October 7, 2020

Episode – 08

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Corey Jackson – The Deal Flow Show - October 8, 2020 Reply

[…] Corey JacksonEpisode #8 : Transitioning Professional Athletes From Sports to Business […]

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Corey Jackson, CEO & Former NFL Player on Transitioning Professional Athletes From Sports to Business


Description:
Corey Jackson is an Ex-NFL Player and CEO of Qwerkz. Corey is assisting professional athletes in transitioning to the business world by developing partnerships with those athletes and Fortune 500 companies.

Qwerkz is a company that takes the most talented athletes in the world and makes them available for companies and brands to create dynamic collaborations, partnerships and meaningful career opportunities.

What you’ll learn from this episode:
– How to brand yourself and the importance of branding.
– How to look for advantages in business
– What are the unique characteristics that are found in professional athletes that translates to a great entrepreneur.

Connect with Corey:
LinkedIn

Full Transcript:

JP Maroney:

Welcome to another edition of the deal flow show. I’m JP Maroney, your host, along with Paul Nicoline, our astute cohost on the show. And today we’ve got good. Another great guest. We have Corey Jackson with us from corks and many other background things that we can’t wait to jump into and talk a little bit about, including how you may have to be recruited as part of the Harbor city team to help us take on the capital markets in the three on three in New York city in the basketball world. So we’re going to talk a little bit about that too, but Corey Jackson, so glad to have you on the show. Welcome to the show. 

Corey Jackson:

Thank you guys. Appreciate it.

JP Maroney:

You have absolutely. So we’re going to do a little bit of background, but I want to set this up by saying I’ve been watching you on LinkedIn, not in a creepy sort of way, but you and I made contact probably a year and a half or so ago when we were talking about another program podcast I wanted to put together and I still want to have you on that.

But when we were putting together season one, these episodes of the deal flow show, right around that time, you posted something on LinkedIn about dealmaking and that deal process, and it resonated. And I was like, man, I gotta have you on this show. So we’re super excited. If you could just give us a little bit of background about how you got started in business and dealmaking and everything that you’re putting together with partnerships these days. 

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. Um, so, so I own a company called quirks. Um, we started, uh, about a little over three years ago. Um, we changed course, um, in the midst of that, but, um, I actually got to the point of actually starting quirks and focusing on what we do is early on when I got, uh, out of sports, I got injured and you know, it happens all the time, but my contract was tied up in, um, arbitration.

So that means I couldn’t get paid. So, uh, I tried to get a job and I realized that that wasn’t gonna work. And so that kind of led me to say, well, you know, what is my skill sets and how can I leverage them out here? Um, basically on the open market. And I saw a direct, uh, link in a market is location when it came to athletes and careers and dove in head first and, uh, started working with companies to fix it. What is it that you do now with quirks? Can you describe that for our audience? That’s not familiar with the company yet. Yeah. Um, so basically what we do is we take, uh, elite athletes, pro athletes. Uh, they can be from NBA, NHL, they can be from any elite sport. Um, they can be a soccer player as in Germany. It doesn’t matter for us, but we decode that whole system of what they’ve learned and skillsets that they’ve developed over time being an athlete, and then translate that into corporate terms so that they can get the type of roles and positions in companies that they’re looking to have. And so we really, uh, show companies the value of taking individual from one industry and bringing them to a new industry and investing in that relationship so that they can longterm adds value to your culture and your company.

JP Maroney:

Very interesting. So it’s across many different sports disciplines, but using a similar model to leverage those assets into the future. As, you know, as you experience, sometimes a sports career can be cut short or sometimes it can be long, but at the end you got to have what’s next and that next game plan. Um, can you give us some examples of some of the types of whatever you can share if it’s names or not, but the types of deals that y’all are doing and putting together?

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. So, um, we do a couple of different things. So we work with fortune 500 companies and technology companies. And so, um, for us, our business model is what kind of makes us unique. Um, so we don’t operate like a typical recruiting firm or executive recruiting firm that you would see. Um, we kind of took a model from sports and we look at things in like multi-year deals. And so a lot of times like, or recruiting firms do these one off things like I’ve got a candidate and I’ve traced him with your company. And so what we do is we create opportunities to do it over a period of time. And so we asked for a lot of the amount of hires over X amount of time. And what that does is it allows us to forecast what the number’s going to be, what we can make, what we can generate and how we can actually get there the fastest. And so what that does is separates us from everyone else. And now we have actual true partnerships with companies that we have longterm value versus one off deals.

JP Maroney:

You’ve heard the term necessity is the mother of invention. It sounds like this came about of you going, Hey, I’ve got to get some scratch and how can I best do that? So kudos for putting together an interesting business model. Let’s take you back to the world of sports for a little bit. I know you have those conversations all the time, but, and, and, um, can’t avoid that, but let’s talk a little bit about that. What was your career like? Uh, go back maybe even into school and some of the things that you were doing, actually, I want to hear about the one way ticket that you took from high school to your college. 

Corey Jackson:

So I will say that that was my first deal, right? My first deal. Uh, so I didn’t get recruited out of high school. I went to a small high school. Didn’t get recruited. Um, wasn’t a great student at all. Um, ended up working at Walmart for a year, did that for a year. Um, decided I wanted to do something different. I knew I was athletic, knew I had talent. Um, and so I wanted to play basketball. And so there was a junior college in Texas. I say, well, I’m going to Texas, I’m gonna play basketball. And so I bought a one way ticket, cause that’s all I could afford. And I didn’t call it a coach. I didn’t, uh, burrowed into school. I didn’t for the school. I said, I’m just going to show up. And so I get to the bus station and then I realized like, well, I’m at the bus station, but I need a ride to the school.

And that’s when I called the coach from the payphone. And I just started talking to him. I said, Hey, listen, I’m a basketball player. I want to play basketball for you. I’m a power forward up to South Carolina starts telling them all this stuff. And it got said, hold up, stop. I have no idea who you are, no clue who you are. Um, and uh, basically how big are you? Right? And so at the time I was about six, five, you know, 185 pounds. I said, well, coach I’m six, eight. And so I knew that there wasn’t a college coach in America that will leave with six, eight basketball players sitting at the bus station. Right. And so the guy says, well, you’re not six eight. I’m leaving you at the bus station. He hangs up and sure enough, he drove, he drove out to the bus station, looked me up and down, said, close enough, put me in the car and drove me off to school.

The cool part, his story was, he didn’t have any room for me on the team. He had 25 players already. Um, and so he was like, I can’t help you. You know? And I went into the gym and I’m watching these guys play. And I’m like, man, I have made this two day bus trip. And I can’t even, you know, I can’t get on the team. Can’t get into school. And unfortunately he let me play a pickup game. First play. I dock on three guys. He stops the game, walk into the court and say, listen, I don’t know why you came here, but I’m glad you did. He was like, we want you on this team. And that’s how I got into school. You know, that was my first official deal. I guess

JP Maroney:

That’s like that George Washington burned the moats, right? The one way ticket. That’s that’s a great story. Yeah. You need, have you done much in the way you have a book out, right?  

Corey Jackson:

I do have a book out it’s called being different, be different, a little different. Um, and I been the corporate speaker for a while. So I’ve spoken in technology, companies of universities and all those good things as well.

JP Maroney:

We need another book called a one way ticket to success. Yeah. Yeah. Of course. You speak a little bit more about you. Then you went back to, you went, you didn’t want to play basketball overseas, I think. Right. And then you went back to university of Nevada to pursue another career, your master’s degree. 

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. Yeah. So, so, um, I had a semester to finish on my bachelor’s degree. Um, and so I didn’t get drafted by the NBA and I didn’t want to go to play in Europe. Um, and I had several offers to do so. And so I was just like, well, I’m just going to go back and finish my degree and to figure it out. Well, one of the football coaches walked up to me and said, Hey, listen, man, you’ve been playing the wrong sport. I’m just telling you, you need to come play football. And so he invited me out to come play football, which I didn’t, you know, I didn’t play football since junior high. You know? I mean, you know, now I’m in my twenties. I would think I was like 21 years, 22 years old, didn’t play football since junior high. Um, and uh, he invited me out to play, um, played a semester where I only played 12 plays, uh, had one play, one pass, break up one block, field goal, one tackle for loss.

So it wasn’t no outstanding pristine career or anything like that. Um, but what happened for me was they had a pro day and one of my coaches called me and I’m literally at my apartment. He says, Hey, listen, I got 30 NFL Scouts up here. They want to see you today. You need to get up to the school. As I went up there and did a workout for him, um, walked off the field, the guys didn’t say anything to me. Like I seen all the Scouts. They didn’t say anything to me. Did the workout walked off the field and my phone started ringing and it was an agent said, Hey, listen, I heard you did fantastic in your workout today. I will. I want to represent you. And literally that whole day, my phone was just blowing up, but it just agents called calling. And it was just a, this a remarkable thing that happened. And so I ended up that year, which was 2003 signup where the Cleveland Browns

Paul Nicolini:

You somewhere along the line, you then negotiated your own contract.

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. So before you think about that, a lot of things happen out of necessity. Um, I got, I got, uh, in a situation where all of ’em, my coaches got fired and so, um, Marcos has got fired. And typically what happens when your coach gets fired, the new coach is going to bring in players. They like, and not only are they going to bring in players, they like they’re going to bring in their system, you know, their defenses, their offices, the whole night, um, where I was one of the younger players. So they kept me. Um, but they changed the defense from a four, three, two or three four, which I wasn’t a three, four defense event. And so essentially I didn’t have a position. Um, and so what I had to end up doing was at some point I had to go in to the front office and say, Hey, listen, I need you to let me out of this contract.

Right. And you know, the saying, you know, like pretty much nothing in life is free. And so, um, it cost me about a million dollars, uh, to get out the contract. And I didn’t have a team at the time, nowhere to go. Um, this was like at the end of training camp. So there was really like, all teams was Rochester’s full, filled up and I had no idea what team I was going to go to anything. So it was a pretty ballsy move. Um, but a week later, uh, the Denver Broncos called and I ended up 

JP Maroney:

Nice. What, when you look back, obviously there’s you speak, so there’s two audiences and I’m sure you pull from some of the parallels lessons that you’ve learned. What do you think are some of the things that you’ve learned over the years on the court and on the field that have carried over to the deal-making table? Like whether it’s confidence or whatever it might be that you felt like, man, I really I’m glad I had those experiences. So they helped prepare me. 

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. I mean, sports to be thinking about it is really mostly about strategy. Um, you know, you be a great athlete, but you know, someone with a great strategy can beat you. Right? And so what I look for is advantages, always look for advantages and the advantage for me, even as force, if I’m going against a guy that’s bigger and stronger than me, my advantages, uh, well, is this feet slow, right? Can’t connect. Can I make him turn one direction and go the other direction? And so it’s the same thing when it comes to deals, it’s like, well, you know, are they giving away tells right. How bad do they want this deal done? You know, I’m already in a desperate situation or, you know, it’s always looking for these tales and that’s when we in sports, we’ve got a call that like, uh, just, just little, um, little, little tails, that’s going to let you know what the play is going to be. Right. And so if I know if I’m going against the tackle and he takes his hand off the ground, he lets me know that it’s not going to probably be a running fight. You know, it was 90% his time it’s going to be a passive. Right. And so I just look for these little tails and I think that’s one of the big things I learned from sports is how to be strategic and how to see, uh, the unseen.

JP Maroney:

That’s real big when you’re doing deals today. What sort of, um, things are you looking for to put together? Are you bringing teams together to make these things happen or is it very much just a connecting the dots between a player or a president or former athlete and a future opportunity or are you organizing and our entire team around them?

Corey Jackson:

A little bit of both. Um, it just depends on the athlete. It depends on what they’re looking for. Um, we can get anything from an athlete, one to leverage their, uh, endorsement deal and, and cash out and put it into a business venture. Or we can get a guy who has a team already, and they’re looking for capital for real estate, real estate project. It’s like a mix used. And you know, so we get all of these different types of assortment of deals and different types of athletes. Some athletes are very fresh and new at it. Some have been seasoned that have been doing it for awhile. So it just really, it just really depends on the athlete and it depends on what they’re looking for and where they are, um, in their specific journey. 

JP Maroney:

How do you prepare, obviously, in going back to the sports, I mean, you watch tape you’re you’re, you gotta go in with a strategy, all those things that, you know, how do you prepare to go to the deal table? What’s your process? 

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. Um, outside of just doing the due diligence and the work that it takes to do it, um, I’m always surrounded myself with interesting people that are doing deals, right. And I’m always trying to, um, hear and listening to how people look at deals, how they break down deals, how they evaluate deals, because I’m always trying to add value to myself. Um, I’m just one person, right? Like I don’t claim to know everything, but I’m always trying to be around knowledgeable people. You know, a show like this, right. Will definitely be right on my alley because someone’s talking about how they view deals, which is a total different perspective for me, that adds a lot of buyer to me. So I just look for different little, uh, opportunities to learn from people. Um, and then I kind of get excited when I see it. I got friends that are doing deals all the time, too. So we have these conversations. It’s kind of like before the games we get hype, you know, so we have these conversations, you know, I have a friend that just, just, uh, close $7 million on a deal and, you know, I get excited. I’m like, Oh, wow, let’s, where’s my deal. I gotta go get a deal. I got to find a deal. Right. And so we kind of keep each other pumped that way

Paul Nicolini:

In our, in our, um, our call to you, our pre call for the show we asked about your spare time. And you had said that you’d like to develop additional skills that would help you in today’s environment. Could you talk about any of those? 

Corey Jackson:

Yeah, I think the biggest thing is, uh, for me is, and it’s directly to relates to deals. Um, for me it’s about thinking, right? Like understanding how to think. I think that’s, uh, that’s one of the amazing skills that people don’t focus on a lot, um, because you see the uniqueness and opportunities and it’s not necessarily about just being innovative and things of that nature, but it’s saying, Hey, well, I heard this one thing when I was watching, uh, the deal flow show and I can plug that into what I’m doing. Right. And I think that’s a skill when you can actually take something and make it applicable to what you’re doing and being aware of those things. And so I’m always working on my awareness and working on how I can take something from another industry and add to my industry and what I’m doing.

JP Maroney:

What kind of deals are you working on right now? Is there anything that you can share kind of the thing that’s keeping you up and getting you juiced in the mornings?

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. Um, I mean, funny thing I had a deal come through today. Um, very basic deal, but it was athlete kind of like what I was saying earlier. It had to have a big endorsement deal. Um, the payout structure is structured a certain way. You want to access a certain amount of it. And so I have partners that are looking to, uh, be in a space of lending, right. They want to land. And for me is being able to leverage my network to help them get that done. And so anytime I can do something like that, that’s, that’s a fun day for me. Cause I help someone be able to access some capital and do some of the things they wanted to do. And I also help some of my partners, uh, being able to create, uh, lending opportunities as well for them. So things like that. 

And then we also do, uh, we help athletes. We do a lot of, we do a lot of help on that side, right. Because, and here’s why though, because a lot of times, as an athlete, people are always asking you for your money. You’re always saying, Hey, invest in what we’re doing or Hey, can you lend to these things? Um, and so we were very heavy on the debt side for us, helping them access to capital access debt rather than mezzanine debt, rather than business, all those things that they’re working on or for their ventures. We’re always helping them access capital even for as investment as well. 

JP Maroney:

I like this. You’re going to have, you’re going to have to hold, hold your question. Alright. So are you, you’re telling me that they’re, you’re, um, giving present monetization for future earnings on contracts in this space, like endorsement deals and such 

Corey Jackson:

For sure, for sure. Um, you know, when you look at athletes, um, you have a limited earning potential in a sense because something can happen to make your deal fall through. But when you have a great idea, you have a great venture, you have something working where you’re working on that can make you money. That’s where you really win that’s the upside. Um, and so you can get these, these, uh, advancements on this money for a reasonable interest rate. It makes sense that you take it and turn it into more, pay that back. Now, even if you get injured, even if something happens, you have actually capital that’s yours that you can lay claim to, that you earn, um, outside of sports. And when you start earning outside of sports, that’s when you really move in, like you need to be moving 

JP Maroney:

Well. It’s great because we all hear the stories. And I know you’re associated with a couple of guys on LinkedIn that I had watched them talk about that work with the players association and people like that, where, you know, a lot of the athletes, they it’s the first big money they’ve ever seen in their life when they signed the ball deal. And then it may be short lived. Or as you said, there’s a lot of people nipping at you. I call them umbilical cords. A lot of people walking around looking to plug their umbilical cord into you and suck off that, that joy, that you’ve just been able to secure with your, with your, your life and your body. But when those deals are gone, those opportunities are gone. The contract plays out, someone’s injured, trade happens, whatever, all of a sudden they look up and a lot of these guys don’t have money. Don’t have resources. And that’s exciting that you’re creating opportunities for them to create immediate cash to and teaching them. It sounds like how to parlay that into other opportunities, but also to be able to create some future wealth and solidity for their, for their family. Some of that they can count on long, long after they’re off the field. That’s exciting. 

Corey Jackson:

Well, I was just going to say, cause they’re in a space that’s so hot, you know, it’s so hot that, you know, if you leverage it right, you never have to worry about finances and you never have to worry about money. Um, but it’s about being aware of the opportunities that presents themselves and being in control of that, um, as well. So yeah, 

Paul Nicolini:

I was going to say, they need a guy like Corey too. Cause isn’t the first thing. All the athletes here is I’ve got the greatest thing in the world you got to here, I need the money. You got to hear it. Yeah. Right

JP Maroney:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s been my, I know you live in that world, but everything that I’ve talked to, other colleagues that played ball and such it’s, uh, you know, and the money being paid out today is crazy compared to what people were paid, you know, 10, 15, 20 years ago, but still it’s, um, it’s a big problem obviously in the industry with guys looking up one day and they don’t, I mean much like entertainment industry, they look up and they don’t have anything left. So, um, what, when you, when you’re looking at a deal, what are some of the characteristics that you look at or look for that you go, this is my sweet spot. 

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. Um, I think the, the very first thing that I look at, um, is, is who’s involved with the deal, right? Like, um, it is, it’s always, always about the people, you know, the people make the deal. Um, so, so I always start there. Um, and then I look at, if I’m, if there’s an athlete involved, I’m looking at, you know, what are their needs? You know, if this deal went left, if it went sideways, if it, you know, if it didn’t work out, what, how much risk, how much exposure do they have. Right. Um, and so, um, from that regard, that’s what I’m looking at. Um, and, and the, the structure of the deal, you know, at the end of the day, can we all win on this deal? Right? Like, you know, if we all can’t win on the deal and it’s probably not a good deal. 

Um, and so, um, I’m looking at these things, um, you know, the, the structure to deal who’s involved, you know, what’s going to happen if the deal goes sideways and then can we win? Is it significant enough? Right. Like, not just can we make money, but is it significant enough for our time to get involved and, and actually go down? Cause we know how to deals our deals, you know, take a long time that looked like a simple in turn complex and you know, so you want to make sure that you’re making good use of your time when it comes to doing a deal. So it has to be worth it. It has to be significant enough for sure.

Paul Nicolini:

Corey, you’ve had an extraordinary path leading up to where you are right now. Certainly it’s not straight up. So how do you deal with the failures or the setbacks? Tell us how that, how that happens for you 

Corey Jackson:

Have a lot of exposure to failure, right. And so, you know, early on in life, you know, I grew up, uh, in a small town. We didn’t have a lot, you know, single wide mobile home, any given time, eight, nine people in this space. Um, and so, um, I saw a lot of disappointment at times. I saw a lot of struggle at times. Um, but for me, I think the biggest thing is I get excited, you know, when it comes to having some downs, because it kind of gets me motivated because I know from experience, there’s the up that’s coming. Right. And I think sometimes people hit those downs and they don’t, they don’t, they can’t think for enough ahead to say, Hey, this is just a moment. Right? And so we have these moments. Everybody has, you can’t escape them. You try to minimize them as much as possible. But for me, I get excited because it’s a challenge and I want to win. Right. And so my job is to overcome that challenge. 

JP Maroney:

I have a three part mission statement, my own personal one it’s make money, make memories, make a difference. That difference is all about legacy. You talked about growing up in a single wide home and, and coming from a small town coming from, from, you know, limited or meager means and all of that. Now you’ve had some success you’re hanging around people that are having some success. What’s your game plan for leaving a legacy. Obviously your company is making a difference in the lives of people through the commercial success, but do you have anything outside of the business or any other things that you’re doing to give back or to contribute or to make a difference in those that are looking for a come up? 

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. Um, this is going to be the first time I say this publicly. Um, but um, I have plans to develop, uh, the, so I went to a school called ranger college in Texas. Um, and if you go to the school right now, today, right from when I went there, back in 98, you go to the day, it looks the exact same, looks like projects. They all know if you’ve ever seen the projects. It looks like the projects. And all of us that came to that school were people from underprivileged backgrounds, you know, struggled, uh, just to get out of their neighborhoods and, and make it to that point, not even to get a degree or anything like that, it was accomplishment just to be there on campus. And this place has literally looked like the projects. Right. And so, um, you know, I have a mission now that we’re putting things aside for, because I want to redevelop the whole entire campus, like literally the whole campus, um, because the individuals that went to that school, most of them didn’t graduate.

Most of them ended up going back to where they came from. Um, and, but there wasn’t a structure in place at the time to deal with or equip people that came from those backgrounds to be successful. Um, it was, they didn’t understand them. They didn’t understand how they thought, how they operate it. They didn’t understand why they did what they did. And so I want to put more effort into rebuilding that whole, uh, college. Um, and this is a big goal for me because it’s personal. Um, it’s something that I see, uh, happened over and over. And I didn’t have young guys that I, uh, sent to that college, um, and go through those experiences. And it’s like, that is close to my heart. You know, changing the lives of people who have the same experiences as me. I was very, I was very fortunate, you know, um, I happened to be super athletic, you know, very talented, but on top of that, I was insanely, insanely, uh, like just lacked in all my work ethic. Um, and so, I mean, even people thought I was crazy at the school because the girls want to hang out and I’ll tell them, meet me in the gym, you know, and we’ll hang out in itself. And so I was very fortunate that I had the DNA that I have and the mindset that I have. And I want to be able to give back in that way and, and help other individuals. That’s going to go through that experience and equip them for success as well. 

JP Maroney:

I want to talk about that work ethic here in just a moment, but if you’re watching or listening to this episode of the deal flow show, you can get access to our archives, previous episodes, as well as subscriber, follow us for future episodes, by going to the deal flow show.com. That’s the deal flow show.com. We have Corey Jackson, a former NFL, former power forward in college basketball and now CEO and deal maker with a company called quirks. So Corey, welcome back to the show. Want to talk a little bit about, you said something a moment ago about you had strong work ethic and I wanted to, to number one, give a props to you, but also talk about the fact that you were athletic and you did have a lot of genetic things going for you, you know, six, five or six eight. If you, if you listen to the phone call you made to the coach. Um, but, uh, you know, you had a lot of those things in your favor, but we know plenty of stories of people that have all of those assets and still screw it up because of what’s going on between their ears. And so where did you get or develop the dry? What were the things that affected that early on was a mother, father, aunt, whatever it was. Was it something you saw on TV? Something that said, Hey, I think it could be different. 

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. Um, my dad, for sure. Um, so my dad, uh, not educated, um, grew up in a totally different era. He was the youngest of, uh, 10, 11 kids. Um, you know, he was 20 years younger than his older siblings, at least 20 years older than his oldest sibling. Um, and so he had experienced where, you know, we grew up in South Carolina and they were literally sharecropping, like literally like living on other people’s land, farming, their land and sharecropping. Um, and so my dad, I saw my dad at a very young age. I was maybe six years old at the most, um, work at this cotton mill, 16 hour days, 120 degree temperatures, temperatures year round. Um, and I saw this guy do it day in and day out. He would come home soaking wet. And one day, uh, he put in for a promotion, he won this motion and, um, they ended up giving it to another guy and then asking him to train the guy.

Can you imagine that? Right? And so my dad quit, man. He just walked out on the spot and, um, maybe like a couple of weeks later, he’s, um, he convinced this guy that owned this building to give him the building and put a business in the building. And he started from nothing. I mean, literally he didn’t, he didn’t even have enough to even put anything down on the builder. Like he just, the guy just liked him. He had a conversation with the guy, told him what he wanted to do, and he convinced the guy to give it to him. Um, fast forward that he, my dad changed our family dynamic. You know, he didn’t become ultra wealthy from starting this business, but it was far cry from where we started. Right. And I’m seeing this guy with no education, no money, five kids and a wife walk out on a job. It’s just, it was amazing. It was fascinating to me. Um, and people ask me all the time, how did you get on that bus and buy that one way ticket. I seen this guy with five kids and a wife walk out of a job and he couldn’t even pay his bills. And then he started something remarkable. Um, and for me that made it so much easier to get on that bus. I didn’t have a kid, I didn’t have wife, you know, it was just me and that for me, changed my life. 

Paul Nicolini:

Excellent. Yeah. That’s amazing. I guess he took the risk and you saw that and you saw it was worth doing right. That’s great. Cory, tell us, how do you market yourself, your company to give us some tips or pointers to our audience?

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. And so, um, once again, so I think of everything like a deal. And so I’m always looking to acquire, I think, acquisition, right? And so, um, we work with companies to place athletes. We work with, uh, athletes to get them funding. And so what I do is I acquire talent. Um, I acquire talent and I structured it in a way that allowed me to get business. Right. And so for me, if I bring on, like for instance, I brought on a individual who doesn’t directly work for me, but we incentivize them to partner with us and they brought on their, the company that they work for. Right. And so I’m always thinking of unique ways to work with individuals that can bring people in companies that we want to work with. Um, and so is this really thinking about how you help people? Um, and that’s, that’s my biggest method of marketing. I’m going to come help you, right. I’m going to bring an athlete finance, and I’m going to bring them capital. Uh, I’m going to bring someone who worked in us in the recruiting industry, um, three years worth of salary, right. I’m going to show you how to do that, right. Work with us. I’m gonna give you three years worth of your salary. Um, and so I think of unique ways to bring on talent was also brings on more business, if that makes sense. 

JP Maroney:

Sure, sure. What kind of people would you like to connect with from our show for your own? 

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. Um, anyone that’s in the space of, um, obviously real estate investors that are looking to get into real estate deals. Cause a lot of our athletes are, um, anyone in the fortune 500 or text-based that, um, can use great talent in the form of athletes. Um, that’s definitely very important to us. That’s part of our core business, um, placing athletes in those opportunities. Um, and, and so those are the biggest ones, you know, um, people who are really in that space of financing and, and doing deals, um, but also the hiring acquisition side of it as well. 

Paul Nicolini:

Yeah. That’s great. That really is. Could you share with us something that other business community otherwise wouldn’t know, share a story, a something, a life experience that other people wouldn’t know about?

Corey Jackson:

Yeah, let’s see. I mean, everybody knows about my sports background, obviously. I mean, if you don’t, I mean, it’s pretty easy to find, find out about, um, I think the thing that I always tell I’m talking to two young people too. Um, so when I graduated high school, I could barely read like literally could barely read. Um, and most people wouldn’t know that because I had developed this skillset of being able to like literally sit in in a space and just exhort information. And then I can regurgitate it in different ways with different viewpoints. Like I don’t know how I was able to do it. And so, so my teachers had a hard time trying to understand why I was struggling. Like when it came to written stuff, what we have in a presentation I could give the, I could, I could do it. Um, and so that contributes, I believe to my ability to operate in business and do deals. And so that disadvantage became an advantage to me, uh, for me. And so I think the biggest thing is I had that struggle, but I guess what I would want people to know is all your disadvantages have great advantages and you have to really search and look for them.

JP Maroney:

You’re spot on there. How would, what would be the best way for people to reach out to you? We have obviously other guests that have been on the show that I think we’ll be making some introductions with that make a lot of sense. Um, and also if people watching the show, listening to the show, how would it be best for them to reach out and get in touch with you?

Corey Jackson:

Yeah, I mean, obviously, um, all your professionals, um, LinkedIn is a great place for me. Uh, I love being on LinkedIn making relationships and also you can see kind of what I’m doing and I have activity as content as well. Um, so connect with me on LinkedIn, but, um, also you can go to quartz.com. Um, and if you’re interested in what we’re doing, there’s opportunity for you to connect with us directly there. Um, either connect, connecting with our recruiters or connecting with some of our individuals on the financing side as well. Um, so of course.com. LinkedIn is two good places to connect.

Paul Nicolini:

I just wanted to spell that for, for those it’s quirks, Q w E R K Z. Yup. If you’re watching or listening

JP Maroney:

To this episode of the deal flow show, you can get access to our archives as well as future episodes. Follow us, subscribe@thedealflowshow.com on behalf of Paul Nicoline by cohost myself, J P Maroney our team here at the deal flow show in Harbor city, capital w Corey Jackson. So glad to have you on the show, Corey Jackson from corks real quick, before we finish up, you mentioned that you have a book, um, is it available on Amazon? What’s the best way for people to get access to your knowledge? You know, the book is available on Amazon. It’s called think different, different, be different, um, and you can get it on Amazon pretty easily. Excellent. Corey Jackson, thanks so much for being on the show and, uh, maybe we’ll have you back again soon, but we really appreciate you being a part of season. One of the deal flow show. Take care, everybody. Thanks, Corey. For more episodes, visit the deal flow show.com and subscribe.

October 7, 2020

Corey Jackson, CEO & Former NFL Player on Transitioning Professional Athletes From Sports to Business


Description:
Corey Jackson is an Ex-NFL Player and CEO of Qwerkz. Corey is assisting professional athletes in transitioning to the business world by developing partnerships with those athletes and Fortune 500 companies.

Qwerkz is a company that takes the most talented athletes in the world and makes them available for companies and brands to create dynamic collaborations, partnerships and meaningful career opportunities.

What you’ll learn from this episode:
– How to brand yourself and the importance of branding.
– How to look for advantages in business
– What are the unique characteristics that are found in professional athletes that translates to a great entrepreneur.

Connect with Corey:
LinkedIn

Full Transcript:

JP Maroney:

Welcome to another edition of the deal flow show. I’m JP Maroney, your host, along with Paul Nicoline, our astute cohost on the show. And today we’ve got good. Another great guest. We have Corey Jackson with us from corks and many other background things that we can’t wait to jump into and talk a little bit about, including how you may have to be recruited as part of the Harbor city team to help us take on the capital markets in the three on three in New York city in the basketball world. So we’re going to talk a little bit about that too, but Corey Jackson, so glad to have you on the show. Welcome to the show. 

Corey Jackson:

Thank you guys. Appreciate it.

JP Maroney:

You have absolutely. So we’re going to do a little bit of background, but I want to set this up by saying I’ve been watching you on LinkedIn, not in a creepy sort of way, but you and I made contact probably a year and a half or so ago when we were talking about another program podcast I wanted to put together and I still want to have you on that.

But when we were putting together season one, these episodes of the deal flow show, right around that time, you posted something on LinkedIn about dealmaking and that deal process, and it resonated. And I was like, man, I gotta have you on this show. So we’re super excited. If you could just give us a little bit of background about how you got started in business and dealmaking and everything that you’re putting together with partnerships these days. 

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. Um, so, so I own a company called quirks. Um, we started, uh, about a little over three years ago. Um, we changed course, um, in the midst of that, but, um, I actually got to the point of actually starting quirks and focusing on what we do is early on when I got, uh, out of sports, I got injured and you know, it happens all the time, but my contract was tied up in, um, arbitration.

So that means I couldn’t get paid. So, uh, I tried to get a job and I realized that that wasn’t gonna work. And so that kind of led me to say, well, you know, what is my skill sets and how can I leverage them out here? Um, basically on the open market. And I saw a direct, uh, link in a market is location when it came to athletes and careers and dove in head first and, uh, started working with companies to fix it. What is it that you do now with quirks? Can you describe that for our audience? That’s not familiar with the company yet. Yeah. Um, so basically what we do is we take, uh, elite athletes, pro athletes. Uh, they can be from NBA, NHL, they can be from any elite sport. Um, they can be a soccer player as in Germany. It doesn’t matter for us, but we decode that whole system of what they’ve learned and skillsets that they’ve developed over time being an athlete, and then translate that into corporate terms so that they can get the type of roles and positions in companies that they’re looking to have. And so we really, uh, show companies the value of taking individual from one industry and bringing them to a new industry and investing in that relationship so that they can longterm adds value to your culture and your company.

JP Maroney:

Very interesting. So it’s across many different sports disciplines, but using a similar model to leverage those assets into the future. As, you know, as you experience, sometimes a sports career can be cut short or sometimes it can be long, but at the end you got to have what’s next and that next game plan. Um, can you give us some examples of some of the types of whatever you can share if it’s names or not, but the types of deals that y’all are doing and putting together?

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. So, um, we do a couple of different things. So we work with fortune 500 companies and technology companies. And so, um, for us, our business model is what kind of makes us unique. Um, so we don’t operate like a typical recruiting firm or executive recruiting firm that you would see. Um, we kind of took a model from sports and we look at things in like multi-year deals. And so a lot of times like, or recruiting firms do these one off things like I’ve got a candidate and I’ve traced him with your company. And so what we do is we create opportunities to do it over a period of time. And so we asked for a lot of the amount of hires over X amount of time. And what that does is it allows us to forecast what the number’s going to be, what we can make, what we can generate and how we can actually get there the fastest. And so what that does is separates us from everyone else. And now we have actual true partnerships with companies that we have longterm value versus one off deals.

JP Maroney:

You’ve heard the term necessity is the mother of invention. It sounds like this came about of you going, Hey, I’ve got to get some scratch and how can I best do that? So kudos for putting together an interesting business model. Let’s take you back to the world of sports for a little bit. I know you have those conversations all the time, but, and, and, um, can’t avoid that, but let’s talk a little bit about that. What was your career like? Uh, go back maybe even into school and some of the things that you were doing, actually, I want to hear about the one way ticket that you took from high school to your college. 

Corey Jackson:

So I will say that that was my first deal, right? My first deal. Uh, so I didn’t get recruited out of high school. I went to a small high school. Didn’t get recruited. Um, wasn’t a great student at all. Um, ended up working at Walmart for a year, did that for a year. Um, decided I wanted to do something different. I knew I was athletic, knew I had talent. Um, and so I wanted to play basketball. And so there was a junior college in Texas. I say, well, I’m going to Texas, I’m gonna play basketball. And so I bought a one way ticket, cause that’s all I could afford. And I didn’t call it a coach. I didn’t, uh, burrowed into school. I didn’t for the school. I said, I’m just going to show up. And so I get to the bus station and then I realized like, well, I’m at the bus station, but I need a ride to the school.

And that’s when I called the coach from the payphone. And I just started talking to him. I said, Hey, listen, I’m a basketball player. I want to play basketball for you. I’m a power forward up to South Carolina starts telling them all this stuff. And it got said, hold up, stop. I have no idea who you are, no clue who you are. Um, and uh, basically how big are you? Right? And so at the time I was about six, five, you know, 185 pounds. I said, well, coach I’m six, eight. And so I knew that there wasn’t a college coach in America that will leave with six, eight basketball players sitting at the bus station. Right. And so the guy says, well, you’re not six eight. I’m leaving you at the bus station. He hangs up and sure enough, he drove, he drove out to the bus station, looked me up and down, said, close enough, put me in the car and drove me off to school.

The cool part, his story was, he didn’t have any room for me on the team. He had 25 players already. Um, and so he was like, I can’t help you. You know? And I went into the gym and I’m watching these guys play. And I’m like, man, I have made this two day bus trip. And I can’t even, you know, I can’t get on the team. Can’t get into school. And unfortunately he let me play a pickup game. First play. I dock on three guys. He stops the game, walk into the court and say, listen, I don’t know why you came here, but I’m glad you did. He was like, we want you on this team. And that’s how I got into school. You know, that was my first official deal. I guess

JP Maroney:

That’s like that George Washington burned the moats, right? The one way ticket. That’s that’s a great story. Yeah. You need, have you done much in the way you have a book out, right?  

Corey Jackson:

I do have a book out it’s called being different, be different, a little different. Um, and I been the corporate speaker for a while. So I’ve spoken in technology, companies of universities and all those good things as well.

JP Maroney:

We need another book called a one way ticket to success. Yeah. Yeah. Of course. You speak a little bit more about you. Then you went back to, you went, you didn’t want to play basketball overseas, I think. Right. And then you went back to university of Nevada to pursue another career, your master’s degree. 

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. Yeah. So, so, um, I had a semester to finish on my bachelor’s degree. Um, and so I didn’t get drafted by the NBA and I didn’t want to go to play in Europe. Um, and I had several offers to do so. And so I was just like, well, I’m just going to go back and finish my degree and to figure it out. Well, one of the football coaches walked up to me and said, Hey, listen, man, you’ve been playing the wrong sport. I’m just telling you, you need to come play football. And so he invited me out to come play football, which I didn’t, you know, I didn’t play football since junior high. You know? I mean, you know, now I’m in my twenties. I would think I was like 21 years, 22 years old, didn’t play football since junior high. Um, and uh, he invited me out to play, um, played a semester where I only played 12 plays, uh, had one play, one pass, break up one block, field goal, one tackle for loss.

So it wasn’t no outstanding pristine career or anything like that. Um, but what happened for me was they had a pro day and one of my coaches called me and I’m literally at my apartment. He says, Hey, listen, I got 30 NFL Scouts up here. They want to see you today. You need to get up to the school. As I went up there and did a workout for him, um, walked off the field, the guys didn’t say anything to me. Like I seen all the Scouts. They didn’t say anything to me. Did the workout walked off the field and my phone started ringing and it was an agent said, Hey, listen, I heard you did fantastic in your workout today. I will. I want to represent you. And literally that whole day, my phone was just blowing up, but it just agents called calling. And it was just a, this a remarkable thing that happened. And so I ended up that year, which was 2003 signup where the Cleveland Browns

Paul Nicolini:

You somewhere along the line, you then negotiated your own contract.

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. So before you think about that, a lot of things happen out of necessity. Um, I got, I got, uh, in a situation where all of ’em, my coaches got fired and so, um, Marcos has got fired. And typically what happens when your coach gets fired, the new coach is going to bring in players. They like, and not only are they going to bring in players, they like they’re going to bring in their system, you know, their defenses, their offices, the whole night, um, where I was one of the younger players. So they kept me. Um, but they changed the defense from a four, three, two or three four, which I wasn’t a three, four defense event. And so essentially I didn’t have a position. Um, and so what I had to end up doing was at some point I had to go in to the front office and say, Hey, listen, I need you to let me out of this contract.

Right. And you know, the saying, you know, like pretty much nothing in life is free. And so, um, it cost me about a million dollars, uh, to get out the contract. And I didn’t have a team at the time, nowhere to go. Um, this was like at the end of training camp. So there was really like, all teams was Rochester’s full, filled up and I had no idea what team I was going to go to anything. So it was a pretty ballsy move. Um, but a week later, uh, the Denver Broncos called and I ended up 

JP Maroney:

Nice. What, when you look back, obviously there’s you speak, so there’s two audiences and I’m sure you pull from some of the parallels lessons that you’ve learned. What do you think are some of the things that you’ve learned over the years on the court and on the field that have carried over to the deal-making table? Like whether it’s confidence or whatever it might be that you felt like, man, I really I’m glad I had those experiences. So they helped prepare me. 

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. I mean, sports to be thinking about it is really mostly about strategy. Um, you know, you be a great athlete, but you know, someone with a great strategy can beat you. Right? And so what I look for is advantages, always look for advantages and the advantage for me, even as force, if I’m going against a guy that’s bigger and stronger than me, my advantages, uh, well, is this feet slow, right? Can’t connect. Can I make him turn one direction and go the other direction? And so it’s the same thing when it comes to deals, it’s like, well, you know, are they giving away tells right. How bad do they want this deal done? You know, I’m already in a desperate situation or, you know, it’s always looking for these tales and that’s when we in sports, we’ve got a call that like, uh, just, just little, um, little, little tails, that’s going to let you know what the play is going to be. Right. And so if I know if I’m going against the tackle and he takes his hand off the ground, he lets me know that it’s not going to probably be a running fight. You know, it was 90% his time it’s going to be a passive. Right. And so I just look for these little tails and I think that’s one of the big things I learned from sports is how to be strategic and how to see, uh, the unseen.

JP Maroney:

That’s real big when you’re doing deals today. What sort of, um, things are you looking for to put together? Are you bringing teams together to make these things happen or is it very much just a connecting the dots between a player or a president or former athlete and a future opportunity or are you organizing and our entire team around them?

Corey Jackson:

A little bit of both. Um, it just depends on the athlete. It depends on what they’re looking for. Um, we can get anything from an athlete, one to leverage their, uh, endorsement deal and, and cash out and put it into a business venture. Or we can get a guy who has a team already, and they’re looking for capital for real estate, real estate project. It’s like a mix used. And you know, so we get all of these different types of assortment of deals and different types of athletes. Some athletes are very fresh and new at it. Some have been seasoned that have been doing it for awhile. So it just really, it just really depends on the athlete and it depends on what they’re looking for and where they are, um, in their specific journey. 

JP Maroney:

How do you prepare, obviously, in going back to the sports, I mean, you watch tape you’re you’re, you gotta go in with a strategy, all those things that, you know, how do you prepare to go to the deal table? What’s your process? 

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. Um, outside of just doing the due diligence and the work that it takes to do it, um, I’m always surrounded myself with interesting people that are doing deals, right. And I’m always trying to, um, hear and listening to how people look at deals, how they break down deals, how they evaluate deals, because I’m always trying to add value to myself. Um, I’m just one person, right? Like I don’t claim to know everything, but I’m always trying to be around knowledgeable people. You know, a show like this, right. Will definitely be right on my alley because someone’s talking about how they view deals, which is a total different perspective for me, that adds a lot of buyer to me. So I just look for different little, uh, opportunities to learn from people. Um, and then I kind of get excited when I see it. I got friends that are doing deals all the time, too. So we have these conversations. It’s kind of like before the games we get hype, you know, so we have these conversations, you know, I have a friend that just, just, uh, close $7 million on a deal and, you know, I get excited. I’m like, Oh, wow, let’s, where’s my deal. I gotta go get a deal. I got to find a deal. Right. And so we kind of keep each other pumped that way

Paul Nicolini:

In our, in our, um, our call to you, our pre call for the show we asked about your spare time. And you had said that you’d like to develop additional skills that would help you in today’s environment. Could you talk about any of those? 

Corey Jackson:

Yeah, I think the biggest thing is, uh, for me is, and it’s directly to relates to deals. Um, for me it’s about thinking, right? Like understanding how to think. I think that’s, uh, that’s one of the amazing skills that people don’t focus on a lot, um, because you see the uniqueness and opportunities and it’s not necessarily about just being innovative and things of that nature, but it’s saying, Hey, well, I heard this one thing when I was watching, uh, the deal flow show and I can plug that into what I’m doing. Right. And I think that’s a skill when you can actually take something and make it applicable to what you’re doing and being aware of those things. And so I’m always working on my awareness and working on how I can take something from another industry and add to my industry and what I’m doing.

JP Maroney:

What kind of deals are you working on right now? Is there anything that you can share kind of the thing that’s keeping you up and getting you juiced in the mornings?

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. Um, I mean, funny thing I had a deal come through today. Um, very basic deal, but it was athlete kind of like what I was saying earlier. It had to have a big endorsement deal. Um, the payout structure is structured a certain way. You want to access a certain amount of it. And so I have partners that are looking to, uh, be in a space of lending, right. They want to land. And for me is being able to leverage my network to help them get that done. And so anytime I can do something like that, that’s, that’s a fun day for me. Cause I help someone be able to access some capital and do some of the things they wanted to do. And I also help some of my partners, uh, being able to create, uh, lending opportunities as well for them. So things like that. 

And then we also do, uh, we help athletes. We do a lot of, we do a lot of help on that side, right. Because, and here’s why though, because a lot of times, as an athlete, people are always asking you for your money. You’re always saying, Hey, invest in what we’re doing or Hey, can you lend to these things? Um, and so we were very heavy on the debt side for us, helping them access to capital access debt rather than mezzanine debt, rather than business, all those things that they’re working on or for their ventures. We’re always helping them access capital even for as investment as well. 

JP Maroney:

I like this. You’re going to have, you’re going to have to hold, hold your question. Alright. So are you, you’re telling me that they’re, you’re, um, giving present monetization for future earnings on contracts in this space, like endorsement deals and such 

Corey Jackson:

For sure, for sure. Um, you know, when you look at athletes, um, you have a limited earning potential in a sense because something can happen to make your deal fall through. But when you have a great idea, you have a great venture, you have something working where you’re working on that can make you money. That’s where you really win that’s the upside. Um, and so you can get these, these, uh, advancements on this money for a reasonable interest rate. It makes sense that you take it and turn it into more, pay that back. Now, even if you get injured, even if something happens, you have actually capital that’s yours that you can lay claim to, that you earn, um, outside of sports. And when you start earning outside of sports, that’s when you really move in, like you need to be moving 

JP Maroney:

Well. It’s great because we all hear the stories. And I know you’re associated with a couple of guys on LinkedIn that I had watched them talk about that work with the players association and people like that, where, you know, a lot of the athletes, they it’s the first big money they’ve ever seen in their life when they signed the ball deal. And then it may be short lived. Or as you said, there’s a lot of people nipping at you. I call them umbilical cords. A lot of people walking around looking to plug their umbilical cord into you and suck off that, that joy, that you’ve just been able to secure with your, with your, your life and your body. But when those deals are gone, those opportunities are gone. The contract plays out, someone’s injured, trade happens, whatever, all of a sudden they look up and a lot of these guys don’t have money. Don’t have resources. And that’s exciting that you’re creating opportunities for them to create immediate cash to and teaching them. It sounds like how to parlay that into other opportunities, but also to be able to create some future wealth and solidity for their, for their family. Some of that they can count on long, long after they’re off the field. That’s exciting. 

Corey Jackson:

Well, I was just going to say, cause they’re in a space that’s so hot, you know, it’s so hot that, you know, if you leverage it right, you never have to worry about finances and you never have to worry about money. Um, but it’s about being aware of the opportunities that presents themselves and being in control of that, um, as well. So yeah, 

Paul Nicolini:

I was going to say, they need a guy like Corey too. Cause isn’t the first thing. All the athletes here is I’ve got the greatest thing in the world you got to here, I need the money. You got to hear it. Yeah. Right

JP Maroney:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s been my, I know you live in that world, but everything that I’ve talked to, other colleagues that played ball and such it’s, uh, you know, and the money being paid out today is crazy compared to what people were paid, you know, 10, 15, 20 years ago, but still it’s, um, it’s a big problem obviously in the industry with guys looking up one day and they don’t, I mean much like entertainment industry, they look up and they don’t have anything left. So, um, what, when you, when you’re looking at a deal, what are some of the characteristics that you look at or look for that you go, this is my sweet spot. 

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. Um, I think the, the very first thing that I look at, um, is, is who’s involved with the deal, right? Like, um, it is, it’s always, always about the people, you know, the people make the deal. Um, so, so I always start there. Um, and then I look at, if I’m, if there’s an athlete involved, I’m looking at, you know, what are their needs? You know, if this deal went left, if it went sideways, if it, you know, if it didn’t work out, what, how much risk, how much exposure do they have. Right. Um, and so, um, from that regard, that’s what I’m looking at. Um, and, and the, the structure of the deal, you know, at the end of the day, can we all win on this deal? Right? Like, you know, if we all can’t win on the deal and it’s probably not a good deal. 

Um, and so, um, I’m looking at these things, um, you know, the, the structure to deal who’s involved, you know, what’s going to happen if the deal goes sideways and then can we win? Is it significant enough? Right. Like, not just can we make money, but is it significant enough for our time to get involved and, and actually go down? Cause we know how to deals our deals, you know, take a long time that looked like a simple in turn complex and you know, so you want to make sure that you’re making good use of your time when it comes to doing a deal. So it has to be worth it. It has to be significant enough for sure.

Paul Nicolini:

Corey, you’ve had an extraordinary path leading up to where you are right now. Certainly it’s not straight up. So how do you deal with the failures or the setbacks? Tell us how that, how that happens for you 

Corey Jackson:

Have a lot of exposure to failure, right. And so, you know, early on in life, you know, I grew up, uh, in a small town. We didn’t have a lot, you know, single wide mobile home, any given time, eight, nine people in this space. Um, and so, um, I saw a lot of disappointment at times. I saw a lot of struggle at times. Um, but for me, I think the biggest thing is I get excited, you know, when it comes to having some downs, because it kind of gets me motivated because I know from experience, there’s the up that’s coming. Right. And I think sometimes people hit those downs and they don’t, they don’t, they can’t think for enough ahead to say, Hey, this is just a moment. Right? And so we have these moments. Everybody has, you can’t escape them. You try to minimize them as much as possible. But for me, I get excited because it’s a challenge and I want to win. Right. And so my job is to overcome that challenge. 

JP Maroney:

I have a three part mission statement, my own personal one it’s make money, make memories, make a difference. That difference is all about legacy. You talked about growing up in a single wide home and, and coming from a small town coming from, from, you know, limited or meager means and all of that. Now you’ve had some success you’re hanging around people that are having some success. What’s your game plan for leaving a legacy. Obviously your company is making a difference in the lives of people through the commercial success, but do you have anything outside of the business or any other things that you’re doing to give back or to contribute or to make a difference in those that are looking for a come up? 

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. Um, this is going to be the first time I say this publicly. Um, but um, I have plans to develop, uh, the, so I went to a school called ranger college in Texas. Um, and if you go to the school right now, today, right from when I went there, back in 98, you go to the day, it looks the exact same, looks like projects. They all know if you’ve ever seen the projects. It looks like the projects. And all of us that came to that school were people from underprivileged backgrounds, you know, struggled, uh, just to get out of their neighborhoods and, and make it to that point, not even to get a degree or anything like that, it was accomplishment just to be there on campus. And this place has literally looked like the projects. Right. And so, um, you know, I have a mission now that we’re putting things aside for, because I want to redevelop the whole entire campus, like literally the whole campus, um, because the individuals that went to that school, most of them didn’t graduate.

Most of them ended up going back to where they came from. Um, and, but there wasn’t a structure in place at the time to deal with or equip people that came from those backgrounds to be successful. Um, it was, they didn’t understand them. They didn’t understand how they thought, how they operate it. They didn’t understand why they did what they did. And so I want to put more effort into rebuilding that whole, uh, college. Um, and this is a big goal for me because it’s personal. Um, it’s something that I see, uh, happened over and over. And I didn’t have young guys that I, uh, sent to that college, um, and go through those experiences. And it’s like, that is close to my heart. You know, changing the lives of people who have the same experiences as me. I was very, I was very fortunate, you know, um, I happened to be super athletic, you know, very talented, but on top of that, I was insanely, insanely, uh, like just lacked in all my work ethic. Um, and so, I mean, even people thought I was crazy at the school because the girls want to hang out and I’ll tell them, meet me in the gym, you know, and we’ll hang out in itself. And so I was very fortunate that I had the DNA that I have and the mindset that I have. And I want to be able to give back in that way and, and help other individuals. That’s going to go through that experience and equip them for success as well. 

JP Maroney:

I want to talk about that work ethic here in just a moment, but if you’re watching or listening to this episode of the deal flow show, you can get access to our archives, previous episodes, as well as subscriber, follow us for future episodes, by going to the deal flow show.com. That’s the deal flow show.com. We have Corey Jackson, a former NFL, former power forward in college basketball and now CEO and deal maker with a company called quirks. So Corey, welcome back to the show. Want to talk a little bit about, you said something a moment ago about you had strong work ethic and I wanted to, to number one, give a props to you, but also talk about the fact that you were athletic and you did have a lot of genetic things going for you, you know, six, five or six eight. If you, if you listen to the phone call you made to the coach. Um, but, uh, you know, you had a lot of those things in your favor, but we know plenty of stories of people that have all of those assets and still screw it up because of what’s going on between their ears. And so where did you get or develop the dry? What were the things that affected that early on was a mother, father, aunt, whatever it was. Was it something you saw on TV? Something that said, Hey, I think it could be different. 

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. Um, my dad, for sure. Um, so my dad, uh, not educated, um, grew up in a totally different era. He was the youngest of, uh, 10, 11 kids. Um, you know, he was 20 years younger than his older siblings, at least 20 years older than his oldest sibling. Um, and so he had experienced where, you know, we grew up in South Carolina and they were literally sharecropping, like literally like living on other people’s land, farming, their land and sharecropping. Um, and so my dad, I saw my dad at a very young age. I was maybe six years old at the most, um, work at this cotton mill, 16 hour days, 120 degree temperatures, temperatures year round. Um, and I saw this guy do it day in and day out. He would come home soaking wet. And one day, uh, he put in for a promotion, he won this motion and, um, they ended up giving it to another guy and then asking him to train the guy.

Can you imagine that? Right? And so my dad quit, man. He just walked out on the spot and, um, maybe like a couple of weeks later, he’s, um, he convinced this guy that owned this building to give him the building and put a business in the building. And he started from nothing. I mean, literally he didn’t, he didn’t even have enough to even put anything down on the builder. Like he just, the guy just liked him. He had a conversation with the guy, told him what he wanted to do, and he convinced the guy to give it to him. Um, fast forward that he, my dad changed our family dynamic. You know, he didn’t become ultra wealthy from starting this business, but it was far cry from where we started. Right. And I’m seeing this guy with no education, no money, five kids and a wife walk out on a job. It’s just, it was amazing. It was fascinating to me. Um, and people ask me all the time, how did you get on that bus and buy that one way ticket. I seen this guy with five kids and a wife walk out of a job and he couldn’t even pay his bills. And then he started something remarkable. Um, and for me that made it so much easier to get on that bus. I didn’t have a kid, I didn’t have wife, you know, it was just me and that for me, changed my life. 

Paul Nicolini:

Excellent. Yeah. That’s amazing. I guess he took the risk and you saw that and you saw it was worth doing right. That’s great. Cory, tell us, how do you market yourself, your company to give us some tips or pointers to our audience?

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. And so, um, once again, so I think of everything like a deal. And so I’m always looking to acquire, I think, acquisition, right? And so, um, we work with companies to place athletes. We work with, uh, athletes to get them funding. And so what I do is I acquire talent. Um, I acquire talent and I structured it in a way that allowed me to get business. Right. And so for me, if I bring on, like for instance, I brought on a individual who doesn’t directly work for me, but we incentivize them to partner with us and they brought on their, the company that they work for. Right. And so I’m always thinking of unique ways to work with individuals that can bring people in companies that we want to work with. Um, and so is this really thinking about how you help people? Um, and that’s, that’s my biggest method of marketing. I’m going to come help you, right. I’m going to bring an athlete finance, and I’m going to bring them capital. Uh, I’m going to bring someone who worked in us in the recruiting industry, um, three years worth of salary, right. I’m going to show you how to do that, right. Work with us. I’m gonna give you three years worth of your salary. Um, and so I think of unique ways to bring on talent was also brings on more business, if that makes sense. 

JP Maroney:

Sure, sure. What kind of people would you like to connect with from our show for your own? 

Corey Jackson:

Yeah. Um, anyone that’s in the space of, um, obviously real estate investors that are looking to get into real estate deals. Cause a lot of our athletes are, um, anyone in the fortune 500 or text-based that, um, can use great talent in the form of athletes. Um, that’s definitely very important to us. That’s part of our core business, um, placing athletes in those opportunities. Um, and, and so those are the biggest ones, you know, um, people who are really in that space of financing and, and doing deals, um, but also the hiring acquisition side of it as well. 

Paul Nicolini:

Yeah. That’s great. That really is. Could you share with us something that other business community otherwise wouldn’t know, share a story, a something, a life experience that other people wouldn’t know about?

Corey Jackson:

Yeah, let’s see. I mean, everybody knows about my sports background, obviously. I mean, if you don’t, I mean, it’s pretty easy to find, find out about, um, I think the thing that I always tell I’m talking to two young people too. Um, so when I graduated high school, I could barely read like literally could barely read. Um, and most people wouldn’t know that because I had developed this skillset of being able to like literally sit in in a space and just exhort information. And then I can regurgitate it in different ways with different viewpoints. Like I don’t know how I was able to do it. And so, so my teachers had a hard time trying to understand why I was struggling. Like when it came to written stuff, what we have in a presentation I could give the, I could, I could do it. Um, and so that contributes, I believe to my ability to operate in business and do deals. And so that disadvantage became an advantage to me, uh, for me. And so I think the biggest thing is I had that struggle, but I guess what I would want people to know is all your disadvantages have great advantages and you have to really search and look for them.

JP Maroney:

You’re spot on there. How would, what would be the best way for people to reach out to you? We have obviously other guests that have been on the show that I think we’ll be making some introductions with that make a lot of sense. Um, and also if people watching the show, listening to the show, how would it be best for them to reach out and get in touch with you?

Corey Jackson:

Yeah, I mean, obviously, um, all your professionals, um, LinkedIn is a great place for me. Uh, I love being on LinkedIn making relationships and also you can see kind of what I’m doing and I have activity as content as well. Um, so connect with me on LinkedIn, but, um, also you can go to quartz.com. Um, and if you’re interested in what we’re doing, there’s opportunity for you to connect with us directly there. Um, either connect, connecting with our recruiters or connecting with some of our individuals on the financing side as well. Um, so of course.com. LinkedIn is two good places to connect.

Paul Nicolini:

I just wanted to spell that for, for those it’s quirks, Q w E R K Z. Yup. If you’re watching or listening

JP Maroney:

To this episode of the deal flow show, you can get access to our archives as well as future episodes. Follow us, subscribe@thedealflowshow.com on behalf of Paul Nicoline by cohost myself, J P Maroney our team here at the deal flow show in Harbor city, capital w Corey Jackson. So glad to have you on the show, Corey Jackson from corks real quick, before we finish up, you mentioned that you have a book, um, is it available on Amazon? What’s the best way for people to get access to your knowledge? You know, the book is available on Amazon. It’s called think different, different, be different, um, and you can get it on Amazon pretty easily. Excellent. Corey Jackson, thanks so much for being on the show and, uh, maybe we’ll have you back again soon, but we really appreciate you being a part of season. One of the deal flow show. Take care, everybody. Thanks, Corey. For more episodes, visit the deal flow show.com and subscribe.

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