Celebrated Hockey Player Joel Samuels Shares the Secrets to Success

Joel Samuels

Written in partnership with S99

In Joel Samuels’s eyes, there are two kinds of people in this world: those with excuses and those with results. As a black hockey player, he understands success is not an accident or a coincidence. And he would know because he spent his life breaking barriers. A professional hockey player with a fascinating success story, he knows you have to work hard for what you want. As a black man playing “white” sports on ice, Samuels knows overcoming perceptions and stereotypes is difficult, but he has done it before and continues to do it every day.

Playing in a predominantly white sport as a black athlete from age 4 taught Samuels the value of developing a thick skin. He knew there was no option but to work hard if he wanted to win and become the best player on the ice. Determined to be the best player on the team and break records, he dedicated his time to training, going to camps all over the world, and continuing to excel from one level to the other.

Samuels accomplished many things over his career, including earning the George T. and Estelle M. Crowder Scholarship at Virginia Tech. He received his double major (economics) at Virginia Tech while elevating their hockey program through direct management from himself and his teammates. This came after the fallout of admins declining to support a budding team, but Samuels and the team were unwilling to surrender their dream.

Their tenacity paid off. Samuels left VT with a slew of accomplishments, including a 2x MACH Ice Hockey Champion (2011/2013), 3x Regionals Ice Hockey Participant (2011/2012/2013), Nationals Ice Hockey Participant, 2012 (1st time in VT history), and 2x ACC Ice Hockey Champion (2009/2010).

After graduation, Samuels moved to California and received his MBA at Chapman. He is part of the Anaheim Ducks organization and continues to secure his standing since arriving in California. That allowed him to elevate his hockey career, and he’s working to take it even further in the coming days. Samuels leveraged his physical abilities, accolades, and education to pursue multiple ventures, giving him the freedom to simultaneously manage numerous careers.

Motivation, discipline, and integrity are three pillars’ Samuels credits for his success. His motto is “I can, I will, and I did,” which he teaches his clients and friends.

The first principal Samuels shares is that you can do it no matter what it is. However, you must believe in yourself and your ability to make things happen. Samuels adds that you don’t need permission to follow your passion; just say “I can” and start chasing your dreams.

The second principle is going to work. Samuels says that once you’ve accepted the fact that you’re capable of being freaking awesome, you have to devise a plan for a full-on life takeover. “It’s kind of like goal-setting,” he shares. “Except instead of using words like I want, or I wish, that are passive, we’re focusing on action.”

Lastly, you have to execute your plans and objectives. “Anyone who is truly happy and has found happiness or purpose in their lives didn’t just talk about what they wanted to do; they did something about it,” Samuels concludes. If they did, he sees no reason why you can’t pursue what you want and succeed.

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