Although he is mostly known for the role he has played in the skateboarding world over the years, Tony Hawk is in fact also one of the most inspiring and popular entrepreneurs in the world. While he may not have been operating a traditional white collar type of business, he has shown that it is completely possible to earn a living by doing what you love most.
A Brief History
Despite being given his first skateboard at the age of nine, Tony Hawk had no idea at the time that his passion for the sport would one day see him earning millions of dollars. By the age of 13, he was winning skateboarding competitions throughout the US and earning fairly substantial amounts of prize money in the process. This enabled him to purchase a house in his senior year – certainly not a feat that many high school students can boast about. Tony Hawk went on to earn sponsorships from companies such as Powell Peralta, Six Flags, Jeep, Infospace and Kohl’s. He now owns Birdhouse and Hawk Clothing which are among the most popular companies in the world.
Learning from His Mistakes
While Tony Hawk may have had an unsuccessful clothing business venture a few years ago, he showed the entrepreneurial world that it is important to learn from one’s mistakes. Him and a business partner he had at the time thought that they had a winning business selling designer denim. However, they soon learned that not many folk could afford it, so instead of pumping more money into what seemed to be a sinking ship, they cut their losses and concentrated on the more profitable ventures instead, such as Birdhouse.
Giving Back to the Community
These days, many highly successful entrepreneurs make a point of giving something back to the community or cultures that helped them become what they are today. Tony Hawk went on to create the Tony Hawk Foundation which donates millions of dollars to over 500 skate park projects throughout the US. This ensures that approximately three million children who live in underprivileged areas are being given the opportunity to enjoy this increasingly popular sport in a safe environment. It also ensures that many more children are being kept off the streets and out of a potential future life of crime or drugs.
Embrace Technology to Expand Your Brand
While Tony Hawk may be known for being the most famous skateboarder in the world, it certainly doesn’t stop here. He has gone on to create an interactive skateboarding-related video game which has become very popular. He has realized that in order to keep a step ahead in the business world, one has to ensure that they keep up to date with modern technology. One of the most popular attributes that this skateboarding icon has become known for in the business world is the fact that he is always willing to try something new.
Tony Hawk can certainly be classified as an entrepreneur who walks the walk – even if his version of walking involves four wheels and a passion for skateboarding.