What if you were unable to pursue the one thing you’ve built your career or life around? What...
What if you were unable to pursue the one thing you’ve built your career or life around? What would you do next? Oftentimes, when you spend a lot of time doing something, it can be hard figuring out who you are when you're not doing that thing. Tywanna Smith is an award-winning sports manager, best-selling author, speaker, and former professional basketball player. Tywanna tore her ACL in high school which forced her off the court. During this time, she discovered new passions, who she was outside of basketball and what she wanted to do when she stepped off the court. Twyanna learned How to Turn a Setback Into a Setup.
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In this episode with Tywanna Smith we talk about:
Do you want more out of life? Are you ready to live boldly in pursuit of your dreams?
Today’s episode sponsor is Deneen L. Garrett. Deneen is a Passionate, Innovative, Executioner (P.I.E.) who elevates the voices of women of color and empowers them to Live a Dream Life (style) through podcasting and speaking.
Deneen is a Women Motivational Speaker and the Creator & Host of the Women of Color: An Intimate Conversation (Formerly An Intimate Conversation with Women of Color) Podcast, which she launched in 2020.
Deneen specializes in helping women of color who want more out of life live boldly to create a dream life.
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How To Turn a Set Back Into a Set Up
Looking for new ways to tap into your power and voice? Tywanna shares her 1st tip of why we should give grace to ourselves.
Tywanna Smith: “The first thing I would say to any athlete, give yourself some grace. We have a lot of things going on, a lot of pressure, a lot of scrutiny for these individuals, when we put them on pedestals. And that can be heavy, if you think of the human experience. So give yourself a little grace, you don't have to be perfect.
Life is heavy. Giving ourselves grace, making time for self care, and being present will benefit us as we navigate spaces as Women of Color.
Setup or Set up
How do you handle a setback? Tywanna talks about her experience after tearing her ACL in high school. While she experienced an unfortunate situation, Tywanna says this is the best thing that has ever happened to her.
Tywanna Smith: “It was actually one of the best experiences to happen to me. The reason I say it was a good experience was because it taught me to rely on something other than sports. I was blessed to have a cousin who played in the NBA. And so it allowed me time to connect with him. He helped me rehab my knee, and I was able to get a firsthand view of what it was like behind the scenes for a pro athlete. I fell in love with that. And I knew that's what I wanted to do. So I never would have gotten that experience, learned that about myself., had I not taken time away from the game.
Sometimes the universe is trying to tell us something. Those roadblocks in our way are often to redirect us. Tywanna experienced such a moment. Think about your “ACL tear” experience. Was it a setback or a setup or set up?
Importance of Mentorship
Tywanna suggests getting a mentor. Connect with people you can learn from and in immersive ways.
While COVID was a devastating time for millions, it was a Blessing for Tywanna. She shares her Dreams Deferred moment.
Tywanna Smith: I would say the start of COVID. I had so many opportunities come to me at once. From working with the NFL, being, you know, brought on to work with an NFL team to work with an NBA team to do some work with the NCAA in addition to managing my clients. And as I mentioned earlier, I'm a mother. While those were a lot of great opportunities coming at me, it was overwhelming. So COVID happens, the world shuts down. Honestly, in the beginning, I'm relieved, because I'm thinking, you know, I'm so exhausted. I had a book that I was preparing to release that I did not release, because the world looked very differently then. And that was the dreams deferred moment with me, right, but deferred, not denied. And so I'm grateful to now be able to say that I've released my book, I've launched it. So I'm very grateful for that. And I just attribute that to being faithful to understand that there is no such thing as a missed opportunity or a missed dream. Everything happens in its perfect timing. And if you're patient enough, when that thing comes back around, you should be ready to walk through the door.
What devastated so many families was Abundant Blessings for Tywanna.
Purchase a copy of Tywanna’s book, “Plan TOO: Guiding Your Athlete to Wealth & the Best Mental Health: Guiding Your Athlete to Wealth & the Best Mental Health” here.
Memorable Quotes from Tywanna
“Give yourself grace.”
“You are, who you are, and not what you do.”
“Figure out who you are without a ball in your hand.”
“The offseason is the best season that you will ever play, right, because you get an opportunity to pour time into other areas of your life that you don't normally get to during the season.”
“There is no such thing as a missed opportunity or a missed dream. Everything happens in its perfect timing. And if you're patient enough, when that thing comes back around, you should be ready to walk through the door.”
Connect with Tywanna Smith
Tywanna Smith is an award-winning sports manager, best-selling author, speaker, and former professional basketball player. For the past 15 years, she has served as a financial and business advisor to nearly 50 NBA, NFL, WNBA, Euro-League, and Chinese Basketball Association athletes as President of The Athlete's Nexus.
Her first book, “Surviving the Lights: A Professional Athlete’s Playbook to Avoiding the Curse,” has been featured at the L.A. Times Festival of Books, the Black Student-Athlete Summit, and the NFL’s Careers in Football Forum. Smith has been recognized as one of Ole Miss' Top 40 Under 40 Alumni and Mississippi Business Journal’s Top 50 Under 40 Rising Business Leaders. In addition, she has been featured in Forbes, NerdWallet, and HuffPost. Smith is currently pursuing her doctorate at The University of Memphis, where she is researching effective professional development programming for Black athletes. New book: Plan TOO: Guiding Your Athlete to Wealth & the Best Mental Health: Guiding Your Athlete to Wealth & the Best Mental Health
“Plan Too” is for people who have a lot of influence on young athletes to provide guidance on how to help them. The book contains practical steps to help them take advantage of their time as an active player and to prepare them to make strides outside the game.
Tywanna and I talked about mentoring and her mentor who connected us. Listen to Episode 11 from Season 3 of our #intimateconversation “Be Open: How Being Open to New Opportunities Led Monique "AJ" Smith to a Career in Sports”.
Other Episodes to Check out
Work Life Harmony with Tareka Wheeler, PMP
About the Podcast
Women of Color: An Intimate Conversation (An Intimate Conversation with Women of Color) is a podcast about women empowerment stories and for Women of Color who want more out of life. This show is for women who have had enough and want change, especially those who have been waiting to choose themselves and live boldly.
In each inspiring episode, hear from women from different backgrounds, countries, and ages who have embarked on personal journeys, sharing their stories of empowerment, overcoming, and their path to living a dream life (style).
***Women of Color was recently named a 35 Best Women Empowerment Podcasts by Feedspot.***
Popular episodes include:
Deneen is committed to elevating the voices of WOC and empowering them to Live a Dream Life (style) NOW!
Deneen L. Garrett 0:03
All right, so this week's guest is Tywana to Tywanna Smith, an award winning sports manager, CEO, best selling author and speaker, Tywanna, tell us more about you.
Tywanna Smith 0:17
I will before anything, I'm a mother. So I have two small children who fuel my love for sports. I'm a former professional basketball player. And I decided to continue to pursue my love of sports by working with other athletes. So for the last 15 years, I've managed professional athletes in the NBA, the NFL, the WNBA, and overseas, and essentially, I am their, off the court and off the field, point guard or quarterback, right, I handle all of their business affairs. But it really works because I understand them. And I'm able to connect them because I do have that sport background.
Deneen L. Garrett 0:58
And I love that you mentioned that you're a mom, because as I was reading, I was about to say momager.
Tywanna Smith 1:04
So yes, I have small children, I got started a little later. So my son is eight and my daughter is five. And so sometimes juggling those things, because I do take pride in being a very present mom. Sometimes juggling that. And you know, moving through the sport industry can be difficult, but it's definitely rewarding.
Deneen L. Garrett 1:26
Yeah, no, I can definitely imagine. We were talking about my son who's 21. He's a senior in college. And he has sports interest as well. And just one managing his schedule, because I was the mom that had this had him in that and I'm like, Hey, you're doing this, and you're doing that. And he just pretty much okay, right?
Tywanna Smith 1:45
Yeah, yeah, it's a good thing, though. Because, you know, they can be involved in so many other non productive things. Right. And so that's, that's kudos to you, mom. That's awesome.
Deneen L. Garrett 1:56
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. So you're currently pursuing your doctorate at the University of Memphis, and you're researching effective professional development programming for Black athletes? Super congratulations on that.
Tywanna Smith 2:10
Yeah. Thank you.
Deneen L. Garrett 2:12
Welcome. You're welcome. So, you know, the podcast is, you know, it's a platform for women of color to use our voices. And one of the main things that I want to do is to share ways that women of color can use their power in their voice. So what three key learnings will help them whether they were Black athlete, women athletes, or just Black women in particular, but what would help them tap into their power and voice? What have you learned in your studies or experience?
Tywanna Smith 2:45
Yeah, you know, the first thing I would say is to to, you know, to any athlete, give yourself some grace, right? We have a lot of things going on a lot of pressure, a lot of scrutiny for these individuals, when we put them on pedestals. And that can be heavy, if you think of the human experience. So give yourself a little grace, you don't have to be perfect. And I guess I would also talk a little bit about identity, right? You are, who you are, and not what you do, right. And oftentimes, when you spend a lot of time doing something, it can be hard to, you know, figure out who you are when you're not doing that thing. Okay? So just think about the other fruitful things that you bring to the world, right. And I guess the last thing would be use your voice, right, if we've learned nothing over the past few years, is that our voices need to be heard. And they matter, right? There is power, when you speak up about the things that you need to be whole and to be successful. So give yourself a little grace, you know, figure out who you are without a ball in your hand. And, you know, just just put your best foot forward.
Deneen L. Garrett 3:59
Yes, speak up. Right. So with that grace part, that's something that I have to I have to keep reminding myself, like, I retired from a 20 plus career in June. And, and I definitely was one of those persons who always had to keep things going, right. Yeah. Let me do this. Let me do that. And I had to say to myself, like, ma'am, you don't have to do anything, you set yourself up. So you don't have to do anything. Right. Right. And so I have to, you know, get used to that, and be okay with that. And, you know, don't put a pressure on myself to try to jump into anything else that I really don't like take the time to figure out what do I want my life to look like and yeah, that way. So yes, absolutely. Give yourself grace. Again, we can use that regardless of what we're doing. And that identity piece is huge as well. A lot of people do get wrapped up in their careers. If you you know you have the experience, right being an athlete. That's ball player and, you know, and who is Tywanna? Without a ball in our hand. Right? So let's talk a little bit about that. Like, did you have to do that for yourself? Did you have to, you know, learn who you were without the ball without being on a court?
Tywanna Smith 5:16
Yeah, I did I did. I tell this story often about the time I tore my ACL in high school, right. And when I talk about it, it's not a bad thing. It was actually one of the best experiences to happen to me. The reason I say it was a good experience was because it taught me to rely on something other than sports, right? Like the game was literally taken away from me. So I had to figure some things out how I would derive enjoyment, right, when I wasn't participating in this game. What are some other things that I could do? That will keep me attached to the game, if I couldn't play, right, and oftentimes, we take that for granted. I was blessed to have a cousin who played in the NBA. And so it allowed me time to connect with him. He helped me rehab my knee, and I was able to get a firsthand view of what it was like behind the scenes for a pro athlete. I fell in love with that. And I knew that's what I wanted to do. So I never would have gotten that experience, learn that about myself. Had I not taken time away from the game. And so the things that I tell my clients when they're searching for that identity or for that value, use your offseason, right? The offseason is the best season that you will ever play, right, because you get an opportunity to pour time into other areas of your life that you don't normally get to during the season. Try some things. Get a mentor, I'm a huge fan of mentorship. We were speaking of one of my mentors, when we got on the phone, link up with people you learn so much by immersing yourself in different circumstances. And so you've got to be intentional about that. If you're gonna figure out who you are outside of sports.
Deneen L. Garrett 6:58
Yeah, absolutely. So you have that experience. Did you say in high school?
Tywanna Smith 7:00
in high school torn ACL. Yep.
Deneen L. Garrett 7:00
Well, I mean, and that's amazing for you to learn early, right? Because I'm sure that that's considered early in this space for you to know early like, Okay, what that I knew, is separate, right? Like, I love this thing. I'm gonna do this thing, there's gonna be a time when I'm no longer gonna do this thing. So what does life look like at that particular time? And so what have you, you know, to have that time? I'm sure it didn't feel good.
Tywanna Smith 7:30
It didn't feel good at the time, right? It was like, my competitive spirit never left, right. So I had to channel that into a different way. So I just began to overachieve. And everything I did. I mean, in the classroom, I'm sitting at the front of the class, I'm turning in assignments early, I had to get that fire out of me. But it ended up making me great in some other areas that helped me find a more balanced identity. So
Deneen L. Garrett 7:57
So what area surprise you like what, you know, you just mentioned that you got great and learned about some other areas for yourself, what surprised you like, Oh, my God, I didn't know I like this.
Tywanna Smith 8:09
I would probably say, I've always enjoyed reading, but I didn't know how much I would enjoy math and numbers, right. And so, you know, becoming a financial planner in this space. You know, I tell people all the time, sometimes we overlook these gifts and these experiences that we have, that are really, you know, pulling us toward our passions, those things came easily to me. But I was really surprised how much I love numbers. And those different, you know, patterns and things like that. So
Deneen L. Garrett 8:43
well. Good. Well, that's awesome. Again, sorry, how you had you know, right how I had to learn. That was a great lesson. But it's great that you were able to take those things in high school, right, apply it to your life, then know what you are going to do after after your career in basketball, and then channel that to others to help them to be their better. Yes, that's beautiful.
Tywanna Smith 9:11
Yep. Full Circle moment.
Deneen L. Garrett 9:12
Right. Absolutely. And so kind of going back to the mentor that you mentioned. So last year, in season three, I had the pleasure of speaking with Monique AJ. Actually, you have the same last name.
Tywanna Smith 9:26
Yeah, I told her we're cousins.
Deneen L. Garrett 9:30
And so, you know, she in the sports world, she's at Hampton teaches different aspects of athlete athletes or teaches athletes and does other things right. And she's learned and started her journey in high school. And so what I was sharing is that I talked a lot about my son because he's interested in sports management, events management, and I was telling her how when we travel in just about anywhere we go, he's gonna play by basketball, we were in Puerto Rico, we were in the area, Loizda I believe it's called. And he's on a court playing ball and they didn't. They spoke Spanish. He doesn't speak Spanish, but you know, I'm sure you know, this is universal and so yes, so you don't have to speak and so anyway, she recommended that he looks into parks and recreations Right. And, you know, possibly start, you know, start his own events around sports. Yes, I definitely relayed that to him. But what was so surprising is when I was scheduling, when are the release of her episode, it happened to be on his birthday. And then I found out it was also her birthday. So it was kind of like Kismet. Right. It was kind of like, Oh, my God, it you know, that conversation was was meant to happen and, and for her to share special blessing and mentoring him without him even being around.
Tywanna Smith 10:53
Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, that is awesome. And sometimes those gems, you know, come to you in that way. Right? Totally unexpected, but they drop something. And you have that aha moment. And so awesome. And I hope that you know, your son was able to soak it in and explore it, because there are a ton of opportunities in sport, particularly through the entrepreneurship route.
Deneen L. Garrett 11:15
Yes. Yes, yes. And that's it. That's exactly what his focus is. And I do want to also mention, so as January, we're having this conversation in January, which happens to be mentor, national mentor month, so
Tywanna Smith 11:29
Oh, wow. I didn't know that. That's awesome.
Deneen L. Garrett 11:33
I know, right? We talked about the importance of having a mentor and having more than one mentor, right and having mentors who are different than you is a plus, in your individual success. So kind of pivoting I honor my late sister, author and poet soul true by asking about dreams differed, which is the title of one of her books, please share a dreams deferred moment.
Tywanna Smith 11:57
I would say the start of COVID. Right. I had so many opportunities come to me at once. From working with the NFL, being, you know, brought on to work with an NFL team to work with an NBA team to do some work with the NCAA in addition to managing my clients. And as I mentioned earlier, I'm a mother, right? While those were a lot of great opportunities coming at me, it was overwhelming. Right? So COVID happens, the world shuts down. Honestly, in the beginning, I'm relieved, because I'm thinking, you know, I'm so exhausted. But then as time goes on, I'm wondering, as I'm sure you and others were, wait a minute, are we gonna go back to normal, like, what's going to happen. And as an entrepreneur who has an international business, because many of my clients play abroad, I'm thinking how this affects my livelihood. Right? I had a book that I was preparing to release that I did not release, because the world looked very differently then. And that was the dreams deferred moment with me, right, but deferred, not denied. And so I'm grateful to now be able to say that I've released my book, I've launched it, you know, we already have all sorts of purchase orders coming in. So I'm very grateful for that. And I just attribute that to being faithful to understand that there is no such thing as a missed opportunity or a missed dream, right? Everything happens in its perfect timing. And if you're patient enough, right? When that thing comes back around, you know, you you should be ready to walk through the door. So that was a dreams deferred moment. You know, for me just kind of dealing with COVID as an entrepreneur who needs that type of activity, you know, to keep my business going.
Deneen L. Garrett 13:52
You right, so congratulations on your book, and that's about surviving the lights. I prefer that book avoiding the curse.
Tywanna Smith 14:00
That's my first book. That one became a best seller. It's been out since 2017 2018. This Yes, so I have a new book out. It just released December 15. Entitled Plan Too: Guiding your athlete to wealth and the best mental health. And while athletes can read this book, I actually wrote it for the people around them parents, coaches, counselors and the like, who have a lot of influence on these young people. But oftentimes, we don't have that same guidance on how we should be helping them right. And so I put together these practical steps based on a lot of my research and my experiences on how you can help them take advantage of their time as an active player, but making sure they're making strides outside the game. So it's available on Amazon as well.
Deneen L. Garrett 14:52
And I will definitely add that to the notes so you all will be able to read more about Tywanna and also ways to connect with her, and I'll definitely add her latest book again, another congratulation. you're welcome I'll add that to the notes. So I don't know if you realize this or not, but I, I picked it up picked up on it. But I want to ask this question before I even call it out. was when you actually released the book launch the book? Was that a better timing than if you would have done it sooner?
Tywanna Smith 15:24
Absolutely. Absolutely. For several reasons. First of all, you know, we have different things that have come out there to put more pressure on athletes to make more informed decisions. And it also puts pressure on those around them, because now we're looking at them to say, Okay, how are you helping these young people they were struggling with the decisions and life decisions they were already faced with? What are you doing? And how are those structures working? Are they effective, right? So NIL comes out, right? People all over the place, like, what is it? Like? How do I get engaged? If I'm not a top elite player already? How can I make money off my name, image likeness, you got the transfer portal, going crazy with kids, you know, moving around from different colleges and opportunities, trying to find the proper fit, which says to me, in a lot of cases, they either weren't prepared, or they didn't have a proper expectation before they decided to attend a certain school. You see activism, you know, it's particularly with collegiate athletes where they're finding their voice, and they're realizing we can make some things, you know, shift a little bit if we come together. So I think all of those things made this work. Very, very, very important to start some conversations around how we support them, right? How do you measure how successful your support is for an athlete? Is it just the activity is just doing it? Like we brought a speaker in, we told them what to do. Or are you holding their hand through the finish line the way we do in sport, and we got to hold ourselves more accountable.
Deneen L. Garrett 16:59
Yeah, yeah. So NIL, was the first thing that came to mind to me when you were speaking. But here's, here's the thing that I noticed. You were forced into that. So another force moment, right. COVID forced you to pivot, just like when you tore your ACL in high school, and forced to pivot. And so what's the value or the takeaway that I want my audience to take from that is that sometimes it's not a bad thing often it's not? Right? A delay or pause is not, it gives you an opportunity to think and to reflect, and pivot as necessary, right. And often, it's saving you from something and or setting you up for something better. So I wanted to call that out.
Tywanna Smith 17:44
Yeah, it's all about perspective. You're absolutely right. And we've got to be intentional, though, about it looking for the positive look for the sunlight in the rain. Right? It may not look the way I planned it to you know, and I feel like in those moments, God laughs He's like, Oh, you thought you had it figured out, but you have no idea what I'm about to do for you. Right? So yeah, it's just perspective. Like, let's, let's figure it out. This is what we have. We can't change it. We're here now. And let's make the best of it. Right.
Deneen L. Garrett 18:11
All right. So, um, you know, as I said, I mentioned that I retired. And so I also launched the business Deneen Consults, and my business is out, thank you to empower women of color to live a dream lifestyle. Now, in January of last year, I made a decision that that's how I was going to live my life, to figure out what a dream lifestyle is for me, and then to go ahead and to live it and share with other people to encourage them to do the same thing. What does living in a dream lifestyle mean to you? And how do you live A dream lifestyle?
Tywanna Smith 18:44
Yeah, freedom, freedom, not freedom from the sense of, you know, just, you know, financially or anything like that, right? Because that still puts your happiness. It depends on another circumstance. I mean, the freedom to live, right? The freedom from everyone else's expectations of you and pleasing other people, the freedom to do what you really want to do to really experience peace. As I mentioned, I'm a mother, but I'm also an entrepreneur, so I can be flexible to be present. You know, for my babies, I take great pride in that. Yeah, I may sacrifice the money here. There are some different opportunities, they'll come back around. But these moments, right, I'll never get these moments back. Right. So living that dream lifestyle, to me is all about freedom. And oftentimes, we have to free ourselves from these constraints that we put around what we can do, what we should do and how we should please others.
Deneen L. Garrett 19:45
Absolutely. And so you know, by you, recognizing that you want those experiences now and not later, that's another driver for me to really want to work with women and to empower them right. There was someone who, to me they had delayed something, they retired. And I thought they were going to pursue their dream. And then a few months later, they were back doing the same thing they were doing before, which is something that they really didn't like, by right. It made me sad, right? And it's like, no women start living now. And you don't have to retire. It just means find out what brings you joy. And just more of that, and for you, your kids, you love your kids, you love spending time with them, that brings you joy. So you, you know, schedule around that you make. Right? And so that's what I want more women to do. So I appreciate you sharing that. So before we wrap, what would you like to leave our guests with?
Tywanna Smith 20:43
Take some time to get to know yourself, right? Know yourself, I think you and I have shared that same message throughout this conversation today of doing things that make you happy figuring out what that looks like. But understanding it may look differently for you or I then for another person, but know yourself, right, you have power when you know your strengths or your weaknesses. And you prevent people from having an advantage over you when they see something in you that you're not willing to admit. So take a little time to figure out who you are and what you really want to do. The last thing that I'll share on that note is that that is one of the base ideals for my book Plan To. When we talk about helping an athlete or anyone really attain the best mental health, it is about being in alignment. It's not just having a job or a career and doing something every day that you hate, it's figuring out that thing that brings that light out of you and how to use your gifts for good. That is how you move forward with the best mental health. So know yourself, get to know yourself.
Deneen L. Garrett 21:46
And I love that I love all of that I love you know, look for that light, bring that light out on you and, and you tied into mental health, right? Because that is definitely something that we need to be aware of. And we need to make sure that we're taking care of that as well. Right? We're, you know, people will take care of physical health, you know, go to the doctor for checkups, but not often taking time to check in make sure are we okay, you know, we really okay, and
Tywanna Smith 22:11
are you really right?
Deneen L. Garrett 22:13
Right? Are we really okay? And are you speaking to whomever you need to speak to? I'm definitely an advocate. As you mentioned, mentors, I'm about mentors as well as coach, right, getting that coach, athletic coach, personal coach, life coach, mental therapist, all of that, tap into it right tap into it and get what you need to be your best self to shine as brightly as possible. So Tywanna Smith, I so appreciate this conversation. Again, congratulations to you working on your doctorate. And this, you know, it really, what's so key is that you learned early, what you wanted your life to be and you, and you set out on that path. And that's a great thing. It doesn't matter what time we figure it out. It's a great, you know, it's great when we do figure it out. So kudos to you for figuring it out in high school. And thank you so much for your time
Tywanna Smith 23:07
into I appreciate what you do.
Deneen L. Garrett 23:12
Thank you so much. So for those who are listening or watching, thank you so much for coming back. This is season four. I'm so excited. Yeah, starting this, this, this thing, this has been a great journey. So I appreciate everybody. So continue to watch, continue to listen, share with other people. My focus is to elevate the voices of women of color and to empower them to live a dream lifestyle. In order to reach them. I need help and that's where you can come in. So thank you all so much again, to want to Smith. Thank you. And we talked about Monique AJ Smith if you want to check out her episode, it released on November 4 great conversation. We really talked about a lot of the things and so again, and that's how we have to want it today. So again, everybody in Tywanna, thank you so much and enjoy the rest of your day.
Tywanna Smith 24:03
Thank you. I appreciate you
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Award-Winning Sports Manager / CEO / Best-Selling Author / Speaker
Tywanna Smith is an award-winning sports manager, best-selling author, speaker, and former professional basketball player. For the past 15 years, she has served as a financial and business advisor to nearly 50 NBA, NFL, WNBA, Euro-League, and Chinese Basketball Association athletes as President of The Athlete's Nexus. Her first book, “Surviving the Lights: A Professional Athlete’s Playbook to Avoiding the Curse,” has been featured at the L.A. Times Festival of Books, the Black Student-Athlete Summit, and the NFL’s Careers in Football Forum. Smith has been recognized as one of Ole Miss' Top 40 Under 40 Alumni and Mississippi Business Journal’s Top 50 Under 40 Rising Business Leaders. In addition, she has been featured in Forbes, NerdWallet, and HuffPost. Smith is currently pursuing her doctorate at The University of Memphis, where she is researching effective professional development programming for Black athletes. Learn more at www.tywannasmith.com.
Here are some great episodes to start with.