YNS Live with NFL Thread Vanessa Haynes

yns live with nfl thread Jun 30, 2023

Vanessa Haynes is an entrepreneur, the Founder and President of Greattly, LLC and Founder and Leadership of the Greattly Gives Foundation. Haynes and her company, Greattly, represent some of the most accomplished athletes in the world and renowned public figures to further expand their reach to make a positive impact in the community. Clients include uplifting pro athletes, retired players, Pro Football Hall of Famers, and public figures.

Vanessa is deeply rooted in the football family. Her father, Mike Haynes, played professional football for 14 years. He is a Pro Football Hall of Famer and a member of the NFL 100 All-Time Team. He is an Entrepreneur and Transition Coach who served as the Vice President of Player and Employee Development for the National Football League and as the Special Advisor to the NFL Commissioner. Vanessa’s inherent passion for the football family translates into an unparalleled dedication to providing the highest level of support to deliver success and foster fulfillment. It has fueled her decade-long journey of working with retired and active players.


You can find Vanessa on LinkedIn and check out Greattly.


Remarkable Quotes


“Everybody has gifts but we’re not always tapping into them. Often, I've found that the areas we attack ourselves the most on, or we feel the world attacks us most on, are actually areas we have a gift to uncover.”




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Created live on fireside.

Welcome to ynus live with NFL Thread. So excited. We always say this. We're so excited to bring you more stories from behind the scenes. I'm here with my co host Cynthia Zordich and our guest Vanessa Haynes.

How are you guys? Hey, morning. Great. How are you? Oops, cynthia, we lost you.

It now I am giant. And you're giant.

I was so giant. I'm going to pull this back a little bit because I am horizontal, so I guess I'm bigger there. So I am really excited. I'm keep pulling back a little bit. Wow, that is close.

That's like good morning. I am so excited for you to be here live on fireside. We love having these events and having guests like yourself that have done so much behind the scenes and are doing so much right now. So I cannot wait to dive into the story. Cynthia, would you like to introduce Vanessa and tell all the wonderful things about her?

Yeah. I'm so excited. The one thing I do love about Thread is that you end up being connected to people through others. And Carla Billion had contacted me to tell me the great things that Vanessa is doing. Of course, Vanessa's connection to the NFL is that her father is hall of famer Vanessa Haynes, the cornerback who is like, incredible, who went into the class of 97.

And they continued to do amazing things together throughout Vanessa's early career into making, creating this marketing guru that she's become and becoming the president of Greatly and the founder of greatly gives. So for me, that's the message all the time is you're in this family and help each other, work with each other, help market each other, help promote each other. And this is what Vanessa is doing, not only for others, but for NFL players, NFL spouses that are doing great things. And she's helping promote their brands, create their brands and market them. So thank you for joining us today, Vanessa.

Absolutely. I'm so thankful to be here and here to connect with you in general and then also talk to my football family. Absolutely. I'm very passionate about them. Yes.

And I think the thing that's so exciting and this is why Cynthia and I love doing this so much is sharing the stories, because so many people don't know what it looks like after or what you can do with a platform or if you have ideas how to kind of grow those ideas in your head. So many people are so afraid of dreaming and going for it because they're afraid of the failures. They're afraid of the what ifs. And what I talk about all the time is you have to be able to dream. You have to dream of the life you want.

And when you get the signs, when I talk about this all the time, the signs and whether it's God or the universe, I believe in God, but God's going to give you signs and you have to follow them. You can't shut yourself out from the world and be like, I'm scared, so I'm not going to do that or I don't want to be judged. You have to go for it. So I am excited to get into this wonderful conversation with you because I know you've done exactly that. So, Vanessa, can you give us a little background about you growing up and a little bit so people can kind of get a sense of who you are?

Sure. And please ask questions along the way. So I, yes, grew up Mike's daughter and my mother is Juliet. But what I would, I guess, like to really say about growing up is kind of growing up with a hall of Famer as a dad. And so, for one, myself, back to my own gifts, kind of what, Juliett, you're kind of leading with, I think, is that so?

Personally, myself, I've always been really passionate about people and I've had this deep caring about others and I realized that this is something kind of different about myself. I will get more excited about people than they get about themselves. I'm like, this is a huge win. This is amazing. I'll be excited that someone shared who they are with others.

So growing up with a hall of Famer as a dad and my dad, who was very accomplished outside of sport as well, worked for the NFL headquarters and helped players in transition, he asked a ton of questions. So anytime we had an idea about something I have siblings as well, and I work with my brother, also works with the company, but he would ask all of these so you would have an idea, oh, I want to do this thing. And instead of him just listening and saying like, oh, that's great, cool, good to hear, he would ask so many questions. Do you have a plan? Who is your customer?

How do you know they're your customer? How are you going to get the product? What is the product? How many products are you going to sell? How did you choose that number?

And the amount of questions that we would get were extensive, but that kind of, I think, also kind of linked to the hall of Fame mindset. He was doing everything he could do to be the absolute best at what he was doing, and he would really identify, like, is there anything that I could have done better? Whatever that is, relationship based, communication based, performance based. And I think that really prepared us for our futures in such a grand way. And so at a very young age, we're already thinking about all these plans and identifying all of these things that I think usually it takes a lot of time to identify.

And I have a question and a thought for you because I love this so much and Cynthia, I know, is smiling there because I'm a question asker. I love questions. I have three teens right now, and they do not like my questions, but questions are how people learn. So I'm dyslexic so I always ask questions because I need to make sure I'm understanding it or I'm very curious. Probably one of my gifts is I'm super curious, so I love asking those kind of questions.

So I love that you noticed that in your dad. I literally got such a warm heart because I'm like, it's so important because it also showed you that he cared, right? He actually cared about what you were doing and really wanted to give you thought. And I think that's so important as parents to hear that as busy as your dad was, where he was, he still stopped and asked questions because it was important to him to know and show you guys where you could go. So I just had to add that because that makes me, like I'm like, screaming inside because I love questions.

I really do. I think your kids are going to come to realize it's a big value. At first you feel like, oh, but don't you want to just like my idea? Because it's my idea. But then later you realize how much there was never anyone I was going to interact with that would ask me a question that I hadn't really addressed.

And you get there. It took a process, of course. It took a lot of growth. But then you just realize you can answer those questions, and that builds a lot of confidence. And that also means if you can answer those questions, if you have determined that information, you can move on to bigger things, right?

You can move on to more. I'm incredibly thankful. Yeah, I love that. Cynthia, I know you want to add something. I can see it.

No, it's true. Diving into an idea and having somebody that you respect give you honest feedback and ask you those hard questions that make you go even deeper and to consider all angles and having that be your parent, I mean, that's fantastic. A lot of parents just don't have that in them to even understand or to be able to have that mindset of like, well, where are they going with this? How can I help build them? We just want to please our kids a lot of times, so we say, no shit, that's great.

Keep it up.

I have to say, my mom also, she would ask a lot of questions. So it was definitely a combo, but different, right? They were different questions, so they prepared us in different ways. But yes, I love that. Agree.

It's so funny because I realized idea kid, like, okay, at a young age, did you really recognize early on that you had some ideas in your head and you were creative and you were into this world of kind of marketing and branding? Yeah, so I definitely had ideas and wanted to do.

I always saw the micro and the macro perspective and that's something. So I would see the micro of people and their personal value. And this always really excited me that every single person is uniquely different. There's nobody the same. And so I'm also a very curious person.

So I would love to dive in about what are you about? And I would get so excited about these different intricacies of a person. And then on the macro side, I would say I could see that this person can help the world. And that comes into play with my big picture. And I'm thinking, again, this person can help the world.

They have something unique to offer and how do I help them help the world? And how do I help the world? And I think in a really big part of the way, honestly, was helping them to also realize these unique differentiators about themselves. I think there's so much time where we work and we develop to be a certain way and sometimes those things are good. I'm always striving to grow and be better, but sometimes we move away from really the special things about ourselves.

I've always been really passionate about identifying those things and building people up and drawing that out of them to say, no, this is a beautiful thing about you. For this other person who's doing something else, that's the beautiful thing about them. And you have something unique and different about yourself. Let's use it. And whatever that is, that could be interactions with people, creating art, designing businesses, whatever it is, everybody has a gift in those different gifts, plural.

But there's all different ways to impact the world. And even though, like I said, I'm thinking in a macro way as well, I also really highly value the very intimate interactions. Just a person to a person, it can impact someone's life just in moments. And there's something that I say, actually, originally when I started greatly, the tagline was these are your moments, make them count. And I believe that like sitting here with you now and every moment that we have, these are our moments.

So what are we going to do with those? And how do we want to be present? And do we really want to not share of ourselves when there's a reason we're all uniquely different? So let's use those together. Let's share, let's build each other up.

Yeah, again, and I love that so much. And it's also the stories. That's what Cynthia and I do. That's what we do, separate in our own with the playbook and me with the other podcasts and other stuff that I do is about stories connect us. And when people are uniquely their own, right, and we all have strengths and weaknesses and we can identify those strengths and weaknesses and build off of them.

I think it's always being dyslexic. I always love seeing where I struggled as a kid but now seeing where those struggles have actually become my superpowers and then helping people kind of put those dots together because we all, again, are unique. We all have something to offer. I think we can learn, and this is I mean, I talk about this all the time. We can learn from everyone.

We can learn from a homeless person on the street to the president of a company because we all have stories and we've all been through things. We just have to stop and listen. We just have to give the chance to connect. And again, those paths listen to God. Where is God sending you?

What is God saying? Who is in your path? Ask a question. You might ask that question and your life might change. Or you might change someone else's life in that one question.

I say all the time, we're one question away from a different life, and it's really, really true. So I'm like right now just giggling because everything you said is so in bread and me as well. So I want to take you there, as Cynthia said. So as a kid, you obviously had this entrepreneur spirit, right? I mean, you had the questions, your parents asked questions.

What time in your life did it kind of all of a sudden really come together? Like where you had that first connection with those dots, like at an early age? If you can share that. Sure. Well, that's kind of tough.

So I would definitely say it's been a journey. Excuse me?

Connecting the dots to where I am now, is that ultimately your question? Yes, connecting that. So I definitely think it's been a journey. And this is something I would love, I think is also very important for everyone to realize. And so it's really been just step after step.

So God took me on a path that I went the corporate route, and I succeeded corporately. I also didn't tell anyone who my dad was. I needed to know for sure that nobody was liking my ideas or supporting me because they knew who my dad was. And so nobody knew I went the corporate route. It was working.

But then I realized that I felt like I couldn't impact the level of change that I really wanted to. And I also really wanted to travel and interact with more of the world and the different cultures of the world. And when I say culture, that doesn't even have to be city or countries or anything like that, it can be different city cultures and different neighborhood cultures, but I wanted to do more of that. And so I went the corporate route. Then I was recruited away to a European franchise to help them build their brand and break into the US.

And it allowed me to, I think, just gain additional a different perspective. So now I'm gaining the European perspective, also their perspective of the US. And how these different cultures, brands, products, how they're different, how to connect that with the US and excite the US about these products, which were amazing.

I kind of went this route, but then again and I was able to affect change in a substantial way there because I was a part of also building stores. So one of my team members would identify locations. But then I would work with architects to do the store build out, to choose what products are going to be in the store and where. Trained the staff, marketed the store, did the PR and all of this. So I got to do a lot of things and I really loved it and I really loved my time corporate as well.

I worked with Office Max, which had just come up naturally because actually as I was a customer, because I love organization and somebody at a store gave me he just was so excited about my passion for being organized and buying colorful Sharpies that he offered me a position. And then I was promoted two weeks later. And then I just continued on this promoted promotion route. I was in Scottsdale, Arizona. I ended up in Chicago with my promotion, and when I left, they had offered me to be the territory manager of the number one territory.

And I think I was 21 or something like that. I was in each position ten years younger at least than the person who held previous or than the youngest that had held that role. And I think as the territory manager was more significant for myself. I knew, all right, I feel like I've done a lot here. I've tried my ideas, I've built confidence in my strategies, but there's more that I want to do.

So I go onto this European franchise, I'm able to be a part of these different aspects of the business and grow that again, love that experience, I guess. Fast forward a little bit here so I'm just not jumping around too much, but no worries. I went on to then Co found an ecommerce furniture company that sold height adjustable desks. And there I had to learn to that was at the very beginning, so nobody had heard of height adjustable desks. It's like sitting and standing, the ability to sit and stand at your desk.

And so I had to educate the market and learn how to do that. And we had to conduct our own research studies. And I was the second in command and the vice president of marketing, which was also sales and cooperation and many things branding. But these are all steps. So understanding the corporate mindset, understanding this European not just European, there were stores actually in other parts of the world as well.

So understanding these different parts of the world and cultures and also how the US is uniquely different then going on to co found this company learning how to educate the market having an ecommerce business opposed to an in person experience, business. And so these are all steps. And of course, along the journey, I didn't know where I was ultimately going, but I knew that I wanted to always do my best, give the best of myself, that didn't Change, no Matter that's A who I Am Kind Of Person and Was Also Fostered, I Think, By My Parents Step. Right. And So, Ultimately, Then The Ecommerce Business That I Co Founded, my Co Founder, Was Happy, Ready.

This is perfect. This is exactly where I want the business to be. And I need to grow. We got to grow somewhere in some way. I need to be always growing.

And so I left the company and started. Greatly and greatly. Originally was purpose to help. I realized I'm very passionate about starting businesses and getting new products, new ideas, understanding them, understanding the people behind them and launching them into being successful. And I apologize with this.

Headphone here. No.

But one of the strategies I used was pairing companies with these incredible athletes who I have known throughout the years. My dad and I have a very close relationship, and so I was always involved in the things that he was doing, going to the events and in meetings and things like that.

I would pair companies with these incredible people like my dad and others to help bring exposure to brands. And through that, I identified again. Steps, steps through that. I realized that although I'm very passionate about building companies, starting them, growing them to be profitable, my deepest passion are the people and interacting with the clients that I thank the Lord that I get to work with their impact.

I could not continue to have these incredible moments and not try to find a way to share that with the world, their upliftedness, their brilliance. And after, I would interact with people. Who had interacted with those individuals, the feedback I would get, they changed my life. That's the kindest person I've ever met. I didn't realize I had this need.

And they made it so clear to me, and now they've just solved my company issues in five minutes.

Or they've connected, some of these relationships. Athletes and public figures, they'll connect. Someone they meet with, someone who they would have, it seems, like, never have been connected to. And now? They've just helped this person, like, skip ten steps.

And and so I knew there was something there. I knew because I knew God was speaking to me about it. He helped me identify that. These other things I love. But when it comes to these people, this is the best way I can articulate it here.

He just completely sets my head hard. On fire. It's on fire. I love them. I know how special they are.

I can see these gifts in them. And so I realized that I was going to refocus my business on these individuals, building their personal brand, drawing who they genuinely are out of them. So back to something that you were saying. Everybody has these gifts and they're not always sharing them. And a lot of times I've found, in fact, some of the areas that we attack ourselves the most on, or that we feel like we get the most attack from the world on, the most correction on, often those are the places that you actually have a gift.

And I think that's really opposition trying to stop you from sharing it with the world because it's powerful. And so I even say if you see that happening, dive into it. Maybe there's something there that is really, truly a gift in you.

I'm just passionate about that's part of my gift of seeing those things in other people and drawing it out of them. And that's ultimately what I do it greatly, is drawing that out of them, building their brand that is authentically who they are, sticking with them to, staying consistent with that. Right? This is my football family, and in my family, we communicate honestly with each other. And so my clients, I want them to fulfill their purpose, support them in any way that I can do I can to support their purpose, draw out these gifts, remind them, this is a gift.

This is a gift. This is a great thing about you. This is how it can help the world.

And keeping them there, keeping them in that purpose place. And when the world wants to lead us away, that's off purpose. I communicate about that, which is so beautiful. And I think one of the things that is, and I really want the listeners to listen to this part is some people will say, oh, I was on the wrong path. I don't believe anyone was ever on the wrong path, because you learn from every path.

So what your path, really? What stood out to me was that you still remained curious. You took what you had in each of those positions and you built on it because you had a greater purpose, right? There was a greater purpose for you. So you really kind of took everything in.

As you said, you were hardworking. You really dove in. You loved it. But every time you did another jump, you realized it was the people that you wanted to be connected with. And that's what I think so many people miss and forget.

People get stuck in that position because you could have stayed at Office Max, right? You had a good career. You could have stayed there, but you felt like you were being pulled. And so many people do feel that, but they just stay because, again, either afraid of fear, either they're making too much money and they're nervous, they're the head of the family, whatever it is. But I always challenge people to really think if you're being pulled all the time, if you're hearing other things, if you're seeing other things that keep coming up, you have to explore them because that's God speaking to you.

God is saying, please go do this. So I love that you just took us through that path and the way you took us through it, because that's really what I want people to hear, that those positions, you were supposed to be there. You were supposed to learn the things so then you can open up this business and be the person that is speaking truths into your clients and telling them, hey, this is what I see in you. This is what I want for you. So thank you for sharing that that way.

It was really a beautiful kind of timeline and connecting those dots. I love that. Thank you. And I'd like to pick up on that on the NFL side and that companies, businesses, they want to be around winners and anybody in the league who made it to that high level, to any company is a winner. And you want to introduce your team to somebody that excelled at the highest level.

But a lot of the NFL players forget that they are winners when they're done. It's like hall of Fame players, they have that beautiful reminder when they are inducted and then they are reminded of how great they are. But they always were that great. It never stopped. But you do forget and you don't feel like you're at that level.

So what I love about you is that especially the daughter of a hall of Fame player, I'm sure there were times when you wondered who you were and what was your identity outside of being your father's daughter. I'm sure that there were times that you had to really do some soul searching like, what is my value? How am I going to shine? So I feel like that for you to be in the circle and you know your dad's peers for who they really are, not who the public sees, not on the day, it's not at the sideline. So you're looking at them and you know their value and you see their strengths and you're saying share their gifts, but you're also making them aware of their gifts because I think they forget and I think that you probably know that, right?

I agree with you. I would say I've always understood who I am. However, that doesn't mean I really understood how to use I didn't necessarily understand what things were gifts. I would tend to focus on the gifts that the world talks about and no one says the gift of setting your heart on fire to identify people, right? Like, who says that?

So I would focus on other things. And so I didn't really understand necessarily. I knew they were a part of me, but I didn't necessarily know how to again use them. And so in that way, I agree so that I would be in these settings and I would also think, yeah, how can I do this? And for players you're right.

It's so often that I think I talk to them, and they are, again, such amazing people, and I and they don't necessarily realize that, and they're so brilliant in so many ways. The people that I work with, they're not just hall of Famers. They're retired players and and active players, and some are professional, are public figures, but mostly football family. But whether it's real estate or launching new companies or building people up, the level of gift that they have in those ways is so significant. And so I'm very passionate about diving in with them and learning, listening to them and hearing what they have to say and then helping them to realize those gifts and draw it out.

I just recently had a conversation with somebody who I think this kind of goes into what you were saying, Cynthia, but then also sometimes where we feel like we've gotten beaten up by others, but we really have a gift. I had a call with a retired player, and we amazing. We're going to do great things together, build, expand his platform, and at the end of the call, he said, it's just that I talk too much. That's the only thing. And I'm like Radio podcast.

Like, you can have these conversations and talk and talk. I really can't do that. I'm engaged in this, and I can talk for a while, but I'm actually very introverted, and so I have these experiences, but then I need to go back and be with my thoughts and think of those things and strategize and the fact that's a gift, it's just where you I mean, maybe you shouldn't be a library. Maybe being a librarian will not be the place for you. Be on radio, be on a show, do something where you can use your gift of talking.

That is a need, and it's applicable. It's just you have to be realize it's one realize it's who you are, right? You've tried to change this talking that you're that you're talking too much. You've tried to change it. It's not changing.

Maybe there's a reason. I love that, and I love that story so much because, yeah, as you said, it is a gift. I mean, Cynthia knows I could talk all day, but I can also listen, and that's where I have realized in my own gifts that I actually am a really exceptional listener. But you wouldn't have known that. I would never have thought that, because I do love to talk.

But one of the things that I also think that you said, and I just want to build on it a little bit I said to Cynthia the first time she brought me in, and we started doing these podcasts, and we started doing the live events, and what would I always say, cynthia with the biggest smile? I would say, oh, my God, everyone has the best heart. Like, these are some of the best humans I've ever. Met. And why doesn't everyone know this?

Why is it like in media, you hear just about the crappy stuff? Why that's not how it should be. It should be all the good and all, player after player, wife after wife, daughter after daughter, son after son. And I would just say to her, and I've known Cynthia for a long time, and I feel about that, her family as well, but I'm like, Cynthia, this is such a passionate, amazing community, and I'm so thankful that I can be a part of feeling it. And it is so true that you said that, because and I say this on the podcast, like, God put you guys all together for a reason.

There is a reason why he put you guys all together and gave you the platform that he gave you. And I think with a lot of professional athletes, that is the case when people get to that certain 1% and then the families that they build.

It's so true. And I love that story you shared, and I love that you said that to him. What was his reaction? Was he like, oh, I didn't think of that, or if you can take us through that a little bit. He took aback at first.

He's like, yeah, that's good. Yeah. I'm not just telling you, like, oh, we can work with that. Don't worry. No, we're going to use clearly who you are, and there are needs that you can fulfill with just who you are.

Talk away, have fun. Like, enjoy life. Beautiful.

Go ahead. I'm sorry. Well, I wanted to say relates to both of what you said, but yes, there's this narrative a lot of times, and there's stories about these different players through sport, always, right. The stories about sport and how the performance was on the field and things like this. And I really want to take control of that narrative.

And when I say take control of it, I don't just mean turn it into anything. Let's share the truth, right? Yes, these things happen, but there's also these other things that happen. There's the other parts to this human being. Do you know that that person is a leader?

Do you know that when this happened in the team that they went back and they built everybody up and they said, we have to band together, or whatever it is that they've done, and that there's other parts to them? Because yes, what's shared is just that really, usually, majority wise is just that performance on the field that everybody hyper focuses on that but all of these men and women who are a part of their lives and that I've known through the Football family as well. Not just of their lives and even within their own careers. But there's so much more that they have to offer.

I don't even know how to express the way that it feels when I read or I hear these stories about people. And I'm just like, this is an incredible person. And people just like you had said, people should know this and they should know this. And sometimes they're hearing so much about that performance and also the transition out that I think that really becomes their kind of world. Of course these are the interactions you're having.

These are the conversations you're having. But to pull them out of that and pull back and help them to focus on these other parts of themselves, which are absolutely and there's even the fact that they've gone through these careers, right, taking this pressure, interacting with how many people the number of relationships that an athlete who played has, the number of people they have interacted with. You don't think they're going to build some expertise in communication, in relationship? This is huge in understanding how to win, understanding how to work as a team and applying that into their other parts of their lives. So whether it's helping the world to understand all of this about these individuals and to really see that these are human beings and there's much more to them than may meet the eye at times to also making sure they remember that no, it's not only about your performance on the field.

That's one part of your life, that was one part of your life. But you have this value to build upon, to offer. And again, everybody's path is different.

I want to add one more thing. Yeah, please add a million more things. A million more things. Okay. Not only like okay.

I guess two things are really coming to mind that I just want to share back to. One is the baby steps of sometimes the change can be so significant and we're trying to kind of find our way whether it's like transitioning out of sport or starting something new or identifying something and not knowing where to begin. And it's so important to just take steps. And as we feel sometimes overwhelmed with trying to figure that out, one of the things that I do is I try to remind everybody, okay, well, let's take it a step back. Step back.

Okay. How about these? Let's consider these three businesses. Okay. Oh no, we're getting overwhelmed.

Let's take a step back. How about one? Okay, let's take it a step back and you might end up with a step that's emailing one person today. It's progress. It's a step.

You've done. Good. Celebrate. And tomorrow you can take whatever next steps you're ready for. And then another thing is that I found in this work, the people that we're working with are really also they're.


In some, I think other industries and businesses they're trying to sell to clients, right? Like, oh, can we get this client? Can we land them? And that's just not and my team knows that's not what we're here to do. We're here to identify these individuals and have a genuine conversation with them.

About what we see and if they're ready, we'll work together and you will have these conversations with people and they're like, yes, I want to do more. I've realized these things, I have these passions and their attitude is more about like let's go. Right, let's go. And that's really important.

Again, realizing where in yourself you're feeling passionate and driven and excited and sometimes that's met with an overwhelming feeling because you don't know what to do with it. But taking a step, talking to somebody and whether it's starting businesses or posting on social or it could be anything, but again, I just want to say and remind like take a step, even a small step is progress. It's still 100% progress because you've made progress. Right, right. And I want people to know where they can find you because I know people are listening and being like, okay, I either am in the league, I'm getting out of the league, I know someone in the league.

This would be great. So people can find you best on your website, is that correct? And they can see it scrolling. It's also will be in the show notes. Vanessa, is that really the best?

I know you're on IG and really all the social media, but that is greatly and that's spelled greattly.com. Spelling is not my strong point, but. I have an extra t or a cross in there. I love that. I love that.

Yeah, I wanted to know about the extra t and that's beautiful. That it's across. That is beautiful. I appreciate it. Yeah, it's all about my job is just building up the person for who they are, whatever I can do to help them realize who they are and those gifts and those talents and get them out in front of the world so they can make a positive impact on others while living a fulfilling life themselves.

That's what all of it is about and that's beautiful. Yeah, go ahead. And then I want to say something after you. Yeah, go ahead. Yeah.

So I feel like this is a really there's there's two directions we can go in one, Juliett mentioned the service heart of the NFL family. It's huge and it's definitely there. And it also compelled you to go from being the creat, you know, finding and being the founder of Greatly to Greatly gifts. Now you're now you have Greatly gifts. Now you're impacting the world.

Something that you said that you've always wanted to do. I want to talk about that. I want to know what it is that you're doing and how your NFL family can partake and can participate, can help you do what you're doing to impact. But the other thing I want to talk about because you're talking so much about what you do for the players and how you might help you help them recognize what they're able to do and how you help promote what they're doing. And I think it's a great thing if you could walk us through what you're doing with Devon Canard, because he's like, a perfect example of somebody that's doing amazing things, and he's a current player, and here he is just doing things that I also would like for the NFL community to know about and sharing such great wisdom and financial advice.

And with his new book, So talk us through so that maybe somebody listening can say oh my goodness, I need her, and contacting Vanessa. What are you doing with Devon?

I'm Devon's manager and we do marketing PR and a lot of work together in business. He is an active player who is again just a phenomenal human being, so magnetic. And he has passion obviously for football, but he has this passion for real estate and financial freedom and is passionate for the world, for his football family and the world to realize this.

Well, he wants them to realize financial freedom. He wants them to have stability so that they can live purposeful, fulfilling lives and not be so focused on finances.

So he wrote a book. So this was big. He's an active player and who wrote a book and that's something that we did and got this book deal with Harper Collins, a global publisher. It's about financial freedom. It's called It All Adds Up designing Your Game Plan for Financial Success.

It's about those things diving into passions and also guides people on how they can get involved with the community. But so it's marketing that sharing these things we also have so greatly is a personal branding marketing PR and it's also a speaker's bureau and so he's also a part of our speakers bureau. And so instead of just speaking on topics which of course he can speak on inspiration and motivation and all of this, but he speaks on financial education topics, he speaks on how to get started in real estate. And if you see the passion because he feels that so many others can, they don't get started because they don't know which steps to take. So similar thing, taking steps.

So he has identified steps people can take and I work with him to help share that information and share those passions with him with others.

We went on a book tour and he was just last in Dallas and just to talk about the kind of person he is, as soon as he wrapped talking, which was again all about his book, I'm guessing about eleven year old boy ran up to him. He could not wait to meet him and give him a hug and he just as soon as Devon said do you have any more questions? And they said no. He goes charging for him. The happiest could not wait to just connect with him in a closer, get close to him and it was beautiful.

It's press releases and marketing, but it's really just taking who he is and his passion for real estate. That's his own business. I just want people to know that I help him to by helping others to realize that he has this business, that he's succeeding. And when he has this super solid base under his feet, he has a wonderful business and others can learn from it. And I hope that helps.

So it's marketing, PR and sharing again just who they are and doing these different things because also, I think a lot of times a player might think that they can't write a book while they're playing, right? Why not? Right? And I think what is so beautiful about that and that's why and it actually leads into the statement question. I kind of wanted to say it was really more of a statement is again, people don't realize the transition out of it.

And this is one of the reasons why Cynthia with this platform, because they're humans and this is all they have done, especially people when they don't know what they're going to do after playing the game. Right? It's like football is their life. What do they do after that's? A really scary time.

And if people not in the league can really think about that, this is like this person's life, this is where they've gotten all their maybe confidence. This is something that is them. And then to be transitioning out of the league and not knowing what you're doing, you're going to have stuff, right? It doesn't matter how mentally sane you are, you're going to go through stuff. And the fact that Devon wrote something while he's in it just made me really like my heart just kind of burst.

Because it's like he's going to have something when he chooses to leave the league, or God chooses he's leaving the league, he's going to have something to also put his foot on, and he's going to obviously go through that transition. But it might not be as dark as someone else's transition because of the routines that people have. And that's the thing that I think so many people forget the routine that a player has where they're told pretty much where they need to be at every moment and that all of a sudden it's gone. And that's something that all of us really need to think about because we all are people that live in routine. We probably all do the best.

Not all of us love routine. There's times where I'm like, oh, I just want to be out of routine, but then the second I'm out of it too long, I'm like, oh my gosh, I need to be in routine. We need to think of the impact of that is on someone. When they're told for so many years to be at every place where you're sleeping, eating you're at this game, this is your training now. To then all of a sudden, one day, like it could go from one day to the next, and then it's not there.

We need to be softer. We need to be gentler as a society and really kind of think, okay, that person is going to go through something. So the fact that Devon and I don't know, I'm excited to dive into this at another time, but where his mindset was to be like, you know what, I want to make sure I kind of have that set up. But the fact that you're there, Vanessa, helping them through that transition, pulling out their strengths and saying, hey, have you ever thought about that? I think is a really beautiful thing.

Absolutely. Yeah. And there's just start realizing, like, there will be a transition. The earlier you can realize that, the better. And we're passionate about building, helping them to for some, they know the direction they want to go.

Like, Devon has real estate business. He knows he wants to continue to build his portfolio. And others don't necessarily know what that is, but clarifying that, starting things, and then we happily take on the burden of that. And I don't even mean burden. Maybe I should use a different word almost, because challenge actually the word burden doesn't even actually really bother me.

But I know generally it has a negative connotation, but we are blessed to be able to start these things where players have these demanding careers, they still have these passions, they still have these things that they want to do and have often started. And so we can kind of get in there and help make sure we understand what it is they want, where they want to go. And we'll build. We'll just be building for them and with them all along the way. So then exactly.

Once they transition out, it's a very simple transition. They're stepping into something that they've been a part of, that they've been growing, that they love, that is also purposeful.

Devon, when that time comes, I think he's going to be a really shining example for it to be on. I think he's just his story. It will be beautiful and it will be really able to touch, because again, he's going to go through something when you love something so much and it's time to stop. And we've all been there at some point. But I think it's a beautiful example because it also gives people something to think about.

And that's why these stories are so important. That's why what you're doing is so important and really sharing, because someone might listen and be like, I never thought about that. Even if it's one person. Right, one person that's like, I didn't think about that. I need to start thinking is why human connection and stories connecting people are just important.

Absolutely. Another thing is, of course, my husband played with DK, with Devon's dad, Derek. And being the son of a player, you have the opportunity to realize how young your dad was when he was done, and you realize that life like my kids know it the football. Life is very short and my kids are getting close to the age that their dad was when he was done. My goal will be 34.

My husband was 36 when he was done. That's a young age. And so I love what you're doing because what you're doing is you're saying, okay, so let's write your next game plan. Like, what are you doing? What are we going to do?

It's a new playbook, it's a new game plan and start it early. Are you offense? Are you defense? What's your role? What do you want to do?

What's your strong suit and what lights you up? Yeah, exactly. Right, exactly. Goodness. What's your passion?

Personal notes. But no, it's really funny when you said that. That's what I talk about. I tell people they need to daydream and find out what lights them up and whatever that lights you up. That's what you need to do.

Every freaking day you need to do so when you said that, you're like, who says that? I didn't want to be like I do.

I say lights on fire and people are like, lights on fire and I'm like but that's what it is. You want that where you're like it's passion. You want to find that passion. Talking about exactly. Do we have time to talk about Greatly Gives?

Speaking of passion, because this is now your next thing and I want to know about it. Yes, if you have time. Yeah, please.

It's purpose to increase opportunity, equity and happiness. And our main program is called Greatly Increase. So Greatly Gives is the nonprofit of Greatly and Greatly Increase delivers critical life based education to students to set them up for success. And what's unique about the program is that these amazing people deliver this content and speak on a topic. And so, for instance, Devon speaks on many topics, but financial education is one of his.

We have goal setting and achievement, mental wellness, things like that, personal and career development. And each topic is delivered by, like I said, a different individual. So instead of there's sometimes a set that could be a one person, but otherwise it's one to four. And so you have these unique individuals all kind of working together and delivering whatever they're an expert at and whatever information that they're really passionate about sharing with a group and then they hand off to the next. And so everybody works dynamically together.

And this is something that kind of going back to again, it all connects to again, to being to when I was a child. But something I was really seeing is that I was seeing that kids were not dreaming anymore. You would talk to them about their futures. They're like, what future if I get there? And it was heartbreaking to me to not be dreaming for your future and not be thinking of these things.

And so this speaker set so originally I built this speaker set focused on life based education. I built it as a part of the speakers bureau and I was like and I was building and I wanted this speaker's set to go out and speak to corporations, which is still a thing, but speak to corporations, speak to teams to help build up the players.

But then as I continued again journeying in life and I started to realize that there are so many students that are feeling down and not dreaming, thought this has to change and what's the best way to reach all of these kids. And so the places that we're focused on delivering the program right now are mostly in high schools, so large auditoriums and these amazing men and women come out and speak on these topics and they all again have this incredible uplifting spirit to them. And I really truly believe that the reason they're able to make the impact, they're making that impact really just because of who they are. It's the who they are, it is the spirit in them, it's the fact that they are present there and allowing themselves to connect with these groups. And whatever the education is, those groups are going to gain that wisdom and they're just going to gain the fact that they've interacted with this amazing person who you can't help but feel uplifted and inspired by.

And that's what we're seeing. And I would love to share this one thing that I just so we just kind of did we ask the students so after they've experienced program, we ask basically we want to deliver increase to them. Increase in happiness. Increase in joy, increase in financial knowledge increase in steps to take, to pursue their dreams increase the clarity of their dreams things like this.

This program was purposed to uplift and inspire students and 100% of the students have said that this program uplifted them and inspired them to pursue their dreams. Oh, that's amazing. That's going to make me cry. Totally. Yeah, I mean that's amazing.

100%. It's not like oh, there was 50%, 100%. I mean you just see that, that's what is needed. It is needed. It is so needed, right?

Yes. If it was any percentage I'd be happy. And it's a lot of hard work, right. It's a lot of seeing this through and not compromising the program and taking time to get the right people and the right partners and all of this. So obviously anybody who believes in this and who has a passion to speak to others, I would love to know that, reach out, let me know.

Or somebody who wants to reach these student groups. And we also speak to youth organizations and we're developing programs or we have developed programs, but it's more of a timing base for college and we have a program for players. But for me it's all really about identifying those right partners. So whether you're anybody who wants to be a part, obviously reach out, be a part, but also, again, finding the right aligned partners who are really passionate about reaching others and uplifting them. There's a whole other exponential gain you get when you align those people.

So, again, anybody who feels that I'm happy to just talk, explore, see how I don't have any parameters that I have to set, it's more like, okay, we're aligned to make this impact. We both feel that. How do we do it together? Right? I love that.

It's wonderful. Children's groups, schools, universities, teams, businesses that want to gift their either students or employees with being uplifted. Then you are somebody that they can contact. And you will put together an awesome panel of speakers who will speak on subjects that will be relatable to those businesses or schools. I love that.

And there's all different topics so they get to really identify, share with us their needs. Like, do they need leadership, development, do they need mental wellness, do they need their team to clarify goals? Whatever it is. Excellent. We have speakers who can speak on that.

So we dive in about what their needs are and then they deliver this. And the upliftedness is just the you're going to get that. No matter what they're talking about, you're always going to walk away inspired and uplifted. And that's just because of these incredible people who are delivering this brilliant information. Really beautiful.

That's excellent. Excellent. Yeah. Hey, I have a question for you. Are you planning to head to hall of Fame this year?

Yes. Oh, good. Good to see you in person when you do. Juliett and I, we do our podcast live at the fashion show, the hall of Fame Fashion show. And then we'll be at that gold jacket dinner.

So we'll want you to jump on and we'll definitely want to talk about what you're doing there, too. But also, if you have any literature, any information, we'll put in our swags. Yeah, love it. Because that's a good community to share with what you're doing. Yeah.

So let's stay in touch with that and we'll get your information in there. So exciting. Oh, my God. Wonderful. Well, this has been amazing.

I mean, this has been amazing. Vanessa, thank you for taking the time. Cynthia and I just this is like I literally can skip off, and these stories are what inspires me. Seriously, it really can change someone's day. Hearing a story like this, hearing what a human impact can do on others is so important because that is I mean, and right now, I feel like more than any time in the world is when people need this.

They need these good stories. They need this. There is positive things out there. There are people making positive impacts. It's just so important.

So I really thank you for sharing and joining Wyness Live with NFL Thread live on Fireside. Thank you so much. I appreciate it, too. I invest hard in the people who I work with. I believe in it, and all for the same reason.

They can make incredible impact. And you can feel it. You can feel your passion. I mean, you can feel that this lights you on fire. I mean, you can totally feel it.

Yeah, it makes me emotional. And you, too. Yeah, thanks. It makes me emotional because I feel like it's like what you're really saying to anybody that you're encountering is that you have worth. You have worth, and I am going to show it to you, and I'm going to find it first, and then I'm going to show you, and then we're going to do great things with it.

And that worth is going to impact others and uplift them. And so I just love your whole everything that you're doing. Love it. It's a beautiful system. Yeah, I love it.

It really is. Thank you. And I love that you also have we do big deals, right? We do great things, right? Whether it's even marketing deals and things like this, starting businesses, making these.

And all the while, we're laughing, we're having fun. It's all purpose based. Like, how much happier can you be, right? Anyway, I see that in both of you as well, that you're loving what you're doing, that you're uplifted and also fulfilled with purpose. And it's wonderful.

Yeah. It's the only way to be really. Grateful to connect with you. Me too. Me too.

Yes. I can't tell you how much this one meant to me. And Cynthia knows today especially. Yeah. This is a good day.

So thank you for joining YNS Live with NFL Thread and you guys, you know what to do. Like rate review and share. This will be out on YNS Live with NFL Thread podcast feed, but it is also living here on Fireside. So whatever platform you're listening to live, I know this is on YouTube and other places. Share this.

Other people need to hear it. This is what it's about. Share this message. And again, thank you so much, Vanessa, and always cynthia, my darling. Love.

I like your new what did you say? Like rate review. That's what I usually do on my other that's usually what I say on my other podcast, like Rate review and share and subscribe.

Thank you again for joining. Bye, everyone. Thank you.

Thank you. Okay, now where I'm going to end the show. Hold on, give me a second. End show. Bye, everyone.

Thank you.


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