If you’re one of the millions of Americans who work more than one job, you already know that it can be hard to make ends meet while juggling multiple schedules and trying to find new opportunities to improve your cash flow. But luckily, basketball legend-turned-master investor Shaquille O’Neal is here to help.
O’Neal invested in Steady, an app that helps connect people with new work opportunities and financial services. The app, co-founded in 2017 by Adam Roseman, Michael Loeb and Eric Aroesty, aims to give everyone the ability to maximize their income potential. I had the chance to sit down with O’Neal and find out why he wanted to be involved, and how he hopes the app can change the way Americans work for the better.
“A lot of Americans have to work two or three jobs just to survive, and I know what that’s like,” said O’Neal. “My father worked two jobs, my mother worked three jobs — and it’s all my fault. I was the biggest child in the family, and shoes were expensive, clothes were expensive, I ate a lot. When you grow up with parents whose main goal is to protect and provide, they would do whatever it takes to feed the children. So I’ve seen my mother wake up, make us breakfast, iron our clothes, go to work, come home, feed us dinner, take a nap, go do another job. Same thing with my father. And at times even that wasn’t enough.”
O’Neal, who acknowledges he was lucky enough to have a real talent for basketball, said he couldn’t make it working a regular 9-to-5 like so many Americans — which has given him a huge amount of respect for those who do.
“I’m embarrassed by saying this — I never had a job,” he said. “I had one job and I quit. My parents said, you babysit your siblings or you get a job. I wanted the freedom. I went to go work for Burger King for two days. I wimped out. I couldn’t handle it. That’s why I respect people that work 9-to-5. Luckily, I became a great athlete and became a basketball player, but I understand what people go through, and the trials and tribulations that they have when it comes to a job. I see people working at McDonald’s and Burger King all the time, and those are really my heroes — people that actually have to get up and do 9-to-5 work. My mother was like that, my father was like that. That’s why I show respect to everybody.”
At this point in his life O’Neal is focused on helping people and giving back. “This world is held up by the hard workers of America. Our motto [at Steady] is, it shouldn’t be hard to find work. And for a lot of people, it’s hard for them to get extra work. But we want you to come to one place: Steady. We want to help you get steady income so you can live a better life.”
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Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting of this article.