Football and venture capital seem like two worlds apart. How can they come together? What's the road to success and is it as rocky as others make it seem? Why should we learn to appreciate, embrace and learn from failure? We sit down with ex-NFL star and now successful entrepreneur Brent Jones to talk about winning, investments, competition, and much more.
There's nothing, to me, more powerful than a humble superstar. - Brent Jones
3 Things We Learned From Brent Jones
Coaches Are For Life
A coach's job is not to teach you how to win the next match, or how to get into the lists of your favorite teams. A coach's lessons have to stay with you for life and build you up as a person. Brent explained how his best coaches - one of which was his father - gave him not only the knowledge of how to become a successful sportsman, but also the experience and mindset of succeeding in the future beyond his career.
Competition Fuels Perfection
It's very often the case that you only recognize your true worth when compared to others. Brent talked about how a feud between two players in his NFL team sparked a competition, which the team's coach quietly fuelled. Brent pointed out that this made both players into stars and competing against each other was what motivated them to do better and better every day.
Losing is Inspirational, You Never Win Everything
Many people can find themselves giving up after one defeat. Brent talked about the importance of losing in order to appreciate your win. He mentioned not only losing the Super Bowl after riding on three previous wins, but also on how a car accident nearly cost him his NFL career before it had even started. Brent pointed out that if these things hadn't happened, he wouldn't be the man he is now. Losing builds your character just as much as winning does.
Sometimes it may look as if everything's going downhill and there's no way out. You should remember the way to success has never been easy for anyone. No matter what field you're in, try to find your strongest competition. They will inspire you to be a better version of yourself every day. Remember to always give back to your community and never betray your own roots. Everybody came from somewhere and had to walk up the hill to success while being a part of a community. Don't betray that community and, when the time is right, always remember to give back. It's not just your professional success but also your personal characteristics that will make you legendary.
Brent Jones is a former American football tight end who played almost his entire NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers from 1987 to 1997. He was selected in the fifth round of the 1986 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Brent won three Super Bowl rings with the 49ers and was three times named All-Pro (1992–1994) and is a four-time Pro Bowler (1992–1995). He finished his 11 NFL seasons with 417 receptions for 5,195 yards and 33 touchdowns. Brent then co-founded Northgate capital and participated as a private equity investor in several private company financings that have led to successful acquisitions or public offerings, including VA Linux, Assured Access, nVidia, Netro, Rightworks, and Verisity. Find out more about Northgate and Brent's work at NorthGate.com