Episode Number: 267

Episode 267- Building Multiple Streams Of Income, Diversifying Your Passions, And Knowing Your Why With NFL Player Brandon Copeland

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Building Multiple Streams Of Income, Diversifying Your Passions, And Knowing Your Why With NFL Player Brandon Copeland

Brandon Copeland 0:03

Like I think I have money anxiety, where it's like, I'm so conscious of not being broke and not going to a life that I don't want to live, that I'm always thinking about. And I'm afraid to spend money. So I actually am consciously, not trying to splurge and blow money, but trying to treat myself with the things that I deserved for all the hard work and the surgeries and stuff and it's a balance, but ultimately, there's nothing that I'm going to try to do to impress anybody else in their value system that can be a detriment to an older version of myself.

Intro 0:37

Minus 10 seconds. Welcome to the journey to launch podcast with your host Jamila souffrant. As a money expert who rocks her talk, she helps brave juniors like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real Whoa. Join us are on the journey to launch to financial freedom 4321.

Jamila Souffrant 1:08

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If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journey to launch.com. Or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes, you'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned and so much more. Also, whether you are in OG journey or are brand new to the podcast, I've created a free jumpstart guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes, so listen to stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources, and so much more. You can go to journey to launch.com/jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.

Hey journeyers, I'm really excited to have on a special guest, Brandon Copeland and I've been waiting to talk to Brandon for a while now ever since we met Brandon on the panel that we did because you were such a dynamic speaker and have such an interesting background. So first, a little bit more about Brandon before I introduce him and let him talk. But Brandon is more than just a NFL player. Yes, he's an NFL player, but he's an entrepreneur, professor. So they call him Professor cope. Professor coat what's up? Father, entrepreneur, husband, philanthropist and Wellness Advocate. I mean, I probably forgot some things in their brand name because it seems like you do it all. But I'm so impressed by you and what you're doing. So I'm really excited to introduce you to my journeyer community. So welcome.

Brandon Copeland 3:40

Thank you. Thank you for having me. Well, sub journey is I'm excited to be here excited to talk shop. And hopefully I can add some value to you guys.

Jamila Souffrant 3:48

Yeah, I think you will. I mean, you have a unique, I think perspective, it's very, I think it's a common like down to earth perspective. But from your position of where you are in life and what you do for a living. I think it's fascinating. So you are an athlete, you're an NFL player, you've been in the league for a while now. But some of the things that stand out about you from what I've been researching, reading, and what I know is that one, even though you're an NFL athlete, you are fully committed to living your life. Also outside of the field, and your NFL career. It's like your main job, the vehicle, but you have like side hustles that don't really seem like side hustles like these, like full time things that you do. And I'm impressed because as someone who you know, I didn't get to the level you got to obviously, are someone who's looked at pro athletes. I'm always wondering how and why don't more athletes do what you're doing? And so I want to get into what led you want to have such a dynamic career outside of the NFL and then we can get into more specifics?

Brandon Copeland 4:49

Yeah, no. Well, so so I'll answer that in a couple of ways. One, I'm fortunate to have a grandfather who played in the NFL and you play for 11 years wonderful. Trouble. And fortunately, he was a huge figure role model for me and my life growing up. He's my superhero. I mean, I've been talking about how did a TED talk on him two years ago, I don't know the pandemic, you know, you know, what, what year it is anymore. But ultimately, he was able to pour so much into me, given me so much confidence, not only on the football field, but more importantly, just about, like, I got to see his life after football, you know, I got to see him, have to work and provide for our family. You know, my mom. Obviously, I can only imagine when she was younger and growing up and all that stuff. But he he lived in a time where you had to have two jobs. He was a substitute teacher in the offseason, the starting quarterback for his team, Johnny Unitas, which he's, you know, you can equate him to today's version of Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, or one of the top tier quarterbacks, right, like, he was a substitute teacher in the offseason, you know, and so, so for me, seeing what his life was like after football, and he had a good life. But it wasn't like the movies wasn't like a TV shows or anything like that. He encouraged me to say yes to as many opportunities as possible. I remember him giving me a story about how he got an opportunity to broadcast. I'm not sure if it was shortly after his career, probably for black men at that time, probably shortly after his career probably wasn't during his career. And I've actually broadcasted during my career, right. And the only reason I said yes to that opportunity was because he was walking with me on campus on college on a college campus. And he said, you know, copacc, I got the opportunity to broadcast one time, and I told him, No, and I can't tell you I told him no, I think I was just young and just partying and just being a young adult, right? And I think about my life, sometimes I wonder if I would have said yes. Would I be the guy up on ESPN right now talking? Right. And I don't think he had quote, unquote, regrets. But hearing that, from my role model just made me lean into discomfort much more often than some of my peers. And also, sometimes also, probably to my detriment as well, to answer the other side of your question. I think that I get both sides of the coin from an NFL player from a pro athlete, right. Like, you know, I've spoke with rookies. And one year of buddy of mine, Johnson bat, mostly, he graduated from Stanford, he was one of at one time the highest paid special teams player in the league. And one of the things he was saying to the rookies was like, listen, as much as we're telling you to learn about your money and learn about things off the field, I will tell you, the highest GPA, right, the the smartest person graduating from your school would kill, to come into a job their first year out of college and be making rookie minimum now might be over 700 grand at that time was 460 grand, right? So although you want to focus and give some respect to life after football, because it's guaranteed to come, you also have to take advantage of this opportunity. And you have to pour all your heart into it as well, too. So I think it's a fine line and a balance. And as you get older and get more experienced, I've been able to feel more comfortable in knowing what I need to do to be a good football player, but also knowing the dreams and aspirations I have off the field.

Jamila Souffrant 8:15

Yes. And I think in that TED X speech that you also said, this line that your grandfather told you, it's a poor rat that only has one home. And I would love for you to explain that in the context that he said it and then we can relate to real life.

Brandon Copeland 8:28

Yeah, you know, my mom, single mom trying to provide for two boys. And sometimes she'd be late to work and we'll need to drop me off to my grandfather's house to get a ride to school. And a lot of times it would be like, hey, we'd be stuck in traffic on the way to school, we'd be stuck in traffic. And if we stayed in this on this particular route, we will be late hands down. And this was you know, my granddad wasn't rocking Google Maps and stuff like that, you know, saying he wasn't pulling out the cell phones. And I always remember him looking over to me and be like Coke, just remember in life is a poor rat that only has one hole he talked about in great depth from Mississippi and you know, he had a while store I said it's a poor rack that only has one hole and then he just he just start switching lanes and he get us on a path and it'd be smooth sailing to our to Gilman and Baltimore it'd be smooth sailing to Gilman and we get there even sometimes a minute before the bell rings, but we get there and what he meant by that. And what he would explain later on as I got older is like when you only have one hole, you only have one option. So if a restaurant to get into their home, and you close up that hole, they're stuck. Right? But for him and in his life, and then also what he was embedded in me is that ultimately you got to you got to reach that end destination where there's Gilman whether it's doctor, lawyer, teacher, entrepreneur, business woman, businessman, and if you have one hole, you're not gonna get there, but You're able to adjust and be flexible and climb over obstacles and understand that you have multiple routes and multiple ways to reach that end destination, then you're able to really maximize your life and create the life that you want for yourself. So, spoiler alert for for that talk. But the, the moral of the story was just, we gotta get it by any means, right? And we got to find a way and, and I am here, my granddad instilled in me like I am here to live my dream, right. And people might think that's selfish. And it might sound selfish, but my dream is to give to my community. My dream is to help, right? But I'm not here to have it stopped by anything or anybody. And when you embrace that mindset, and you also accept the fact that there will be obstacles, there will be traffic along the way. You just learn to roll with the punches, right? Between, well, I want him say between you and I, like I had surgery yesterday morning on my knee, I got it manages up here, didn't plan on it, right? It happened last last week, it was complete surprise, right? It is what it is on to the next I get you can't cry over it, it is what it is, I still got these things, it doesn't mean my life is over doesn't mean that this story is over. It just means it's gonna be a little more interesting is gonna be really good for the next speaking engagement, I guess.

Jamila Souffrant 11:13

Right? Well, I mean, you borrowed other holes outside of what you do with the NFL. And so regardless of what happens from this point, you know, you'll be okay, which is what your grandfather was talking about. So I also read that when you first got drafted into the league, like you had like a 1.2 million contract, but you got hurt. Shortly after that you only really saw a fraction of that money like 25,000. And it was from that, or maybe you know, other experiences that you realized that you could not spend all that money that you got from the league that you had to learn to live on less. So I would love for you to talk about that experience and the takeaways from that.

Brandon Copeland 11:48

Yeah, so it was $1.45 million contract three years, which sounded really, really good in college, you know, and, unfortunately, I didn't get hurt, I got fired, you know, just hey, you're not good enough. And I think that that was one of the things that, again, fortunately, I knew and understood, coming into the league that a lot of my peers didn't know, like, just because you sign your name on that dotted line. It's not a real contract, where it's like, oh, they owe me this money. It's not that I saw some of my teammates at the mall, thinking it was guaranteed. And you know, they found out the hard way that they left the league with debt. So I saw 26,000, before being fired for the first time, and ultimately, experienced like that. A couple of weeks later, I got picked up by Tennessee Titans. And I played with them for a few weeks and then got cut four minutes before the deadline for the week where you got to pay me for the week, you know, it's 4pm. Eastern, I got cut at 3:56pm. Eastern, right. After doing a charity event for that morning. Hey, I'm glad you had me out there talking to the kids, right? Went home a week later, they called me back got picked back up. So that year, for example, that was my first year in the NFL that year, I realized how fickle this thing was, right? Like, it's almost like sometimes they like, you know, they put they look they finger put it to the wind and like, oh, this cut him today, you know, he's get too comfortable, you know. And for me that was like, the dreams I have for myself and my family and the life I want to live are beyond just football. Now. I say all that if I had made $100 million contract, like it'd be a little easier to stick with it. And I probably just be focused on that. But I'd still be invested in doing other things and learn about other things. But But at that time, it kind of showed me like hey, like I can't wait on football to validate me and make my bank account look the way I needed to look, in order to help my community and in order to do the things that I wanted to do in this world. Right. So we got to get it regardless, right? We got to figure out a way to make money while making money. And so when I came into the NFL, I was already day trading. I was trading stocks throughout my my first year. And at the end of that year. I'm not sure if I shared this with you, Kanye West, I went to a Kanye West concert and he put the battery on my back angle that he was I was not trying to go to the concert. Go ahead, put that out there. I respect Kanye. I respect the genius of the man. I know that he's a polarizing person. And I don't agree with the things that he does. I don't agree with all the things he says but I can respect the person being told noted that you're not good enough and and you still continue in the fight, Fight Fight for your dream because he didn't have just one hole. You know, I'm saying with that being said, long story short, I go to the County, Wisconsin and I got the battery in my back and I'm like, Yeah, I go make a trade in the market. And literally the next day or two days after the whole market was down 2% Because of something going on in Greece. It was 2013 that some stuff going on in Greece. And I was like I got no control over this. As a black man growing up. It's like you know you don't trust me The people and what I feel like as a culture, especially as athletes, we work hard our entire lives to get to this dream. And you know, I've been through a lot to, to play football. And now you turn your money over to a financial advisor, me, I manage my own stuff. And I was having really good success up until that point within the market and doubling and tripling my account type of thing, I was trading options. And what I realized I was like, I have no control over any of this stuff. So that's when I started learning about real estate, because I was like, at least if I lose, it's on me. Like, I gotta I bought a house, and nobody's going to take the cash out of my pocket to purchase a crib, I'm going to pick the colors of the walls, the kitchen, design, the carpets, all that stuff. And so that literally, my yearning to want to have more control over my own outcome is what's encouraged me to learn about different businesses and hustles, and hobbies and passions. And then the final thing I'll add there is, the next level step is when you are in those businesses, and hustles. And hobbies and passions, and you find ways to monetize them. It's how do I do this easier? How do I do this? And actually get my time back? How do I do this? And I was doing a podcast with one of my big brothers. His name's Steve McQueen. And he's going into year 14, with the Buccaneers I believe, and, and we've did everything that he was like, you know, as black people, a lot of times we've talked, you know, I'm grinding all day, you know, no days off. 24/7 no sleep, all that stuff. He was like, Dream chasing Dream Chaser. He was like, boy, if you don't catch the dream, at some point, you got to catch the damn dream, right? Like, I'm not working as hard to continue to work this hard for the rest of my life. I think that that's something that we, I grew up and I still do I wear as a badge of pride. Like I'm outwork anybody I have no, like, there's no doubt in my mind when it comes to that. But like, I'm not trying to do this 3540 4550 staying up late at night, spending time away from fam, all that stuff. So when you get into a job, or business or hustle, I think that's something I've done well, is a find ways with like, who can look at this, doing it on a better skill, making more money more efficiently, easier, getting their time back, and spending more time living, as opposed to working for money.

Jamila Souffrant 17:21

Right, which I mean, this is what we talk about here. So you're in the perfect place. Because regardless of how much you make, and I know there's a certain line, right, that you need to just be stable, be able to pay your bills. And then once you like, get past that, and now you have extra money, hopefully, to get towards your goals, like paying off debt, investing, creating wealth, then we have like a choice, like what do we do with our time and energy and our resources to bring us further to our goals? I do want to go back. So one of the things too, that that I read was that you at some point, were only living on 90% of your income. And wondering what that looks like. It's all relative, right? Because you were living off 10% of your income and saving 90% of your income. I think that's what I read.

Brandon Copeland 18:03

Yeah.

Jamila Souffrant 18:03

And so it's all relative, of course, like, what that went to, but in the scheme of like your surroundings, right. So your friends, I mean, I'm sure you have outside friends who are not like making as much as you are in the NFL. But how do you withstand society's expectations? Or like the people around you like in the locker room who are not thinking that way? And are like, Well, why aren't you spending more money and seeing what they're doing? Like why do you not spend more or do more with your money when you have that?

Unknown Speaker 18:30

Yeah. So I tell people I tell my students is like, one you got to first and foremost, figure out your why. And I'm blessed to listen to a lot of different experiences. Like I think some people think they know the answer. So they just shut everything out. And like, I'm gonna go for me, like, I listen to everybody. I don't care who you are, what your rank in life or society is like, I've listened and I'm trying to see what gems I can take from it. And so I was fortunate literally the first time we went out in the NFL is my first time going out with the NFL guys. It's gonna be and listen, they they did it well, as long as they one of the veterans he got a big party bus to DC the Ravens have just come off a Super Bowl, right like, and he was paying for dang there everything on the way to the club. But one of the things I watched this is one guy named Tommy Street. It was a wide receiver from the University of Miami. He didn't go out because literally in practice, he run in a route he falls, his knees messed up. He's screaming, screaming, screaming. That was the first one the first time that I saw it. The team like just either slipped practice around and just started going the other way. And I'm like, This dude is over here screaming like, just do careers probably over and we just keep it going. Like we're literally practicing. And he's ah, you know, and so that's the reason why he wasn't going out. It's because he couldn't physically go out. And one of the things he said he was like, look young boys, he was in his car. Remember outside of the hotel. It was young boys. I'll make sure when I go out there. I know we seem to petitive people, because the athletes don't start competing out there, like you see somebody throw money. So now you want to throw money, you see somebody buy a bottle because they try to be cool or because they got the money to do it. Now you want to buy a bottle, you want to buy your own table, you want to buy your own section, leave the competition on the field. Don't take it over there because you don't know what their bank account is like you don't know what their contract is like and literally it wrong with me throughout the entire night. And it was one of the best lessons that I ever got. Because that do fight the urge right guys come in with a new car guys come in with the jewelry that you may want to have or something like that. But what I think I tell everybody one, I got a dress, we all have to dress what we want and what we pulled value on like what we actually value. So for me, I don't mind sharing, like I got this chain on and a lot of guys look at it. Oh, then Kobe chain. This is $79 on Amazon, right? I got this chain one right here. And this is just a low ad or on something but it's waterproof, sauna proof all that stuff, right? My Apple Watch is probably the most expensive piece of jewelry I have on my Apple Watch. Right? My wife got me some real earrings. I think those are a couple 100 bucks. But ultimately, like, I'm the type of guy No, I'm probably gonna lose it. Or I don't care about it, either, right. And it's not to knock anybody that does for me, I know what I value,com So I try to put my money there. And you have to battle your urges. And stay discipline and you know, Dave Ramsey quality lives like no one else now. So later on in life, you live and give like no one else. Like I don't agree with everything Dave Ramsey says, but that's a real thing, right? You look in the locker room. And most of us stats say most of us are failing, right? Why would I follow what you all are doing by stats tell me if I want different from my life, I have to do different. And I will tell everybody else. journeyers and everybody I tell everybody like we just know that were quote unquote, failing from a financial standpoint. And I'm sure the stats are different because those quotes, those numbers came out years ago, and guys have definitely done a lot more since then. But we know we're failing because the cameras are on us. And our money and our contractors publicize, right so if you see a guy making a million plus dollars a year, $3 million a year and they're driving a car that you don't expect them to be driving people are on social media, Ali broke me must be broken like might not necessarily right. There's others in life and in society who are doing the exact same thing and failing, but there's no camera in their face and publicizing. So what I tell people is like, if you understand that most of your vision is beyond what others have for themselves. You can't operate like them, and expect great results are those higher than than expected results. But tell young athletes that I want to be in league? Well, if you finish conditioning when everyone else on your high school team finishes conditioning, and 90% of them don't want to be in the league. How are you gonna get to the league, you got to do more. That's the thing, the thing that keeps me in check when I do want to spend more in March and blunt, right. Like I think I have money anxiety, where it's like, I'm so conscious of not being broke, and not going to a life that I don't want to live, that I'm always thinking about. And I'm afraid to spend money. So I actually am consciously not trying to splurge and blow money, but trying to treat myself with the things that I deserve for all the hard work and the surgeries and stuff. And it's a balance. But ultimately, there's nothing that I'm going to try to do to impress anybody else in their value system. That can be a detriment to an older version of myself.

Jamila Souffrant 23:53

Yeah. Have you read Bill Perkins book die with zero?

Brandon Copeland 23:56

No, no, but I need to amend it to the list right now.

Jamila Souffrant 23:59

Yeah, so he was just on the podcast. So I would recommend that book to you and anyone listening, and he was on the podcast. So he talks about maximizing your life experiences, not like maximizing your money or your net worth. It's like your net enjoyment of your life. And it changed a bit of how I thought about money, or it confirmed already what I knew to be, and it talks about, there's a certain level at which you have enough money, you have the investment, you are fine. And what you don't want is to get to the end of your life and look back and said, Wow, I should have really did that thing or had that experience. And kind of what you're saying like not everyone wants a car, like everyone wants different things. So it doesn't have to be the car, but it could be the nice trip, or like the vacations with your wife and with your kids and all these things that like you could be spending more on and you actually can afford it. So I would just recommend that book. And in general, it's not something I think it's unique. Like I have the same feeling and I think it never ends like some people think once you have money like once you get to 1,000,002 million, 3 million. You don't have these concerns. Aren't, you'll be fine. And I've just spoken to so many people where it's like they have that and they're still not fine.

Brandon Copeland 25:05

Yeah, it's a drug. I mean, when you think it's an addiction, I mean, I don't want to offend anybody that is dealing with the drug addiction, but caffeine, addiction, making money as an addiction, as well, too. Like, I remember one of my roommates from college, he's a big we call him Mr. Wall Street's big Wall Street guy. We knew he was going to take over wall street one day, but he used to watch the movie Wall Street. He's the one who introduced me to it. I think the second version of it, which I love buff, you know, when the guys ask them, like, what's your number? And he was like, what's your number to retire? He's like, what's your number? And he was just smiling. He said more. And I was like, I feel that especially at that time, I feel that right. And now as I've gotten more mature, I'm like, Well, that's the issue is like, you'll never have enough, right? Like, once I reach 100 million, like, I'm gonna get to a billion, let's get that for me. You know, you can either let the money Chase consume your life, or you can live your life knowing that money is a tool. And so it's a tough battle, though, right? Like I'm actively battling it. But I'm definitely gonna check out that book because a couple of my teammates have been like, You got to enjoy your money be I think, just got the Jones you got to enjoy your money be. You got to man, you know, and so you know, he's getting It's a never ending.

Jamila Souffrant 26:16

Yes, yes. I appreciate you being open with us on that. Because, again, I think that's going to resonate with people who are feeling the same way like myself.

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Now, when it comes to just like going back, you interned on Wall Street, in college. And again, I'm still thinking like, how did you have all the time? No, you didn't have all the time. But like, the motivation, or just like the drive to do that. So you intern in college, you took some of that and like you talked about investing your own money. You are a professor also, on the offseason, talk about the transitions that you made outside of the field that have helped you like because I always look back and say, Alright, I didn't know why I was doing that thing or why I had that experience back when I was like in my 20s. But it set me up for the next step. And here I am today look at all like factors in and make sense once you're looking back.

Brandon Copeland 28:23

Yeah, so like I said, entering in college. The biggest takeaway I learned from my internship because there's two things One would be my stem. So you know, I went into that internship. And literally, I told my so again, get from Baltimore. Mother, we grew up, and she got us out to the county and then we ended up going back to school and doing all our sports and stuff in the city and everything like that. And it's like, I'm just a hustler. I was caught on corporate Duggan. And I remember for the internship, I bought my first suit for the interview. And I remember the entire interview process I went to the first time I ever went to a nice Steakhouse. It was rough. Chris, it was right across from the interview. But the next day, or the after the interview, before we caught the train back down to Philly. And I remember literally telling the guy like one of the things that is different about me the most people is like, I'm gonna outwork everybody here like I have no problem admitting that. And what I'll say is to get to the point of going into that internship, I was caught between two things right? Like going on Wall Street, this was Union Bank of Switzerland, UBS, you got a decision to make and all these things you can either suck up, you know, not knocking anybody that Tuesday but suck up and try to ask the questions and be the person that they want you to be or you can be yourself and hope that that's great enough, right. And so I decided to go into that internship because that was my first time away from being home for the summer. You know, that was my first time away. It was out of my comfort zone and things like that. But I was like, even if I take this and I don't like it, then that's just as good of an experience as knowing that I love it. I ended up loving sales and trading, I ended up loving stocks and picking stocks and things like that. But I remember sitting with people, and I'm like, Look, I'm gonna ask you the real question. I didn't tell them this, but in my mind, I'm like, I'm not gonna sit here and ask you like, oh, well, what's, what's the resistance? And well, what's this mean? And, and okay, cool. What's the Delta on that? Right? Like, I don't care about that. I remember having this conversation with somebody gets to the second point, because this is what made me say, hey, I want to always own my life and have control of my life. UBS was going through a bunch of cuts, at that time, it was 2010, I want to say, So 2008 had happened. And and now it's the ripple effects, right? 2000 jobs being lost, things like that. So you see grown as people kissing up to the managers, and just nervous for the job, right? This is my livelihood. I've been here for 20 years, 10 years, whatever, right. And so I remember having this conversation with this guy, I won't say his name was like, 45 at the time, and we're having this conversation. And he was really, really cool to me, I wish I had his number, I'd love to reach out to him and just thank him. And he had a picture of his daughters on the desk. And somehow or another, we get to the conversation about happiness. And last century kind of loser like some people are just aren't happy, blah, blah, blah. As cascade had the balls to ask them like, hey, like, So are you happy? And he literally takes the longest pause, looks at his screen. And he just says, No, he's like, I'm making a lot of money. My girls had three girls, girls are well taken care of, there'll be taken care of. But I'm not happy. I'm pushing around this piece of paper selling Thank you some bonds or something. And like, what am I doing? And literally at that moment, I was like, There's no way in hell.

Like, there's no way in hell for me personally, like, I know that I'll have to, there are things in life I may have to do. Because that's part of sacrifice in creating income. Right? But that can't be the point of it. That can't be the the sole reason that I'm living, right, like, I gotta be happy. So I know that that might not necessarily be your question. But for me, like, a lot of people ask me my son's doing things just because of the hustlers like not like I'm literally happy doing things that I'm doing, I'm happy feeling overwhelmed. At times, I'm happy. You know, texting my property manager about something. Real estate was while I'm getting my ankle steak before game, right. As opposed to some guys they send in Instagram or Tiktok, or whatever, right? Like I'm happy literally controlling my life. And I think that, that that lesson right there, going into my junior year in college was the one thing I went back to UBS. And I've worked in hustled to learn so many different things that I can feel like I can take from it and just amplify my life amplify the things that I am. I've worked hard for the money, I've worked hard for it to go. And now let's put it to work. Right? But literally, I mean, even I've always had the kind of mindset like even in college, I remember, like in games, a lot of people will be thinking like, oh, they make the big play, like for my teammates, and for I need to get to the NFL, this is gonna get me to the league, right? Like, but for me, it was like, oh, yeah, like, I'm making a big play because I love hearing my teammates cheer, right? I love you know, hearing the fans and all that type of stuff, get excited about it. But more importantly, it's like, I need to get to the league. Because I need startup capital. Getting to the league is a platform for me to unlock all the dreams that I have in my life. And so I can literally visualize going against these teams and overtime and literally think if I make this play here, it's going to suck it up Coke, tired yourself come on startup capital, like you really gonna let your whole life go because it is right so for me, my my motivation for football has always been a little different. And again, for better for worse, we'll never know, like, may look back, I may look back at some years old, hopefully, you know, you know, 80 some years old and I'm like, Damn, I should just focus all football, you know? Who knows? Like, I don't know if I'm wrong, or I'm right. But I just know for me and my ADD I have in my brain for business standpoint. I gotta go for it. And I gotta go for it now because we don't know. We don't know what tomorrow looks like.

Jamila Souffrant 34:28

This is why I feel like this skill and this is what I want my children to gain and to be as like to ask questions, like deeper than what you see on the surface level. I feel like so many people, no matter where what station you are in life, how much money you make, like you're in circles, right? Where a lot of people are sleepwalking through their life or living surface level. And it's the people who ask the questions and look beyond what is shown to them. Like something appears to be perfect or look good. And then there's like a little, like tear on it. Right? And it's just like, I admire people who could see the little tear and wonder what's behind the tear? Like what's behind like this package that you're presenting, asking the introspective questions about yourself about other people being a detective in life, right? Because when you're that curious, it leads to other questions that leads to answers you didn't know that you were looking for and down paths that take you different places. And I feel like that is where people find like, their lives like that this like surface level thing that most of us have been doing. Yeah, no,

Brandon Copeland 35:27

I want to 100% agree with you. I think that you know, not even in a pessimistic way, right? Like, it's not always just looking for the chink in the armor or the crack, right? It's just more of like, let's have a real conversation. Like, that's one thing that I am personally, like, I've been blessed with is like, I'm polite. I want to ask like, what, like, there's a lot of times where I'm like, How are you doing? I'm good. But no, like, seriously, how you doing? Like, let's, let's talk about it, like, because there's something that you might be going through that I can learn from, or I can potentially help you with? And who knows. And so I think that, like you said, just having real conversation, like, we're all people, we're all humans. And I think that most of us, unfortunately, it fell in this trap of when it comes to money, specifically, most of us have have fallen fell into this trap of, we got to work for money. I don't know if I'm in it now. But like, I was always in it, right? There's never enough and you just working for your next check, and you're working for your next thing, your next thing, the next thing, next thing, when you have that lifestyle creep, as you make more money, you end up just still working more to afford all the things that you just bought, right? When you've stripped that back is like is it the nice car that makes you happy? Or is it the time you spend with your family? And I think that like you said kids are so in my mind, like my kid, I love my children and they're all over my social media. I'm that dad that. If this was back in the day, before phones, I'd had a wildly like, look at my kids living things. Look at it, you know? So you know, I feel sorry for people that come across me for that, but, but like my son, my two year old, he's two and a half. And he's in that why phase right? Like you asked him to do something he like, why? And I'm like, Boy was so frustrating, but why I'm so proud. Like, I'm so proud that you like are asking, like, Why do I gotta go to sleep that? Or why do I have to? Or why can't we have this today? Or why did why can I get in the pool right now. And like, there's literally times where I'm actually also just as a parent, trying to untrain my mind from the way I grew up? Where it's like, you know, why can't you? And that's the beauty of things. That's the beauty of of being an entrepreneur, I think too is like, I don't have to go do my work. Now. As long as I get it done. Like, you know what, let's go to the pool. Why can't have a free spa better? Oh, I don't know why can't have one. I just couldn't have one growing up because we have, you know, let's go get one you know, like, so I think that that's the cool thing. And I think that that's, that's the growth, you know, that's the beautiful part about society that we're in the day, and we're just learning, learning from each other learn from each other's journey.

Jamila Souffrant 37:50

Yeah, you know, one of the things that struck me so it sounds like you, you were cut really early on in your career and you face setbacks, like you just talked about having a surgery, like disappointment and rejection, whether that's like, you know, you expecting something to happen, and it doesn't happen the way you want or like being kind of played by other people who are in positions of power, right, like by coaches, or just in general, the powers that be and whether you are an NFL player, or you work in a corporate job, or even as an entrepreneur, right? Like there's sometimes I'm dealing with people who it's like, yeah, I don't have one boss, but like, I am working in multiple scenarios where there are multiple people who I'm having to have to get buy in from in certain situations, like if I have a brand partnership or something going on, right? And it's just like, some of that is all dependent on this person and their opinion, which is not gold all the time. Like you know that sometimes they don't know what they're talking about. So how do you navigate with the disappointments and the rejections you faced? Throughout your career? How do you like not make that become something that you become better with, right? Because I know, there's some people that are just like, why am I even doing this? Because they don't care about like, my body or my mental health of my family. I'm just like a check. Right?

Brandon Copeland 39:06

I'm a resource for them. I'm an investment. Yeah, so for me, I'll say it's always been fuel for motivation. Recently, I've tried to get out of and recently I'd say like the last couple of years I've tried to get out of the revenge mindset. But you know, I think Childish Gambino said it on on the shop recently he was like, I love making you look stupid. I genuinely enjoy I still own my the room that I grew up in. We're actually take this my football camp, the last one we had before the pandemic literally crossed the thing that was a bunch of positive stuff. And then in between it was all these negative quotes. Said, like, Oh, you're too slow to make it illegal. You can't make it Oh, who's this? Somebody when assigned to deadlines? Who's this special Edie linebacker Right? Like, who's this? Nobody things like that and all throughout the camp. And you know Because eventually guests like those are all things said about me, right? I love making you look stupid. And again, those people who made those comments, don't ever know it's never gonna affect them and all that stuff. But for me, you can let it cripple you. Or you can use it as motivation. Or you can ignore it. Right? Some people are really good at ignoring it and keep their mind peaceful and honest stuff. Me I'm that type of person. Like Drake said, I think you know, we have a podcast Monday music culture, we definitely need you on as guests. Jake said, you know, I just had somebody tell me, I fell off who I needed that right and headlines, right? Like, that's what I need sometimes, like, sometimes things get, I don't want to say too good. Sometimes things get too easy, right? And for me, I need the challenge. I need you to say, oh, you can't come back from this. To put a bow on that. It's like, I've used negative things rejection and stuff as motivation. I never allow it to stop my life, though. So even in my second year in the NFL, after two weeks, they cut me. And I didn't play the rest of the season. So that season, I think I made about $8,000 for the entire year. And I gave myself one calendar year to get back into the NFL. Unfortunately, I did. And it's been a dream come true ever since. But like those types of experiences are things that like literally, when I go, you know, football is a different mode. Like I go into the waiting room and this. I remember that year specifically. And my coach had to come up to me and be like, Hey, can you like, take your headphones off and talk with your teammates? It's not that I don't like them. These are great people provide for their families. But last year, everybody gave you guys a check and said that you all were better than me. I got to say to you, I'm locked in. And I got to eat. Like this is about me now. So I think everybody has to find what you work best with. For some people. They think that that's not a healthy mentality to take on like, hey, if it ain't healthy, I'm at school with me. I'm unhealthy individual then Right? Like, you just got to figure out what works best for you so that you can allow it to fuel you as opposed to cripple you or again, just ignored.

Jamila Souffrant 42:07

Yeah, I love that I think we can all adopt. And again, like you said, it's going to be tailored to what works. But like a gametime kind of attitude where it's like, I feel like mine is within this space, or what I'm doing now, with my business is you may not know me now. But you will know me one day like we will be sitting at the same table. So I don't need the acknowledgement, like I don't need to buy in from you. I'm just going to do the work. And it's going to be undeniable. And that's kind of like how I operate without like looking at what other people are doing. So I just I think we can all whether you are in sitting at a cubicle right now, or in your house, right? Like, adopt that mindset that literally like you're the best unknown thing, or people are under estimating you. Maybe you're under estimating yourself, right. Like sometimes we are our own worst enemy or hater.

Brandon Copeland 42:49

I was gonna say on top of that, it's like, and I love this conversation. So again, I appreciate you having me on. These are like therapy for me. So I enjoy this biggest is to kind of reflect and what I am actively dealing with now is Stop waiting for other people's validation. You mentioned that earlier. A buddy of mine, former teammate of mine, his wife, we were talking about education recently at the Super Bowl, and she was talking about how she used to actually reverse a&r Do some with a music company. She brought her boss's Drake's first thing.

Jamila Souffrant 43:26

mixtape or something. Yeah.

Brandon Copeland 43:28

Anyway, now you're like, oh, man, this kid's gonna do anything. Few months later, she comes back in and says, I told you so. Right. And it because it was number one all over everything. Right? What she said literally, immediately, she was like, um, I'm trying to find me a different gig a different role, because I am the culture, you know, and I'm not trying to sound like, Yeah, but like, why am I trying to get you to validate what I know as this is good. And one of my businesses, we have a consultancy, consultancy or an advisement group, a cascade advisory group. And the way it became that is because, originally it was like, I'm always trying to pitch people on different ideas, like, Hey, you want sponsors, Hey, wanna get behind this, Hey, you wanna do this? And it's like, the strongest pitch in the world is, hey, I'm doing this, regardless of whether you want to be behind or not. If you want to get on and look good. Come on, if not cool, it's happening regardless. And so I think that as I've changed my mindset to be like that, as opposed to like, Hey, do you think that's cool? What do you think you should we should do in this right? Like, I know we should do. The reason why I could talk confidently about I know we should do because it's like educating NFL players. I know what we need to do, right? Like because I educate people and I'm in the locker room, right? There's not too many people that can tell me what we need to do to educate players better because I am who I'm trying to educate. And at a time, I was pitching to other people trying to get you to validate My thoughts sort of, I guess I would feel good when I looked at him. They're like, Yeah, you know, that company said, it's right. Why do I care what you think? Right? So I think just stripping away the need for validation will also help with those times of rejection. Because you won't feel this like, Ah, man, you know, my idol for that company. I was looking for my mentor. Let me down there, right because you're not disrespectful. He's like, I don't need your validation.

Jamila Souffrant 45:28

Yes, yes. Now, he's also talk a little bit about your other venture. So you mentioned your consultancy firm. You also are professors. So we did say that your professor cope also known as and some of the things that you'd focus on?

Brandon Copeland 45:40

Yeah, yeah. So, Professor, as you mentioned, now, I'm partner with a company called subject that calm it's called subject, but literally, recently rolling out on the financial education director. So literally rolling out classes for high school kids for credit around the country shot like Netflix is literally a kid gets access to my class. We got the first ever accredited cryptocurrency class, we're getting NF T's we're getting. We're getting Redfin to teach the real estate homebuyer course, right all for credit for high school students. And they also have chemistry, biology, all those things. So really just democratizing the access to information on the education side. And that's, that's my goal. So the kids in Baltimore, the kids and Mississippi kids in New York, get the same access as the kids in, you know, the the wealthiest places in the world, right? I have a consultancy business, and advisory firm where we partner with clients to basically help them help their target or their mission actually reach their audience better, right? It's typically around a financial education space. But if you have tools for things, how do you get it to reach these communities, while we're in those communities, and we can help you actually target your message and help make sure that it actually impacts the people because some of these companies actually do have some really good things for people and minorities and everyone in general, right, the average investor, but if no one knows about it, then who cares, right. And then outside of that, just an investor. So real estate investment investments, we've started doing single family home residential flips. We still do those from time to time, but now I've graduated to commercial. So we're building in downtown Newark, New Jersey, we have the largest affordable housing, building Spielbergian 66 units, we're having a 37 unit 16 unit, a 12 unit being built, and then recently just started acquiring land so that we can build commercial assets there. Well, we're not going to build we, we create partnerships and let the companies build their commercial assets. They're like, let's make Amazon the tenant, Chipotle, FedEx, Home Depot, those types of things. So again, like I said, gotten a real estate, for one thing, but now it's like, Okay, y'all, oh, you're doing it like that easier. Let's do that. So I keep telling people, my goal was that parking lots and storage units and things that I can hand over to my kids and be like, Listen, don't have this up. Right? Right, just repaint the lines every 50 years, you know, so, so they can live their, their dreams and their fullest lives. And then again, from an investment standpoint, also extremely interested in how journeyers look into venture investing, private equity deals, companies before they go public. It's very, very risky, as we all know, but once it's public, and once it's stamped, you can make a lot of money off of it and should, right you should hold it over time. But there's a lot of money that's been made on it. Practice would ever be in that popular and so just been trying to not try to actively invest in companies before they become public.

Jamila Souffrant 48:41

That's so smart. I don't know if you you know, Arlen Hamilton also, she's a friend of the show. And she's a venture capitalist and she talks about this all the time. So I just love that. So like connecting the dots and if you heard anything, if you're listening to this and it piques your interest write it down, do the research and follow the clues right be curious about your life and follow through so Brandon, this was amazing. Please tell everyone where they could find out more about you and then also your Instagram account so we can see your your son that you talk about so much.

Brandon Copeland 49:09

Thank you, I appreciate you. So you can all my social medias at the Koch 51 vc ope five one you can find more about me at life 101 dot IO or Brandon copeland.com So there's contact forms and things like that if you ever want to get in touch but ultimately yeah and I appreciate you having me on this on this space this week like I love the name journey journey the launch because I think ultimately it's a never ending journey. And so I think the last thing I want to say with everybody is like you are where you are for a reason. And although you might be in a seat like me today like you feel like I got so much more to do and so much more I can do better and so many things I can make up up for right like I think that we look at people sometimes when we we see that show you like oh this must be perfect. This must be glamorous, but like we all All are on that journey, you know. So like, I think embrace it, and just figure out how I can be better tomorrow and how I can be better the next day. And as we say in the NFL, my first coach is obviously just stacked good days. Let me just keep stacking good days. And when the dust settles, I'm sure I'll be happy with where I am.

Jamila Souffrant 50:18

I love it. Love it. Thanks so much again, Brandon, for all of this was amazing.

Brandon Copeland 50:22

I appreciate it.

Jamila Souffrant 50:27

Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journey to launch.com or click the description of wherever you're listening to this. And you can still grab your jumpstart guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to journey to launch.com/jumpstart. If you want to support me and the podcast and love the free content and information that you get here, here are four ways that you can support me in the show. One, make sure you're subscribed to the podcast wherever you listen, whether that's Apple podcasts, that purple app on your phone, your Android device, YouTube, Spotify, wherever it is that you happen to listen, just subscribe so you are not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this and Apple podcasts, rate review and subscribe there. I appreciate and read every single review number to follow me on my social media accounts. I'm at journey to launch on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And I love love love interacting with journeys. They're three support and check out the sponsors of this show. If you hear something that interests you, sponsors are the main ways we keep the podcast lights on here. So show them some love for supporting your girl for and last but not least, share this episode this podcast with a friend or family member or co worker so that we can spread the message of Journey to launch. Alright, that's it until next week, keep on journeying journeyers

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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Brandon Copeland, NFL player, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, joins the podcast to discuss his journey towards multiple streams of income and the importance of knowing your why in life. 

Through his dream of giving back to his community and having his money make more money, Brandon has been able to get out from under the “fickle” nature of professional athlete volatility and build a life he is passionate about. At one point, Brandon was also saving up to 90% of his NFL salary. 

With his wife Taylor, Brandon operates two real estate companies and Beyond the Basics Inc., a nonprofit organization helping young kids realize their true potential. He also teaches “Life 101” at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, arming students with the knowledge to make confident money decisions.

Brandon, also known as Prof. Cope has played for the Baltimore Ravens, the Tennessee Titans, the Detroit Lions,  the New York Jets, the New England Patriots and currently plays for the Atlanta Falcons. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • What led Brandon to have a dynamic career outside of the NFL
  • The importance of making your businesses, hobbies, and passions easier so you can buy back time
  • Why you need to leave competition on the field and out of personal finance
  • Navigating disappointments and rejections in your career
  • The power of leveraging your authenticity + more

Watch the video to this episode on YouTube here

Episode 267- Building Multiple Streams Of Income, Diversifying Your Passions, And Knowing Your Why With NFL Player Brandon Copeland Click To Tweet

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