play my last year at the University of Houston. And then I went to the NBA Development League, where halfway through the season, you know, I was just blessed where my body just, you know, I physically got back to being the player that I was prior to injury with my foot. And that was really what led me to having a great first season there and earning that contract from the Sacramento Kings.

03:20 - 03:52

In 2009, my mother raised me with a foundation of faith and she used to always tell me, if God have something for you, then it's for you no matter what, no man says. And in that moment it was real to me, you know, because, like I said, the doctors told me I would never play basketball again. But here I am at my dream in the NBA. And so, you know, like I said to three days after signing that NBA contract and then to have the knee injury, which required two microfracture surgeries and effectively ended my basketball career.

03:52 - 04:13

To hear that the second time around was equally as devastating. Even more confusing for me to understand because I felt like I went through this before I fought back and I made it. It was more not being able to understand why this was happening. You know, I mean, that was really the tough part for me.

04:13 - 05:12

I remember praying after that second microfracture surgery and I said, God, if you're going to take basketball away from me, I'm begging you to show me what you have for my life, because I thought this was my purpose. And it was really out there saying that prayer, that this idea, this vision for creating this faith-based version of Nike, I know it was a vision that was planted inside of me because I didn't I didn't have that idea before this. You know, I didn't have a backup plan of when I get done playing with basketball, I'm not going to entrepreneurship and I'm going to start an apparel brand. None of these were thoughts that I had in my head prior to this and so got that vision and it felt purposeful for me, you know what I mean? It felt so clear that that's what I should be doing. And I told a couple of friends about it, a couple other guys that I played basketball with and against, and, you know, Steph Curry and Anthony Tolliver were two of the partners that wanted to be involved in Act of Faith. They invested some seed money in the beginning, and that's really how we lost Act of Faith.

05:13 - 05:14

That's incredible.

05:14 - 05:37

Yeah. First, congratulations just on the the perseverance. Setbacks are definitely challenging, especially when you think you're living the calling and living the purpose, but really happy that you found that purpose. And definitely basketball puts you in a place to be able to meet with those people who invested in your vision, invested in active faith sports, even through today.

05:37 - 05:59

So let's fast forward a little bit. You founded actively back in 2020, and I want to introduce this brand to our listeners, but through some of the lines from your New York Fashion Week presentation in September. So just setting the stage Lanny Smith Blackmon gold and diamond studded Grillz.

05:59 - 06:40

And you spoke in those words, right? And you said We watch for years as brands use our culture to profit, but we ain't asking for your token diversity and inclusion hires anymore. We ain't asking for creators of our culture to be giving credit anymore. We are not asking for a seat at the table anymore. We are building our own table and there's nothing passive about this. We are actively black. Now, rumor has it you bought the house down right with with your words or your presentation of blackness and fitness at Fashion Week. But when you think about the brand's inception, like what drove your determination to speak this type of truth and kind of seek to build your own table?

06:40 - 07:12

Yeah, it was really the culmination of of several different points in my life that kind of drove me to landing in this place, right? Even with the six of active faith, you know, we've we've have customers in 75 different countries that have purchased from Act of faith, built a multimillion dollar generating brand from my mother's garage. But I was actually hiding myself from that company. You couldn't see my name or my face on the website, on the social media, anything like that.

07:12 - 07:38

For Act of Faith, I had this fear that if the customers who were mostly evangelical Christians, if they knew that it was a black man that was behind this brand, that it would negatively affect the business. And I had multiple experiences that supported that fear. You know, I remember doing customer service and being on the phone with an active faith customer and they said, You sound like you're black. And I said, I am. And they immediately asked for a refund.

07:39 - 08:18

You know, I had situations where we had groups that were interested in investing an act of faith. They didn't know who the person was behind it. They saw Steph Curry wearing it. They saw all these different athletes wearing it. So we would have these conversations over email and then we set up an in-person meeting and I could see it in their faces as soon as I walked in the door that, oh, they were oh, this is this is a black guy that's doing this, you know what I mean? And and unfortunately, that's that's some of the reality that black people, black entrepreneurs face face in this country. And so, like I said, those fears of if they knew this was a black man behind this, would it negatively impact the business, you know, were real.

08:18 - 08:43

And so, you know, my parents, they raised me to be proud of my blackness and proud of who I am. So that was an internal conflict that I was facing that, you know, I've made this transition from an athlete to an entrepreneur, have built a multi million dollar business from my mother's garage that I'm hiding myself from because of my blackness. I'm proud of who I am, but then I'm hiding who I am at the same time.

08:43 - 09:34

Then so I started to have the questions in my head. You know, if I can build this brand that's having this positive impact on the faith based community, can I do the same thing for the black community? That's what the first. Seeds were starting to be planted in my head because I didn't want to keep hiding. And then 2018, the movie Black Panther came out, and I never forget the feeling that I had walking out of the theater for the first time watching Black Panther. It's something that I still can't accurately describe, but I know what I felt and I know what I saw. The impact on the culture and throughout the diaspora, there was all of us who felt this something. You know what I mean? That was different than what we had felt before. And to see the imagery and to see us in this light that we normally don't get to see ourselves and we don't get to see ourselves as superheroes.

09:34 - 10:08

And then to see the image of Wakanda, which, you know, a lot of the critics afterwards were like, Hey, why are you guys so excited? That is a real the thing is the representation of being able to see that, right, to see this place that was unpolluted by oppression and racism and the things that we've had to deal with and to see us operate in this greatness was something that really, really inspired me. And so I knew walking at that theater that I was going to create that brand. I just didn't know what it was going to be, but I knew I needed to create that brand for us.

10:08 - 10:54

And then fast forward again, I moved to Los Angeles six months prior to the pandemic really hitting and the entire city of Los Angeles really shutting down. And I remember being in my apartment and I was saying to myself, I'm not going to let this time pass without birthing something new. Once again, I didn't know what that thing was going to be. But we all witnessed the events after the murder of George Floyd. And I started to see all these brands and corporations make these declarations. Right. We're going to do this for the black community and we're going to do this for the black community. And I felt like it was very performative. I felt like it was just part of their new marketing strategy because for black people outside of the pandemic element, the other events of 2020 were not new. These things have been happening for decades, for centuries.

10:54 - 11:23

So my question was Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, all these brands. You've been quiet about these things all of this time. So why now are you all of a sudden making these declarations? You know, I mean, it didn't feel authentic to me. And I think that was the that was the final straw for me. And I decided I wasn't going to put this idea on the shelf anymore. I was going to create actively black. To your point, like I said, we're going to stop asking for the seat at the table and we're going to build our own table. And that was really kind of the final thing that pushed me to finally do it.

11:24 - 11:43

I think Nate magazine was doing a follow up story on me for Juneteenth. They wanted to do a story on an act of faith, and I agreed to do the interview, but I said I didn't want to talk about the faith. I want to talk about this new thing that I was watching on Juneteenth of 2020. I announced that I was going to do Actively Black and then on Black Friday 2020 is when we actually launched it.

11:43 - 12:26

That's awesome, man. We've talked to a lot of people where 2020 has had some profound impact on what they're doing today. And I agree. When I saw Black Panther with my family, I felt like I had like the vibranium all over me, right? Like you just kind of walking out all buff and jacked up and, you know, it was amazing. And, you know, I appreciate you articulating something that I think we try to do here, which is build bigger tables, pull up our own chairs for our own people. But, you know, one of the things you alluded to is that actively black is bigger than just being black owned. In talking through what that looks like for you, your goal is to also reinvest into black communities.

12:26 - 13:11

Yeah, I mean, this is bigger than just apparel. For one, that feeling that you were describing when you walked out of Black Panther, that's the feeling that I wanted people to have when they interacted or wore this brand. I wanted to feel that way. And from the responses and reviews online and on social media, there are people like your I feel proud. Like I stuck my chest out when I put on my actively black hoodie. You know what I mean? And people from that fashion show came up to me afterwards. They were like, Yo, I sat up in my seat a little higher. You know what I mean? I walked out of New York Fashion Week feeling proud about my blackness and that type of impact, that intrinsic value that people are feeling from interacting with the brand is something that is definitely purposeful.

13:11 - 13:58

But as far as reinvesting back into the community, that's that's the basis of this, right? So if I'm saying that Akron, Ohio still has the same projects that LeBron James grew up in, right? And he's doing what he can to build schools and things like that. But Nike's made billions of dollars on him. Why does why does Akron still look the way that it looks and that responsibility should not just be on LeBron? What about the company that's making billions of dollars off of him? Why are they not investing into Akron, Ohio, and in that community and that neighborhood outside of just building a new basketball court? You know what I mean? And so when we talk about building our own table so we can pull up the seeds and feed who we. Need to feed. We have to be what we've been asking for. We have to be our heroes.

13:58 - 14:33

And so that's the premise behind why we have to reinvest back into the black community and the way that we've been doing that, you know, whether it's finding local organizations who have their hands and feet in the black community so we can help give them resources through, you know, the profits that we make from selling our apparel. Compton Girls Club, which is one of the organizations that we've given back to multiple times here in Los Angeles. The type of exposure that they're giving to young black and brown girls growing up in Compton who don't get the same exposure to certain things. That's important. And those are those are things we're giving back to.

14:34 - 15:05

We had an event at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood. I'm sure, as you're aware, many times when these new stadiums and these new things get built. Residents from those inner city areas, they get pushed out and they get the least amount of access to the new things. Right. So we had an event at Sofi Stadium, 700 Inglewood residents on the field doing yoga, sound baths, meditation, talking about mental health. And that was so big for those Inglewood residents to have that access actively.

15:05 - 16:02

Black supports this organization called Between the Lines. We go inside of prisons and we hold basketball camps for the incarcerated there. We talk to them, we fellowship with them, and the numbers are staggering. One in four black men are going to going to be incarcerated at some point in their lives. Oftentimes when they get into the system, they're just thrown away. You know, they're forgotten about. They're labeled as just criminal. You know what I mean? When you actually get a chance to spend time with some of these men, both young and old, you find that one humanizes them, Right? You find out their stories, you find out the environments that they came up in. You find out the lack of exposure, the lack of choices that they had. You start to look at these things differently, you know what I mean? And so being able to impact those lives, there's a whole list of all the different organizations that we have donated to really on on a monthly basis since we launched. But that's part of the fabric of why we're doing this.

16:02 - 16:28

BRAND Yeah, And one other way you're giving back to the community is actually by addressing health concerns in the black community, high rates of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, all of the black fill in the blank, right? So when you think about yourself as premium athleisure and sports apparel, how is actively black being a part of that solution?

16:28 - 17:15

Yeah, so one encouraging our community to be more active, right? And not just physically, but also like in our mental health as well. It's tied hand-in-hand, our mental and physical fitness. The name is really a double entendre, because obviously we're encouraging our community to be more physically active. But also, you know, what it means to be actively Black, right? Black fathers being active in their kid's lives, that's being actively Black. You know, the Black student who is doing everything they can, struggling through college to get this degree so they can better their lives and their family's lives, that's being actively Black. The people who are on the front lines fighting for our civil rights to be protected, that's being actively Black. It's really a big umbrella of what that means to be active and to be actively Black.

17:15 - 17:44

You know, how do we how do we change the way we eat? You know, we've got some content planned around black chefs showing how to cook our food, but maybe substituting some ingredients or how do we cook it maybe in a healthier way. These are ways that we can impact, you know, our community to to make sure that we're we're healthier because for the movement to continue, we've got to be able to continue moving. You know what I mean? And if we're not healthy, if we're not fit, we can't continue the work that needs to be done for the movement to continue.

17:44 - 18:31

You've created more than an apparel brand. It really is a call to action. It's a movement. It's it's a form of protest in some ways. Right. And that you're kind of breaking the barriers and the molds that we've been fit into as a people and saying, this is who we are and this is our table. And that's that's so inspiring. And beyond that, it's something that a lot of people have galvanized around. And I think I heard that actively. Black is projected to have over $10 million in sales this year, which is incredible. Congratulations. But beyond that, you have major fans like Daymond John. Michelle Obama posted a picture and your apparel on Instagram. Barack was seen wearing your watch. I mean, I don't know if you can get much bigger than that.

18:32 - 18:33

Yeah. Yeah.

18:33 - 18:53

After running actively black for, you know, a couple of years now and seeing your brand take off with these major not just influencers but icons in our culture, what has it been like for you to see something that you started basically in your mother's garage and is now featured on the global state?

18:55 - 19:24

I go back and forth between these being surreal moments that are hard to truly grasp and also knowing that. This is what I expected and this is what I planned for and this is what I envisioned. Because as crazy as it sounds, and I got to make sure I find that notebook, I might laminate it. Everything that you have that you have mentioned, I actually wrote down before.

19:24 - 20:14

And so during that ideation phase, when I was trying to figure out, okay, you know, you do some of those things when you're trying to figure out your business plan and all that of stuff, like who's your target audience? You know, how do you plan to reach them? You know, for me, it was, you know, looking at who did I want to get actively black to If I could choose the perfect brand ambassadors for Actively black, who would those people be? And I wrote Barack and Michelle Obama down on this notepad. You know, I mean, I wrote down Daymond John on this notepad. I wrote these things down. So I veered back and forth between like, Man, I can't believe this is happening. And this is what was written. This is what is is supposed to happen. And I'm walking in that manifestation and walking in that faith. I'm walking in this vision that was given to me.

20:14 - 20:49

So it shouldn't be surprising, but it's still humbling. It's still so very humbling. I got an opportunity to meet President Barack Obama a couple of weeks ago and to be able to shake his hand and for him to. Specifically mentioned the brand. Right. And that he was proud to see what activity Black was doing. That was a crazy moment. It's still humbling to know that this is actually happening, you know what I mean? And that people on all ends of the spectrum are interacting with and being impacted by this brand.

20:49 - 21:13

First of all, I feel like you could write or teach a master class on manifestation, and I feel like that could be a whole other podcast episode. But beyond that, I want to double click on this manifestation and visualization. And you mentioned that you wrote down this list. Damon John was on it. I've heard a bit about your meeting with Daymond John and how that led to the manifestation of another dream. Can you share with us and our listeners a little bit about that?

21:13 - 21:40

Yes. So we have an official partnership with Marvel and Disney for Black Panther to work on forever. Another one of those moments where it's surreal, but at the same time. I wrote this down. Right? I still get chills. So shortly after I launched Actually Black, I had this concept for a collaboration with Black Panther, mainly because that was one of those points that really inspired me to do actually.

21:40 - 22:26

Black Right. And so I saw so much synergy between what the Black Panther franchise represented and what actively Black represented. I had this vision in my mind of if we all lived in Wakanda or we went to a kind of university, you know, what kind of athleisure, where would we be wearing? And to me, in my mind, I saw something that had these this vibranium running through it, right? And so I contacted a black designer by the name of Jordan Jackson, and we collaboratively came up with this concept. And it's this collection that we created a debt for. I had no idea who I was going to get this debt to. At the time, there was no announcement of a sequel movie. I didn't even know when there was going to be an opportunity to do this. That deck was created over a year, a year ago.

22:26 - 23:07

But it wasn't until three months ago I had a meeting with Daymond John. We went to talk about doing a FUBU collab with Actively Black, which another one of those moments is just incredible to me. Damon John was one of my heroes. To see this brand that that proclaimed for us by us. And you saw these four black brothers who were the faces of this thing, and they built this thing that that was everything to me. And so I walk into this meeting and Damon John is wearing a actively black hoodie. Oh, man, it was a crazy moment. So I got you know, I got to play it cool. I got to keep the poker face. But inside I'm like, Yo, Daymond John is wearing my hoodie, you know, saying the guy who created FUBU is we're actively black. And that was crazy.

23:07 - 23:54

So we talked about the collaboration. And then he asked me, So what else are you working on? And I almost didn't show him. But in the back of my mind, I'm like, You know what? Just Sean. And so I'm like, Well, I got this debt for Black Panther. I showed it to him. And once he looked at the deck, he literally in the middle of the meeting, picked up the phone and called the head of licensing for Marvel at Disney. And he was like, you guys need to look at this right now. Two days later, I got on a Zoom meeting and presented the debt to them and they went crazy. And so with this sequel coming out November 11th, it's been chaotic and and even stressful. But but also a huge blessing to be working on actually releasing an official collaboration with Marvel Studios for for Black Panther Wakanda forever.

23:55 - 23:55

That's amazing.

23:55 - 23:56

That's crazy, man.

23:58 - 24:51

I truly believe in speaking things into existence and not just, you know, when you when you talk about the manifestation, you know, you see the post on Instagram and everybody talking about manifest this and manifest that. But I think there's a step that a lot of people miss. And it's not just speaking it into existence, not just making the Instagram post about it, but then also putting the work and the action behind it. I believe that's what unlocks these opportunities in these doors is the action. You know, faith to me is a verb. It's an action. You've got to be active in your faith that anything anybody can take from my story is, is that if you've got this dream, if you've got this passion, if you've got this vision that is in your heart, stop waiting for whatever to to happen for you, you know, speak it into existence, put the work behind it and start walking in faith and then watch as the doors start to open and opportunities happen.

24:51 - 24:54

Lanny I didn't expect to come to church today, but it looks like you brought the message.

24:56 - 25:32

There is this feeling of the extension of something that was created decades ago, right? Like I, I really appreciate the partnership between you and Damon. I grew up in a neighborhood in Queens. Other than the tight suits, church socks and ugly shoes that my parents had for me. I my closet was full of FUBU, but the brand phase over time. But I feel like you're bringing that back in an even more meaningful way. I definitely believe it was a mistake and it wasn't by accident that you guys had the opportunity to to make that connection.

25:32 - 26:01

Oh, 100%. I mean, I said it when I posted about our meeting. I've told him personally and I will continue saying this there is no actively black without there being a few different seeds for different plants. Grow it at different pieces and at different times. Right. And you know, that's a seed that was planted that long ago that may have started to bear its fruit. Now, You know what I mean? Even if I didn't know that that seed was planted during that time, that was something that stuck with me. FUBU stuck with me.

26:01 - 26:34

There's two things particularly important to me that I want to click on. He mentioned earlier, we all know, like Steph Curry is a big fan. He's an investor in your brand, but actively black. You guys just marked your first and I'll deal right with Deja Kelly who's a baller. And then you have this focus on the commitment to HBCU athletics. So can you talk about both of those? A little bit the importance of the NIO and its contribution to financial empowerment and then HBCU partnerships.

26:34 - 27:27

Yeah, yeah. So first and foremost with with data, I mean, we made history. She's the first black woman to be the first athlete signed to a sports program that that can't be debated. And that was important to me to make sure that it was a black woman that was first. I think also with now, what has opened up is a lot of these brands have utilized black talent to build their brands, right? They utilize black talent to get to scale. And that's not it's not hyperbole. Nike, when they signed Michael Jordan, that's what took Nike to the levels that we recognize Nike as being right now. You know, and a lot of people don't even realize that when Nike was first getting started, Adidas already existed, Puma already existed. They were the actual giants in the sports apparel world. And Nike was this startup, you know, And Phil Knight was selling shoes off the back of his truck and track meet, you know what I mean?

27:27 - 27:50

And so part of that perspective for me is, is when I tell people we're building the black Nike, sometimes I tell them that just to give them some context, what we're building, a lot of people laugh. A lot of people don't believe they're like, You're crazy. You're just a dreamer. But if you actually roll that back and you realize, hold on. Phil Knight was selling shoes out the back of his truck at track meets, and that's what ended up becoming Nike.

27:51 - 28:21

Then it lets you know that this thing is possible. You know what I'm saying? It's possible. And so, you know, I wanted to make sure that this black talent, you know, now opens it up for us to be able to interact with them earlier before they become professional. We can now interact with them in high school and in college. Also, when we talk about HBCU athletics, we actually also we signed Travis Hunter. Shilo consider Sanders. And so they will be our first HBCU athletes that will be announced as being sides actively black.

28:21 - 28:23

Congrats. Awesome. Congratulations.

28:23 - 29:12

Thank you. Thank you. And to be honest with you, I wasn't even really anticipating being in an IO game this early. I mean, the brand is literally 19 months old. But when I saw what Travis Hunter did right, the highest ranked crew to ever go sign with HBCU in the way that he decided, I'm not going to go to Alabama, I'm not going to go to Florida State, I'm not going to go to any one of the big five power conference schools that are offering me a scholarship. I'm going to take my talent to an HBCU. When I saw that, I was like, Oh, we got to sign him. He understands that his black talent is going to go wherever he goes, you know? I mean, and he's going to be who he is. Even at that black school, you know, he doesn't have to take his talent to a PWI in order to achieve greatness.

29:12 - 29:34

And the symbolism and how that lines up with what we're doing that actively. BLACK we're essentially telling our audience the same thing. You don't have to go to Nike or Adidas or Under Armour or Puma. You can come to something Black-owned and get the same quality, if not better, you know, and something that is built specifically for you.

29:34 - 29:52

You just shared, you know, some goals and some major things that are happening. What do you want the listeners to know for those who are listening about your very intentional story? A very purposeful journey, one that didn't start out the way you wanted it to, but you're living your purpose right now.

29:52 - 29:55

What are some key things you want to let the listeners know.

29:56 - 30:19

As it directly relates to Actively Black? To know that we're not building an apparel brand? The apparel is just a uniform for the movement. What we have planned for this brand is much bigger than just apparel. And this is just the beginning. You're going to see this brand on a global stage do things that have not been done before. And so so I definitely want people to understand that.

30:19 - 31:13

But then as it relates to, you know, purpose, I have a lot of friends who play basketball who are still playing or who are now making that transition out of being an athlete. And, you know, a lot of athletes struggle with that transition. More often than not, the game is going to end for you before you decide to end your relationship with the game. It's it's a tough transition because you're going through an identity crisis. Who am I without this basketball? Who am I without this football? And what I would challenge. The current athletes to do is start at least thinking about what are the things that I'm interested in. I'm not asking you with a that you may be good at. I'm asking what are the things you may be interested in? Because the amount of time that you've given to basketball or football or whatever. That's part of why you're good at it. So at least start exploring other things that you're interested in. Start asking those questions. Start doing some of the research.

31:14 - 32:06

We live in an information age right now where we have the easiest access to information than any other generation in the history of humanity. We literally have computers in our pocket. Take some of that time that maybe you're spending on social media. Invest it in yourself. And I would say where I have been blessed and which allow me to be successful, is finding something else that I'm passionate about because that's what has allowed me to transfer all of that energy is a lot of energy in becoming a professional basketball player or football player or whatever it is. What you have to dedicate to yourself. Most people will never be able to do that. The unlock that these athletes have that they don't even realize that they have is that same thing that it took for you to get there. If you are able to take that and harness it and then place that into something else, you can be wildly successful in that other thing.

32:06 - 32:27

I feel fortunate to be in this position to have found something else that I'm passionate about, that I can devote that energy and dedication to. And I know that that is a point where a lot of athletes and former athletes, they don't have that. And it leads to the depression, it leads to substance abuse, it leads to all the different things because they can't find that other thing to transition to.

32:27 - 32:43

So while we appreciate your story, we appreciate your intentionality, we appreciate your perseverance, your leading the way, man, and your story can help create more Lanny Smith Right? Then we'll be able to continue to build these tables and pull these chairs up.

32:44 - 32:50

Lanny Thanks so much for joining us. That was really inspiring. And for your next career, you could easily be a life coach.

32:50 - 32:52

Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

32:53 - 32:55

I really hope you enjoy today's episode.

32:55 - 33:12

We love to hear from you, so please email your thoughts, questions and any feedback to diverse markets. Bernstein dot com. Be sure to share, subscribe, comment on and read us on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you listen to your podcasts. And check us out on Twitter at Bernstein. P. W m.

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