YNS Live with NFL Thread Pivot Devon Kennard

yns live with nfl thread Jul 28, 2023

Listen to a new episode of PIVOT, a show brought to you by YNS Live with NFL Thread recorded live on Fireside with hosts Juliet Hahn and Cynthia Zordich featuring special guest Devon Kennard.

Devon Kennard is an NFL linebacker (9th season), RE investor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He earned both his Bachelor and Master's degrees in Communication Management in four and a half years at USC. Devon is a mentor and advocate for elevating personal financial well‐being and building generational wealth through passive income strategies, informed by his own work in building a real estate portfolio of over 50 income‐generating properties throughout the US. His investments include single‐family and multifamily properties as well as real estate syndication investments ranging from residential properties, storage facilities, hotels, senior living centers, and industrial properties. Devon provides financial guidance to NFL players including through the NFL Players Association, as well as via his philanthropic and charitable work promoting youth education and financial literacy, which earned him a landslide nomination for the 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

Devon utilizes his platform to cultivate a community of those who together want to grow personally, financially. To further this purpose, he founded the Reading With DK Reading Club and Reading With Dk Reading Program which has been operating for 5 successful years. The Reading with DK Reading Club invites all to participate and is held on social media. The Reading with DK Reading Program delivers a focused reading experience in‐person to youth within the community over the course of about a month. Kennard is an Educator and Advisor for the World of Money, a New York‐based organization that empowers youth with a solid financial education (since 2021). He is also a core Speaker for the Greattly Gives "Greattly Increase" program which equips students with critical life‐based education – including financial education and personal and career development ‐ to set students up for success. He founded the Midnight Golf Program (in Detroit) and Devon Kennard Scholarship Fund to support high school students with college applications, preparations, and funds to realize their college dreams. This April was the release of Devon's book, "It All Adds Up: Designing Your Game Plan for Financial Success." It was selected for the Apple Books list of the Most Anticipated Books of 2023. He hopes it will be a resource for many to realize financial freedom (publisher HarperCollins Leadership).

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You can find Devon on his Website and check out his Book.


Remarkable Quotes


“I always had that mindset of wanting to make sure that I'm in position to live life on my terms, long after I retire and not be some of the horror stories you hear about.”



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Created live on fireside. So welcome back to Wine us live with NFL thread. Pivot here live on Fireside. We are so excited for this episode. Devon Kennard.

Welcome to Fireside. Thank you guys for having me. I'm super excited. Yeah, so I know Cynthia has this wonderful introduction that she's going to give and then we're going to dive into the story. I cannot wait.

Yes I am. Well, you know, on, it really is exciting for me personally to have you on Pivot. My husband Michael played with your dad in Arizona and so mummy named you Devon and my daughter, I had Devon listed for one of her names and when I met you as a baby, I was like, I can't name her know, that's kind of weird. We hang out together. So Aiden's name is Aiden because of crazy.

That's a small world. And daddy was just like every time he saw my husband he'd say, z, give me some love and give me some love and z and he would make all of us smile. And my kids adored your mom and dad. So it's really amazing for me to see you grown and you doing all the amazing things you're doing after a ten year NFL career of your own and a book. It all adds up.

So it does all add up. So thank you for coming. It's really a really beautiful moment for me and I'm really excited to share your story. Thank you so much for having me. I didn't know that backstory, so that's really cool.

Yeah, and tell your mom, she'll giggle. Yeah. We had a lot of fun together. And this is why I love doing this, because you could just feel Cynthia's energy, you could feel how excited she is. She's known you since you were little, she's followed you, she's followed your dad.

And then to see what you've done with your career and then how you Pivoted. And what we're passionate about is really giving this platform for players that maybe are not thinking about life after football. We've talked to so many different players and of course it's not something when you're passionate about something and you love something, why do you want to think about life after? But in reality you kind of have to, right? So we are excited to dive into this.

I know that you're a real estate investor. You definitely were a forward thinker. And I would love what I love is the stories. Stories connect us. So what I'm really excited is to kind of find out where that all came from, where that grit, where that kind of forward thinking came.

Because not everyone is born with it. And so if you can just give us a little background about yourself and then we'll get into all the Pivots that you have done in your life because you're young. I could say.

People ask me that often, like, what made me get into stuff outside of football and stuff, but having a father that played, I was young when he retired. It was like 97, I think his last year was won the Super Bowl in 96. So for me, I saw my dad most post football. So it was kind of ingrained with me as I was growing up, is like, as much as I want to follow in his footsteps and become pro athlete and have a career, my dad ended up playing 13 years professionally, and he still lived far longer after that than he played. So it gave me a realistic view of, like, man, even if it plays out perfect for me, there's a lot of life left once I'm done playing.

So I always had that mindset of, like, all right, I want to make sure that I'm in position to live the life on my terms long after I retire and not be some of the horror stories you hear about. And in high school and college, I started to face adversity. That kind of began to question whether I was going to make it professionally or how long of a career I was going to have. And it made me ask myself a pivotal question, like, do I want to be successful because of football or do I want to be successful, period? And for me, once I made the decision, it's like there are certain things I want in my life, and I've always envisioned them coming from the game of ball, but if not, I still want them.

I still want to be able to live life on my terms and find success and be driven and live comfortably and all these things that I've always dreamed of really come down to freedom. And football was the vehicle that I thought was going to get me there, but if not, I needed to figure out what else. And once I had that mindset, it kind of got its hooks in me, and I was like, I got to figure this out.

I think this is so for me, you're talking about generational differences in players mindset. I know your dad, and I know that whole generation and my husband, their idea was, I don't want to line up next to a guy who's thinking about something else. I want to line up to a guy who's only thinking about the game and to break that mindset. It's really interesting, and I'm sure that's been a passion for you and purpose for you to help current players think otherwise. Like, you can think about life after the game while you're playing the game, and how do you do that?

How did you navigate that? And how do you help others learn to change their mindset? It was hard early on. When I first got in the league ten years ago, it was kind of taboo. You didn't really show interest in other stuff other than football.

I think it's evolving, and it's more acceptable now, more now than ever. So I think that's great. But overall, it's been an issue for an issue for a long time, and it was a hurdle I had to get over because it's like, I'm starting to learn about these things have other interest. But you get the whole comment like, oh, Devon, you're locked into your real estate stuff. You must not be focused.

And I would take that personally because I take the game very seriously. But everybody there's only so many hours in a day that you could focus on football. And whether you're recognizing them or not, you're doing other things. Whether you're the guy who likes to be in the club and you're partying and traveling, or you got the video games guys, you got the guys that smoke a lot of weed, like whatever your thing is, you're spending your time one way or another. This is how I've chosen to spend my time.

So why is it looked upon as bad? Because it's this. So once I started really reiterating that notion and earning the respect in the locker room because it never impacted the effort that I was putting on the football field, my studies. Football is the main thing. You always hear, keep the main thing, the main thing.

And I feel like I've done a good job of that my entire career. But when I've gotten a few hours of training in, when I'm eating well, when I'm doing all the things I need to be doing, there's still hours in the day and how am I spending them? And I think that's the question that players need to ask themselves. I think that's so cool and I love that so much because it's a mindset. And as you said, we all can have a number of different passions.

A lot of people have a number of different passions. And it's the way you kind of decarpartmentalize that's. A little tongue tied there, but I know you know what I mean in your brain is really important. So when you entered college, did you kind of go thinking, okay, I'm going to study a certain route, or was it like, I want to focus on football and get a degree? Because I know we all know you can get a degree in school.

And it doesn't have to be what you end up doing in life, obviously, unless you want to be a doctor or a lawyer or something very specific. So if you can take us through that a little bit, because I think that's important for people as they enter college, to kind of think, okay, where your mindset was then. So my mindset was literally I don't know exactly what I wanted to do once I got into college, so I wanted to pick a major that I feel like can apply and help me in whatever avenue that I was going to pursue. So I had interest in business, but had no idea what I've always been told I do good in interviews and I communicate well. So I was like, maybe the broadcast thing.

So I chose communication. And my mindset in college was I'm going to get as much school done as possible because it's free and I'm going to USC, which is 70 plus thousand dollars a year. So I always got confused with guys who hated school so wouldn't go to class, would fail classes. I'm like, you're making yourself have to do more school because if you fail the class, all they're going to do is make you take it again. So my mindset was like, I'm going to pass my classes, do as well as I can and finish as fast as I can so I never have to go back.

So for me, having that mindset right from the onset, like, I don't know exactly what I'm going to do. I'm going to pick a major that can apply to a lot of different things and I'm going to stick with it. I'm going to take a full load every semester and in the summer because this is a three to four and a half time period of my life no matter what. And I want to be able to say I got as much done as possible. And having that mindset, I was able to graduate in my undergrad in three years and my master's in a year and a half.

So I'm one of the few guys that was drafted in the NFL and had their undergrad and master's degrees. And a lot of people always assume like, I'm super smart because of it and I'm not the smartest person in the room 90% of the time, but I will put the effort in. And I think there's a difference between what's mandatory and what's necessary. Everybody is supposed to do the mandatory things, go to class, all that, but for me, it's like I'm going to go above and beyond. I'm going to ask my teachers questions.

I'm going to make sure I understand and I actually study for the test and do things like that. And it's always just worked out for me and put me in a position to be successful.

The fact that you got your master's in that time period when a lot of other players are using that red shirt year just to get acclimated, to take it easy and you kind of put it in gear, you say mandatory, you say necessary, and then there's just smart. I mean, the fact that you have your master's look at that and that can take you anywhere, and then you'll probably go on to your doctorate know, because that's what you do. So that's like, what did everybody say at like, how proud at USC? You just excelled at USC. What was that experience like?

For know, I think my parents were proud all the way along, but my college career wasn't all peaches and rainbow. I was drafted by or brought in not drafted by Pete Carroll. And he sat in my living room and told my family and I he wasn't going to leave. And after my freshman year, he dipped to, you know, got punched in the mouth in that. And then new coaches came in with Lane Kiffin.

They started changing my position. I'm more of a pass rusher, but we didn't have good linebackers, so they tried to move me to middle linebacker, so I'm out of position. And the whole middle part of my career was really choppy. I had a lot of injuries, a lot of position changes. So going into my red shirt senior year, it was like, is he going to make it?

Is he going to play professionally? He's injury prone. He hasn't had a breakout season, et cetera, et cetera. And I just went into that last year with the mindset of, like, I told myself, I'm going to glorify. God, I'm going to be relentless and I'm going to have fun.

And if I do those three things every day, then however the Cards fall, I'll be able to look myself in the mirror and be proud of what I see. So I kind of went in with that perspective because while I was in college, to be honest with you, there started to become a lot of bitterness. And it's like I felt like I always worked harder than everyone else. And why are the Cards falling for me the way they are? I made the proper sacrifices.

I'm not out on the road partying every night. I'm making sure my work is done first. I'm putting extra work in on the football field. I feel like I'm putting more in than a lot of people, but it's playing out way better for them. And I went through periods of resentfulness in college, and that's why that last year I kind of had to reset and was like, you know what?

When you're bitter like that and you're resentful and you're kind of living pissed off all the time, you're not hurting anybody but yourself. And I kind of changed my mindset and went off, had a great last year and put myself in a position to get drafted, and here we are today, right? I love it's. I love that you shared that for so many reasons. I was, like, screaming.

I know. Cynthia knows that I was. Because we all think, right, you get to the NFL and you didn't have the bumpy road, right? Everyone has a story. Everyone has trauma, everyone has bumpy roads.

It's how you show up in those roads and how you see and change your mindset. And we all have those times where we're down. And I think, again, it's really important for people to listen to that because there's people that are born and I really believe this with the kind of the innate confidence or in the innate positive, right? I see the positive in everything. I mean, my teenagers sometimes laugh at me and they're like, oh my gosh, you see the positive in everything.

But there's people that are born that way, right? And other people have to work to do that. But when you go through those downtimes, what I always say is so important is that's when you really learn that's when you see who you are and how you're going to show up when you're in those downtimes and do we always show up in those downtimes? Brilliantly. No.

But when you look back at those times when you can say, you know what, wow, that was really tough. But now I kind of see the lessons I learned in there and I see where I can go forward and now I'd see it where I can also talk and help to other people. Can you kind of take us through? If you did have that kind of AHA moment, like as you said, you changed that mindset, but was it ever? And you maybe still haven't seen it, but when you look back at that, do you see the lessons that you learned in those really tough times where you are?

Well, you know, coming out of high I'm I'm the guy who had a father who played in the NFL. I grew up in Phoenix. I was always a really good, like some would word it as like, oh, silver spoon, like pro football dad, great athlete, I got good grades. Life was about as smooth sailing as you can ask. And then I tear my ACL my senior year of high school, I go to college, start facing all kinds of Adversity, the coaching, you know, hindsight looking at it.

Once I got into the league and a big piece of what got me drafted. I remember I talked with Tom Coughlin, who was the head coach of the Giants when they drafted me. And they were extremely impressed with our boardwork when I came in for a visit. And there was three other guys who were on the visit with me and they drew up all these plays and I remembered them and it was like cover three schemes. I don't know how deep into football you guys know, but I had to draw up what it was, what everybody was doing.

But I not only knew my position, but all the positions around me and all the other guys that played my position that were there, they bombed that. And so it was like the things that the Adversity I faced in college, changing positions, being injured, it prepared me for that moment because now, because I had to change positions, I got to see football from a different lens. When you're just a pass rusher, you're rushing the passer, all you're paying attention to is the tackle and the running back and the quarterback. Pretty much that's your line of sight. When I had to step off the ball, I started to understand what the whole line is doing in front of me, what my DBS are doing behind me, and it helped me understand the game of football.

And once I got into the league, I was able to do a multitude of different things at a high level, and I had to play in different schemes and different positions. And that's how I got my start in the NFL. And I ended up starting as a rookie in the NFL because I was smart. I wasn't the fastest, wasn't the strongest, but I was a rookie who was in the right place at the right time, making the right plays. And it extremely impressed everyone around me because I wasn't making a lot of mistakes.

I was learning from the mistakes that I did make and I just wasn't acting as a rookie. That's the kind of dialogue I was getting. And then it was just funny because it was like, I'm here and in this position and they're saying these things about me and I'm about to start as a rookie, fifth round draft pick because of the trials and tribulations I faced in college, which I thought was my downfall. So it's just kind of full circle once I got in the league and I started to develop, and even to this day, I was cut midseason from the Cardinals this last year. I go to Baltimore right in the middle of the season.

They had injuries, and I got to look at the playbook for two days, and I started and played 35 snaps in a matter of two practices. And it's because of my knowledge of the game, but I set that foundation in college with what I was going through. So I would say, like, hindsight, I'm like, man, it sucked in. But I just needed to trust my journey because that was what actually propelled me to the point I'm at today. Oh, my.

Like, I know the chills that I just had because that's exactly what it is. That's what set you up. God put you in those positions to really struggle, to then see the hindsight. Cynthia, I know you wanted to say something, but that just is amazing. Yeah, I think that what you're saying.

It almost frustrates me a little bit, and we're not sure of the outcomes, but I was just curious what your take on the portal system is and what this is doing to a lot of players who, like yourself, are in situations where they're not happy, so they leave. And then I always wonder, what if they stayed? What if they fought through? What if they learned something from it? And where are they going to end up if they are jumping and jumping and jumping?

What is your take on that?

My kind of take on that would be it's very circumstantial and difference. I think some kids are out there, they're running from the work, quite frankly. If stuff's not peachy, if they're not starting right away, if it's not going, they're running from it. But there is some situations in some cases where you got to go and find a better opportunity or a better situation for yourself. But I think there's far too many kids just running from circumstances.

And I was always the kind of person that's like, I came here, I made a commitment and I'm going to earn my way. I wanted to defy the ODS. I wanted to overcome the adversity. There was times where I did think about transferring and there was times where I'm like, did I make the right decision? I should have went to University of Texas.

That was another top pick. Cal Berkeley, they weren't that good at the time, but I was going to be their golden child if I decided to go there. I had second guess, but ultimately, year after year, it was really my sophomore and junior year. I ultimately was like, you know what? I'm going to stay.

I'm going to earn it. I don't care what position they put me out, I'm going to beat the guy out and I'm going to take advantage of my circumstances no matter what. And I don't think enough kids these days have that mentality, but there is a balance of knowing, okay, this is really not a good situation for me. I need to go find a better one. So I don't know where that teeters.

I can understand both sides, but I think there's too many people kind of quitting too early. Got you. And that's so much in life, right, with anything, when we quit too early, we don't see the end of that. And so that takes me because I know we're short on time with you. Not short on time, but we have a time thing and I want to get into what you're doing right now.

But being an entrepreneur also, right. People sometimes quit right before the gold is happening, right before the magic happens. And I think that's too much with people. It's like, it's hard. I'm out.

Where that's again? Where you learn in those hard spots when life kind of sucks, right? When you're kind of like, what am I doing there's? Sometimes you just see all of a sudden this like, okay, this is what God was meant and this is why I needed to stick it out. But it's hard to do that.

So if you can kind of take us into what you're doing now and how that kind of evolved and kind. Of played out now and while you play and now. Yeah, exactly. I just finished my 9th year going into my 10th year in the NFL, and I'm blessed to be in a position where I want to play one more year, mostly to hit ten, if I'm being completely honest. I just feel more whole.

But I'm also in a position where I'm not going to just take anything. I want the right situation, the right opportunity. I have two young girls at home, a lot of things going on off the field, and I don't want to go into a situation that doesn't make a lot of sense for me. So it's like, if it works out, great. If it doesn't, then I'm ready to move on.

But what's interesting with my journey while I've been in the NFL is, like, figuring out the ways to invest that's going to make sense for me. And I kind of went against the grain once I got into the league. Most guys and most of the locker room conversations that was happening, guys are getting financial advisors. They're stock market guys, essentially. They're just teaching that.

And the issue that I was seeing is, like, you're putting all this money in the stock market, you retire, and you need cash flow to live. And the stock market wasn't consistently providing you that because, okay, the stock market goes down 20%, but you still live off of $200,000 a year. Well, you got to draw that out regardless, and now that's hurting your investment portfolio even more because the math wasn't math into me. So I was like, what do I need to do or how can I invest? And I kept learning and figuring out, and I kind of came to real estate, but kind of prematurely while I was in college.

Where I got the idea for real estate was I was always networking. And I met a guy who owns thousands of units in Los Angeles, and I talk about this in my book, and I sat down with him, and he started out as a teacher and then a police officer. Bought one property, then turned it in, bought another one, rented that one, and kept doing that and started owning thousands of units, apartment complexes was managing it. And my mindset when I got into the lead was like, if that dude was able to do that off of a police officer salary, then even if I play one year and get a nest egg of a couple of hundred thousand grand, that's a jump start for me to do something similar. And it was kind of motivation for me.

And then I got into the league, and that's where the whole stock market and it kind of drew me back to real estate because I was like, I can build enough income in that sustains my lifestyle. So when I'm done playing, I'm not spending down my principal, and I'm still living life on my terms. So, man, maybe I start investing this way now, build it up, and then by the time I'm ready to retire, I'm in a position where I'm playing because I want to, not because I have to. And I have enough income in to replace the lifestyle that I want, so there's no pressure. And that kind of became my vision.

So at first I was like, all right, let me get to $10,000 a month, then let me get to $15,000 a month of passive income. And then once I started to hit those markers, I'm like, okay, let me take off with this. Where can I push it? And along the way, I just started to really believe in the concept, and I'm like, I felt like this is the solution for a lot of players financially, because the biggest issue is guys create an expensive lifestyle and don't have any income coming in. So you make millions of dollars, but if you're spending hundreds of thousands a month, you can do the math pretty quickly on how fast you're going to run out of your money.

And if you're not investing in a way to replace that, then it's not if, but when. So once I figured that out, I was like, okay, this is what I need to do. I love that. Oh, go ahead, Cynthia. Yeah.

What I think is so important, too, is not only are you talking about sustaining your lifestyle and not are you talking about avoiding dipping into your savings, but you also created a career for yourself. So now you already know what you're good at, which is always so scary in transition. What am I going to do? What am I good at? You're already learning along the way, so you're already creating this second career for yourself.

I think that's so important. Yeah, I think what's important to note with that is in college and in the NFL, a lot of guys act like they're too, oh, I'm too cool to try to network with this business guy or pick his brain or I don't got time for that. And I'm like, this is the time to do it. Because I realized pretty quickly while I was in the NFL, I can get a meeting with Dang Near, whoever. Like, I can put myself in position.

So let me leverage that, open as many doors, figure out the things that I'm interested in, and get the ball rolling, because look at how they're looking at you. One, you're a professional athlete, so it's like, cool for them to say, oh, I took a meeting with the pro athlete, or I'm friends with the pro athlete. I do this and that with the pro athlete. Two, they're looking at you as a potential investor, someone they could do something with because they know you have capital. So that doesn't mean you have to do that, but leverage the fact that they're looking at you with eyes of, oh, he's an equal in some way because he can invest in the things that I'm doing.

Or, it's not like, oh, I'm just asking you to teach me. I'm asking you to teach me because I have the money to where I can make a move and invest in something and make some plays. So once I started to realize that's how people kind of looked at me, I'm like, man, I'm going to lean into that network, meet as many. Opportunities as I can in whatever endeavor. So my thing happens to be real estate but I think whatever your thing is I think more guys need to leverage that to the best of their ability.

And I get frustrated because you see the big names doing it a ton and they get no slack for know you see Patrick Mahomes buying MLS teams in Kansas City and all these moves and I think that's great but it's like the low to mid to mid to high tier. All those guys, they need to be doing the same thing, if not more because those are the guys you're making good money but it's probably not generational money. Some of the quarterbacks are the highest paid guys in the league. They can almost throw their money in bonds and live off of 4% dividends for the rest of their life because they've made so much. But it's all the guys in between that you've made good money but if you're spending a lot it's probably not going to sustain forever.

Those are the guys that really need to be leveraging relationships career wise and creating a lane for themselves while they're playing. So then the transition is easy. Yeah, this is what I want people to listen and really hear. Not just listen and kind of take it but the networking and the fact that you stayed curious and you asked questions, this is what I think it lacks in so many people because they're afraid of asking questions because they're like oh I don't know, I don't know this space. But when you stay curious and when we lost a bum for a second but when you stay curious and when you do that is when you never know what's going to happen.

You never know who is going to come into your path. And that's where I think so many people fall short because as you said they feel like they're either too good for it or they're like I don't know what to do there. And so staying curious and asking those questions are what's going to keep putting people in there. And that's where again the stories connect us. The fact that that man told Devon the story know he was a police officer and a teacher and it was like wait a second, if he could do that, let me stay curious, let me ask questions.

And that's where people need to capitalize on that curiosity that we have and they have. So I love that so much. I think it's really important and the. Confidence of asking for those meetings for those lunches because Devon is right. Nobody is going to say no, not one CEO, not one principal, not one president is going to say no to having lunch with a player because it's exciting to pick each other's brains and to get to that highest, highest level.

I think so many players forget who they are and what they do and they actually get modest. They get insecure or shy. No. Ask for those meetings. Ask the good questions and create that group of mentors around you to find out what you want to do next.

Yeah. Do we have to invite Devon back on or is he good to jump on? Hold on 1 second. Let me see. Invite because I want to talk about his book.

I hope we to I was going to pivot into that. Like, what made you start the book? There you are. Great. There you go.

Sorry, guys, I got cut out. No, no worries. Talking about you. Yeah, just talking about the networking and the being curious how important that is and how so many people really are afraid to ask questions because they don't want to look stupid. But like the curiosity and the questions and then the stories that connect us is really like you listen to someone's story and you're like, you know what?

That stuck in my mind. And that's what I talk about. All that's what we talk about all the time is keeping your mind open. Listen, look around, see who's around you. See who you can ask questions to because you never know who you can learn from.

You can learn from a janitor to a CEO of a company because we all have those stories. So that kind of takes me into what made you decide to be like, hey, I'm going to be an author. Yeah, it's weird. For a long time I've always had a vision of writing a book. One know, my business manager and marketing person, Vanessa, I kind of shared this idea with her and we kind of took off and ran with it from there.

And it really just started out as like, okay, what's the general concept? And it was really about how I hated the American dream today and how it's not working for many people. But we're banging our heads against the wall, acting like it's going to work. Had this whole concept. We start to pitch it to potential book agents and I wasn't sure where I was going to go.

I was like, okay, so we found one that liked the concept. I liked the guy. I'm like, okay, let's roll with it. He's like, I'm going to pitch it to publishers. Nothing happens for almost six months and then out of the blue, the agent reaches out to me and has a book deal proposal from Harper Collins.

And it's a legit offer and the ball gets rolling. Next thing I'm like, wow, I'm really about to be an author. And I had to write it during season, so it was like off day and then some evenings and worked with an editor to help me throughout the process. But I think it's a good story of like, you have to shoot your shot and position yourself in position to be successful. You could say it was that one thing of me just reaching out to me and Vanessa reaching out to a book agent.

But I think it's the work that I put in and the ideas that I had, and I was prepared for the moment. And I think guys need to kind of invest in themselves in that way because you never know where things could go. And when you're really putting yourself in a position to reach your goals, you'll be surprised at what you could accomplish. I never thought it was going to actually happen, and here we are today, and my book came out a couple of months ago, and I'm one of the only players to write a book while they're playing. And it's not even a football book, it's a finance book.

So I think it was a blessing. But it was definitely something that is like, man, I dreamt of it a long time ago and it came into fruition. But I feel like my life has kind of been that. I tell a funny story sometimes. I was in the 7th grade and I got a student athlete of the week, and in a little middle school newspaper, I said, I want to go to USC and play in the NFL one day.

And I'm in the 7th grade, and my accountant is friends with somebody who sent her that article the other day. And she texted me. It was like, this is crazy. Like, knowing your life now, you literally did everything you said you're going to do in the 7th grade. And manifestation is huge.

It's real and having a dream for yourself. So I kind of am now in the mindset. Like, God's kind of shown me enough to where if I have a vision and I have something and I just do things that push me towards that direction. A book seems so far out five years ago, but I wasn't focused on the book. I'm just going to take little steps every day, move in the right direction, put myself in position to where maybe that's possible, and people underestimate what they can do in a few years and a few years down the line.

And now I'm in a position where I have a book and I'll probably write more. And I'm amazed sometimes at what I've been able to accomplish, but I wouldn't say I've done anything amazing. It's the consistency over time and really kind of staying the course. I think habits are really important and the habits that you instill in your life, I try to tell that to guys all the time. It's like, man, you can take little steps every day and you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish in a year or two.

But people get kind of bogged down because you're not going to see a huge difference in a month or in two months, but it's staying the course. Yeah, it all adds up. The name of your book is exactly what you've been talking about all day, just kind of like everything that you do is a part of your journey and leads, and if you have the mindset to succeed and that message, having a book, has to be just incredible. But the message that you're sharing is even more important. And I'm sure you have to be thrilled to share that message with not only the NFL community, but all communities.

Yeah, absolutely. I think it's so pivotal for people to just understand. A lot of guys write themselves off and not just pro athletes. But you can accomplish so much. You don't have to be extraordinary to do extraordinary things.

And that's one thing I've realized. I've had a nine year NFL career. I wouldn't say I'm the best, the fastest, the strongest person, athlete, any of those things, but I've done the right things long enough and I've done ordinary things well enough that I've been able to accomplish amazing things by doing ordinary things well. And the work ethic, I mean, that's something when you have work ethic. And I know it's the consistency, it's the showing up.

And as a pro athlete, you have that, right? I mean, you have that like, you're the 1% that really works hard. So I want other people that are listening that maybe are not in the NFL community that are like, okay, but we all can do that. We can all show up for ourselves. Because if you don't show up for yourself, what is there, right?

We all have one life. And if you're not happy in your space, this is what I say. We're not trees. We're not a tree. We can make the changes, and it's only us that can make those changes.

And so if you stay curious, you network, you ask questions. If you daydream, what do you want your life to look like? I call it daydreaming instead of meditating. I have to walk. I walk my dogs and I daydream.

I'm like, hey, what's God going to show me? What's the universe going to show me and those little things? And it doesn't matter how old you are, where you've been, we all have those. Pivots. We just heard Devon's pivots.

You guys know Cynthia is an eye pivots. This is what life is about. It's about showing up and being better than you were yesterday and inspiring others to be better than they are yesterday and today. So, Devon, I can't wait to keep following you. I can't wait to get your book.

And I love your whole mindset. I love what you're teaching and preaching and showing up because you're showing everyone that you can do something again. You dream it. If you dream it in your mind, you can make it happen. Don't let yourself be the limitation.

So thank you so much for joining YNS Live with NFL Thread. Cynthia and I are know honored to have you. Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. Love to come back on again sometime and I love what you guys are doing with Pivot.

It's amazing. More guys need to get access to this. I think it could change lives, right? And then to get your book, I definitely want to lead listeners and we'll be sharing and linking and putting a few quotes and video clips from this conversation. But I definitely in our events that we have, we have our hall of Fame event coming up in Canton in August.

We've got the Super Bowl coming up. Definitely want to know it all adds up in the playbook. Like, let's share this book. Let's get it out there and let's get it in the right hand so we'll continue to talk about all that. Yeah, absolutely.

You could buy the book on Amazon or really anywhere. You buy books in store or online or at my website, www.Devoncanard.com, and follow me on social media at Devoncanard. Not hard to find. Just pretty much type my name in anywhere and I'll probably pop up. Yes.

And this will be in the show notes also, so you guys will have those links that you can just click. And this is live on Fireside. It will be out on all the podcast players, your Apple, your Spotify, out in a few weeks. And what we always say is, you might have listened to this episode and you might have been like, you know what? This is great.

Share it. You don't know who in your life needs to hear this. This is what this podcast is about. This is about the Pivots in life. Devon has done extraordinary things in his life.

And as he said, he has just taken 1ft ahead of the other. That was, again, a little tongue twister.

I get so excited. I'm like, in front of the other. Exactly. But, you guys, we can all do like we can all be better than we were. So share, like rate Review this is also out on LinkedIn.

If you guys are listening on LinkedIn, if you're here live on LinkedIn, if you're here live on Fireside, if you're listening to the replay, if you are on YouTube, thank you for joining YNS live with NFL Thread live on Fireside. Thank you again, Devon, so much. We so appreciate having you. Thank you, Devon. Thanks for having me.

And last message I got for your guys'followers. Know it's not what you got, but what you do with what you you know, in my book, I talk a lot about flipping the bag in your life. And whatever your circumstances, maximize, maximize them. We all have certain blessings, skill sets, relationships, knowledge. Take those and maximize them to the best of your ability, and you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

So just keep at it, everybody, and thanks for having me on again. Thank you. Thank you so much, Vanessa. Thank you, Vanessa, for helping coordinate. You're amazing.

Yes, thank you. And everyone that joins Share this, thank you again. And we will see you guys for another episode of YNS live with NFL Thread live on Fireshine.

Good job. Stay tuned. The show is about to begin.

My focus is entirely on helping you follow your passion, even when you feel like you've got stuck in crazy town. There is a way out, its me helping you. You don't have to ditch everything in your life that is making you feel overwhelmed and stuck, you just need some help to navigate it.


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