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August 15, 2023 60 mins

Have you ever wanted to switch careers? And I mean really pivot? And maybe you have people telling you you can’t do it or you should just stay in your lane and keep doing what you’re doing? If you’ve ever struggled with this, or wondered what’s next for you, this is a guest you need to listen to.

 

Akbar Gbaja-Biamila joined me on That Moment with Daymond John to break down exactly how to pivot, the struggles that come with trying something new, the methods for finding success no matter what field you’re in, and more. Check out this all new episode to get the candid stories of:

  • Meeting Mark Burnett and participating in Expedition Impossible

  • Pitching himself to the NFL for the exclusive (think: only 20 players out of the entire league) opportunity to join their Broadcast Bootcamp - and what the experience was like once he secured a slot

  • The insecurities he faced when trying to find success in a new career path

  • The true value of unpaid jobs

  • How hearing “no” or getting laughed at fuels him to work that much harder

  • Facing rejections and turning them into learning opportunities (which is ultimately how he landed the American Ninja Warrior host gig!)

  • Balancing believing in yourself with not overestimating your importance to others

  • Using every opportunity to your advantage so that bigger opportunities organically arise 

  • Developing a healthy paranoia that ends up making you stronger in both your personal and business lives 

 

Host: Daymond John

 

Producers: Beau Dozier & Shanelle Collins; Ted Kingsbery, Chauncey Bell, & Taryn Loftus

 

For more info on how to take your life and business to the next level, check out DaymondJohn.com

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mark as Played
Transcript

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Sometimes people throw out lucky because it helps them justify
why they haven't made the move that you've made. You know,
there were certain things like all that time that I
was dribbling the ball and going out there and doing
all that work, and then that led to the NFL,
and those things didn't happen by accident. Luck is like
if I turned the corner and found a briefcase of
a billion dollars, that's lucky.

Speaker 2 (00:24):
What if I told you there was more to the
story behind game changing events? Get ready for my new podcast,
That Moment with Damon John will jump into the personal
stories of some of the most influential people on the planet,
from business mobiles and celebrities to athletes and artists. Offtball.

(00:46):
Welcome man, thank you for thank you so much for
taking the time.

Speaker 1 (00:49):
I'm glad man, I'm glad to be sitting just sitting
here chopping it up with you.

Speaker 2 (00:52):
Man. We gotta have fun listening. I had. I had
a great time with you on family feud by the
way I want, we want.

Speaker 1 (00:59):
I guess you go go go ahead and just throw
that out there.

Speaker 2 (01:02):
Huh No, I just gotta I just gotta throw it
right out there, and uh and you know, the talk
always gives me love. And the last time I was there,
we were talking about financial intelligence, children and my book,
and you guys have always given me love. So it
is it is truly an honor to always see you.

(01:24):
I've I've always been a fan of your stuff and
and actually I've always been a fan of you publicly
in the sense of your ability to pivot and and
all those things, because I I'm really not a huge,
huge sports fan, so I really didn't know all of
you at that time, but but since then I've been
a fan. So uh oddly enough. You know, when you

(01:45):
are on as a competitor on I want to show Expedition,
this is possible? Yeah that that was actually done by Mark.
Did you see Mark on that set?

Speaker 1 (01:58):
I did. I saw Mark the every first day we
flew into the Kingdom of Morocco, and it was just
kind of like, hmm, what is this going to be?
Actually I saw him, well, yeah, I saw him during
my little audition, and then I saw him again the
very first day and he just kind of laid it
out almost like a coach, like this is what you're
going up again. You're gonna be in the you know,
in the desert and all different types of terrains for

(02:20):
five weeks and he's just kind of given this whole
thing and if you don't think you can make it,
you can. I mean I was like, yo, man, this
is it. Kind of felt like I was back in
training camp and and that was it. That was the
I think that was the last time. I know. Actually
I saw him one other time. He flew in a
helicopter into remote part of Morocco and then that was
the only time I ever saw.

Speaker 2 (02:39):
Interesting. So Mark and obviously amazing, one of the most
well known producers in the world. You know, he's done
Apprentice Contender, Survivor, that show, and of course Shark Tank.
A lot of people don't know he saw off selling
shirts kind of in Venice Beach. Prior to that, he
was special he was Special Forces or in in London

(03:00):
in Europe, and uh, they say that Survivor's one of
the longest running shows. They say that he'll come on
set sometimes, and he doesn't come to our set as much.
I mean, we're a contained environment, but he'll he'll, he'll, he'll,
he'll whatever you call it, jump out of those helicopters
on the ropes and slide down. I know, a couple
of years ago he was still competing in the Iron Man.

Speaker 1 (03:22):
Wow. I didn't know that. I had no idea that background,
that that kind of gives a little bit of uh,
you know, background as to why he came in so hot.
And I was like, but it made me respect him
more like he wasn't he didn't seem like a TV guy.
He said like, Yo, this is for real.

Speaker 2 (03:37):
This is like straight Bride, straight gangster.

Speaker 1 (03:41):
Uh.

Speaker 2 (03:42):
You know, she was one of those Yeah, I'm gonna go,
I'm gonna go punk that TV executive and you all
all of a sudden find yourself, you know, tapping out
saying let me go. You know, so anyway, but but
the nicest man, uh, very very a man of faith,
one of the most as you know, and you and
I've never even talked about this, one of the kindest
individuals you'll ever meet on the planet.

Speaker 1 (04:02):
I've had a chance to you know, talk to him,
you know, multiple times afterwards, and you know, you know,
you talk about being a man of faith. I didn't
know that because you know, there's you know, in Hollywood,
there's just a diverse belief and you know, to even
say that you're a man of faith. Sometimes can people
can look at you in an awkward way, in a
weird way, and so so we were able to share that.
But I was surprised that he even remembered me because

(04:24):
there was a bunch of competitors there. We came in
fourth place and we did. You know, I didn't win
like I wanted to win, but he was. He gave
me so much in just that little bit of time
that we had to get in that five weeks time
and just being a part of that production, I learned
a lot too. I learned a lot about television in
that in that regards.

Speaker 2 (04:43):
I mean, I think that that that stands as we
go into this this this this conversation, there's a lot
of things to stand out about that. You learned a
lot you You obviously are are very competitive. You played
at the highest level of competition period, you know, but
you were smart enough to ask him those questions. But

(05:06):
also you were surprised he remembered you. There's a reason
you're here. People remember you. I'm not sure why. You
know why. Probably the story goal is that you know,
there was this kind of NFL boot camp where you know,
a lot of broadcasting camp and a lot of you know,

(05:27):
you know, they brought in I think twenty people or
something like that, or they applied. You took this opportunity.
How many people do you know applied to it? Was
there a limit of twenty or was there just only twenty?

Speaker 1 (05:38):
Internet now there was a limit of twenty, and so
you had to make a compelling case. You had to
write an essay as to why you wanted to get in,
and so I just took that time to write it.
I don't know how many guys during their off season
wants to write an essay to get into too broadcasting.
But you know, the truth is day man, like I
kind of saw after my third year, I knew things

(06:00):
weren't working out the way I thought. In my mind,
I thought that and believed that I was going to
play in the NFL for ten years, and you know,
I was gonna be all everything and whatever, and especially
too because my brother played before me and had a
tremendous amount of success, and I just thought I'm next
in line. Well it didn't work. It worked that way.
We're two different beings to two different types of athletes,

(06:23):
and so I started to really then start to think
about Okay, I'm gonna keep going as hard as I
can because I want to get to that ten years.
But I'm also gonna start seeing other opportunities. And when
that opportunity came, I made sure, like I think it
was due, you know, whatever day it was due, I
had my essay in the next day because I want
to make sure I got my name to the top
of the line, because I knew that there might be

(06:44):
big name guys who they would go, oh, of course
we were won this big name athlete in our broadcast
boot camp. Sure enough, I got the acceptance letter and
that was the start of my of my broadcast journey.

Speaker 2 (06:58):
Well, let's let's talk of that moment when you decide
to do that. Because the athletes, many of them that
I have spoken to in general, uh, you know, we
all we all try to emulate what we see out there.
And there's been some really great athletes who have paved
the way they get sports and these amazing accomplishments they've had,

(07:19):
but they paved their way as being broadcasters or Magic
Johnson and doctor J investors and various other things like that.
And I thought, from when I speak to athletes, a
lot of them are like they that's a natural PROGRESSI yeah,
I'm gonna be a I'm gonna be a sportscaster, broadcast.
I hear that all the time. And maybe they think

(07:42):
it's because of their name, and maybe they think that
that's a natural progression. But what I mean, how many,
how many? How many athletes? How many? How many players
are on one one NFL team.

Speaker 1 (07:55):
And fifty three fifty three guys on a roster, you know,
the NFL roster. You multiply that by thirty two, whatever
the math that is. I think they's close to what
sixteen hundred guys in the NFL, And every given year
there's about three hundred plus athletes that come in through
the draft system. So that means for all the young

(08:15):
rookies that are coming in, somebody's going out. So you
have that kind of that cycle that makes the NFL
what the NFL is. It's a young men's game, and
so you do know that, you know, very few will
get that opportunity to play. The ten years that I
was drinking for average careers two and a half years,
I'm throwing all that number, those numbers out because you
realize it's a flooded market and everybody wants to get

(08:38):
in and try to become this broadcaster because it feels
like the natural progression. It is because look, you've invested
over twenty years of your life in playing a sport
that you absolutely love and then to be able to
go back out there because you haven't invested much time
in doing anything else because this was the dream. And
so you say, okay, I've got this equity in knowledge

(09:00):
in sports. Let me take that and talk about it.
Not everybody can talk about it, not everybody can express themselves.
Not everybody's made for television. Right, there's a great combination
that you have to have. And you've seen this, you
know where guys get kind of trapped like I just
got to do this, I gotta do this, and they
think about nothing else, so they haven't invested in the

(09:21):
work that it takes to actually become a broadcaster. And
there's a process. It's not just I'm here, I've arrived,
because there are a lot of big name guys who
we grew up loving in sports that aren't on television.
And that's for a reason, and not because they're bad people,
but A it's not for them, or B it's just
not a skill set that they that they have.

Speaker 2 (09:42):
And so accurate about that, because I mean, if you
really think about so let's look at the couple of
careers that and you can elaborate on this that that
athletes and we're not talking about we're talking about purely.
Let's just so the NFL. I think there's a couple
of different areas right there. I want to either be
a coach or office, broadcasts or as thing. But if

(10:02):
you broke down the sixteen hundred on average per year,
there's athletes we all times ten, that's sixteen thousand people. Now,
even if you're a broadcaster, right, it doesn't mean that
somebody else from another genre, Stephen A. Smith or somebody
else like that, is not gonna still take your show.

Speaker 1 (10:22):
Yeah, it's competitive, it's super competitive, and there are only
a certain amount of spots that are open. Right. If
you look at the landscape of television, you know you've
got your major networks and then they've got people already
in those seats. So it's not like you know, there's
a room for a bunch of people. Every year. There
might be one or two opening, and some guys can

(10:43):
hold a seat for a very long time, and you're
sitting there like, man, that person's got to pretty much
die off or retire before I get that opportunity. And
by that time you might already be seven eight years
out the game, you know, So then why you?

Speaker 2 (10:58):
That's the question, right because when it, when it happened
and they had that opportunity, was it more like I'm
really gonna do this, or you know what, let me
just throw my hat in the ring. Because this is
one of the potential angles or or directions. I'm gonna go,
why you? And why did you do it?

Speaker 1 (11:14):
That's a great, great, great, great question, And I'm going
to open up about a lot of the insecurities that
I had. So you know, I told you that I
wasn't a big name guy. You google me, you look
it up. My stats were not impressive. I don't fit
the category or that that that model for what a
person transitions from from sports into into television because I

(11:35):
don't have the accolades that you can constantly refer to.
And but in my own mind, you know, everyone, you know,
if you're an athlete, you suffer from some level of
delusions of grandeur where you think you're bigger than than whatever.
And so I did this this program at the Wharton
School of Business through the NFL, and it was an
executive program business program, and you know, I wanted to

(11:58):
explore my option into business as well. You know, growing
up in the Nigerian household, my parents, you know, were
constantly talking about being both my parents were entrepreneurs, and
so I wanted I was interested in that. And so anyways,
I applied to to try to get a job an
interview at ESPN, and I'll never forget Al Jaffee and
Fred Brown they brought me in not because I played

(12:21):
in the NFL, but because they saw Wharton Business program
on my on my uh my resume, and they thought
this is odd. So they brought me in. And I'm
sitting here thinking like, you know, I'm about to be
on ESPN. You can't tell me nothing. And so I
go in and so they said, so we brought you in.
We just wanted to meet with you, just kind of

(12:42):
saying and say, yeah, I want to be the next
Stuart Scott and uh uh Stewart of excuse me. Fred
Brown stopped me right there. He goes, son, we already
have a Stuart Scott. We don't need another Stuart Scott.
He goes, so, what's your plan? Told him, I want
to be on ESPN talk about football. He goes, why

(13:03):
you Why shouldn't we let you on mare? And he
just called me out and I was just like, he goes,
what experience do you have? I'm like and I was
just stuck. I mean literally I was fried in this interview.
I'm like, oh my goodness. And he brought al Jackie in,
who's at a big head hot show at ESPN, And
they sat me down and just said, look, you need

(13:24):
to go out there and get reps. You can't just
walk in here thinking because you played in the NFL
that somebody's just going to give you an opportunity. We
really only brought you in because we saw Wharton and
wanted to see what you were about. And they gave
me a tour and told me to go, but that
in a bad way. It was like, we'll show you around,
showed me the satellite, showed me all the different studios,

(13:44):
and walked me out. And as soon as I got
back on that plane, I devised a plan. I go, Okay,
be real with yourself. You didn't have a big name
in the league. How can you get in? And so
what I did was I went back to my home,
my hometown, not my hometown, but the place where I
went to schools and Diego. I had a year with
the Chargers. I was a standout at San Diego State,
and I said, this is where people know me here.

(14:07):
Let me take the time to develop locally. I developed
locally at the local stations. I did that for free
for two years. I knocked on the door at NBC
for free, for free, free, I knocked on the door,
and I went and talked to the general manager at
the local NBC and I said, Hey, can I do
the postgame show for the Chargers and the Aztecs and
I'll do it for free. Hired me on the spot,

(14:30):
on the spot.

Speaker 2 (14:31):
Well, it wasn't a higher.

Speaker 1 (14:34):
Yeah, yeah, right right, that's true, that's true.

Speaker 2 (14:36):
I got you all day, I got you all day.
You want to hang out with me for free?

Speaker 1 (14:40):
So I did it. I did that, and I knew
that that was the only way that I was going
to jump the line to get an opportunity, because I
didn't think anyone else would compete with that. And so
that's what got me in.

Speaker 2 (14:53):
So, you know, and that's the whole purpose of that
moment right to freeze and not to brush over this
extremely extremely powerful things you've said here. And I want
to make it very clear because everybody here listening, whoever
you are, they want to pivot. I know, actors want
to be athletes, Athletes want to be actors, singers want
to be dancers, and dancers want to be singing. I mean,

(15:14):
this is just it's a natural progression, especially if you
are an A type personality. You are always looking for
a challenge. However, very important people don't usually do exactly
what you do, which is two things. Number one, hack yourself,
ask yourself the tough question, why the hell am I

(15:35):
gonna be in this room? Because they ask you something
we are what do you have for us? We already
have a what's senna? And I even noticed that with
the president of my company, Ted right. You know, I'll
have friends come up and say, hey, man, I got
this business idea for Damon, and I'll be like, yo,
make sure you're talking about man and whatever the case is,
and he'll ask them questions and they get insulted. Yo,

(15:56):
come on, Damon's my man. And you know what he says,
he goes, you know, Damn's your friend and true, I'm
only asking you questions if somebody else is going to
ask you, And if they don't ask you, they're already
thinking it. Wow, So do you want me to ask
you in person or do you want damon and I
have this conversation behind your back. Wow, And then they

(16:19):
have to sit back and say, damn.

Speaker 1 (16:24):
You know.

Speaker 2 (16:24):
We have this thing of when we have to justify ourselves. Yes,
I understand that that could be if you have to
justify yourself and said for the wrong reasons. Why I'm
not talking about that. When you have to justify why
you are qualified as a man, whatever the case is, right, man, woman,
whatever the case is. But when you have to justify
the value that you offer to somebody, those people had

(16:48):
a network that they have to be able to be
able to consistently put out information. They have very skilled people.
There you right now, at the moment nobody knew you.
Why is your opinion? Was it whether it's your voice
or your unique way of delivering it.

Speaker 1 (17:05):
Or your homework?

Speaker 2 (17:06):
Why is their of value? A lot of us don't
want to ask the tough question of why me, why this?
And why now?

Speaker 1 (17:16):
Yeah? And the other part time too, is the sacrifice.
There's a sacrifice element too, and.

Speaker 2 (17:20):
Are you ready to rock? And that's the next one,
because you know when you decided listen, whether nobody nobody
knew you or not, you're still You were still and
you are now, but you were still a star. You
were still somebody who went from team to team, somebody
who played at the highest level and the NFL was
behind you. Right. So I know people who think they're

(17:43):
just a star in the hood because you know whatever
the reason, right, because they used to because they were
known as the one who wore the freshest sneakers in
high school and they refused to work in a grocery
store in bad groceries. Right, What made you decide to say, yo,
I do this for free? Because you know, my buddy
Jay will say ego means edging God out right, because

(18:04):
you don't want to accept certain things, right, and you
you know your ego could have been Yo, that's aw ball, man.

Speaker 1 (18:13):
I heard.

Speaker 2 (18:14):
Even though nobody knows you're doing the refree, some people's
ego is so big that they like, man, I know that.
I know the head of that the local TV station
privately like this. Everybody, Yeah, you know, awkward missus superstar.
He over here working for free. He begged me for
a job, and that could have held you back from

(18:34):
even this chance. That this chance wasn't a guarantee. It
was just a chance, because they could have cut your ass,
just like in football the first week. What made you
put that ego aside? In the town that you are
already known, you were definitely a superstar in the town
you went to. What made you put that ego aside?

Speaker 1 (18:53):
I wanted it badly, honestly, because I like there was something.
You know, when you gravitate, you want something like a
little kid and candy store. Who wants something so bad? Heck,
he's even willing to steal it because he wants it
badly and he knows it's wrong. Right, I wanted it badly,
and so for me there was no pride really in
it or ego in it. It was just I was

(19:14):
hyper focused on it. And some people may say, well,
you know it's easy because you had money, you could
work for free. Well, yes, I did play in the NFL,
but I didn't make that kind of money that I
could sacrifice not working for two years, right, I mean.

Speaker 2 (19:27):
Who laughed at you? Who laughed at you the who who?
Because you know you being some who you are? Right,
it is kind of like, oh ah, you're returning home.
Some people could have said that. Some people are gonna said,
what the hell are you doing? You were fortunate enough
to get where you were. By the way, your brother
is much better than you.

Speaker 1 (19:46):
I got that a lot, so you.

Speaker 2 (19:49):
Oh, I'm gonna tell you to you right now. I
don't even know your brother, but I'm gonna tell you suck.
Just just a thought it at you?

Speaker 1 (19:54):
You suck?

Speaker 2 (19:55):
So what you're doing? Who laughed at you? How many
laughed at you? And even if they did, it's fine,
right even if it was one? How did you say?
I don't care, man, there's a bigger goal right now.

Speaker 1 (20:08):
You know. I'm sure there were people laughing at me.
But to be honest with you, I don't know who
laughed because I wasn't paying attention to them. I really
didn't pay attention to them because it was just I
was being surgical with it. I was just going from
one show after the next trying to get better. And
it's funny because damon, I would wait literally and sometimes
a couple of hours after the show for them to

(20:28):
give me my tape, and at the time it was TAKEE,
I was like, I need my tape because oh yeah,
we'll get it to you. I would sit there and
just be messing around, talking to everybody until I got
my tape because I knew that's what I needed. I
need to be able to compile enough tape and then
go back and watch myself. And I saw the progression too,
So there was nothing on the peripheral that mattered outside

(20:50):
of what I was doing. And I didn't have a
lot of distractions. I was a single man. I didn't
have anything going on, so I could just focus in
on that and develop that. And after two years, you know,
I got the next pump. And I remember walking meeting
Michael Wilbond, who's on part in the Interruption at ESPN.
I met him and his wife at an sb's event
and he told me, after I put in my two years,

(21:13):
and I'm thinking, all right, I put in my two
years for free, and he says, it will take you
about five years before you hit your stride in this business?
Are you willing to wait that long? And his wife
gave him a slap on and she's like, baby, why
would you tell him that? Why would you say that
to him and break that kid's heart like that. I
still remember we're in the back room and I had

(21:34):
just met Mike Tyson and my eyes were like wide open,
and then I saw Michael Wilbon and he told me that.
I was like, dang, I got three more years to
go before I hit my shrine. And as God is
my witness, almost to the mark of five years. Three
years later, that's when I got Ninjanem where I got
an interdup, where I got Ninjaview.

Speaker 2 (22:09):
That's when I got Ninja warrior it It and then
and that's where that's where you start to see and
that and that's what happens. You sort out the people
that don't have the endurance and that same business, right,
I think I think business is about five or six years.
Used to be eight. But with the advent of all
the way the things are, yeah, the way that things

(22:29):
are moving really fast, it takes about five years to
really about six to hit your stride. You know, you
know you're starting year one, year two, year three, you
hope to be in business. Year four you're starting to
correct the business. And year five and six you're starting
to grow the business. And then you're starting to say, Okay,

(22:49):
we got this, you know, and and I think that
that's critical. And so now Ninja, uh you know, uh
Ninja Warrior, Now, how did that happened? Was it because
you were a competitor Broadcat? Was it all combined? Like
how did you get to that level? And how many
rejections or how many things did you apply for? It

(23:10):
didn't have to be a rejection, maybe they had already
casted somebody. How many things did you apply to getting
up to that point?

Speaker 1 (23:17):
And tell me a lot that that is exactly what
I believe helped me get into the front door or
helped me get that opportunity for Ninja worried, But I
was doing I was working at the NFL network, and
at that point I felt like, man, I made it
to the NFL network, and you know, I'm catching my stride.
And somebody said, you know, spotted me on the NFL
network and say, hey, we should get this guy an audition.

(23:39):
I go in in audition, but you know, being in
Los Angeles, you going in on a million auditions. I've
auditioned for everything, right, and I got no a million times.
Of course, I'm exaggerating a little hyperbolic there, but you
get the point rejection after rejection. And it's an interesting
thing about rejection because after a while you can come

(23:59):
you can be a little bit and you can be
a little numb to it, right because it's like, oh whatever,
I gotta say no. So this time when Ninja came around,
I was just like, all right, I'll go on this audition.
But I was my mind wasn't like so I wasn't
so pent up like I gotta get this job, I
gotta get this job. I just came in there and
I just literally came as myself, and it was something

(24:20):
that I learned in that process because I'm a huge
WWE fan and so the inspiration of how I call
the Ninja Warrior calls is inspired by my youth of
watching WWE and listening to the announcers was my favorite
part of the WWE experience outside of Hawkogen and Macho
Man and those guys. But I went in there and

(24:40):
did my version of that, like just the way Awkward
would and I was just literally just clowning around having fun,
like oh my goodness, look at that guy. That guy
just swapped around like a popsy, you know, just just
going off and going crazy, walked out, think everybody's hands,
you know, shit, everybody's head cool, Thanks, guys, didn't even
think twice about it. And I get a phone call
two weeks later, say, hey, you're going to be the host,

(25:01):
you know, a host on American Ninja Warrior. And I'm going, wait, what,
like that's where so I think I came in there,
not like with my butt all tight and just you know,
so like focused to where I couldn't beat me, and uh,
it was the rejection that allowed me just to go
whatever like and so yeah, so the real meat was

(25:22):
able to shine through.

Speaker 2 (25:24):
I get that, and I think the people could take
away from that. Don't ever walk into an interview with
a tight butt. I think that that's what you're trying
to say. And but now all of a sudden, you know,
this thing is going great, and you have the audacity
to want to go and be, you know, on the
talk as a host. Now in the woria clearly a

(25:44):
lot of things that work with you. You know, you
are definitely a very competitive person, whatever the cases. But
now all of a sudden you're trying to go onto
a talk show and there's only a couple of African
Americans allowed in Hollywood. Uh, and now we're already busy here.
We got my we have Turry Cruz, we have Nick Cannon,
Terrence J and Damon John. You're definitely not as cute

(26:05):
as Damon John or as short as Damon John. Why
the hell would you want to go? How dare you
come into our area simultaneously? You should be have you
with what you got?

Speaker 1 (26:16):
Yeah, I will tell you that's that's actually what kind
of gets me going. I actually like when people tell
me you can't do something. And so there are a
lot of people and any people on my team at
the time that didn't believe in me doing it. And
the more you tell me I can't, the more I
pushed towards. I'll show you. For example, you and I

(26:37):
met a several years back, and you introduced me to
your literary agent, which I'm forever grateful. But at the
time I was with this mega you know, uh agency
that didn't believe in my book idea. And I went
and pitched my book to this mega Hollywood agency and
the agent was about twenty minutes late to the meeting,

(27:01):
laughed at me, sat back like, ah, yeah, whatever, whatever, okay,
and so it was your reference, Kirsten who sat with
me and said, we love this idea, we love it
and turned around and the book came to life, and
it was a pretty sweet deal for me. And it
was like, oh my goodness. Like but it was that like,

(27:23):
just because one person doesn't believe in you doesn't mean
that that's it. And no matter how big the name
or how big the title, and this was a big
Hollywood agency, I was like, so what. And so I
pushed through that and so I wanted to be able
to make that pivot because to me, it was it
was a I had a story to tell. B you know,

(27:45):
there was a lot that goes into it was a
new skill set for me. So just like you know,
transitioning into the talk, it was a new skill set
something that I grew up watching, you know, on ABC
at three pm Oprah Winfrey growing up. You know, I
was like, I would love to do this, and that
opportunity came around, I went towards it. When everybody says, no,
stay in this lane. And so I've had the thought

(28:06):
and the vision that I didn't want to just be
the guy who was a former athlete. You me mentioned
you know, Terry Crews. Terry Crews I think has done
a phenomenal job. Michael Strahan, who I consider a random
mentor who like transitioned out of sports and not necessarily
just being defined as just a one dimensional person. And

(28:27):
I think that's that's the society we live in, right.
You do have to be you have to have, you know,
a multitude things that you're able to do. And so
that's an area that I felt like I had a
lot to offer, I have a lot to say. I
wanted to be able to join the conversation, especially as
I sat back and watch the conversation become so confrontational

(28:49):
these days. It's just like you bloods or you crip.
Like you know, I grew up in a crypt neighborhood
and it was just like you one or the other.
What neighborhood do you live in? I'm like, how come
we just can't have a conversation instead of there's all
of this confrontation. And so that was my motivation, that
was the genesis of I want to get into the
talk show space because I want to be able to
add a different element to it, which is conversation over confrontation.

Speaker 2 (29:13):
Well, well, let me ask you something about how you
know I love the fact that and you're just like,
like I believe you. Just you know, you kiss another
frog until they find value, until you find the right frog,
or you go down the line. But the question becomes
when you get turned down by the big agency or
not even turned down. They just was like, you're not

(29:33):
when you go to somebody else, do you go with
what you currently got turned down with or do you
go in a room, look at the tape and say,
how do I reassess this delivery or my value proposition
for the next frog I'm going to kiss. Because some
people will say, all right, well I'm just taking this

(29:56):
over here. I'm just taking this over here. Well I'm
just taking this over here, and they don't. They're so
caught up on what they want to accomplish where they're
not thinking, how am I adjusting this for the next
person or people.

Speaker 1 (30:09):
I'm gonna tell you, the hardest person to get to
know is yourself. And that's because God has given us
all of us denial, and so we can deny the
things that are painful for us to realize. And I
think the greatest thing that ever happened to me in
my life is a having both my parents in the house,
but having my father as a person who just kind
of instilled discipline in me, and then making sure we

(30:33):
played sports. And it was making us play sports so
we could a keep us out of the streets, but
the discipline that came behind it. And there's something when
you play football, there's this word accountability and not only
just having people keep you accountable, but you have to
keep yourself accountable as well. And so when this agency
laughed at me, of course, it made me reassess my

(30:55):
delivery for the next time I had a story to tell.
I had to be honest with the story that I
was getting ready to tell, and it made me reassess
and redelivered. I didn't shift it a lot, but I
shifted enough to make it to where, you know, my
literary agent goes, I love this story. We can do
something with this.

Speaker 2 (31:13):
In mistakes, right, you know, we know that sixty five
percent of players are bankrupt after leaving the league. Now
that could be for various reasons. That could be three
years after leaving the league. That could be because they
were not a big player, and you know, they did
not make a lot of money as people perceived they
could have been a bench person. Or most likely they
didn't have financial intelligence because our country doesn't give us

(31:36):
financial intelligence in the school, And like you said, for
twenty years you're being taught and or you are being
the best physical and the mental and competitive specimen you can.
You can't learn everything at the same time. Or they
have the wrong people around them, and they think that
when they get to this level, everybody else is supposed

(31:56):
to handle it. Or maybe they're not taking advantage of
the programs at the and or the mentors that are
in there. Well, you know, what do you think are
a combination of the things that the young men and
women in sports don't maybe don't take advantage of them.

Speaker 1 (32:11):
They should. They should consider it's social equity, right, there's
this social equity that every athlete, no matter how big
a name you are, right, because that's kind of how
we are judged. There's this system of you know, you know,
your bench guy, your main guy, how much you get paid,
so on, so, but you all have social equity. So

(32:31):
whenever I talk to young athletes, I tell them I
don't care if you're the fifty third guy on the
roster and you're barely making the team. You can call
any CEO and I bet you you'll get a meeting
because like such and such player from the Seattle Seahawks
are from the Las Vegas Raiders want to meet with me.
This is interesting. I'll take this meeting. You're not just

(32:54):
going to get like you know, scooted away. They'll take
the meeting because you have social equity. So I tell guys,
while you're in the league and you have that platform,
utilize your social equity. But they don't see the value
in it because they see, you know, what kind of
name brand clothes they can wear on their chest, stend
their shoes, and the bags that they carry on the

(33:14):
plane and all the other you know, you know, crazy
stuff that they put value in. But that's the real value.
Because I'll tell you something, Damn the minute you leave,
I'm gonna call it two weeks after you're done out
of the league. Maybe that's too much time, but I'll
say two weeks. Nobody cares because they're off to sniff
the next jock. Just being I'm keeping it real. They're

(33:37):
off to sniff the next jock and they don't care
about you and you were literally and that's pretty cold
because it's it's weird because that's how I felt. It
was just like, whoa Like the same access I had
when I was playing, I don't have the same access
when I'm not playing. Wait a second, do you mean
to tell me I'm not like, you don't really care

(33:58):
about me. You care about my status, you care about
my you know, my affiliation. And I was like, and
so many players go through this depression when they leave
because they get a root awakening. And I don't care
how many m's you got behind your bank account, right,
there's still the person that you have to deal with.
And when you see people are off to the next

(34:19):
big thing and the next new star and they're not
responding to your phone calls the way they did just
a month ago, You're like, it's it's mind blowing. And
you start to, you know, try to try to reorganize.
And so I tell guys, it's underutilized, it's undervalue. Like
doing the off season, I know that there's so much pressure,
like you got to get better, you got to get better.

(34:40):
I mean, you can take two weeks out of the
off season to create relationships, to plan the vision of
where you want to be when your career is over
plant the seed. I'll tell you the story, because Troy
polam Malo, big time Hall of Famer. He's Troy pola Malo.
Troy polam Malo I was doing. I had a meeting
at this big production company and they make movies, all

(35:04):
the big movies in Hollywood and whatever. And I'm there
to take a meeting and this guy who runs his place,
he's an sc alum and so anyways, they said take
a seat and he'll come, you know, they'll come and
get you. And as I'm backing up to turn and
sit down a seat, I turn around and say, oh,
I said, Troy, what you're doing here? Man? He goes, oh,

(35:26):
I'm interning here. And this is in the middle of
his career. Like this is, you know, towards the end
of his career, but in the middle. I'm like, what
are you doing here? And you would and he's just
with a cup of coffees, just strolling through the thing,
you know, doing his internship there. And I'm like, this
is I mean, this is a guy who's not hurting
for cash, who's not hurting for status or anything. But
he's out there saying and tell I don't know what

(35:48):
if he was testing it or he was moving in
that direction. But I thought, this is how it's done,
This is exactly how sim But some guys just feel
themselves so much like you know, you get Nike and
Adidas and under Arment. Everybody just coming at you. We
want to we want to be attached to you. We
want to be attached to you. So you think that
everybody owes you something, that everybody should come to you
when you have the equity and the power and the

(36:10):
influence to go and you have the ability to do
the outreach.

Speaker 2 (36:15):
That is so powerful because of course me not knowing
the business. I mean, so I've always said something very
similar to one part of what you're saying, But I mean,
you just really brought it home. I always said, and
this may not be the same in football, but I
always when I talk to basketball players, I always say, guys,
you know you got you got rows of people front

(36:36):
the first three rods that are really wealthy. They're very connected.
They have a lot of access to industries and various things,
and they know you. They got this season ticket holders.
And I know that that's different from you guys, because
you're further away. And I was like, why aren't you
talking to them saying and even college wus right, Hey
can you give me advice? Or how can I be

(36:57):
of service? And whatever the case is, to get to
know them, because they don't need you, and to get
to know them. But I think that you said something
even way more powerful. You don't They don't have to
be the front line. You don't have to be right there.
You can call somebody on the other side of the
country because you have a level of interest in whatever
their businesses are.

Speaker 1 (37:19):
If the fifty third man on a team, let's just
say I don't know Cincinnati Bengals and you get a
call to you know, either to you or your assistant
and says, hey, such and such from the Cincinnati Bengals
want to wants to meet with you. How do you
respond to that? Honestly, like on the spot, how would

(37:40):
you respond to that?

Speaker 2 (37:42):
I would say, what does you want?

Speaker 1 (37:44):
You want to learn how to start a business?

Speaker 2 (37:47):
I would say, probably send him over to one of
my guys or let me ask my guys about him.
But that is way different than somebody who may not
be because of somebody who was not from the Cincinnati
Bengals fifty third player. I always say, please go to
damon and damage on dot com. Please put in there

(38:10):
what your intent is and if we have a level
of interest so we feel that we can add support
a value, give you resources, will send it to you.
But it definitely wouldn't have been sent into one of
my guys or girls because I can't do that all day.
So yeah, they would. They would get to the point
where and if they do have something of value, you'll

(38:30):
get right to me immediately. The other people most likely,
because I get one hundred of those calls of a day,
I would have to put them into a certain area
where we can hopefully, you know, extract exactly where we
can be of service. If not, I'll just be.

Speaker 1 (38:44):
Talking no, no, no, you're right and your time is valuable.
And you just said something that I forgot to add
to that, which is I tell people to do the
homework and figuring out what it is that they want.
It's like the homie that says, hey, yo, and I
get this all the time, yoh man, hook me up
with a job, and I'm going, okay, I know some people,
Well what is it that you want to do? I

(39:04):
don't know, I'll do anything. I'm like, well, what's anything?
You know what I mean? Because you're you're having me
do your homework, and I say, you haven't given me homework.
But if you tell me, hey, I want to be
a producer, I'm really good at producing. I can get
you right to that person that you need. But if
you're wanting me to do the homework, so yeah, before
that person the fifty third man comes to Damon John,

(39:26):
if he knows exactly what he wants and he's done
the homework to get himself to the level where he
can grab your attention, then I think it's their highly
likelihood that you get the CEO or whoever it is,
because they go, oh, this isn't just a player who
wants to take my time. This is a person who
actually has done the homework to get it to a
certain level, to get my to get the meeting.

Speaker 2 (39:47):
Man, it is fun on you going back to us saying,
ask yourself a tough question, what the hell did you
add value? Because I get that, you know what I mean,
I get hooked me up at a job. I go, so
you just think jobs are laying around him, and if
they were laying around here, they're not filled. It's almost
like me coming up to you and saying, hey, man,
sell me something. Well, what do you want? You want

(40:09):
something to eat, you want a vacation, you want someone
to want sell me something?

Speaker 1 (40:14):
Wow, what you know?

Speaker 2 (40:16):
And and and and so I think that's a very
very powerful, powerful point what you're making about that. But
then I think there's something else that I never realized.
You're right, why the hell would you call? Unless it
is a Michael Jordana Mouhaman ALII or anybody like that.
But once you're right outside the league, why would anybody

(40:37):
want to pick up your phone?

Speaker 1 (40:38):
Called?

Speaker 2 (40:38):
Two weeks after and and and do people just feel that,
no matter what, I'm going to be so good that
everybody's going to pick up my phone forever because they
get high with the with the calls that are happening today.

Speaker 1 (40:50):
That's it's called intoxicated by their own greatness. A lot
of athletes are intoxicated by their own greatness. And my
high school coach put this in my head, and it's stuck.
He goes, stop reading your ink, don't read your ink.
He would always say that, and it was like, you're
drinking the juice, you're drinking the kool aid. And he

(41:11):
was saying in this comical way that just it's stuck.
And I was like, because when you drink your own
kool aid, you can become intoxicated by your own greatness
and where you think forever people are going to take
my call, and then you realize no one's responding, and
so you've literally taken the equity from the social equity
that you've developed playing in the league, because look, the
NFL shield is a big shield, and people recognize that shield.

(41:34):
You say such and such from the NFL. Now, that
will only get you so far. The rest of it.
You have to do the internal work to do it
and have a vision as to where you want to go.
And I think, you know, for me, it has been
being hyper focused on the direction that I want to go,
and I spend a lot more time, you know, for me,
I go over. I spend the idea before I spend

(41:57):
the time or money. Right, so I'm always spinning the
idea and trying to get into a place where I'm going, Okay,
I'm ready to move. I'm ready now to put this
thing in action, rather than just trying to do busy
work and not going yet not going, not going.

Speaker 2 (42:10):
Here, And you know, people think that people think that
what we're talking about a purely NFL Basi's not because
it's it's it's you know, two weeks after you leave

(42:33):
a certain job, you leave a community. But also we're
not we're past the two weeks before you leave the NFL.
You know, we're in today. We're in the We're in
the era today when you're one tweet away from the crackhouse,
even if you were in still in the NFL, and
they're gonna stop calling you right because we literally can
endanger ourselves to the question that I have there is

(42:55):
how many of the relationships that you had seeded some
level of interest, whether it's ESPN, whether you're in Ninja
War and you're talking to other producers, that sooner or
later would pay off later on, you know, with the talk,
how many of those relationships did you see that ended
up paying off in one way or another two, five,

(43:16):
ten years down the road because you took the time.
And it could even be a fan that was like, oh,
I'm just a very fan, and you're like, you know what, hey,
how can I help you? And then later on you
find out this is the son or mother or father,
or a wife or a husband of or that person
who grew to be great and said, you don't realize
that when ten years ago you stopped for a second,

(43:37):
we had a conversation. You didn't know who I was.
But you know what, today, here's who I am. This
is why I want to work with you. How many
of those seeds have you planted that ended up becoming
really amazing opportunities for a.

Speaker 1 (43:51):
Real big one was one that it was a deal,
a marketing deal that I got with Toyota. And about
eight years prior to getting the deal with Toyota, which
was a sizeable deal, I did a movie a what

(44:12):
are those small budget film thing? And they asked if
I were to do it, and they were looking for people.
Did it for free? I just did it? Just it's great.
I absolutely know.

Speaker 2 (44:22):
Man, you did a lot of you did a lot.

Speaker 1 (44:25):
Of shit for free.

Speaker 2 (44:26):
I'm Nigerian, but you do you do know this is
for free too? Just this okay?

Speaker 1 (44:32):
Yeah, no, no, but I'm assuming that next year you're
gonna you're dropping me one hundred million. That's right, right.
But that was one of those things that was just
very I was, I was on time. I treated everybody
around me, you know, with with love and respect, and
not that I wanted anything back, because I didn't do
it for anything back. I was doing because somebody was
in need, needed to help. And it would turn back

(44:55):
eight years later that this guy would be out of
the business of making movies and beca came working for
an ad agency, and in this ad agency, they had
a conversation and it was like, hey, we're looking for
this type of person, and he goes, I know a bird,
I know a guy and it was me and I'm
going wow. I was like, is that how it works?

(45:15):
You know? Like, but that was the first time I
had ever seen it come full circle. Sometimes you don't
know that that's happening behind the scenes because of the
way you treated someone. And yeah, for me, that one
I just so happened to know because my wife actually
got a call from his wife and saying, hey, congratulations
before my team even found out. She's like, congrat Like,

(45:36):
oh she and my wife broke it to me before
anybody from my team ever got it to me. And
I was like what. He's like, yeah, you remember that
thing you did a long time. I was like, oh wow,
I was like that's cool.

Speaker 2 (45:46):
So so yeah, lucky and I always say that no
such thing as luck. There's a you know, preparation, you know,
hard work, you know, meets an opportunity. Do we create
those moments in our lives or do those moments come
and we discover them? Because this is a there's a
book out right now. When somebody's asked me all the day,

(46:08):
they were like, hey, how do you feel about all
the amazing things you've done for hip hop and foobu
and all that stuff? And I go, I wasn't a
great designer. Putting a big as O five on a
shirt was not. You know, it doesn't take a lot
of skill. Somebody was going to do what I was doing,
regardless of Karl Kanin and Cruss Colors did it before me.

(46:28):
I just caught the dream, you know. And whether I
did it or not, disruption was going to happen. That
moment is something that I was prepared for when it
presented itself. But the way that you are really talking
right now, you're really you're really saying that you have

(46:48):
you kind of like made those the right moves to
create that opportunity. Which one is it?

Speaker 1 (46:55):
Because it's a combination, it really is, Because there are
times where you know, I feel like only two, by
the grace of God, that I've been in the opportunity
where I've been able to sit in the passenger seat
and have a really good driver get me to the destination.
And then I've been in the driver's seat as well

(47:16):
and trying to navigate and get to a destination. But
I think a lot of it has to do with
the prep work that you're talking about, because people throw
out lucky sound like I'm rambling, but I'm not. Sometimes
people throw out the term lucky that helps them justify
why they haven't made the move that you've made, so

(47:40):
it makes them feel better about them. So I had
this conversation with the relative and there was like, well,
it's just that you're lucky. I'm like, I grew up
in the same manner that we all grew up. And yes,
I mean there are certain things like all that time
that I was dribbling a ball and going out there
and doing all that work, and then that led to
the NFL, and those things didn't happen by accident. Luck

(48:04):
is like if I turned the corner and found a
briefcase of a billion dollars, that's lucky because I didn't
know work, I just kind of just fell into it.
But to be able to have that opportunity and then
to be able to have it there and to and
then to grow it or excuse me, to be prepared
and then to grow that that opportunity, that's that's hard work.

(48:25):
And so sometimes I think lucky gets it gets misconstrued, right.
So so it's a hard question to ask because there's
just so many different I think there's a balance in there.
There's a time that sometimes you're sitting, you're doing the work,
and someone's driving you, and that to me, to me,
that's you know, God always has a hand on everything,

(48:46):
but you feel the presence of God when you go
boy like the Ninja. I'll tell you right now, that
same feeling. If I just went out there and just
kind of had fun, or I didn't know what I
was doing. I was just going out there having fun.
I wasn't in the driver's man. I felt the hand
of God leading me towards this direction. And even then, damn,
let me tell you, my first year, I cringe. I

(49:08):
cringe because I sucked at Ninja. Oh my goodness. And
then I remember you know and.

Speaker 2 (49:14):
You and you knew it because you're in Hollywood, And honestly,
every nobody said no.

Speaker 1 (49:18):
They always well, I didn't know it because you know
in the IFB, you get the if B, the internal
feedback that's in our ear where you can hear the truck.
And so my first year is a funny story because
they hand me the first time doing a major production
like this, and their war drove in makeup and everybody's
in your face and here's a script and read I'm like,

(49:39):
what what what? And I was I was flustered as
heck right, and then they popped me up on the
stage and then going all right, you know that script
that you have to memorize, you got to recite it now,
And I'm like, oh shit, I never worked on any
of that stuff. And so they're trying to feed me
the line in my ear that's that's all jacked up, right,
And so I just remember somebody left their hands on
the button and like just get to the run, like

(50:03):
like oh, and I was like I can't hear it.
I'm going, oh, shoot, they hate me, Oh they hate me.
And so on the inside, I'm like just going through
all these emotions. And I had a little bit of
shine enough shine on the runs in calling the actual
live call that they felt like they could stick with me.
But then I told him, get a teleprompter. I'll do that.
I can read from a teleprompter, never read from a
teleprompter in my life, and I just, I mean literally

(50:27):
just crashed. I felt like a second grade dummy that
couldn't read anything. I couldn't read, I couldn't read the
word though. I was just stumbling all over the place,
right and in that moment, even though I've done so
much preparation, there was a lot of other people who
were involved in building up and helping me out in
that process, and I was in the passenger seat. So

(50:50):
I think there's two ways you can't get to it.
But you do have to have, if anything, the luck
to have good people around you who care enough about
you to invest in you as well. Because there were
a lot of people who invested in me as well.

Speaker 2 (51:04):
You know, I think that also what probably happened during
then is all those seeds you had sown of being
a very genuine person, a person who makes other people
feel special. They said, let's give you more of a
shot than others, because people don't realize if you piss
a lot of those people off. I mean, they have
jobs to do at the end of the day, and

(51:25):
they don't feel that they can communicate with you, and
you don't communicate with them effectively, Well then they're just
gonna move on to another target. And I think that
that there's so much to learn from this conversation. You know,
anybody in any position right now who wants to pivot
can take away to start seeding and start working with
the people that you can at the moment right to
take advantage of those things. Keep hacking yourself by saying

(51:48):
where do I add value and be ready to do
the job that others won't Because the line of everybody
getting paid, you know the rack rate, well that line
is tenth out and people are the people who are
ready to put in two years for free. Uh, that
line has four people on it all right, And I
think that that that what you're saying is so so

(52:10):
really amazing and for the athletes and whoever it is.
You know, remember when the lights go down or one
tweet later, nobody's picking up the phone. You got to
over deliver when you have that opportunity, and you got
to really work it as much as you can so
so so many moments, man, so many great moments to
understand the mentality. You know. I'm never going to bet
against you, obviously, because it looks like you know, you

(52:30):
really do the work, You humble yourself, and you make
everybody else feel special. Man, So so thank you for
sparing this time with us and giving us all this information.

Speaker 1 (52:39):
And I appreciate for having me. I really appreciate. This
is good. It's good to talk. But I do have
one question for you. I couldn't get out and that
have Yeah, man, sure, and it sounds like a very
cliche question, but what has been your ultimate your ultimate
secret to success? Because I like to ask the people
who I look up to and I see its successful,

(52:59):
but not only your key to success. What's your key
to being able to pivot? Because you went from businessman
to businessman and TV personality which isn't which isn't easy.
What's been your key to success?

Speaker 2 (53:13):
I think it's all the things that you When I
cover it, I have a healthy paranoia. I know that
I've been very fortunate to be here, and I know
that the younger, hungrier version of me is right in
the park. I'm not trying to eat my lunch. I
know that things are changing dramatically fast, and it's not
for other people to do Damon John's job. I have

(53:35):
to do as much homework on it as I can
to know that I'm being either given the right information
or moving in the right direction. And you got to
be a little vulnerable. You got to be able to
tell people, hey, I don't know that, or I need help,
or how can I be of value to you so
that you can be of value to me, or you know.

(53:58):
And last, but not at least make other people will
feel special. They want to. You know, people get intimidated
when you have people around them for any reason. Right,
I could be intimidated when I do public speaking by
the professors. The professors in some of these universes I
speak to have helped change the worlds. Right, They They've
written thesis and various other things. You know what I

(54:19):
do When I walk in there, I know I'm someone
intimidating to them, not because I'm so brilliant, because they're
kids who are with them for eight months out of
the year. Are like, man, Damon John's coming. He's an
entrepreneurial whatever whatever what, And these professors are probably like
you know what I used to work for. I'm an
economics professor who work for the president. These kids, how

(54:42):
dare they? I'm going to chop this guy damon up
when he comes in here. You know what happened when
I walk on that room, on that stage. I go,
I'm going to tell you what I know about entrepreneurship,
and nobody's going to be able to object. The only
reason why they can't object it because I'm only going
to tell you my story and what I've learned through
my story.

Speaker 1 (54:58):
That's it.

Speaker 2 (54:59):
However, I want to shout out the professors here who
are able to teach this stuff on whatever kind of level,
and these guys and the women and men can can
teach it to me. Thank you professors for what you do.
All of a sudden, you see those professors, they sit
up like this in the chair.

Speaker 1 (55:17):
Yeah yeah, boy.

Speaker 2 (55:20):
That guy he's fot on about everything he's talking about.
Make him feel special, man, make them just feel Everybody
wants to feel special. And if you don't even know
the person, you know how you make them feel special.
No matter what they're wearing. They dressed up that day,
hopefully right, beautiful dress. Wow, you look so elegant. Wow,

(55:41):
you look so classic. Wow, just make up. It takes
a second to make that comment. The first time at
President Obama, he wasn't the president of the moment. He
wasn't the president yet, right, And he said to me,
I tell people all the time, he goes, Damon John,
the greatest entrepreneur of our time, and I'm like, I
tell you, I'm looking around for Henry Ford. I'm looking

(56:04):
around with all these great entrepreneurs, right Carnegie, Right, I said, Wow, man, man,
I'm the man. I'm leaving. About two hours later, I
hear him in the corner somewhere so and so and
so the greatest entrepreneur by the time, Sarren.

Speaker 1 (56:19):
He lied to me. But you at least you got
something from that, though, He's like, I still feel.

Speaker 2 (56:29):
Especially you still hear me talking about it, don't you.
Maybe he just saw somebody that looked like maybe so,
maybe he's I don't know, someone who looked just like me.
Maybe one of.

Speaker 1 (56:39):
The I lied to you, See, I like to you,
he lied to you, And I'm gonna lie to you
one more question. You said, what stuck out to me?
There was the healthy paranoia most people and just keeping
it a hundred. Most people will look at you and like, man,
you got too many ms hundred millie two hundred million,
whatever it is a billion dollars behind you. How the
heck can you have a healthy dose of paranoia? Right? Like?

(57:04):
People think that and think, if you've got money, right,
then why should you be paranoid? What's the purpose of
having that paranoia?

Speaker 2 (57:15):
Well, because paranoid doesn't necessarily equate the money. Because the
paranoid to me, after facing cancer in twenty seventeen is
I may not be here anymore on the planet. The
paranoid to me is that with the money and all
that access and the resources I have, well, I see
my little girl every day and be able to protect
her enough and raise her to instill the values of

(57:38):
you just said, your dad and your mom, right, Because
will will my desire to serve the public or invest
in other companies take over the time and the energy
when I blink my eye, And this little girl doesn't
necessarily understand the value or see a mother and father

(57:59):
loving each other in a kind way and know how
to grow up and be a productive human being for
our society, or you know any other kind of paranoias
that could happen when you look and close your eyes
and say, who do I want to be in ten, twenty,
thirty forty years of how do I want my family

(58:19):
or the world to recognize or remember me? As So,
money is one hundred percent, you know, a motivator in
life in general, because you need it for resources, you
need it for various other things. But the healthy paranoia
can become you know what what I lost three friends

(58:40):
this year to things like cancer. If they had a
healthy paranoia, we don't know. But if they were on
top of their you know, you're a very healthy person.
They were on top of their game earlier on in life,
then they probably still be here. But they're not here,
and the money they had doesn't mean anything anymore. So,
my parent, it could be anything, whether it's your career,

(59:02):
whether you living righteously like you believe you should, whether
it is your family proud of you, or you an
abusive relationship, Are you toxic? Are you? You know, it
could be anything, and you have to take inventory. You
have to ask your some really tough questions. How am I?
If I sat on the edge of my bed today
and I had to say to myself, where am I
screwing up that I have to improve. I'm going to

(59:24):
find a couple of things, because nobody's perfect, and you
constantly keep fixing those things. But you got to ask
yourself those tough questions.

Speaker 1 (59:31):
All right, I appreciate it. I appreciate it.

Speaker 2 (59:34):
Thanks a lot, all right, Man, Well, thank you as always, Man,
and I love seeing you on TV. Man, and you
really represent so many different aspects of people who can
pivot or just raw talent and talent that has worked
on and just somebody who is always about communicating really
fun and great things and not about conflict, which I want.

Speaker 1 (59:56):
Thanks, thanks so much much much.

Speaker 2 (01:00:04):
That Moment with Damon John is a production of the
Black Effect Podcast Network. For more podcasts from the Black
Effect Podcast Network, visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or
wherever you listen to your favorite show and don't forget
to subscribe to and rate the show. And of course
you can all connect with me on any of my

(01:00:26):
social media platforms At the Shark. Damon spelled like Raymond,
but what a d
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