Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith already knows the value of owning a business, and he’s doing what he can to help others learn those same lessons.
“I’ve wanted to be an entrepreneur my whole life,” Smith recently told Jarrett Bell of USA Today.
Smith previously established in his home state of Indiana a minority entrepreneurship institute. On Friday, he’ll host the finals of a Shark Tank-style pitch competiton that flows from that concept.
A field of 65 has narrowed to five, and the groups will compete on Friday for a piece of $300,000 along with other forms of business support. Smith and three other Indiana business owners will serve as judges. One of the other judges is former Colts linebacker Gary Brackett.
“A lot of us want to be successful, but we don’t always have the mentorship and strategic planning,” Smith said. “Part of this is to increase the assets and provide for people who can make a difference.”
Smith, who just turned 24 last month, demonstrates a maturity and wisdom well beyond his years.
“Management matters so much for what companies will succeed or not,” Smith told Bell. “You have to have definite criteria. Once you grow, you’ll need people to assist you. You want to be able to surround yourself with the right type of people.”
In his day (and sometimes night) job, Smith is surrounded by a billionaire who knows a thing or two about making money.
“Just from doing my research, it was amazing how he developed the resources to buy the Cowboys,” Smith told Bell. “That’s inspired me.”
Smith is now in position to inspire many others, both younger and older than him, to get their own business ideas off the ground.