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True Hoops Stories with Dre Baldwin: Beyond the Hardwood

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Like many, I first came across Dre Baldwin looking for ways to improve my game. His skill training videos were excellent and informative, but there was more than just basketball skills. Dre ended his videos with his catchphrase “Work on your game”. Something that we should all take to heart. Although his videos were becoming increasingly popular he always pushed the number one way to improve was to get off the computer and get out and just do it, or simply “work on your game”. Now with his brand Dre still continues to encourage those who watch his videos to go out and apply those skills in real life. This week I interview Dre Baldwin and see the man beyond the basketball court….

1)   So that YouTube video really blew up huh? 

I don’t know if you’re referring to one video in particular, but the concept of YouTube videos has changed a lot of things in the world in general — people now can build brands, businesses and entire marketing campaigns around YouTube videos. I was one of the early adopters of the site, as far as publishing, and it has played a huge role in building my brand name. The videos made my name big, yes, but the act of actually doing the work, publishing 4,000+ of these to date, was my doing.

2)   What would you consider to be the most rewarding experience from your platform? 

The number of people I have been able to reach with my messages. I always knew, way back when I had a very slow desktop computer that made noise when you tried to load webpages, that I had ideas I wanted to put out there. I didn’t even care if anyone read or listened or watched, I just wanted to put it out there. It turns out that there are a lot of people who identify with my messages and it is a great feeling to receive the positive feedback.

3)   Have you ever gone back to the beginning and watched how your career has taken off?

I feel I am in a good space, and I also know I have a long way to go. Nothing that has happened is anything I didn’t envision form the beginning, and there is a lot more to that vision that hasn’t happened yet. My name is still only known in a niche market of YouTube and the Internet, and many only know me for basketball-related content. I can still walk into a Starbucks alone and not be noticed, so I need to keep working.

4)   What unique things have you learned about yourself from having your journey recorded?

Great question. I can see the evolution of my playing skills — the real reason why I started recording in the first place! Sometimes I watch a video and marvel at one of the moves I did or wonder if I can do one of those dunks now, haha. Other than that, I like to look at some of the ideas I’ve shared and use them to remind myself of the principles just as much as I make them for the public. When I speak on motivational topics I’m talking to myself just as much as I’m talking to everyone else. My communication skills have improved: Getting an idea across in a way that anyone can understand, even if they’ve never watched a basketball game in their lives, which is always my goal.

5)   Today, you are more than just a basketball player and a writer. Can you explain what that evolution was like? 

Always a part of the vision. I’ve never seen myself a just a basketball player or a coach or trainer — there are thousands of those — and I always want to have my own space where no one else can say, “me too”. I’ve been a writer and speaker my whole life, so it was only a matter of time and opportunity for when I would get more into those arenas.

6)   What experiences have surprised you the most that was opened from basketball?

Nothing has really surprised me. I knew overseas basketball existed, and being able to see 8 different countries all because of playing ball was a great experience. What is really great, though, is to use my notoriety in basketball to open up other opportunities. Many of my fans never read books until they read one of mine. Many of them know that a career in basketball won’t happen for them, but they can learn about business from me when they see that I’m more than an athlete. So, being able to open people’s minds to other things after using basketball to open them to my influence has been fantastic.

7)   How much of your success do you attribute to sports?

A large amount, as I alluded to in the previous answer. Someone who has never read books outside of school will watch me on YouTube and become a fan. And then, when the basketball player he likes writes a book, he’ll read it because I wrote it. Now he’s interested in reading books, which can change his life in so many ways. There are kids who have ideas in their heads that they are afraid to put out there — but when they see DreAllDay, the basketball player, blogging every day, now its a cool thing to do. That kid might be the next great author, but until he got the idea that it was OK to put his ideas out, we may have never known about him.

8)   How do you rate that success?

It’s a great thing to get people to see new possibilities for themselves and be the vehicle for it. I’m honored to be in this position.

9)    Are there any stories of ways you have been surprised in how much you have helped people since you started?

I hear from players, coaches and parents all the time with stories of how I have been a positive influence and that is great. From the beginning I could see that I had a unique angle, and coming from my background there was and is no one out there like me. I know I can reach people whom no one else out there can reach. There are other basketball guys, and other speakers, and other authors and entrepreneurs and everything else, but there is no combination of it all like Dre Baldwin.

10)                   With all of your videos have you considered formally opening some sort of training or fitness business?

I doubt it, but never say never. I am looking towards entrepreneurship opportunities that are not basketball-related, but I will always be attached to the game in many ways, even if I didn’t want to be! Haha. But I do want to be, so I’ll be around.

11)                   Any advice for those, like myself, who are looking to starting a business aimed at helping people become better athletes and people?

Find your voice and what makes YOU unique. The internet/YouTube/fitness space is so saturated now its crazy — a tough question I’ve been asked is how I would go about it if I was starting today. You must differentiate yourself from everyone else. And start with one person. Help one person, then another, and word will spread about you. Don’t try to get to 100,000 in one day. I heard 50 Cent say that if he ever did a show and there was only one fan, he would perform as if there were 30,000. And that one fan will become 5 fans at the next show, then 20, then 100. Focus on what’s in front of you.

 

12)                   What’s next for your brand? Any future projects you would like to share?

Nothing that I will announce but the DreAllDay brand is not even halfway to where I see it going at this point. Basketball will not be forever, though I may be on YouTube forever haha. I am working on some businesses that aren’t in the sports space and will be looking for some young, hungry people who want to help others and help themselves at the same time. Right now I’m looking for some people in South Florida where I reside and we will be expanding from there, so the young business-minded people reading this should reach out to me.

13)                  Where can people find more about you and your brand?

DreAllDay.com is my personal website. My main YouTube channel, of course, will always have new basketball content. I have an off-court channel that focuses on other topic besides bball. I am also on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.


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