You probably remember Ed "Too Tall" Jones, and if you don't, let us remind you:
Jones was one of the most prominent defensive players in the history of football, leading the Dallas Cowboys to three NFC Championships and a Super Bowl XII win. But after five years of playing professional ball, Jones took a “break” to focus on one of his true passions: boxing. Even more incredible, he then returned to the football field for 10 more successful years with the Cowboys. Jones continually sought to evolve and grow as a competitor, an athlete and a teammate. His contributions to the game of football, his success in the boxing ring and his prodigious return to the field were a true testament to the realization of those goals and have contributed greatly to his current career as an entrepreneur.
Jones shared a few lessons he learned as an athlete during an appearance at a recent Grow Live event, which he's used to find success off the field as a businessman--all of which will likely resonate with you, too.
Pursue Your Dreams--Even the Wildest Ones
Jones shared that his love of boxing from a young age inspired him to follow that dream in adulthood. He knew that he wanted to pursue the sport despite his incredibly successful and established football career, so he completed his full contract as well as his option year with the Cowboys before moving onto boxing. For reasons he was unable to share, he only boxed for a year (stay tuned – he says there will be a book at some point to tell us the real story). As he described, because he was able to get the boxing “elephant” off his back, he was able to return with a singular focus on football. Jones emphasized the importance of pursuing your dreams.
Keep Your Doors Open
Building off of the lessons that he shared about pursuing boxing, Jones also advised the audience to never leave a door closed. Despite his success as a football player, the sport wasn’t his first passion. When he left football to pursue boxing, he was sure to maintain his relationships and keep all of his options open because he didn’t know where boxing would take him. Because of his foresight, Jones was able to return to play with the Cowboys for another decade. When the boxing door closed, he had already ensured that the football door remained open.
The Importance of Your Team
Of course, Jones was passionate about the Cowboys and his teammates were a big part of his success on the football field. This emphasis on teamwork remained hugely important to him even after he completed his football career. Jones is now an entrepreneur and founder of several companies. He shared with us how he founded those companies with two other individuals and how the three of them, focused as a team, are able to be successful, play off each other’s strengths and drive success. He knew when he started that accomplishing anything alone can be incredibly difficult and building a team that you can rely on is vital. He applies the lesson learned in his professional career: If you can’t rely on your team, it all falls apart.
We're excited to see where Jones' next chapter takes him. If you want to join us for our next exciting story – come see us at a future Grow Live event.