Former NFL Athlete-Turned-Tycoon Shares Valuable Tips On Networking


Reported by Victor Ochieng

There is a lot of money made in athletics. However, many athletes find it hard to manage their finances during retirement. This is so even for those who have found their way into business ventures. Changing one’s focus from daily physical training to a world of business has never been easy, as many athletes are used to having everything outside of playing their respective sport handled by their managers.

No doubt, there are athletes who become successful entrepreneurs. One of these individuals is former NFL player Tony McGee (pictured), who retired in 2004 and decided to reorganize his business life to get a clear purpose.

Unlike several athletes, by the time he was retiring, he already had more than enough on his plate in terms of what to do. He had a job with ESPN and several restaurants in his name. McGee understood that doing so many things at the same time was going to make success elusive.

So what did he do? Instead of pursuing everything at the same time, he decided to reposition his focus. The results were overwhelming. He has transformed himself from a football player into a successful entrepreneur.

McGee is the founder and current CEO of HNM Logistics. His company specializes in logistics and shipping. The all-around freight company has been recognized by Orlando Business Journal and was in the publication’s 2014 Fast 50 List, a rating that compares Central Florida-based businesses’ growth in terms of revenue. McGee isn’t satisfied just yet; he’s repositioning his company for even greater success.

The entrepreneur shared a few ideas that led to his victories and says that anyone, especially athletes, else can make good use of in their own business pursuits.

First, he says his choice of business was formed by the idea that the field isn’t very saturated. He chose a field that has great need for service. The industry is also stable, meaning that there is business even during challenging economic times.

McGee acknowledges that his NFL experience provided him with an opportunity to interact with others and raise capital for his business. The roles he’s played as a coach, CEO, GM, and a business leader have all built his reputation and added to his experience.

A combination of his NFL experience and his education helped provide him with the requisite skills to get things going. Besides seminars and workshops, he also attended the Kellogg School of Management Executive Training Program.

The former player says that having strong networks is very important for business success. Athletes should start building these networks while still active players. Networks should be established with individuals who can challenge you in your endeavors.

McGee also advises athletes not to wait too long in their short career before doing what they would love to do outside of athletics. The time to start is now.

In the case of a business venture, partnering with people who are ready to gain and lose with you in the business is paramount.

As you go into any business, McGee says it is necessary to invest only an amount that if lost, will not destroy your life.