By: Alyssa M. Hagstrom | College of Business Marketing Student
Reggie Slater | Alumni| Former UW Basketball Player | Former Pro Basketball Player| Current Entrepreneur
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Reggie Slater, a power house basketball player from the University of Wyoming. He is a legendary athlete and now applying his skills from the court to the real world. Reggie is Wyoming’s all-time leading rebounder and one of Wyoming’s greatest players ever! He is the first player in WAC history to win three consecutive rebounding championships. After leaving Wyoming, he became a successful professional basketball player for the Minnesota Timberwolves, and one team close to home - The Denver Nuggets! (Athletics, 2015). Reggie Slater graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1992 with a degree in Liberal Arts; however, during his college career he had plenty of mentors from the College of Business.
As a professional athlete, Reggie knew there was a life and income he had to think about after his pro career. During his off-season he invested into lube companies because everyone is always going to need their oil changed, and it is simple. Currently, he owns 7 lube companies and his short-term goal is to own 10. Reggie stated,“It is natural to be a business owner for me because; business= strong team building +strong goals + discipline + leadership.” Now, he owns a private gym for sports teams to rent out for tournaments or any other needs. The gym predominately is reserved by club volleyball teams during high school and middle school club seasons. Reggie is currently trying to sell his business to have more family time and to fulfill other goals.
Reggie said, “If you want to be a successful entrepreneur you have to do things most people won’t.” It is tough when people say “you can’t” or do not have faith in your dreams. When the job gets tough it is difficult to think positively, especially with negative energy. The challenge was getting away from the people who didn’t believe in you. You need to hang out with the people who talk business and want to help pursue positive dreams! You have to believe in yourself, your product, and in your dreams. The process is challenging and you will get squeezed and pushed to your limits, but you have to focus on the prize, not the process.
“I never want to create more followers, my goal is to create more leaders.” To be successful you have to change who you hang out with. The people you need are the ones who surround themselves with people who will push them forward. Being successful guides you to hang out with people who are accountable, responsible, and honest. To be successful you need a strong and powerful team. For employees to be successful it is important to place them in positions where they will excel! “You wouldn’t put a blocker in a defensive specialist position”- Reggie (Volleyball Terms). When your employees do great things managers need to encourage them and make their employees shine. As an entrepreneur you will not be great at everything, and that’s why you want to hire people who can excel in their particular positions to build a strong team. A great quote by Reggie Slater regarding everyone being great at something, “whatever you focus on the longest, you’ll be the strongest.” If you want to succeed you have to invest the time to be great at it. To be successful you have to be smart, know what you are doing, and where you are going. You always have to remember, “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”
If there is a downturn in a business, leaders will capitalize on those ideas. If the average person will wake up one hour before their normal rest cycle for a year it results in six and a half extra 40 hour work weeks in a year - time that could be spent working on your goals to make YOU better. Pretty interesting huh? Another great quote by Reggie, “Coal forms after Pressure.” Pressure squeezes what you are to who you want to become. Your pain becomes your pride. People with power are attracted to people with potential because they were in your shoes at one time. They want to create leaders and lend a helping hand.
The overall prize is worth the sacrifice. You need disappointments and people to tell you you’ll never be something great; because with those discouraging words you can turn it into your motivation. Then you will push to be the best you that you could ever dream of.
Thank you to Reggie Slater for his time and willingness to give back to the UW and the College of Business. He is truly an inspiration to many young business professionals and athletes. If you have comments or questions for Reggie please post them below!
Athletics, W. (2015, July 13). Hall of Fame . Retrieved from http://wyohof.com/?players=reginald-slater.