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The American Dream Is Alive, But It Doesn’t Come Easy: Sports Memorabilia CEO

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Brandon Steiner lives the American Dream.

He founded Steiner Sports Marketing, one of the largest sports memorabilia companies in the world, more than 20 years ago.

Sports legends like Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter and Arthur Ashe have collaborated with Steiner on various deals and transactions. But Steiner wants people to know that his success did not come easy.

He grew up poor in Brooklyn, N.Y. and hustled to make money as a young boy. His mother Evelyn had to support Steiner and his brothers when their father passed away at the age of 48. Watching and helping his mother work long hours at her hair salon instilled a deep sense of responsibility in the young Steiner, and his mother's motto "You gotta have balls" has stayed with him throughout the years.

Steiner decided to share his mother's business strategies and admonitions in his new book "You Gotta Have Balls," which he openly acknowledges is a "tribute to my mom and all the lessons she taught me."

Steiner says his mother's favorite saying may have hardened his resolve to be a successful businessman but pursuing his goals did not come without failure and hardship. He resoundingly believes that the American Dream is "alive" but notes that overnight success rarely happens, if ever.

"Sometimes there is a get rich quick scheme," Steiner says in an interview with The Daily Ticker. But "if you're really committed to something, just be prepared to put in 12 to 15 years doing it."

Steiner says budding entrepreneurs must be diligent, creative, curious and be able to "think outside the box." But passion above all will separate the winners from the losses, he argues.

"If you want to have something very successful...it starts with commitment," he says. "Commitment leads to passion. So make a commitment. You may not think what you're doing is the end all...but make that commitment and it will lead you to passion."

As Steiner transformed his fledging business into a sports empire he developed his own sense of guiding principles. He refers to these rules as the "6 truths of business":

1. What Else?

2. Know How To Turn Your Busts Into Boosts

3. Capacity Is A State Of Mind

4. Win If You Can, Lose If You Must, But Always Cheat

5. Truly Commit To What You Do

6. You Gotta Have The Balls To Take Risk

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