The New York Times called Joe McLean “the money whisperer to the super-rich NBA elite,” but when McLean was younger, he thought he would be on the other side of the equation.

“My personal dream growing up was to play professional basketball,” McLean told Clelia Peters, president of Warburg Realty, in conversation at Luxury Connect. And he did — for a little while. Over four years, he played for 11 different teams in 11 different countries until coming to terms with the fact that being an NBA star wasn’t going to happen.

He left sports to focus on building his career in finance. Now, he’s the go-to money manager and financial adviser for many very rich, and often very young, athletes. “I found early on that part of my job is to protect my clients from other people trying to get in their pockets,” said McLean. “Because everyone is trying to steal their money constantly, from every direction.”

Watch the full video above to hear how McLean built his business, why it’s so important for him to be the “no” guy and what agents can learn from his strategies.

Don’t miss out on the latest Inman Connect videos published daily. Discover what’s next and grow your business by watching on replay or joining us at upcoming events for live learning and networking. Session videos, livestream and event discounts for Connect are all exclusive to Inman Select subscribers.

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