DiscoverBuild Your Network609: Tom Austin | Lessons from the Rise and Fall of And1
609: Tom Austin | Lessons from the Rise and Fall of And1

609: Tom Austin | Lessons from the Rise and Fall of And1

Update: 2021-05-26


If you’re not getting knocked down, then you’re not trying hard enough. Tom Austin is a seasoned entrepreneur and currently partner in several technology start-ups. He is the CEO of Confidently, a personal, pocket-sized, confidence coach developed by a team of PhDs with decades of experience coaching elite performers.

Part of Tom’s track record was becoming Co-Founder of AND 1, a well-known, global basketball apparel brand. He was instrumental in evolving the AND 1 business strategy and brand for nearly a decade and built AND 1's footwear department from basically zero sales to just north of $200,000,000 annually! These days he is currently writing screenplays, advising start-ups, and consulting.

Let’s dive right in and learn Tom’s top lessons from the rise and fall of And1.

Things you will learn in this episode: 

[00:01 - 08:54 ] Opening Segment 

  • I introduce today’s guest, Tom Austin 
  • Bio 
  • Be sure to check out and start booking
  • Tom gives some background on his story 
  • Growing up in New England 
  • Parents 
  • Growing up with a love for sports 
  • A push towards education
  • Always wanted to play in the NBA 
  • College experience 

[08:55 - 33:19 ] Lessons from the Rise and Fall of And1

  • Tom talks about what he learned in his time in And1
  • Teamwork - The importance of team alignment
  • Competition - You will experience setbacks - learn from them 
  • The value of practice and breaking things down
  • How Tom defines success
  • Am I and my family healthy and happy?
  • What am I doing that is a net positive? 
  • The And1 timeline and experience 
  • Tom talks about his transition into finance and entrepreneurship
  • Networking within sports and athletics 
  • Going into a business partnership 
  • Pivoting into the And1 business model 
  • The beginning stages of And1
  • Expectation vs. reality 
  • Transitioning into basketball niche apparel 
  • Starting with t-shirts and pitching them to retailers
  • Landing a meaning with Footlocker 
  • Always willing to learn
  • When And1 started to catch on 
  • Going all in 
  • Getting a $600,000 order 
  • The start of the Street Ball line - playing to endorsements
  • Finding your flavor 
  • The fall of And1 and its lessons
  • Getting worn down on work 
  • The issues in HR, systems, and market changes 
  • Maintaining your infrastructure 
  •  A word from our sponsor

[33:20 - 40:09 ] Access to Your Own Person Performance Coach

  • Tom talks about his next steps after And1 ended 
  • Getting back into a centered state 
  • Going back to grad school
  • Getting into filmmaking
  • Tom shares about his newest business - Confidently 
  • Coaching from sports psychologists 
  • Giving people their own personal performance coach 
  • Lessons people can learn from accessing the app 
  • Getting excited about the team and the domain area
  • Seeing everything come together

[40:10 - 50:34 ] Closing Segment

  • Where to learn more about Tom’s 
  • Links below 
  • Why people don’t build relationships
  • Depends on where you’re at 
  • Strong and weak ties 
  • The difficulties of finding a deeply trusted person
  • Questions to ask yourself 
  • Who you know or what you know?
  • It depends on where you’re at and what you do 
  • RaNDoM RoUnD
  • How to engage with Tom
  • Links below
  • Final words 

Tweetable Quotes: 

“Having a team and being able to work and win together and having a common purpose, in what’s called alignment in the teamwork literature… All the teamwork related stuff is definitely number one.” - Tom Austin 

“You’re gonna get knocked on your butt, things aren’t always gonna go your way. So you got to learn from each thing - look at each set back as a learning opportunity.” - Tom Austin

“If I’m not getting knocked down, then I’m not trying hard enough.” - Tom Austin

Connect with Tom on LinkedIn. Go check out and get your own pocket coach. 

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609: Tom Austin | Lessons from the Rise and Fall of And1

609: Tom Austin | Lessons from the Rise and Fall of And1

Travis Chappell