Q. Kindly give our readers an introduction to your new venture. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
Response: Coach Slow’s Land of Xs, Os and Beyond brings the audience into the world of athletes and competitors at the pinnacle of their profession. It provides written, audio, and video motivation and inspiration for competitors, coaches, military leaders, CEOs, business leaders, healthcare professionals, entertainers, parents and anyone else competing in the game of life. The lessons presented not only motivate and inspire but also explain, teach, detail, illustrate, comment and offer insight into leaving a positive leadership legacy and finding joy in life’s daily journey. Learn that success is not WHAT you do for a living but HOW you live what you do. I’m located in Destin, Florida where I work from my garage office.
Q. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or coaching/business background and listsome of your major achievements).
Response: I have a Master’s Degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in exercise physiology from the University of Delaware which is also where I completed my undergraduate degree in Physical Education. I started my coaching career there as a graduate assistant coach before moving on to The University of Florida for 4 years as a volunteer assistant and then part-time coach. I then spent one year at Drake University before moving to Rutgers University for six years. I finished my college coaching career at East Carolina. We played in 3 Bowl Games while I coached at the University of Florida and 1 Bowl Game while coaching at ECU.
My professional NFL career started with the Dallas Cowboys in 1992. That first year in the NFL started off with a bang as we became Super Bowl Champions. After only one year I had the opportunity to become the defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears for 6 seasons. I then spent time as a Defensive Coordinator, Asst. Head Coach or assistant coach with the Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos, and Washington Redskins. I coached in many playoff games after leaving the Cowboys and had the opportunity to coach in 1 pro bowl.
Q. What inspired you to (start this new business venture)? How did the idea for your business come about?
Response: When the doors closed on my 35-year coaching career I threw myself into some new activities and immersed myself in stimulating my intellectual curiosity. While navigating that path I came upon a profound self-revelation. You can take the coach from football but you can’t take football from the coach. I realized you don’t have to coach in the NFL, college, or high school to be a coach. Coaching to me has always been more than Xs and Os and wins and losses. Coaching means seeking a way to help others compete at their highest level; no matter their field of battle. I wanted to continue sharing the experiences and many lessons I have learned by starting this venture.
Q. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding coach/teacher/business leader?
Response: 1. Have a Passion for Good and Do Good with a Passion! With that mindset you will find yourself not only striving to be good, but looking for good in whatever environment or circumstance you create. You will then most likely find it.
2. It’s not where you work but the passion you work with that counts.
3. Successful people LIVE what they do daily. Finding joy in the journey is what brings about the true fulfillment.
Q. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful coach/leader?
Response: Knowledge, Organization, Passion to see team members succeed.
Q. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Response: When you have a passion for what you do it is never far from your immediate thoughts. To put numbers on it requires arange. My office time will range from 4 hours to 10 hours. Some of my most creative ideas occur outside the office. It could be during a workout, a walk, dinner or the middle of the night.
Q. To what do you most attribute your success?
Response: My foundation of faith, devoted and loving wife, determination, perseverance, passion, work ethic and opportunity.
Q. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Response: Word of mouth, social media, book distribution.
Q. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Response: The majority of funding came from my personal savings; the rest came from my brother.
Q. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Response: Build income and interest through my website, web coaching clinics, private clinics for companies, staffs, or teams. Speaking and writing.
Q. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Response: I see Coach Slow’s Land of Xs and Os and Beyond as one of the most visited and sought-after sites for motivation, inspiration and information regarding meaningful messages for those looking to gain an edge in their field of battle, whatever that may be. It will also be the go-tosite for clinics on leadership, coaching, and strategy. People in all walks of life will be captivated by the mesmerizing content.
Q. Excluding yours, what company, organization or business do you admire the most?
Response: FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), AFCA (American Football Coaches Association ), and The New England Patriots
Q. How important is having good employees (possibly substitute partners) been to your success?
Response: We can accomplish far more together than we ever could alone. Having team members that are not only the best at what they do but are passionate about doing it as well. A goal that you as the leader believe in but the team members believe in as well helps the team push through obstacles and adversity.
Q. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Response: Not until all doors close on the idea at which time a new door has usually opened unto a new venture or adventure.
Q. What motivates you?
Response: To help others compete at the highest possible level no matter the arena. In this world of good and bad I choose to continuously search for good. I find inspiration everywhere: in my family, players I’ve coached, coaches I admired. We are a product of our own experiences. My spiritual foundation and my time in football has positively influenced the person I’ve become. It has molded my mindset to navigate life’s daily struggles.
Q. What are your ideals?
Response: To find ways to positively influence one or many so they may find joy in the journey. Joy is the passion or emotion excited by the acquisition of good.
Q. How do you generate new ideas?
Response: Think, Read, Listen, Exercise, and Think, Read, Listen, Exercise!
Q. How do you define success?
Response: Success is not WHAT you do for a living, Success is HOW you live what you do!
Q. How do you build a successful customer base?
Response: Provide exceptional content which can improve your customer’s attitude, disposition or circumstance.
Q. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur/coach?
Response: It is most rewarding finding success through others’success.
Q. What has been (expect to be for start-ups) your most satisfying moment in business?
Response: To see the lives of others improve through my business.
Q. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Response: As an entrepreneur, I am pursuing my own passion. My venture is in my own hands and there are no excuses. There are also no hidden agendas. The only agenda is the one I create.
Q. What kind of culture do you want in your organization? How will you establish this tone and why do you want that particular type of culture?
Response: It takes both talent and leadership to succeed. You will not succeed one without the other. I plan to create a work place environment in which leaders and team members trust the plan, adjust when necessary, develop future leaders, strive and die to their goal, but continually increase the quality of the team’s life as well. When one goal is achieved another is waiting. Here are some important reminders: 1. Keep your team engaged and invested in the journey. 2. Acknowledge every success along the path. 3. Use each setback as a lesson from which to learn. 4. Have confidence in yourself as a leader to allow input from your team to keep everyone involved and create a sense of ownership in the process.
Q. In one word, characterize your life.
Q. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Response: As I reflect on my life and career I realize the decisions I made were the best for the circumstance at that particular time for not only me but also my family. Some of those decisions resulted in less than positive outcomes. Regardless of the outcomes I really don’t believe I would do anything differently. The hard-times forged for me a stronger spirit for twists and turns of life’s journey.
Q. How has being a coach affected your family life?
Response: The coaching life is not for anyone looking for job security. Promotions and firings will make relocation a normal part of familylife as a coach. During each season and even some off-seasons, your wife will feel muchlike a single parent. Coaching can be exhilarating when your team is having success but is also humbling and a real blow to your ego when you face the loss of your job. It is difficult for the wife and kids to see their husband or dad face rejection after rejection searching for employment. If you keep the faith and stay strong, displaying a kind and optimistic disposition, you can learn a valuable life lesson. We have not been given the power of overcoming life, but of life as we overcome.
Q. What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Response: Believe it or not one of my greatest fearsis speaking. Preparation and the idea I have something helpful to communicate will dampenthe anxiety.
Q. How did you decide on the purpose of your business?
Response: My business arose from my purpose! My purpose and passion was to provide motivation and inspiration for competitors and leaders of all kinds looking to gain an edge.
Q. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful coach/leader/entrepreneur?
Response: Authentic leaders bestow feelings of greatness, they don’t take them.
Q. If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
Response: Jesus, so He would unravel so many of theburning questions and mysteries I so often contemplate.
Q. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Response: My parents
Q. What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?) Why?
Response: Life’s Playbook- Bible as well as Sacred Hoops, Wisdom Walks, and my own book so I continually reinforce who and what I’ve become. Also, to remind myself I want my movie (life, not literal movie) to match my book!
Q. What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Response: My biggest mistake was allowing anxiety and fear to control my disposition. I had not yet to look for good in whatever environmentor circumstance I created. By looking for good I would most certainly find it. Changing my perspective has helped me feel truly alive so I can live what I do.
Q. How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
Response: Details, details, and more details are the key limiting mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable but repeatable mistakes are preventable!
Q. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Response: I’m a fitness class junkie! When I’m not working out or working I’m probably visiting my kids and grandkids. I will play an occasional round of golf and hope to continue my jiu jitsu journey when time permits.
Q. What makes you happy?
Response: Finding joy in my journey and helping others do the same.
Q. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful coach?
Response: When you are blessed to have the opportunity to chase your passion with a supportive family, the things many people would consider sacrifice I would label a commitment to my passion for good.
Q. If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?
Response: I think I would ask me: What would you do if you were contacted tomorrow to join the coaching staff of an NFL team for the upcoming season? What would you do? Would you take it? Or are you where you want to/should be right now?