Michael Jordan’s ascent to billionaire provides lessons for those trying to maximize their wealth. 

One: Get a percentage. MJ’s licensing deal with Nike for the Air Jordan earns him a fortune in large part because in effect the former NBA great gets percentage of each of his branded basketball shoes Nike sells. The original five-year deal was worth $500,000 annually, plus royalties. The royalties now generate more than $60 million annually for MJ.

Two: Buy distressed businesses in great industries.

When Jordan became controlling owner of the Charlotte Hornets (then called the Bobcats) in 2010 the franchise was in bad financial shape and was reeling under the ownership of Robert Johnson. But MJ knew the NBA was prosperous and growing (he was an executive in the Washington Wizards in 2000 and as a minority owner of the Hornets in 2006) and thus correctly calculated that paying $175 million for a team that its current owner had paid $300 million for as an expansion team was a great, long-term deal.