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NFL Hall of Famer Terrell Davis reveals his biggest money mistake — and what it taught him

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Do your homework

Hall of Fame running back Terrell Davis once made a huge money blunder — and he'd like others to learn from it.

"The biggest money mistake I've made — I've made a lot of those, by the way — was investing in a project that didn't exist, that never came to fruition," said Davis, who played for the Denver Broncos from 1995 to 2001. In 1997, he was named Super Bowl MVP. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.

The project was based in Atlanta, but while he was told it was "already good to go," it didn't get the blessing from the city.

It "just kind of floundered," he said.

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 31: Terrell Davis #30 of the Denver Broncos carries the ball against the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl XXXIII January 31, 1999 at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida . The Broncos won the game 35-19.
Focus On Sport | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

While Davis lost some money, he didn't lose his entrepreneurial drive.

He's now co-founder of Defy, which produces hemp extract performance beverages for athletes. The idea took shape after he started using a hemp extract to cope with pain from his days on the football field.

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Yet, he still carries the lessons from that mistake with him. His advice to others is to make sure they do their homework.

"Really do your due diligence on things and make sure that it is what it is," said Davis. "There's a saying that says ... 'trust but verify.'"

Had he done that, he wouldn't have invested in the deal.

"I wish I got that one back," he said of the investment. "That hurt."

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