After retiring from the NFL, Corey Jackson has committed his life and work to the professional development of athletes. Through his company Qwerkz, he provides athletes careers where their skills can be directly applied.
Sport: Football (Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos)
Education: University of Nevada-Reno (B.A Speech Communication)
Career: Founder and CEO; Qwerkz
What inspired you to pursue entrepreneurship after your NFL career?
I was always an entrepreneur. I started my first company during my rookie year when I was with the Cleveland Browns. After retiring from the NFL, I started Qwerkz because I saw how difficult it was for athletes to start new careers with Fortune 500 and tech companies. Also, I knew that compensation was very important, and companies needed to understand the real value of having a former pro athlete on their team.
What is your long term goal with Qwerkz?
Our goal for the future is not only to provide athletes with high paying career opportunities but also to invest in their ideas and projects. We believe we can help athletes reach the highest levels of business and career success.
Often times, athletes have a hard time identifying the transferable skills they have off the field. What were your transferable skills and how did you successfully identify and refine them?
I knew that I was very prolific at communications; I always had a way with words. Once I discovered I had a story to tell and great ideas to share, I went all in on my skill set—I had no choice but to bet on myself.
How do you continue to stay confident in the corporate space, especially against others who may have more "experience" than you?
Lol! This question makes me smile really big. Once I realized that my lack of experience was my biggest advantage, the game got much easier. In the corporate space, they want you for your unique experiences; I have experiences that most can only dream about and that's my separation. I always tell athletes that you win with what you have, not with what you wish you had.
What has been the biggest challenge in your transition from athlete to entrepreneur and how have you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was figuring out how to focus on one thing. It's okay to do multiple things but you must first master the main thing. I had so many great ideas that it was tough locking in on just one of them. Once I figured that out, I knew I was unstoppable.