O'Neal earned an estimated $30 million from endorsements alone in his first year as a professional athlete. As he peddled carbonated beverages, athletic shoes, sports equipment, and trading cards, his endorsement income swelled to an estimated $70 million by 2001.
After finalizing his first contract out of college, he relished in spending one million dollars for the first time. He managed easily to unburden himself of the money in the space of a few days. "My first check was for a million dollars, which came to about $600,000 [after taxes] … I spent it all in about 15 minutes," O'Neal bemoaned to S. L. Price in Sports Illustrated. O'Neal then explained
that in addition to his many purchases of expensive clothes and an ostentatious Mercedes Benz with custom wheel rims and speakers, he paid some debts for his parents and purchased a Mercedes apiece for each of them. "Then the bank called and said, 'You're $200,000 in the hole,'" O'Neal recalled.
O'Neal branched also into recording, entertainment, and other industries. His personal entrepreneurial ventures include a record label and a clothing line. TWisM, by which he identifies his business projects, is an acronym for O'Neal's personal motto, "The World Is Mine." Overall, he lives a high-stakes lifestyle, which he funds exclusively from his outside ventures—according to O'Neal, he never spends his NBA earnings.