I always find it serendipitous when you meet people at the time you’re supposed to and when you’re ready for it. Thanks to a client and friend who made the introduction, I collided with today’s guest around the time Phil and I launched our show. After hectic schedules delayed the initial conversation, I decided to “shut up” and finally make things happen.
Today, Phil and I are delighted to be joined by my new friend, Justin Sandy. Justin is the guy who pissed off Taylor Swift as the featured actor who played her cheating ex-boyfriend in the music video “Picture to Burn” and appeared in the 2009 Bruce Willis feature film Surrogates. How you might best know Justin is through his career as a former NFL player for the Tennessee Titans.
After we stopped recording this chat, Phil and I immediately said to each other, “What a really nice guy that Justin is.” If you can appreciate a story about a good, hard working guy from the Midwest who brought grit and determination to reach the level of success many people never envision for themselves growing up as a kid from a small farming community, then you’ll definitely enjoy this episode.
Share Some Shut Up Love –> Every single moment is a huge decision. You can dwell on the past, think about the future or take action now. – Justin Sandy #shutupshow (click to tweet)
- Justin was signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2004.
- Justin is a food advocate and speaker, actor and model.
- His first acting gig landed him an angry Taylor Swift music video “Picture to Burn.”
- He was also an extra in the 2009 feature film with Bruce Willis, Surrogates.
Defining Shut Up Moment:
ON HIS NFL CAREER:
About 80% of retired athletes are broke, divorced or unemployed five years after playing the game. The NFL is the worst of the bunch. I knew what these odds were coming out and going into retirement due to an injury. I was determined to not be a part of that 80%. What I’m doing now is trying to reach out to help athletes and business owners reach success.
I think that “fear” actually drove me to reach the NFL level. I was a small town Iowa guy. I was an undrafted free agent in 2004. I wasn’t given anything. I had to earn my way there. I didn’t give myself any other option. I have a degree in business management but I didn’t see myself using that while I was the NFL. I had one focus and it was making it to the next level. I had this fear of “Who am I outside of this football game? Who is Justin Sandy?” The money, fame and athletic ability is what motivated me to stick to the NFL. After that was done, I got perspective on my life and I said I’m not going to build my life or personal brand on a foundation of sand anymore. I want to build it on something concrete. To build it into the future.
When I retired, I went into this transitional period where depression set it. Where you’re trying to figure out who you are. I had the ability because I had the financial freedom to do that. I went to Central America for three months and didn’t shave… didn’t cut my hair… I was scaring people. It was so invigorating because I got to the core of who I was. When I was traveling by myself, no one knew me as Justin Sandy the NFL player. They just knew me as a guy from the U.S. From there I got to create who I was in that moment. That’s a very empowering thing. I took that with me when I came back to the U.S. and I was like, “I’m not just a football player, I’m a lot of things.”
Shut Up Tips:
I got the hustle award when I went to different sports camps. Getting my hands dirty and gritty in the whole process, fighting through the muck. Its’ been more rewarding that way. There are easy ways to get through it, but it’s not quite as rewarding on the other side. – Justin
Every single moment is a huge decision on who you are, who you wanna be and where you’re going with your life. You can decide to dwell on the past or think about the future or just take action on who you wanna be in that current moment. – Justin
In my rookie season I not only broke my left foot but my right foot too. In two years, I was retired and I still had one year of college left. I draw back to those times to get through the hard times. – Justin
The more I fear, the more I fail, the more successful I become. – Berni
You can’t have peak performance without sacrificing some of your longevity or health. I was a professional football player for five years. Yes, I was at peak performance but not at peak health or longevity because my body wouldn’t have broken down then. Going into a deep dive is asking, “What are your motivating factors? Who are you? Who do you want to be? What are your priorities?” Once you have that, you can get the tools you need for your business. – Justin
Justin is the owner of JIT Consulting.