Reaching For the Stars with Brandon Williams
Reaching For The Stars
[00:34] Welcome to another episode of inspire people, impact lives. This week I have my good friend Brandon Williams with me. For those who either don’t know Brandon yet as he is everywhere. He is a former NFL player, former Badger, Entrepreneur, and now officially certified life coach. His mission in life is to help people find their purpose. He believes that once you find your purpose, you can truly walk into your destiny and impact the world where you were created to. He lives by the motto Lead With Your Life. Welcome Brandon.
What motivated you to be ambitious?
[02:18] Let’s go back to like growing up, what are one or two life events from your past, whether it was grade school, high school, a or even a few people that taught you the importance of being ambitious and never surrendering?
[02:43] You know, one of the, one of the earliest memories I have, one of the things that happened in my life was when I was 12, my grandfather passed away, so my father’s father passed away and this was, this was my papa. And so he was an older gentleman. He smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. He grew up in Mississippi on a, on a farm and have four or five brothers, four brothers, my uncles, um, and he was just really cool to me. He always drove a Crown Victoria brand new, listened to blues so he will blues and jazz and so when I would be with him, I’d be sitting in a car just learning about Bobby Blue Bland and B.B. King and all these jazz musicians and blues singers and he just was a great person to just kind of hang around, you know, and being a little kid and you got your Grandpa, you know, so that’s really cool.
About Brandon Williams
Brandon got the idea for KingdomMan after a powerful weekend that he would never forget. At a revival he rededicated his life to Christ and and knew from that moment he was called to be a “Kingdom Influencer”. He knew he was called to connect with men all over the world to help them find their purpose for being on this planet. After researching all the magazine content that was offered to men he realized that none of this content really spoke to someone who was truly focused on living the lifestyle God had called him to. With God anything is possible. With KingdomMan you can explore the possibilites.
Introduction: 00:05 Welcome to the Inspire People Impact Lives podcast. This podcast is for people who are looking to get more out of life by making an impact on those around them. Each week we bring you local, influential business and community leaders, delivering powerful messages to help you live a more inspiring and impactful life coming to you live from Northwestern Mutual Middleton. Here’s your host, Josh Kosnick.
Josh: 00:34 Welcome to another episode of inspire people, impact lives. This week I have my good friend Brandon Williams with me. For those who either don’t know Brandon yet as he is everywhere. He is a former NFL player, former Badger, Entrepreneur, and now officially certified life coach. His mission in life is to help people find their purpose. He believes that once you find your purpose, you can truly walk into your destiny and impact the world where you were created to. He lives by the motto Lead With Your Life. Welcome Brandon.
Brandon: 01:05 How you doing Brother?
Josh: 01:13 Doing great.
Brandon: 01:13 This is a beautiful setup you got here.
Josh: 01:13 Appreciate it.
Brandon: 01:13 I’m jealous. I want it. Let me just take it.
Josh: 01:13 I told you and we can, uh, everything’s negotiable. We work on rent?
Brandon: 01:17 Yes sir.
Josh: 01:19 Alright. So I want to hop out right into things because we got a great list of questions that I know our audience will want to hear from you. Um, so we’re going to start with a little bit of background. I know a lot of people who will be listening to us know, of you. Um, but let’s, let’s get to know the real you that I’ve gotten to know over the years. Oh. And I wanted to say also being a loving husband and father of five children, your life never slows down.
Brandon: 01:44 How do we make that happen? I don’t know. And my wife, she’s crazy. She wants more kids. I think I’m done. I’m out. Tapped out pretty much.
Josh: 01:51 Well how was the youngest again?
Brandon: 01:54 Seven months.
Josh: 01:54 Seven months, right. So you’re a month behind us on our youngest one.
Brandon: 01:57 And if you remember, I was scheduled to come in to do a vasectomy just like you. Right?
Josh: 02:03 And that didn’t happen.
Brandon: 02:04 She made me, she told me if I went and got a vasectomy, that I should just go to the courthouse, and get divorce papers because she’s done. I had it all. I have this same day, I had to call Dr Nudelman say, Yo, I can’t even come in.
Josh: 02:18 That’s funny because I think my wife would’ve divorced me if I didn’t get done. So. Alright. So now that we’ve got the vasectomy talk out of the way, let’s go into the background. Let’s go back to like growing up, what are one or two life events from your past, whether it was, you know, grade school, high school, a or even a few that taught you the importance of being ambitious and never surrendering?
Brandon: 02:43 Yeah. You know, one of the, one of the earliest memories I have, one of the things that happened in my life was when I was 12, my grandfather passed away, so my father’s father passed away and this was, this was my papa. And so he was an older gentleman. He smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. He grew up in Mississippi on a, on a farm and have four or five brothers, four brothers, my uncles, um, and he was just really cool to me. He always drove a Crown Victoria brand new, uh, listenend to blues so he will blues and jazz and so when I wouldn’t be with him, I’d be sitting in a car just learning about bobby blue bland and bb king and all these jazz musicians and blues singers and um, he just was a great person to just kind of hang around, you know, and being a little kid and you got your Grandpa, you know, so that’s really cool.
Brandon: 03:41 But when he passed, when I was 12, it was something that changed my life. I, I cried, I said I cried almost every tear that I possibly could cry from like 12 to 13 just thinking about him all the time. And so, you know, just looking at how he never was able to see me play high school football or college football or nfl football was something that just always inspired me to, to keep reaching for new heights to, to kind of think that he’s in heaven or, and looking down and just making him proud because he’s not there to actually see it in this earth suit in this earth body was something that I always thought about something that I always strive for. Um, and it really, really pushed me to focus. Um, even even that’s like, so I’m not saying that I’m just this great guy or anything, but I’ve never smoked like weed, tobacco, anything.
Brandon: 04:42 And it was because he died. I’m kind of, I don’t even think he had cancer. Like he literally went in the hospital one day and the next day he was gone. But I do know he smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. So I’m going to assume that it was something cancer related because I went in and seen him. He had lost like 100 pounds in a day that I came and seen him. And then I left and then the next morning my mom says, Hey, he’s gone. And so that was just, they just changed my life. It made me not want to smoke obviously. And so that was something that I kind of stood on for my whole existence is like doing the right, trying to do the right things and trying to live up to the standard that I don’t even think he set for me when he was here, but just living up to a standard that I thought he will want me to live up to. Um, and so it was just, that was one of the moments in my life, man, that really changed my life.
Josh: 05:36 Well, I know I can certainly say that, uh, he was looking down proud on you and all that you’ve accomplished even though he wasn’t there for a lot of it But, uh, do you know, so that was 12 years old. Do you know about what age that you feel like you could look back on and say, this is when I started forming that mindset for success?
Brandon: 05:58 Wow. Um, I would say I would, I would lump competitiveness and success in those terms together when I was an adolescent, because I would say when I was seven years old is when I really started to understand, like to be successful, you have to compete to be known as one of the best. You have to compete. Um, and I remember vividly when I was seven years old, one of my first football practices, you had to do sprints at the beginning and end of practice and it was like four people who were faster than me. And so I was like, hold up. I, I didn’t, I don’t know how fast I was. I never ran competitively competitively. At that point I was only seven, but I knew I couldn’t beat these guys running and these are guys were or who eventually become like lifelong friends. So it wasn’t like I wanted to beat them, but that at that moment I was like, Yo, I got to get faster because Jason is beating me. Little little g Gary has beaten me and I want to run as fast as they are. So I was from that moment, I was super competitive from the first football practice, seven years old, Matthew Dickey, boys club, and we just out there running in the summer heat, um, and, and really having fun. But I was thinking like I can’t let them beat me again. So from seven years old it was time to get with it.
Josh: 07:22 Yeah. So what do you think growing up was the difference or playing with people that had that mindset and those that didn’t because I’d imagine those guys that you’re talking about little g just as competitive as you.
Brandon: 07:36 Yeah.
Josh: 07:36 So what, what was the difference between some of those guys and yourself and those that didn’t have the mindset for success?
Brandon: 07:43 Well, you know, guys like that who recognize at a young age that they want to win. They want to be champions. It matters. Um, and not just being on a team or being around the guys or the fellas. It matters the level of preparation. It matters how I look when I do it. It matters that I show up on time. It matters that I get to practice and finish a drill and finish, you know, and not be less and not lolly gag to other people who, you know, maybe don’t see that as where they want to compete it, it doesn’t matter to them. It’s just not as important and I’m not saying one or the other is good or bad. I’m just saying your values shape what you do in life and I’ve valued competing and I valued being on time and I valued being a champion and winning at seven years old and I guess that was kind of instilled in me because um, I grew up with my uncles and one of my, two of my uncles were made it all the way up to the semipro level and they both still coach.
Brandon: 08:55 They’re in their late fifties and they both are still high school. They’ve coached high school and college ranks their whole career, but going to their semipro games and one of my uncles was a linebacker and he used to have bone crusher on his face mask. This is when they used to put tape on their face, mask to design it. And he wrote bone crusher and so he used to like tear people up. I always used to say I’m like a linebacker in a receiver in a little man’s body. I was like, if I was ever six one 240 somebody’s going to feel the pain, you know what I mean? But I never got that big. So not too many people who felt the pain. Right? But that’s, that was just a mentality like you were trying to, when I was not going outside in 100 degree, weather, running, sweating, getting myself in shape just to be out there. No, I’m not doing that. So if I’m gonna put myself in these conditions, it will be fruitful. I will make sure that something comes up.
Josh: 09:56 Experts say that you are the average of the five people you hang out with and the books that you read. We’d like to suggest the podcast that you listened to as well. So hit that subscribe button and add Madison’s top leaders to your circle. We’d also encourage you to share this podcast with as many friends as possible. Our mission is simple to inspire people and impact lives, if you know of a friend or colleague or could benefit from listening to some of Madison’s top leaders. Give us a share. Now back to our guest.
Josh: 10:29 So you touched on values. I’m going to. I want to go into that a little bit more because I think those are absolutely crucial to life. If you don’t know who you are and what you stand for, you know, it just, there’s so many problems that can ensue from that. Um, so for you, what mail, what were the influences that instilled some values in the, uh, in, in you and then outside of those influencers that were in your life, what values have you come to take on as your own or possibly even that you want to pass down to your kids?
Brandon: 10:58 That’s really a good question. One of the things when I speak and I’m speaking on topics of family or whatever, I always talk about how I grew up. So I was the oldest on both sides of the family. So I was the first grandchild to oldest cousin, like the first nephew and stuff like that. So I was truly raised by a village. Um, and so I took a little piece of everybody, um, and so hard work really came from one of my grandmothers. It came from both of them, but one of my grandmother, she still works today. She’s in her late seventies. She’s been on a job for 40, I think she had her 40th anniversary on her job like three years ago. So. And she works in a factory, standing on her feet for eight hours a day, fixing stuff, putting stuff together in a factory, in a plant and so, and she don’t complain about it, but that type of hard work, she goes to work at 3:00 in the morning, gets off at two, 3:00 in the morning every.
Brandon: 12:05 So she’s up early every single day for 40 years. She’s also active in local politics. She’s active in her union. She’s been a secretary and stuff like that in her union. Been a leader in the union. So this is a woman with five kids. And so just watching her do that on her own, be a survivor, just letting me know like, you don’t have a choice in this matter. You have to do that. You have to be like that. Um, and so, and then my other grandma on the flip side, it was one is the most, not one of is the most loving, caring, sharing down to earth people that I have ever met. When you just talk about somebody who, you just look at it and say, what could she possibly do to harm somebody? You just say nothing is nothing. I think she can do in my eyes.
Brandon: 13:03 She could do no wrong, right? But just getting both sides of the table hard work and then caring about people. Because, you know, First Corinthians chapter 13 is all about love and, and Paul is talking about love is the glue of everything. You could have gifts of the spirit, you can have gifts of the spirit to speak in tongues. It’s prophesied to preach, to do all that stuff. But it doesn’t matter if it’s not in love or with love in Jesus Christ and God our Savior. So if that’s not at the center of it, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. Um, and so I think the hard work plus the love just just was a great mix for me. Um, because those values can stand the test of time, you know, those are statutes that stand the test of time and character that if you have those two pieces, if you’re loving and you’re a hard working person, I don’t think you can fail in life. Like you literally cannot fail. You may not go as far as you thought or as far as somebody else thinks that you should, but you will have a successful life if you have hard work and love period.
Josh: 14:12 Couldn’t agree more. I think it was something that our society needs a heck of a lot more right now with how politicized we are and, and a social media and just kind of buried our heads in the sand and not, not just reaching out to our neighbors. And you think about the worst events, the tragedies that encouragement madison or experienced a minor one last week with the flooding. But, uh, but do you think about 9/11? You think about all these things and people don’t say, Hey, you’re Democrat, Republican. No, you, you get in and help. You’re a Christian or an atheist. No you get in and help. Yeah.
Brandon: 14:47 You know, health and human beings, it’s about love.
Josh: 14:51 That’s love. That’s
Brandon: 14:52 when it’s, it’s, it’s Kinda sad that our society, uh, it takes the worst to bring out our best. Um, and that’s, that’s really sad. But uh, hopefully we can continue to preach on that. And you, with all your speaking events, I know you bring it out to people. So, so let’s go to UW. We got a lot of badger fans under the listen. What a. So what were your, what were some of your biggest takeaways? I mean, you, you came in with a lot of success. I mean, you’re a all big 10 freshman, I think second, second team, all American freshman year you came up with a lot of accolades or you came in, kind of took our receiving a core by storm to killer bees. And uh, had a, had a great career. UW, what were some of your biggest takeaways of playing at UW maybe some of the influences there?
Brandon: 15:40 Yeah, my freshman year, um, when I first came in my freshman year is five, five, nine, 156 pounds program had your 5:10. Oh yeah. I was like, I was almost six foot, you know, reality. I was almost six foot 190 pounds, but a whole career, right programs do the um, yeah, they tend to lean toward making you bigger. But I was 156 pounds came in. Nobody expected me to do anything like, let’s be honest, for first and foremost, even on my recruiting trip when I first was getting recruited, um, had to talk coach alley into giving me a scholarship. I had to demand the scholarship, uh, used the gift of Gab to get a scholarship and I just told him how much I wanted to be a badger, how much I wanted to be here. And you know, with any organization, if you have somebody that’s willing to come in and say, I want to be here, I don’t want to be anywhere else.
Brandon: 16:35 I’m not thinking about going anywhere else. You find a place in your organization for a person like that. You figure out what skill set they can bring to the table and say, well, guess what, you’re going to be here because you want to be here, so I’m going to make room for you. And that’s what coach Alvarez did is, you know, just one thing about coach Alvarez, man, he showed me a lot when it comes to just believing in people, believing in people and believeing and trusting that something good can come out of giving somebody an opportunity. Um, and so he gave me an opportunity and still the whole coaching staff is like, look like reality is we play in the big 10, he’s going to have to block over 300 times a season. How is he going to stand up? And so that was already kind of on my back, coming in smaller guy.
Brandon: 17:24 And like I said, I wanted to be like a linebacker anyway. I thought in my head I could just come in and smashing cats like a linebacker. But just knowing my limitations with my body, I had to figure out how to use my body a in the big 10, blocking linebackers, blocking safety’s blocking corners who were, who were really six, one, six foot, 200, something pounds. Right. Um, and so my first year, freshman year at camp, I can remember I made like this one handed catch in camp
Josh: 17:58 Before the sticky gloves.
Brandon: 17:58 way before, I didn’t even have, you know, in high school my senior year, my, well most of my years in high school I didn’t wear gloves. I used to get my fingers taped, like Tim Brown in the web. That was my favorite thing. I was like Tim Brown and put on the tape on each one of the little knuckles and then I’ll be out there just snag and stuff.
Brandon: 18:19 So that was my, that was my thing. Nobody else in the city was doing that. So I was like standing out. Right. Um, but once I got to college and, you know, started wearing gloves, whatever. So I caught this one handed pass made this one handed catch and practice and coach John Palermo jp ran out and was like, that’s what I’m talking about you. He was hype and this is the d line coach and you know how it is, man, once you get the respect of the d line coach, it’s over. It’s over. So he was excited and hype and from that moment I was like, whoa, like I belong. I’m making some headway. They believe in me now. And so from that moment it was just all about putting in the work and learning and understanding and, and coach Henry Mason, man, he, he was another guy who started to believe in me more, started giving me opportunities, really grinded on me to make sure I knew what the heck I was out there doing.
Brandon: 19:16 And this is, remember Lee Evans had just torn his acl in the spring and I didn’t even know who Lee Evans was. I came in, I really did not understand like the brevity of Lee Evans dude was a stud. He was a stud the year before he tore his acl and I didn’t even really know who he was. And then he tore his acl and I was like, why is everybody crying about Lee Evans tearing his ACL I’m here. Do you guys not see that? I’m here, right. Just so out of touch. But, you know, came in as a freshman man, did my thing, um, played through a lot of played through some injuries. I probably should have took a red shirt year now that I look back in retrospect that junior year I should have took a red shirt, uh, because the, just, the production dropped off because I had just come off with surgery on my leg and so I wasn’t ready, but I just going out there and rushing out there, trying to fight through stuff.
Brandon: 20:11 Um, and then coming back senior year, I just leading the bit, I lead the big 10 and receiving that year and still was second team big 10. I’m like, how does that happen? I don’t know, but whatever. Um, and so I’ll just, I loved my time here. That’s why I’m back here. Because the people were great. The staff was great. Coach Park, Chris was awesome. He was offensive coordinator my senior year. And just we just, we just tore it up. John Stock. Oh Jonathan or Owen? Daniel’s Brian care home. We just had so much fun. The Hebrew Hammer, Matt Bernstein just had fun man. And so I loved, loved my time here and it really it shaped me. You, once you go to the NFL, you had a reputation as being a Badger, they new that you come in and you worked, you know, you, you worked in the weight room because John Dedman was a, well is a well known strength and conditioning coach. So it just, they just gave you some respect when you first got there. And so it was cool.
Josh: 21:13 They continue to talk about that. How we’re not recruiting or five star athletes all the time. We may get a couple here or there. But usually, that’s a rarity.
Brandon: 21:19 and you know what’s so crazy about that right now is that the tide is turning. We are starting to get those five star athletes who want to come to UW. So you put that with the type of strength program we have that Oh my goodness is going to be crazy.
Josh: 21:37 Watch out world the Badgers are coming. All right, so this is something that, you know, my, my football career never took me down, but you know, my talent wasn’t there. So you uh, you get to go to the NFL, not only go to the NFL you were drafted. Describe that feeling, describe that phone call and the feeling you have when you’re drafted to a team in the NFL.
Brandon: 22:01 Yeah, it was, it was a crazy, crazy day because I always tell the story of how my aunt, she called me at like 7:00 in the morning and she was like, you know, when are you, when are you going to get drafted? Which pick? And I’m like, yeah, if I knew that I wouldn’t be so, have so much anxiety and trying to anticipate. But I, I hope the first pick, like let’s just go and get it out the way. Right. Um, and so I was like, you know, I don’t know, you know, whatever, why are you asking me this? Doesn’t really matter. She was like, okay, well when, what year were you born? And I’m like, okay, 19, 84. She was like, Oh, you going to be the 84th pick. I’m like, alright, you know, whatever you smoking right now, please put it down and just come to my house.
Brandon: 22:45 So we had this draft party. Right. But that’s when the draft, the first three days, the first three rounds were all in the first day. And so those was a long day. We start at, I want to say noon and I didn’t get drafted until like eight, eight, 45 and sure enough I was the 84th pick in the 2000 soap.
Josh: 23:09 I hope she bought a lottery ticket that day.
Brandon: 23:11 I wish he would have bought a lottery ticket, would have helped all of us. But um, I was the 84th pick. I was almost, I had, my agent had gotten a few calls from some teams at 81 82 and then 84, um, came up and the 49ers gave me a call and coach Mike Nolan was on a call myself. I was talking to him and I was in my own. I was in a room kind of secluded from the party so nobody knew.
Brandon: 23:36 So I just Kinda, and he knows the tape delay or whatever, so I just kind of walked out casually into the, to the room and just saying what’s up to everybody. Um, and then just kinda standing there waiting for the pick to be called and you know, it was just static. It was just crazy. Once, you know, my name came across the screen and San Francisco because I grew up a huge San Francisco 49ers fan. Me and my uncle, that’s one of the things that we kind of love my, not my uncle that played football, but I had another uncle who went to the air force and was a air marshal and was a director for Tsa now and just doing some really amazing things for the government. Um, but he was a huge 49ers fan. He used to send me 49er t-shirts every year.
Brandon: 24:19 Uh, he lived out in on the east coast for his whole pretty much professional career. So he would always send me 49er t shirts. Um, and so that was our bond together and he was there, like all my family was at this party. So he was excited, he was happy, we were just having fun, man. It was surreal. It’s surreal. Something you worked for us as you was seven years old, you know, my uncle always used to say, you put in eight years of hard work, you make a million dollars. So high school, College. And it happened. It was like, Whoa, you actually did it. And then my brother did the same thing after me seven years later. So this might be the blueprint and then tell my uncle to write a book or something. So, but yeah, it was surreal, man. You can’t even describe it. The time in the League was so much fun how it went by so fast. You wish there’s so many different things that you could do over change, do this, whatever. But um, you know, God has a plan and you just, once you start being obedient, you’ll understand what that plan is. Um, and so I’m just, I’m just happy that it happened.
Josh: 25:22 So we’re talking about reaching for the stars today, uh, and, and for I think any, any kid and a young boar that straps on football pads, that’s a dream, that’s, that’s certainly, that’s landing on the moon for a young football players, uh, whether they’re putting on pads today or that was in their pastime of something that we all strive, we’ll want to make it to the NFL. Very few are blessed. I think the last stat I heard was that less than one percent of high school players make it to any collegiate level and less than a half a percent of collegiate collegiate college football players make it to the NFL. So, so you make that. So describe the, the feeling if you can, of accomplishing something so great. You landed on the moon, essentially make it to the NFL, but also knowing you can’t rest on your past accomplishments. You still got to work.
Brandon: 26:16 Yeah, you gotta work big time. I mean, that’s, that’s the thing, that’s, that becomes a reality really quick. Um, you’re excited about the opportunity you’re excited about, you know, the big check you bought to get. But it’s really time to go, it’s time to turn up to another level and another notch because you’re playing against the best of the best. And for me, I mean, I was small. I’ve still small compared to these guys. So how can I separate myself? How can I figure what’s my niche? You know, where, where do I fit in? And I think, look, the reality is when I got drafted by the 49ers, I didn’t fit in to what they wanted to do on offense. I didn’t. Uh, so for me it started to, to, to question like, well why did you guys draft me? I mean, if you’re going to draft a guy like me, you probably want to have a plan because I’m not 6’3, 200 and something pounds where you can just plug and play at any, anywhere on the field.
Brandon: 27:09 Whatever you want to do. You should know what you want to do with a guy who’s 5’10, 175 pounds coming into the, to the league. You should have a plan. They had no plan. The plan was just letting me return kicks and I’m like, well, that plan sucks. That’s not what I want to do. Um, so it was already like a mental battle of like, why am I not getting an opportunity to actually catch passes, which is what I can do really well and I’m doing it really well in practice, but I’m not getting the opportunity to do it in a game. And so first year already stressed already, like feeling inadequate, feeling like, what am I doing here? I don’t even belong. You’re looking at other guys on other teams that you got drafted with, you know, I’m looking at Greg Jennings, he’s with Brett farve having fun and catching passes.
Brandon: 28:02 You know, his rookie year, he was, he was really good. I’m looking at other receivers that I’m like, Hey, they’re playing on other teams. There are at least getting into games and I’m like literally not getting into the game and I’m just upset. I’m really upset. And so that kind of plays tricks on your mind. And so once you start to get upset you, you’re not as focused, you’re not as focused. And then when you’re in the NFL, you’re isolated. It’s not like college where everybody’s, your friend in the NFL, you don’t really have friends unless you, some guys you played in college with on a team, you’re really, it’s just a really isolated space. And I’m more, I’m really like an introvert anyway. I just have extrovert qualities. So I love talking to people, connecting with people. But if I don’t have to talk to people, I’ll, I’m good.
Brandon: 28:52 Right? So I’m in the locker room, you know, you got guys who are got kids, got family, you got different priorities. I don’t really mesh well with the guys that are not, not that I didn’t get along with them. I get along with pretty much everybody, but they just weren’t interested in the things that I was interested in like as far as the rookie class. So I would just kinda hang out by myself and be quiet to myself, whatever. Um, and so it was tough. It was tough is, it was just a tough situation being out there and not really having anybody to lean on. Um, so yeah, just out there.
Josh: 29:30 So what, so now you get the gift of hindsight, right? Those were your years removed. What do you wish you would’ve had? What do you wish you would have done differently now that you hit that pinnacle?
Brandon: 29:42 I wish I would’ve listened to my agent and got traded to Houston like seven games into the first season. He said, Yo, be this opportunity for you to go to Houston. I know what’s going on up there. It ain’t the best, but we can change that situation. I was like, no, no, let me stick it out. Let me figure it out. Blah, blah blah. I’m like, Dang, I shouldn’t have went to Houston with Odi with Owen. He was down there. I would have had one of my buddies that I was in the trenches with. Somebody I can connect with. A coach was cool, whatever, you know, it’s just hindsight is 20, 20. And then just really focusing more on my craft. I’m trying to get faster, trying to get bigger, faster, stronger, and just dedicating my life. You know how you know James Harris spent like over hundreds of thousands of dollars on just his body.
Brandon: 30:27 Two hundred grand in a year. Yeah. And I’m like, why didn’t I do that? I didn’t take creatine, I didn’t drink protein shakes. I was the person who should have been doing this stuff, but nobody. I mean, not saying that I’m blaming anybody, but I just wasn’t thinking about it. I just wasn’t focused on it. I was just like, Yo, I’m good. Like I run routes so I can catch the ball. I, that’s what’s up and so I should have been just focused on my body and getting bigger and faster and just putting my body in the best position. That’s one thing that I look back and say that’s probably what I should have focused on a lot more was my body
Josh: 30:59 And listening to your advisors it sounds like?
Brandon: 31:01 Yeah, little bit. Yeah. Or maybe if you had some other, some more. I’m just doing some things differently. Yeah, obviously
Josh: 31:09 because it doesn’t matter what point we get in life, I feel like we’re always need a coach. We always need somebody else.
Brandon: 31:13 Always, always, always need a coach. You have coaches from the beginning in sports, you need coaches in the financial space, you need coaches in life. You need coaches. You need coaches in the faith space. You know, you need a, you know, I wrote in my book, Millionaire Mindset that you need all these people on your team from, you know, you’re, you’re a manager to a financial advisor, to a spiritual advisor. Um, all these different types of people you need in your life to really give you that guidance to help you, uh, is very, very, very important for a young athlete, young person who’s, who’s trying to figure out their way in life,
Josh: 31:59 couldn’t agree more and we’ll get to a little bit on your book as well. But how did you handle the transition and I know everyone handles it differently, some people’s career and because of the injuries, some because, you know, they can’t find the right fit team wise, uh, many different. But how did you handle the transition out of the league?
Brandon: 32:18 Wow. So I became the Jack of all master of none. That’s literally what I became.
Josh: 32:24 So Jack of all trades, master of none.
Brandon: 32:26 I was depressed, but I been. I started masking depression by active, doing things by being active and no matter where you’re at in life, whether you’re depressed and sitting at home, you still depressed. Whether you’re depressed on TV. You still depressed no matter what it is. You’re still depressed. So I was, I got a real estate license. I was selling, um, uh, I was working with a startup company that was selling these mouth guards. I was, a speaker. I was doing a whole lot of stuff basically just keeping myself busy. So I get it. And it really speaks to, as you transition out of sports, you really don’t know who you are. You really don’t know what you’re good at outside of the game.
Brandon: 33:14 Not saying that you don’t have things that you want to pursue, but you’ve dedicated. If you make it to the professional ranks, you’ve dedicated your life to that game and so you don’t have time to dedicate your life to anything else. And if you want to be a master level craftsman, you have to dedicate yourself to a certain extent to whatever that is. There is no time to think about hobbies when you playing professional sports. It sound cool. Like, yeah, what are your, what are the other things? What is your plan b? Play football before in the CFL or in another league. Like there’s there, that’s the plan B, you know, and so until you leave that space, you don’t realize how much time that most people dedicated to finding themselves like most people dedicate college to finding themselves. Well, you, I didn’t, you don’t have time to find yourself.
Brandon: 34:08 You better figure it out pretty fast and you don’t have time to explore other things in life. Um, so it took me five years to figure out who I was, what I was about, what I wanted to do, what other things I was actually good at, what I could do to make money and support myself and just live my passions and really understand what, what did God have for me? Like really, what did he put me on this planet to do? And it took a long. It took a while to figure that out. And so most people may look at that and say, wow, you know, this guy didn’t have a plan b or what was he thinking or what was he doing trying to find who I really was. And that takes time. And most people think, oh, you just, you know, you, you stopped playing in the nfl and you just transition to real estate.
Brandon: 34:53 Uh, you transition to being on TV or being here. It’s not that easy
Josh: 34:58 They see you on the Big 10 network. Now they’re like, oh, all these pathways just must have opened for you.
Brandon: 35:01 They just must have opened, no. That was a journey to even get on TV. I had to prove myself worthy of getting into that space. And you look nine years in and it’s, for me, it’s been a great ride. It’s been a great opportunity. But I’m, I’m linking, I’m looking at what’s next. Like literally what’s next. It’s something else bigger for me out there. And so, you know, that was still a stepping stone to something else. So is that, that truly who I am, what my purpose is, what my calling is? No, it’s not, and so are constantly evolving as people and I think, um, your evolution when you were an athlete, your natural evolution as an adolescent, as a young adult is slowed down tremendously because you’re so focused on sports and that takes up and consumes so much of your time. It’s not like being an artist or a musician where you’re, or even a child actor, they can focus heavily on act, but it’s only so much acting. You could do as only so many acting classes you could do is going to be other things you do, but as an athlete you dedicate, you know, so many hours a day and then you got to recover. So I’m recovering those hours where people was doing other stuff. I was recovering my body. Um, so it’s just different now.
Josh: 36:28 Absolutely different. Was there a, was there a moment, was there an epiphany or was it, was it the five year progression of staying active?
Brandon: 36:36 Hmm. Um, you know, I think a lot of things played into a. I don’t think it was just one seminal moment that just spoke to me, but I think over those five years I tried to so many different things failed at so many different things, but I knew I was called to help people in some kind of way, some capacity. Um, and so then I started really getting into finances and I thought that that was really what I was called to do to help other athletes and for a season I think I was, but it was really even a bigger calling to just now how I want to help people find their purpose and be better people. That was always kind of at the core of that transition. Um, and so I wouldn’t say that it was one seminal moment, but I think like you said, that five years of just running and burning myself out and really just trying to do too much really had me understand like I have to reset and reprogram and do something different unless I won’t have the success that I’m really trying to have cause being jack of all you just doing too much, you know?
Brandon: 38:02 And every year I was like reinventing myself every year and it got it got really hard to keep trying to reinvent yourself. But most people see me, most people are seeing that as no vision, no focus, but it was really me trying different things to figure out what was it that I really wanted to do. Um, and so that was the tough part, man, this the self awareness and self, the self image of people knowing that you have some quality that you could be successful, but they keep seeing you. And, and in my eyes, keep judging you. They’re judging be you ain’t got it together. What are you doing you’re doing it well. Last year you were doing this. Two years ago he was doing this and I felt like I got to figure this out because I’m going to be judged again. I’m tired of being judged for, you know, not knowing what my purpose is in life.
Josh: 38:58 Well, everybody’s got an opinion, especially when you’re a public figure as you have been. So I think you touched on something and reaching for the stars. You said you tried things and failed. And so do you look for things you’re trying to find yourself again and find that next spot because you, you hit your star by going to the NFL and now you’re out of the NFL. You tried, a lot of people don’t understand that sometimes you can reach for things and fail and that’s God’s way of telling you that wasn’t your thing. And that’s life’s way of telling you that’s you need to try a different path. What is it about you or what do you think, or what do you think touching on there that we need to, uh, get our listeners clear on because some people may be reaching for something and continue to reach for something that may not be their path or others may just need to try a little harder to reach a little further. And the, they’ll finally get there.
Brandon: 39:49 For me, I would say, um, leaning heavily on your faith.
Brandon: 39:58 And if you’re reaching for God, you know, it’s literally. There’s no way you could go wrong. It may be hard, maybe rocky, maybe tough. It’s not going to be easy because the storm comes against the house that’s built on saying the house is built on rock, uh, but the storm passes and it doesn’t knock down the house that’s built on the rock. And for me, that rock is really focusing on your faith.
Josh: 40:27 That’s a knowledge bomb right there,
Brandon: 40:28 You know what I mean? Just real. You know, and that’s it. If you focus on your faith and you know, I don’t want to get too deep into that, I don’t want to turn your podcast into, to my, my, my podium, my sermon, you know, but this is your microphone. The reality is there is a God that created all this. We own none of it. We run around in it and once we get a real relationship with him, he’ll tell you where he wants you to go.
Brandon: 40:58 Um, and so once you commit your whole life to serving God this, there’s literally no limit. The chains are broken, the lid will pop off. And once I started to realize that things just really started to shift for me, they really started to shift for me. And we go back to talking about values. What do you value in life? Once you realize that that is the most valuable thing and he takes care of everything else with him, you have to. There’s no worries. Leave your worries behind. And so for me, I would advise, I would tell anybody, look man, let’s see where your faith is at because times will get tough. That is a guarantee. But you know in First Corinthians 13, verse seven, it says that God’s law where it says they love is bears, all hopes all believes all and endures all things and endures is the key word.
Brandon: 42:04 The endures to me bears and endures the beginning of that and the end of that bear. Being able to bear all means. You can take the brunt, you can carry the weight of whatever’s happening, but enduring something means no matter how tough it is, you’re willing to continue to go knowing that it will subside, knowing that you will succeed over note whatever it is, and then this is one word in the definition of enduring that just struck me and that is patiently so enduring not only means being able to deal with tough situations and live through them, but do it patiently. Wow. It’s like, Yo, I gotta go through this and I can’t be all anxious and hype to get through it because it’s a test. Everything. Every product that we have at our disposal got tested before we bought it. That’s just baseline manufacturing your, your phone, your watch, your computer a fricking basketball or football.
Brandon: 43:10 They had to throw it and make sure that the air pressure was perfectly right before they sold it, so anything that gets bought is not really brand new. You just using it for the first time because it was already used. It had to be used for you to know that it works, so you’re here on this planet because God know you can work. Now, once you get that epiphany in your head and understanding that deep, that changes your life, that change your perspective, that changed how you move, that change, how you interact, they change how you love people, and so that right there is, is a game changer
Josh: 43:48 That’s huge in or whether you and I share the same faith, but if there’s a listener that doesn’t, I think the principles are just spoke on are still universal is believing in something greater than yourself. Yeah, it, uh, if, if you’re a listener, you don’t believe in God and in the Christian sense or what I believe in, something greater than yourself and you’ll find your purpose. So you’re now a life coach, entrepreneur, author, what you’re training to executives. You’re speaking on big stages. You’re on the big 10 network. What’s your next star?
Brandon: 44:24 Great question for me. My, my next star is I’m working on a digital publication because I think it really encompasses what my purpose is right now and my purpose is to minister to men. Uh, I really believe that God is calling me to be a beacon to help men find their purpose. And their purpose is in him, um, because I think men now are, they don’t know what manhood is and manhood is under attack. Um, and, and I think that there’s a lot of men who are hurting. I know there’s a lot of men who are hurting and masking their hurt with things, whether that’s big cars and boats and houses and money and success and a lot of women and sports. They’re masking the pain and hurt of not being heard, of not knowing who they truly are, not knowing you know, how to be a man.
Brandon: 45:34 And so the next big project for me, I’m working on several projects, but the project that I’m so excited about, I’m working on a digital publication called Kingdom Man Magazine and Kingdom Man Magazine is going to be a magazine for men to help them, uh, be kings at their homes, their community and their destiny. And we’re going to have personal, professional and spiritual development content in this magazine is going to be fly, is going to have swag, but it’s going to be biblical. Um, and so every article won’t be strictly about the Bible, but it will be based on biblical principles. So we’re going to have travel. You don’t have health and fitness, so you’re going to have a relationships. We’re going to have style tips, grooming tips, um, all those different things that a man wants to talk about cars and sports. Um, but we’ll have articles that are based on the Bible that tells men how to be men.
Brandon: 46:33 What is God’s, what is God’s definition of what it means to be a man? Uh, one of the, one of my favorite verses that I’m starting to love, well, my favorite verse in the Bible is Matthew 6:33, seek the Kingdom first and his righteousness and all other things will be added to you. So that means seeking him first and everything you need to know about life will be added to you. But another, uh, I’ve just started reading first kings, which is first kings is kings, David passing on his throne, the King Solomon, who was his son in first kings, second chapter, the very first verse in that second chapter. David is dying. And on his death bed, he is telling Solomon, I’m giving him the blueprint on what, how he should run his, not how he should run his kingdom, but how he should run his life.
Brandon: 47:27 And he says, be strong in some translations. Say be brave and be a man. And a lot of men get that same narrative. Hey, be strong, be brave and be a man. But the second part of that verse, King Solomon or King David tells his son by following the principles, the statutes the doctrines the laws of our Lord and Savior. That’s the blueprint. And then he goes on and say, because if you do that, you will open up the blessings that he told me that my children would receive. So being a man, being strong and being brave, the blueprint is right there. But many times us as men, we just get to be strong, be a man part. And then nobody tell us, well how the heck do you do that? What does that mean? What does that look like? And then they don’t. And then David even went a step further and told him the consequences, or he told him the victory that you can have once you do that, he’s like, God is gonna.
Brandon: 48:41 Bless, give the blessings to you that he promised me, and he also is going to bless your seeds. So if you don’t be strong, be brave and be a man, based on God’s will. You’re not only gonna mess up your stuff, but you’re going to miss out on the blessings that was promised to your father’s father and the father’s before you that you could be receiving if you was living out God’s statutes and principles. It’s not saying be perfect. You know what I mean? But, but we know Solomon was famous for asking God for wisdom and discernment and not asking for riches and, and, and everything else. And so God blessed him with wisdom and discernment and knowledge and blessed him with the riches because he didn’t ask for the riches. So yeah.
Josh: 49:26 That’s, really powerful man. Look, take a look at that. And you think about as you started that teaching men how to be men and from a biblical perspective, which we started talking about love and how much the Bible talks about love, which was just amazing because if more people did that think about the incarceration rate of men versus women thinking about the suicide rate of men versus women, think about the murder rate of men versus women and why the me too movement came to existence and why? Because men don’t know how to be men. And so I think that’s a very noble thing that you’re taking on, are very worthy star to reach for. Is there anything else you want to leave with our listeners or one thing, possibly audiencewise executives, leaders that, uh, there’s just a nugget that you think that, uh, in reaching for the stars should be heard.
Brandon: 50:16 You know, in the intro when I told you the one of the mantras I live by and that’s lead with your life. Too many times in leadership, we lead with cool sayings. We lead with speeches, we lead with words, and we, we, we don’t lead with our life. And as a leader, um, who you are and your character is your character is who you are. So God’s character being loving, kind. Uh, that’s his character. God is love, right? So he’s not showing love. He’s not giving love. He literally is that. And so that’s his character. That’s his nature. That’s his culture. And so I’m saying that to say leading with your life means you don’t have a private life.
Brandon: 51:10 And I’m not saying you don’t there’s some things that you obviously keep private, but most people see that I’ll have a private life. Meaning who I am out in public is different from who I am in private. Leading with your life means who I am in private is the same person I am in public. I don’t have a private life because if it’s something you need to hide from me, I can’t trust you. Why do you need to? If you can’t be this way in the public, then why are you doing that in private? So the whole mantra of leading with your life, it means taking, taking the mask off and literally living a life in private that you would live in public. My man, Inky Johnson says it this way. Um, don’t be a public success and a private failure. That’s something that I love that he said, because leading with your life is all about that.
Brandon: 52:06 Your character is based on what you do when nobody’s watching. And so if you’re, you have good character, you’re gonna have good character in private, you’re going to have good character in public. You go and character is really the word character is based on the word statute, which where we get statutes, laws, things that don’t change. So a statute, the Statue of Liberty has character because whether it’s raining, sleeting, snowing it’s still the Statue of Liberty. If they put a veil over the Statue of Liberty it’s still underneath that veil, the Statue of Liberty. And so that’s what I mean by lead leading with your life, being a person that your kids can look at and say, Oh, that’s my dad. He’s like that at home. He’s a great guy in public and he’s a great guy at home and that’s hard, that’s hard to.
Brandon: 52:55 It’s not hard to do, but it’s a paradigm shift of what we used to have in culture. Have you had to put on this mask and be somebody that you’re not, you know, so Lead with your life you don’t have as a leader, you don’t have a private life. They cut it out.
Josh: 53:11 A wise man once said, uh, how you do one thing is how you do everything and I think that’s what you were getting at there for sure. So how can our listeners find you if they want to get in contact with you?
Brandon: 53:23 So you can find me on social media. Instagram and Twitter is at. I am Brandon mw. Uh, if you want to shoot me, shoot me an email. Hit me up at email@example.com. That’s. I am Brandon Williams.com. Go check out kingdommanmag.com. This kingdom man mag.com. And subscribe to get some of the updates that we got coming out. And I’m excited. I’m getting ready. I told you I’m getting ready to launch a kickstarter campaign that you’re probably be. It’ll already be launched once this episode comes out, so you guys should already have, you know, helped a brother out. That’s what I’m trying to say. No. So it’ll be fun and exciting. So, you know, catch me on social media, catch me on my website and uh, I’ll be on BTN, and ESPN this fall too.
Josh: 54:15 Nice, well many blessings to you and your fam. Thanks for joining us. Thanks for listening to another episode of Inspire People Impact Lives. If you’ve been inspired today, please share this episode with as many people as possible so that together our impact is exponential.