Dirk Nowitzki: “Never be satisfied & always try to improve”

The former NBA player on how to maintain motivation and inner strength despite failures and what startups he’s looking for now as an investor

Our podcast guest this week is an overall legend and a true loyal Bavarian at heart who became a well-known name even outside the basketball court: The NBA superstar Dirk Nowitzki joined the Bits & Pretzels Networking Week live from his home in Dallas, Texas where he offered insights into how his career in basketball helped him grow as a person, accept any challenge that life might throw at him and the importance of staying humble by giving back to the community. He also shared how his mentality of always trying to improve and never be satisfied is also transferable to the business world and how especially young entrepreneurs can benefit from this mindset.

And even after retiring from professional basketball just last year, Dirk Nowitzki has kept his “don’t put a ceiling on your limit” attitude up and is now venturing into the entrepreneurial universe by dipping his feet into investing - a world he is excited to explore further. As an investor, Dirk Nowitzki is looking for all kinds of startups like a cyber defense company for example and is definitely not limited to just sports related startups. 

During his conversation with the Bits & Pretzels Editor-In-Chief Britta Weddeling, Dirk Nowitzki shared some of the biggest lessons he sometimes had to learn the hard way and can be beneficial to all aspects of life: 1) utilize your failures as motivation and as stepping stones to your personal success, 2) have someone in your life who will guide you by taking on the mentor role and of course, 3) never be satisfied with the result, always try to improve, learn more and work even harder!

02:52 The need to adapt as the game always evolves 
04:19 How to find a balance between work & play (or in Dirk’s case: play & play)
07:16 Dirk on how to stay humble despite enormous success  
12:55 A way to find motivation after setbacks  
18:55 How life looks like for a retired NBA superstar 
23:36 Dirk Nowitzki’s new challenge: The investing world 
24:32 What startups is Dirk Nowitzki looking for? 
26:14 How to navigate the responsibility that comes with a big platform 
27:52 Dirk wants you to know: “Don’t put a ceiling on your limit!” 
30:30 Why the ability to focus comes with experience 

Production: Regina Körner, Migo Fecke (professional-podcast.com); Sophie Dechansreiter & Dina Zhakupova