After retiring from the NFL in March 2015, former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis found his second act at a small tech start-up.
On the outside, the two worlds couldn't seem more different.
He traded a football for a Mac laptop, cheering fans for a quiet office. But for Willis, football and the start-up life have a few surprising similarities.
"It's all about becoming one," Willis told CNBC.
Both sports and business are about "putting together a good team to work together and be on the same page to accomplish great things together," he said.
In his new role, Willis is EVP of strategic partnerships at Open Source Storage, a start-up specializing in cloud technology. He handles multiple parts of the business, including hiring and firing.
"That's one thing that's been really fun here — cultivating a good environment and good workmanship," Willis said.