Terrell Owens never thought he'd be a football player. So when he first started, he didn't understand what it took to be successful. "I was just going with the flow," he says, speaking at Collision Conference in New Orleans last week.
But eventually Owens came to understand the value of high performance. "I started to realize … it's all about consistency," says Owens.
According to Owens, who launched clothing line Prototype 81 last year and is working on a partnership with wearable tech company Celf, success on the field has taught him a lot about being an entrepreneur. Here's what he learned.
1. Be 100 percent in
Over the last decade, Terrell Owens has had some financial trouble: He reportedly lost millions in the real estate crash; a friend embezzled money from him; his financial advisor (recommended by his former agent) made bad investments allegedly costing him $6.5 million; and he had tax troubles.
Though Owens dished out a lot of blame, he's come to accept the role he played. It was an expensive lesson.
"I have to go do my due diligence," says Owens, on stage at Collision Conference. "When I wasn't as knowledgeable, when I put a lot of trust in the people that I hired, those are the ones that burned me, when I wasn't really 100 percent in.
"I allowed them to take control of the wheel," he says. These days, Owens carefully vets everything himself. "Now I'm in the [driver's] seat with them."
2. Know your stuff
People know Terrell Owens as a sometimes-trouble-making football player. So Owens realizes there will be instances in which he needs to prove himself as an entrepreneur.
"I like to be taken seriously," says Owens about walking into a business meeting. "I think being knowledgeable about whatever that meeting is about … speaks volumes.
"I go in and I present myself as a business and not just a football player," he says.