Bennie Fowler is the Founder and President of Infinite Potential Ltd and is also an eight-year veteran in the National Football League (NFL). He began his career as an undrafted free agent signed by the Denver Broncos in 2014. He was a member of their 2016 Denver Broncos Super Bowl 50 championship team and may be best remembered for having hauled in the final pass for Hall of Famer, Peyton Manning.
Bennie is a member of a number of different organizations and has had experience working around high-performing teams and individuals. He has been coaching many executives as well, including over 200 different business owners and CEOs while in the NFL. Bennie is also the host of the Quiet Time Podcast.
In this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, John Corcoran sits down with Bennie Fowler, an NFL veteran, about his experience as a professional football player and his transition to business coaching. Bennie also talks about his parents’ influence on his life, his reasons for writing a book, and the connection between playing in the NFL and being a business leader. Stay tuned.
Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:
- Bennie Fowler’s experience being dropped from an NFL team and what he did to handle the situation
- Bennie’s thoughts on the possible end of his professional football career
- How Bennie’s parents influenced his life, his thoughts on success, and his advice on surrounding yourself with the right type of people
- Bennie talks about his experience working under the leadership of Peyton and Eli Manning and what he learned from other NFL players and coaches
- John talks about his experience meeting and working with different US presidents
- How Bennie was able to run a coaching business while playing in the NFL — and how he pivoted to a new career
- The connection between coaching business leaders and coaching an NFL team
- Bennie talks about the peers he respects and shares his contact details
Resources Mentioned In This Episode
- Bennie Fowler’s website
- Bennie Fowler on LinkedIn
- The Quiet Time Podcast
- Silver Spoon: The Imperfect Guide to Success by Bennie Fowler
- Denver Broncos
- Chicago Bears
- New England Patriots
- New York Giants
- Bill Belichick
- Tom Brady
- Peyton Manning
- Eli Manning
- Sean Payton
- Drew Brees
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Welcome to the revolution, the Smart Business Revolution Podcast where we ask today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution, John Corcoran.
John Corcoran 0:40
All right, welcome everyone. John Corcoran here, the host of this show. And you know, every week I get to talk to smart CEOs, founders, and entrepreneurs of all kinds of companies. Go check out our archives, we’ve got some great episodes with the founders of Netflix and Kinkos’, and YPO, EO, Activision Blizzard, LendingTree, and many more. I’m also the Co-founder of Rise25 where we help connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects and referral partners. And my guest today is Bennie Fowler. He is Founder and President of Infinite Potential Ltd. He’s also an eight-year veteran in the National Football League, began his career as an undrafted free agent signed by the Denver Broncos back in 2014, and he was a member of their 2016 Denver Broncos Super Bowl 50 championship team. He may be best remembered for having held in the final pass for Hall of Fame Peyton Manning. Bennie is a member of a number of different organizations. He’s had experience working around high performing teams and individuals and has been coaching a lot of executives as well, including over 200 different business owners and CEOs while in the NFL. He’s also the host of The Quiet Time Podcast.
But first, this episode is brought to you by Rise25, where we help b2b businesses get referrals, strategic partnerships, and clients with done for you podcasts and content marketing. You can go to rise25media.com to learn all about it, or also email us at [email protected] Alright, Bennie, pleasure to have you here today. And I want to dive into your journey. But I want to start at a particular moment of crisis, which I personally can relate to, because we were chatting before and a little bit about some of the similarities between our backgrounds. And both of us professionally have experienced some amazing highs and some amazing lows. And, you know, my story, I worked in the Clinton White House, but kind of like you at the pinnacle of my profession very early on, like I found when I was 23 years old. I think you were 23 years old when you were in the Super Bowl. Yep. And it’s kind of, it’s hard to go on. Like, you’re like, Wait, isn’t it always like this, you know, and, you know, a couple years later, you find yourself leaving the Broncos, and you go off to another NFL team, and you get caught? And, you know, I know what it’s like to go from that and to leave. And to just kind of this feeling of like, wow, how can I have this incredible Hi, to all of a sudden you’re kind of like back to the basics. So take me back to that moment in your journey and what that was like for you?
Bennie Fowler 3:18
Yeah, it was super, super tough moment. But if I, you know, take myself back to that journey. Getting ready to hit free agency. So I’m coming off my best season with the Denver Broncos, and free agencies come in, it’s here talking to my agent, like okay, like it’s time to get paid. For those who don’t know what free agency is like out there. It’s like, you know, teams kind of bidding on you in terms of your skills and your talents. So the Chicago Bears came calling, I signed with the Chicago Bears, they gave me some good money up front. You know, I’ve now put myself in a situation to where I’ve got some good money. I am now playing in the city that my mom is already living. My girlfriend at the time, who was now my fiancee just I asked her to move out there with me. Everything is going great. Everything seems to be going on the right track. We get to the end of training camp. And I didn’t perform at my best and training camp. We attended a training camp and I got a call from the General Manager. And he said you know we’re going to release you. And at that moment, I was embarrassed. Sad. What am I going to do? The next four to five weeks. Now it’s like with the NFL doesn’t come calling back. So it’s one of the toughest moments in my career. But that’s where I got the idea to write my book, Silver Spoon, the imperfect guy to success. And sometimes life puts us on the sidelines to give us a different perspective. And the possibilities in my life are still unfolding at that moment. And you and I before we you know have done this on the call or on this podcast. We were talking about how they’re just certain situations, and how do you respond to them. And what I know now is that there isn’t always that smooth path of, okay, I’m going to, I’m successful now. And I’m going to continue to be successful and continue to be successful, and nothing’s going to happen. Now I go into situations, and I understand that there are positives in this situation. There are also some negatives in the situation. And now I just look at it from a balanced point of view, even if there is a negative situation, there are just as many positives and vice versa. There’s, you know, so many positives, but I’m not looking at the negatives. That’s where you fall into those depression and anxiety moments, because you didn’t take the time to actually balance out the perspective. You had like these false glasses on that, oh, man, it’s like hopping into a relationship. And you see only the good things in this person, instead of the, you know, the other things. Right. And that’s kind of how, you know, that’s what that Chicago moment taught me. So it happened for a reason.
John Corcoran 6:05
What was it like for you, you you so structured so regimented, you know, your parents are a big influence on you, your father was a CEO, which I think is fascinating, because the CEO role is to implement process to put process into your life and you are very, you know, organized in the way that you approach things, but all of a sudden, go from being within multiple organizations, whether it was undergraduate, the football teams there, Michigan State, to the Bronco organization to the bears organization. What was it like to all of a sudden, you know, be thrust out and you did get other shots with other teams you get off going to other teams, but you’re on your own? Do you? Do you hire a coach? Do you hire a trainer? Do you do it on your own? And how do you figure out that for the first time in your life?
Bennie Fowler 6:56
Yeah, the first thing I did was, I knew that I had to stay in shape. It wasn’t like, I had these thoughts in my head, like, okay, there possibly could be my career could possibly be over. But there’s also some teams who are interested, I’m still young, that we’re calling. So the first thing you do is, you know, I hired a trainer, like I have to stay in shape, I have to be in shape. And that’s the most important thing is, you know, a couple of weeks later, I end up getting called by the New England Patriots first, I’m only there for one week. But this is an opportunity for me to play with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. And they signed me, I got released because they traded for another receiver. The next week, I signed with the New York Giants. I play that Monday for the New York Giants. I played 65 plays with no mental errors. Because I was in shape. I knew how to study, I knew how to prepare, so I stayed ready. So I think that’s one of the most important things. But at that time, like the first couple days, it was just such a shock to me that I didn’t know what I should do now. But like, Hey, stay in shape, stay ready. And it’s just like, you know, if you lose a job in the real world, the first thing you do is like if something were to happen, now what I know now, if I was in the corporate world is LinkedIn, okay, where are the job openings? Where are the things that, you know, where I can use my skill set and and why it just like, you know, kind of how I’m transferring out of the NFL now and into the entrepreneurship world as I’ve, you know, growing my business, the NFL, you know, it’s coming to an end. And I had a mentor, I had a mentor, tell me that a couple years ago, like, hey, you know, you’re on your way out. I was like, What do you mean, your way out of the NFL. And he wasn’t, you know, saying that in a mean way, or, like your career is about to be over right now. But like, you know, you should pretty much start getting ready right now, because you’re hitting that age, and you’re hitting that year marker where you’re kind of expendable. And you know, some of the greatest advice that I ever got, because, you know, it led me to my business, it led me to speaking on stage, it got me outside of my comfort zone. And it helped me really grow.
John Corcoran 8:57
So, yeah. How are you, I want to ask you about how you manage to do the coaching and speaking and, and being a professional athlete at the same time. But before we do that, you know, we’re recording this in December of 2021. As you mentioned, your playing days are probably coming to an end. But it’s it’s you know, it’s a very strange way of wrapping things. I was kind of feeling a little anticlimactic, I imagined I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but you know, it’s kind of like with a whimper. Right. So how do you you know, come to terms with the reality of that or had you heard about it from other players seen it from other players and so you kind of felt mentally prepared
Bennie Fowler 9:37
for it. I don’t think people can ever really get mentally prepared for it if it happens like super fast, but you know, getting cut a couple of times a couple years ago and you know, having that mentor you know reached out to me and kind of say that that’s where the all the mental stuff kind of came in where I had to handle it right then and there. So you know I was like three years ago now. So what I’m facing now or like transitioning now isn’t a big deal to me, because the writing was kind of on the wall. And that paid attention to the writing, I think a lot of players, even executives and other companies, don’t pay attention to the writing on the wall, in terms of their career or where things are going. And then they get blindsided. Like it goes back to that thing in terms of looking, you’re looking at all the positives of being in the NFL, and not all the negatives, you have to look at the negatives as well as even though it’s your your dream job, you have to take that lens and look at it from, you know, a 50 50,000 foot view. So that’s kind of the way that I’ve approached it. And now you give yourself you find your identity, you find your values and who you are as a person. And if you’re an athlete, you transfer those skills of what made you a great athlete into everyday life. And you can still say this game of life is the ultimate game, not just playing on Sundays, The Game of Life is played every single day. Are you winning? Or are you losing? Yeah, that’s great.
John Corcoran 11:04
Talk about your parents and the influence that they had on you, your dad was an executive at Ford for many years and a CEO. More common impacts did they have for you?