Tyler Jorgenson 0:01
You’re listening to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. This show was created for entrepreneurs, business owners, marketers and dreamers who want to learn from the experts of today and drastically shortcut their own success to build a business that supports their dream lifestyle. Since 2011, Tyler Jorgensen has been interviewing business thought leaders from around the world, a serial entrepreneur himself. Tyler also shares his personal insights into what’s working in business today. Welcome to biz Ninja, entrepreneur radio. Welcome out to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. I am your host, Tyler Jorgensen. And today, we get to talk with former division one football athlete, Darrell Stinson on what happens after all of that, right. And so we’re gonna talk about him figuring out who he was after sports, we’re gonna talk about mental health and suicide, and we’re gonna talk about entrepreneurship, and it’s gonna be a great journey. And so we’re super excited to have Darrell out with us. Welcome to the show, Darrell.
Darryll Stinson 1:05
Hey, man, thanks for having me. Thank you for everybody tuning in. It’s gonna be awesome. We’re gonna have some fun laugh, cry, play together. If you’re driving, just don’t get in an accident.
Tyler Jorgenson 1:15
That’s right. That’s right. Please stay safe. All right, Darrell. So let’s start at the in the middle. Yeah, so we’re gonna start in the middle. When did you first realize that you were an entrepreneur?
Unknown Speaker 1:25
Oh my god. That’s in the beginning, man. Okay, that’s good news. I was entrepreneur. I, when I was a kid, I literally sold colored rocks to my neighbors. And it was kind of like, Oh, this cute kid. He took some pain, thrown rocks, and I was not artistic. It was terrible. But I sold it. You know, I sold my cute kitten is, you know, and then, you know, probably when I was a teenager, early teens, I did a lawn care business is one around cutting lawns. We call it DND lawn care, my cousin to Shawn, and something I’ve always been entrepreneurial.
Tyler Jorgenson 1:55
I love that. And so you’ve known early on, right? Like, Okay, I’m gonna make something for myself. I’m gonna figure this out. I’m gonna you know, you want some money, but sell some rocks, right? Yeah, yeah, I’m
Unknown Speaker 2:05
gonna wait for some handout. You’re going to go take action? Oh, absolutely, man. Yeah, that’s not my athletes mentality. Nothing’s handed to you. Everything’s earned. You know, so and then growing up in poor neighborhood and my dad was a family of six. You know, they had to share socks on Christmas. So he grinded his way just to make sure that I had opportunities to play like travel sports and stuff. So it was just
Tyler Jorgenson 2:26
hard work was ingrained in me. Absolutely. And so you were division one athlete, you were, you know, professional bound. Tell us a little bit about your journey of an athlete and kind of what happened.
Unknown Speaker 2:39
Yeah, so I went to Central Michigan University to play both football and basketball. So I say it this way. I was ranked number three in the state of Michigan preseason for Mr. Basketball. Number one in the state was Draymond Green. And everybody knows Draymond Green. Nobody knows Darrell Stinson. And so just the type of caliber player that I was. And then, you know, I was also ranked number nine in the entire Midwest for defensive lineman. So I chose Central Michigan so I could play both didn’t end up happening long story short, you know, they just didn’t want me to get hurt playing basketball and football have my scholarship. So yep, I’m still mad at buck Jones for that. So go to Alabama yell at him. But man, I’m six foot five. I was, you know, agile enough to be good at basketball. But I was big and tough enough to play football. So it wasn’t a matter of like, if I was going to go to League, it’s just a matter of when, right. So I would hear that from coaches who coached NFL players. And that’s my mentality. You know, I played as a freshman, I was on passwords packages, couldn’t defend the run very well, because my legs were still skinny. But man, I was talented and very athletic. And you know, my dad was an elite athlete. My aunt was an Olympic athlete. So it runs in our family. So man, it’s just you know, I was born with that gift.
Tyler Jorgenson 3:54
Awesome. And so, I mean, gifted division one athlete planning on going pro. Did you go pro?
Unknown Speaker 4:00
No, I didn’t, man. Okay.
Tyler Jorgenson 4:02
What happened in my head, I
Unknown Speaker 4:04
went Pro. I
Tyler Jorgenson 4:05
was almost there.
Unknown Speaker 4:07
So actually, at the end of my freshman year, I was trying to impress upperclassmen, how much I could squat. So I was trying to say, look at me a freshman stronger than you and I came up the wrong way, pinched a nerve in my back. And because I didn’t know the difference between being hurt and being injured, I kept going after that injury. And so I went for months playing with this pinched nerve in my back. Long story short, my pain got so bad, to the point where I couldn’t even move my left leg and then I hit it one day, and I noticed like, like my left leg is completely jello. I went and got an MRI. I had to have emergency back surgery because my left leg was getting ready to go paralyzed. The doctor came and did my surgery the next day and he was booked for like three to six months. Wow. That’s how serious it was. So I got the surgery. And that was supposed to be it right? Like Dude, you will honor your scholarship. You’re a freshman. You get a red shirt. You get four years just to focus on education, you can come around football whenever you want. But they didn’t understand football was not what I did. It was who I was, it was my identity, it was my ticket out of the hood is the way I was gonna be successful by my family house, my mom a car, get everybody out of poverty, I was going to be the superhero. So I wasn’t just gonna let it go like that. So I begged them to let me on the team signed a liability waiver, so that they will not be liable for my injury or death on the field. And then I literally put my body through extreme discipline, drug addiction, to be able to numb my pain to continue to play the game. And I did so with some success. I wasn’t supposed to have contact on the field. For a year, I was back playing on the field within six months starting, because me hurt was better than the next guy fully healthy. And I’m not saying that to brag, that was just the reality. And so I started for two years. I mean, you watch any of my film, I’m like, I’m making plays and stuff. But you can tell I’m just like, this guy is in pain, but he’s like a freak of nature. So he’s kind of cool to watch. Well, my opioid addiction got so bad to going into my senior year, the opioids within my blood, to the point where every time I made contact on the field, my nose would bleed. Right? Well, so the coaches are like, dude, we don’t know what you’re doing. But we can’t let that happen. They kicked me off the team. And that’s when I had to face the fact that I failed at my first love.
Tyler Jorgenson 6:19
And so I think anybody that’s gone through a major transition, but especially athletes that had professional aspirations, right, I feel like that has a unique athletes tend to go all in more than some other people, right? Like, I know, people that are like, Hey, this is my career, I’m going all in this is what I need. But really, they’re like, in the back of their head. They’re like, Oh, but I could always do C, D or F, right? But athletes like I’m going pro, I’m going to be, you know, this is the team I’m going to sign with, right? Like, they know everything I’m going first round, third position, they got it all mapped out in their mind, athletes have a tendency to really have a strong vision. So when that vision changes, there’s a whole identity shift. Right? So let’s first go through how you dealt with that, because I think it led to some real big challenges. And let’s talk about how you’re helping others.
Unknown Speaker 7:07
Yeah. So number one, I didn’t deal with it. I didn’t face I didn’t want to go there. And that’s, that’s the work of mental health. That’s the work of anything that, like people don’t want to do the inner work a lot of times because it’s like, No, I don’t want to think about that stuff. I don’t want to think about, you know, the problems I have in my house, my marriage or my business, I just want to kind of like keep moving fast. That’s what I did. So I’m like, man, I don’t want to think about this, I’m just gonna do more drugs. And I’m just gonna like party and like, not even thinking about it. And not thinking about it. I was still thinking about it subconsciously, when I went to bed at night, I was just thinking about, like, the fact that I can’t do any more. So everything I did, I don’t recommend, which is avoid the problems. And that’s what led me to implode. And to the point where I started to make suicide attempts and things like that. So I always encourage people, man, like, step one is you have to process your pain, you have to process your failures, you have to process your rejection, you have to process the tension that happens in your workdays. If you don’t, because you’re afraid of conflict, you’re afraid of what you might find unprocessed pain will become ill process pain.
Tyler Jorgenson 8:15
So, you know, you mentioned very casually and then just moved on that it led to suicide attempts. And so, you know, that’s not a small thing. That’s a big deal. And I think I personally have lost way more friends and I want to even say as a number to suicide, I think it’s a horrible, horrible thing. I think it’s massively under spoken about. And I mean, it’s, there’s people every day, right, that are just that are that we’re losing to that. And I think it’s it’s absolutely devastating. And I think it happens to athletes happens to entrepreneurs, it happens to everyone. It’s not like there’s not like one group that’s immune to it. Yeah, you said something really powerful that you have to process your brain because non process pain becomes ill process pain. So let’s flip it a little bit and say, you’re saying you need to process your pain, your failure, your rejection? Yeah. How? What step one?
Unknown Speaker 9:08
Yeah. Number one, you have to develop a sense of awareness, right? Yeah. Typically, if you’re not like an emotional person, which I feel like we’re all emotional people, we just got to learn how to like, be in tune with our emotions. But if you’re not like that type of person, you don’t think you don’t meditate. You don’t pray. I literally tell people find the tension in your day. Okay, so when in your day, was there friction? When did you feel like you could you underperform? When did you have a altercation with someone at your work? Start with the friction because there’s always an emotion attached to the friction. So let’s say you get into it with a co worker because they just underperform. And y’all they should have did what you told him to do, and they didn’t do it and carry out their assignment. So y’all had a little beef at work. I say that’s a perfect place to start processing. If you acted out of character, if you acted out of emotion Why don’t you start your journal? And you say, on that day, what was I thinking? What was I feeling? Okay? And you’ll start to see very quickly, you were making inaccurate conclusions about that person. And typically inaccurate conclusions about yourself, right? A lot of arguments that happen in the workplace are all about insecurities. I’m arguing because I, like you know, me, saying I’m better than you makes me feel better about me. We don’t know that because we don’t process so step one is to develop a sense of awareness. Step two is to slow down enough to actually journal and start to come up with accurate conclusions about what you were thinking and feeling. Okay? Because if you remember, unprocessed pain becomes ill process pain. So you take that same scenario, and you don’t process you just go the next day, here’s the conclusion you start to make, they’re underperforming. They don’t like me, I should find a different company. I’m not respected at work, all of that stuff is conclusions that you made. And that might not even be the truth. Right? It’s just stuff that you made up because you didn’t feel like dealing with your emotions. So you sit down, you reflect, you analyze, and you reframe,
Tyler Jorgenson 11:09
reflect, analyze, reframe. And so that gives you an opportunity to get out of the emotional state that you had lack of awareness and get into the rational state where you’re saying, okay, what’s actually happening? Exactly what is it? And how does it actually impact me? That’s important, right. So how did you know what was your next step? So he said, I think 2011, you attempted to take your life? Right? failed? I’m glad you failed on that. Right? Good failure. What happened in your life next, that led you to where you are now?
Unknown Speaker 11:39
Yeah. So I ended up in a psychiatric unit. And there I had this crazy, life changing experience that gave me a dangerous four letter word called hope. And the moment I had hope it was over, because it was like giving Michael Jordan the ball with three seconds left, I was like, there’s purpose beyond my pain. I survived this, and it’s for a reason. And so after that, I became very zealous about finding out what my purpose was. And I wasn’t settling for generic purpose statements. I believe that if I survived suicide, it was for a specific reason. Because I was unique. And I was meant to be here on this earth. So I wasn’t settling for like generic purpose statements of life. My purpose is to help other people discover their purpose, or my purpose is to leave a good legacy to my children. I’m like, Who doesn’t want to help other people who doesn’t want their children to have a good future? What is unique about me, and so I was a nerd man, I went to the library, I would study four hours a day, I spent 1000s of dollars i read, you know, Victor, Frankel’s Man’s Search for Meaning. And Simon Sinek. Why I mean, anything on purpose, meaning it didn’t have to be about faith or religion, it could just be anything abstract, I studied it all. And I came to this point, I’m like, this is me, this is unique. And this is my purpose. And the way that I express my purpose is through speaking, it’s through writing, it’s through business. It’s through entrepreneurship. I have multiple expressions of my purpose, but there’s a higher purpose, a why that drives everything that I do. And when I found that thing, I was like, what’s next? Well, now I got to come become a lead at it. I can’t be the top one or 2% in one industry of athletes, and then just be the bottom in this other. So now, I got to become one of the best speakers, I got to become one of the best entrepreneurs. And so I’m on that journey. Now currently, two time TEDx speaker, bestselling author that comes from this drive to be great, because I know that greatness is inside of me. And so that’s where I’m at currently in this journey.
Tyler Jorgenson 13:32
Awesome. So now you’re focusing on your journey and your purpose, right? But then, so you’re speaking, you’ve got your book? What are your big goals going into? 2021?
Unknown Speaker 13:43
I don’t mean this to be generic man. This is so serious. I want to help as many people as possible.
Tyler Jorgenson 13:49
Cool, who do you want to help?
Unknown Speaker 13:50
I want to help people who are struggling with mental health issues. I want to help our youth who have no clue how to handle social peer pressure, no clue how to make responsible decisions, no clue how to know who they are, and be comfortable and who they are. Nobody likes to be the kid that doesn’t have a seat at the lunch table. So I want to help our youth. And I want to help our athletes. There’s a ton of athletes who are in transition. There’s a ton of athletes who’ve been out of sports for years, and they’re still living their current life as if it’s second best to their former life. Yep. And that’s no way because they’re, you know, there’s this term in sports and you’ve heard it glory days. You ever heard glory days? What is that? Yeah, absolutely.
Unknown Speaker 14:30
It means my best days are behind me. That’s no way to live. So I’m passionate about helping athletes in our youth.
Tyler Jorgenson 14:38
I’ve worked with quite a few former professional athletes to college athletes, things like that. And it is absolutely a challenge for them to go through that transition. Because it is it’s a they feel like it’s a stepping out of the spotlight, and therefore they can’t be as impactful. Yeah, really, in many ways. They’re about to be they have the greater capacity because they’re not bound by league restrictions, management restrictions, you know, I mean, when you when you’re a professional athlete, your life’s not your own, you don’t get to make decisions on your own, you don’t get to live the way you really genuinely want to live. So I think the opportunity actually increases. But it is a reframe, like you talked about earlier, and in the glory days can be absolutely ahead of them. But it’s, a lot of them go through that same thing. And I love how many of them transition into entrepreneurship. Because I think that there is something about being an athlete and creating your best self that transitions so well over to enjoy entrepreneurship, the difference is you no longer have the restrictions, right? You don’t have the coach, you know, telling you exactly what to do. You don’t have somebody else telling you, here’s the play, you have to run. So you get given an open playbook. Right. And you get to choose your own adventure now. So what helped you like when you got hope? What helped you start deciding which path to channel that into?
Unknown Speaker 15:58
Yeah, so number one, it was understanding my highest purpose that was very important to me, I knew I could be successful at another career. But I needed to know that I had a higher purpose. So I found that out. And I had a unique purpose statement that defined everything that I do that define that drives everything I do. And so from there I went, Okay, now what am I good at? What am I talented at? What, what do I feel called a purpose to do? And I started, I just made a list. Okay, I can talk a little bit, I can rap a little bit. I got some leadership ability, and I just kind of wrote it down, even if it was still in seed form, or like, I wasn’t like fully developed on it. She was like, man, other people see this as a gift that I have or skill that I have, right? And then I went, well, how do I make money doing that? And really, that’s the process. So I went, I said, Okay, well, I can speak well, you know, I don’t have any opportunity yet. So, you know, I went and talked to a couple people spoke in front of our team that was easy, spoke in front of another high school team. I said, you know, you do a good job, you get invited to speak more, and then I started down that path. And then I had a liking to marketing, you know, what your call to because what you’re bothered by, you’re often called to be a solution to that problem. Sure. So when I arrived by and I see billboards, or Facebook ads, or whatever, and I’m just like, Oh, my gosh, that’s terrible. They’re wasting so much money. I’m frustrated by it, you know. And that’s, that means that I’m probably supposed to be a solution to that problem. And so I got into marketing, I worked for Central Michigan University and their marketing partner, we did a rebrand when number three, Higher Education Award for marketing campaign, and as part of a team did some really cool stuff there. And then I went and branched out and started doing marketing consulting, which was really still speaking. And I was passionate about helping underdogs win, because there’s people, meaningful nonprofits, even meaningful for profit organizations that are losing in business because they don’t know how to market. Sure. And so, yeah, that’s how I got in and you know, just keep getting better and better and improving. And watching the film, studying yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask people, how did I do? And you gotta ask people who will tell it to you straight out of that, really?
Tyler Jorgenson 18:04
Do you know? Yep. So well, the nice thing is about marketing is that it’s not an opinion based thing, right? In the end, the data speaks and works or don’t. Yeah, the numbers. Now the challenge is being able to understand the numbers well enough to make smart decisions and not you know, yeah, you know, because a lot of times people are a headline tweak away from something working, but they stopped everything altogether. Or the other way around. Right. They keep pouring money on the on something that’s just not working. So yeah,
Unknown Speaker 18:32
it’s actually the back end of their business that’s actually bringing in revenue in the ad itself was terrible. It’s just that it’s, you know, not as marketed or popular or, like, especially some of these bigger companies. Man, some of these banks run the worst marketing campaigns. Oh, absolutely. No,
Tyler Jorgenson 18:47
this big big business has not adjusted most of them have not adjusted to marketing in today’s day and age. They Yeah, but they’re carried on by their, by their success that that they can eat millions and millions of dollars in advertising waste. Exactly. It’s a little bit unfair for those of us trying to scrap that. Well, that’s okay. I don’t need we don’t need that.
Unknown Speaker 19:07
That’s why we got the business ninja man.
Tyler Jorgenson 19:09
That’s right. That’s right. So what uh, you know, as we come into kind of the end of the year, getting ready for next year, what are some big things? So you said you want to help as many people as possible, right. I’m sure you’ve got some milestones that you want to be hitting. You know what with Darrell Stinson calm and with second chance athlete, what are some big things coming?
Unknown Speaker 19:29
Yeah. So I’m really passionate about helping people tell their stories. And so I’m launching my first mastermind in February, to help speakers build out innovative six figure speaking brands that align with their highest purpose. I just feel like there’s so many people who have a story to tell, but either they don’t know the industry or they don’t know how to tell their story. Or they’re deeply insecure and they like me they want to hide behind somebody else’s success instead of being the forefront. And so I’m going to help raise up the next 10 or 15 speakers. So my my masterminds called The next speaker, because I really want to help people elevate their brand, so that that’s definitely a goal for me. I want to give away a million dollars in scholarship funds for second chance athletes, to send athletes to go back to school. I’m very passionate about that I had an opportunity when I worked for the university to go retake undergraduate classes, right, I feel like I got a second chance to succeed in life without the demands of sports, I had the right degree, I just didn’t have the experience because sports took up too much of my time. Here, I want to give athletes that same experience and pay it for it. And then, you know, I really want to continue to get more and more messages about people who say, hey, you stopped me from, you know, going down a really dark, suicidal train of thought path. And you helped me to hang in there and fight another day.
Tyler Jorgenson 20:47
Okay, I love it. So when you’re, you know, you’ve got a couple of big things, you’ve got your book, you’ve got your speaking gigs, you’ve got your mastermind, you’re launching right with all these things, right? How do you decide which thing gets your attention, and which thing you’re going to really put your energy into?
Unknown Speaker 21:03
Yeah, so some of its timing, like, my book, who my other sports wasn’t going to go to market into 2021. But when the pandemic hit, I was like, I’m sitting on a solution to the big huge problem right now. So we push it to market early. So some of its timing, mentorship, I’ve got an advisory board, people who I talked to who are further down the road than I am, who I kind of bounce ideas back. And then what I’m learning, honestly, that I didn’t get right enough, is following my freakin gut man. Like, it’s just, you know, I let some people who were like eight figure earners kind of direct me in a path because, you know, our best interest for me, but it wasn’t true to my core man, and I wasted money, doing stuff that like, was their advice. And it was good advice. But it just like, whatever is in your gut you’re gonna throw yourself at. And so I’m really passionate about following my gut more and, and really just choosing what I want. So like, for instance, they want me to do a rebrand of my book and do on Who am I after this, so that we can explain it to other industries, right. Military transition is a second chance divorce, second things entrepreneurs, but in my gut, I’ve got this other book that is for Inner City Youth called St. Lies, lie. Yes. And I’m like, I’m publishing that thing. Next year, it’s gonna be a New York Times bestseller, and I don’t care. If it’s like not the best marketing strategy. It’s what my guts telling me to do. So I’m gonna do it.
Tyler Jorgenson 22:25
Yeah, I think like I was saying earlier about marketing, sometimes being data driven, can has a negative thing, right, there’s there can be a negative intention, which is like, well, I might be able to sell more books, if I do that. But I won’t be as passionate about it. So therefore, the book probably won’t be as good. And I won’t want to market as aggressively. So like, you’ve got to take advice that comes from other people, and distill it through the filter of your passion, your goals, your beliefs, or your gut, like you’re saying,
Unknown Speaker 22:52
Yeah, let me leave you with this man. Eric Thomas says something that changed my life as a speaker. He’s doing this little private lunch, and he’s training and he’s like, blowing it out the park. I mean, everybody’s in awe. And he’s like, a lot of you are impressed by me as a speaker. And you think it’s because I’m better than you. In reality, I’m just more free than you. And when he said that, I was like, Oh, why? Because we get so trapped in what should do and how we should act and what we should wear, that we’re not ourselves. That is why authenticity is the new form of currency. vulnerability is the new form of currency. If we can show authentic and vulnerable, I’m telling you, it’s going to transform, we’re going to see more innovation, we’re going to see more creativity. And I think the pandemic is gifting that to us.
Tyler Jorgenson 23:38
So what is something that you’ve you’ve done that’s stepping into your authentic self, and like removing the mask of masculinity, like or like removing that mask? What you think other people, other people think you should be? Right? Oh, it’s something you’ve done?
Unknown Speaker 23:53
Yes, that is a great question. I’m so glad you asked me that. So my next TEDx talk is going to be on that it’s gonna be called, hey, misfits come out of hiding. The world needs you. So stay tuned for that. But um, one thing that I do is, so I talked about following your gut, your gut usually requires risk, right? So in marketing, you’re supposed to have one problem that you solve, and you’re supposed to solve it well, right. So for my podcast I had when I said yes, it was all about helping people find their yes moments. But I didn’t like it. Because there is a business side of me. There is a Mother Teresa side of me. And there is a guy that rap side of me. So my next podcast relaunch is going to be the Darrell Stinson show. And I’m literally gonna have three different outfits of me making three different completely faces on the front. I don’t know if it’s gonna work, but I tell you what, it’s going to be authentic. And I’m going to do Monday motivation. I’m going to do Tuesday, mental health. I’m gonna do Thursday, whatever I want to talk about. Why? Because it’s my gut. Yeah, that’s one way it’s not advised. But
Tyler Jorgenson 24:50
I can already see the difference of your energy level. Just don’t get excited.
Unknown Speaker 24:52
Yeah, yeah, because we’re trapped. We’re trapped dude. Oh, yeah. Like, well, somebody
Tyler Jorgenson 24:58
Yeah. Someone If you’ve been told your whole life entrepreneurs have to look like this. Yeah, you’re like, but I want to rap. Yeah, so like one of my friends that owns a big product business, he he raps just because he loves it. And he now blends it into his marketing and into his stuff. Because he’s like, yeah, I enjoy it. It’s what I’m gonna have fun doing. So I might as well do it. Because otherwise I’m just gonna be frustrated. I’m making content I don’t even enjoy. Yeah, and so off to send you some of his stuff. It’s pretty it’s promising. I’d love to check it out now, so I love check it out. Yeah, well, awesome. Darrell, really appreciate you coming out on the show everyone, please go check out Darrell stinson.com as well as second chance. athletes.com. Darryl, parting words, big advice. What’s one thing people can do today to build momentum in their business?
Unknown Speaker 25:44
It’s the simplest yet the hardest thing to do. Because being yourself opens you up for the greatest form of rejection. But I’d rather you be real and be rejected than to be fake and be accepted.
Tyler Jorgenson 26:00
Be you amazing Darryl, appreciate you coming out on the show my biz ninjas wherever you’re tuning in it is your turn to go out and do something. Thank you for tuning in to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. What you didn’t hear was one more very important question that Tyler asks each guest if you want to be a fly on the wall when the real secrets are shared, go to biz ninja.com slash VIP and get your access today. Remember to subscribe so that you don’t miss any future episodes. And our one last favor. If this episode was meaningful to you, please share this podcast with a fellow entrepreneur so they can grow along with us is ninjas. It’s your turn to go out and do something