The drive for success starts early in the career of an athlete, sometimes as young as elementary school. They are typically encouraged by their teachers, coaches, parents and peers when it comes to making the team and doing well, so the mindset is set early for them in terms of entrepreneurship. Although many play their careers and are satisfied with living off the money made and/or investments from the earnings, others want to continue making a living post-career.
Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Dashon Goldson, knew from early on that he would become a successful businessman. From selling candy to kids in school yards to opening up a successful cigar lounge, he always knew that entrepreneurship would be the right route for him.
Goldson took a minute from the gridiron to talk to BlackEnterprise.com about his entrepreneurial spirit and his post-career plans.
BlackEnterprise.com: What drives you to be successful in football?
Dashon Goldson: I’m driven by a few things when it comes to football. Internally, I have always pushed to win any battle I’m up against. Whether it was struggles in school, with friends or family, or on the football field, I’ve always possessed an internal drive to win every battle. I also push myself to be the best in everything I do. I have worked very hard and, as cliché as it may sound, when I think of all the sacrifices I have made and the pain endured throughout my football career, I’m driven even more. My family also drives me, not only do I want them to be proud of my performance out there, but I want to make a better life for them. The harder I work and the better I perform out there, the more opportunities I can present my family.
What made you decide to become an entrepreneur and why did you choose the type of businesses you’re involved in?
To be honest, I had an entrepreneurial spirit for as long as I can remember. I started several “businesses” like selling candy and goods to other kids in the school yard. I did this so I could make money to put towards the extra things I wanted for myself and my family. When I was able to get the means and opportunity to pursue legitimate business ventures, I was all for it. I always knew that I wanted to own businesses, and when I developed a love for cigars several years back, I knew that they were my passion, so I went for it and opened my now thriving, SmoKing’s Lounge. From there I discovered real estate, which I’m also very passionate about and plan to develop upon in the upcoming years.
Do you have any plans for what you will be doing when your playing career ends?
I hope to continue expanding my business ventures – opening a few more cigar lounges, getting further involved with real estate and I want to explore franchising. I feel fortunate to have had the means and guidance to begin pursuing these ventures while I’m still playing that will enable me to create a smooth segue into my post NFL career.
What does it take to have the right mindset to run a successful business?
I think it’s important to be passionate about your pursuits, educate yourself on your industry, your competition, and even potential downfalls. It’s also important to keep your eye out for the newest trends, technology, and information. A business owner should always surrounded him/herself with trustworthy, knowledgeable people, and not get too comfortable with anyone; keep an eye on your business and remain hands on.
What’s the appeal of a cigar lounge and what made you open one?