Have you ever wondered what happens to professional athletes after retirement? Sure, the media keep us up to speed on the lives of the superstars, but not everybody is a Michael Jordan (coach, owner, serial endorser) or Ryan Leaf (troubled soul, convicted felon). We hear about the triumphs and the tragedies, but what about the rest?

We tapped the Maven network, which includes a surprising number of former athletes, to find out.

Steve Johnson is a former NBA player. He was in the league for 10 years, playing for several teams including the Kansas City Kings, Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs. Today, Steve serves as Yacht Charter Specialist and Editor in Chief for The Best of Yachting, an organization founded to deliver the most current, comprehensive, and valuable information regarding the world of luxury yachting.

Steve took some time to give us insight into the yachting world and share the ups and downs of transitioning from sports to business.

What does your role as Yacht Charter Specialist for The Best of Yachting entail?

I facilitate the ultimate luxury vacation experience: private yachts to exotic destinations around the world. Whether it’s an 80-foot power boat based in the Caribbean for the holidays or a 200-foot (or bigger!) superyacht for viewing the Monaco Grand Prix, with access to fully crewed charter yachts of all sizes and price ranges, I can match any request.

How did you become involved with destination yachting?

A friend of mine knows the Marketing Director for Christensen Yachts and asked if I would be interested in taking a tour of the shipyard. When I agreed to the tour, I wasn’t expecting to see five mega yachts – the size and luxury of the yachts literally swept me off my feet. Once I stepped aboard, I did not want to get off. I decided then and there that I would become part of the yachting world.

What is the most interesting part of your job?

Getting on the boats. Unless you have been on a yacht, it is hard to fathom how amazing it is. 100-160 ft. yachts make up 60% of the market. I have had the opportunity to board a few 200 ft. boats. The boats never cease to amaze me.

What was the most difficult part of the transition from being a pro-athlete to a businessman? 

In sports you compete and you know right away if you won or if you lost. In business you don’t know right away – you have to be patient and find out later on. It takes a lot of time to start a business and even more time to gauge whether it is successful.

 What advice would you give to other former professional athletes transitioning to the corporate world?

  1. Focus on surrounding yourself with good people.
  2. Don’t be too quick to spend your own money.
  3. Put yourself in a position where you can learn.

Thanks for sharing Steve! To book your luxury yachting experience, visit The Best of Yachting website.