Brent Novoselsky is a Vice President at the wealth management company, GCG Financial. GCG has been serving clients since 1989 with a particular focus on the accumulation and preservation of assets and risk management. Brent played seven seasons in the NFL, and he played with the Chicago Bears in ‘88 and Minnesota Vikings from ‘89 to ‘94. He retired after a severe neck injury. Brent is also a member of the Chicago Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and is active in many charities; he serves as the Vice President of the Retired Professional Football Players of Chicago (RPFPC).

Wendell Davis is the Co-founder of Trywen Medical, a Chicago-based healthcare products and services company. In college, Wendell was two times All American of Louisiana State. He is a former NFL wide receiver who played six seasons for the Chicago Bears and was selected in the first round in ‘88. After his career in the NFL, Wendell became the Assistant Coach for the 49ers. Wendell is currently also the President of the Retired Professional Football Players of Chicago (RPFPC) and the Manager of Minority Development at National Material L.P.

Gemara Williams is the Client Engagement Manager for RL Canning, a global provider of information technology consulting and managed services headquartered in Chicago. He is a former football player who saw action in the NFL and the CFL. The New England Patriots signed him in 2006, and he was part of the team that executed the only undefeated 16-game regular season in 2007. After his time with the New England Patriots, Gemara signed on with Canadian teams, the Montreal Alouettes and what is now known as the Edmonton Elks.


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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Brent Novoselsky talks about the transition from professional sports to business
  • The mindset of a professional football player versus when they step into the corporate sector
  • How Gemara Williams got out of football and into business
  • Transferable skills from football to the office
  • Wendell Davis talks about how he transitioned from NFL into business — and the skills that got him through the door
  • Gemara’s, Brent’s, and Wendell’s low and high points in their NFL career
  • Career advice young NFL players should know
  • People that influenced Wendell, Brent, and Gemara’s NFL careers

In this episode…

The top-level NFL career lasts an average of three years, and many athletes suddenly realize they still have their whole life ahead of them. Unfortunately, there’s not much on the field that prepares you for the entire new world outside of the NFL. You could go from signing autographs to begging for business appointments, not to mention the unquenchable thirst for NFL-esque thrill — and nothing can seem to fill that void.

How do you cope with that pressure of transitioning from NFL into business, knowing that you might not understand the first thing about business and could leave the NFL unceremoniously? And if you’re already a business owner, what does the life story of an NFL player teach you about business?

Listen to this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast with Dr. Jeremy Weisz, featuring former NFL players Brent Novoselsky, Wendell Davis, and Gemara Williams. They discuss the high and low points of their NFL careers, the tough job of transitioning to the business world, facing the demons of still playing in your sleep, and what they wished they knew when they were younger. Stay tuned.

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Episode Transcript

Jeremy Weisz 0:19

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, Founder of InspiredInsider.com where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders. And you know, I’m going to introduce formerly our guests today, Brent, Gemara and Wendell Davis in a second. But I always like to point out other episodes of podcasts people should check out. And since this is sort of the bridge to sports and business and everything in between some past episodes, I had Chris Gronkowski who is Founder of Ice Shaker, who talks about his Shark Tank experience and receiving investment from Mark Cuban Alex Rodriguez. So check that episode out. Also Bennie Fowler, who’s currently with the 49ers he caught Peyton Manning’s last past his career in the Super Bowl. And I’ve talked about kind of doing executive coaching and what he’s doing with that, and this episode is brought to you by Rise25 at Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and partnerships. We do that by helping you run your podcast, you know, for me, Brent, you know me a little bit Gemara, not yet as much, Wendell not yet as much. But the number one thing in my life is relationships. And I’m always looking at ways to give it to my best relationships. And one of the ways I found over the past decade is the profile of them their thought leadership, and the people and companies I admire on the podcast. So if you thought of starting a podcast, I think everyone should personally but if you have questions, you can go to Rise25.com and email us we’re happy to answer any questions that you have. And, you know, I want to also give a shout out to Tracy Deforge who’s CEO and Co-founder of The Players’ Impact, which is a platform built to empower athletes in business and exclusively for current and former professional athletes looking to preserve and build wealth through investments. And some of their community members are Tracy McGrady, Gabby Douglas, Murray Sevens and many more. I was talking to her the other week and I was like I have an amazing group. of professional athletes and business people coming on. So it made me think of her And Today’s guest. Brent Novoselsky is in Wealth Management, GCG and has been serving clients since 1989 with a particular focus on accumulation and preservation of assets along with risk management. He played seven seasons in the NFL, with the Chicago Bears in 88, Minnesota Vikings from 89 to 94. He retired after a serious neck injury. He’s also a member of the I don’t know, I wonder if jamara Well, no, this fact about you, Brad, we’ll see. He’s a member of the Chicago Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. And active in many charities serves in the NFL players Association, former player, Chicago chapter, and he also has a scholarship program. So maybe we’ll talk about that too. And we have a Wendell Davis, former NFL wide receiver who played for the Chicago Bears for six seasons selected by the bears in the first round, you know, well, obviously, I’m from Chicago. And so I grew up watching you, and was selected by the bears in the first round in 88. And it was two time all American Louisiana State was assistant coach for the 49ers and his Co-founder of Trywen Medical, which is a Chicago based healthcare products and services company. Along with he’s got a bunch of endeavors that he’s working on. So we’ll talk about those. And Gemara Williams, former player who saw action NFL in the CFL beside a new New England Patriots in 2006. I think you’re a part of that team that was like 13 and one, Gemara. And one, eight was a Yeah. I don’t want to lose two games off from you. So he’s worked at RL Canning for almost a decade, which is a global provider of information technology consulting services. So thank you all for joining me. Appreciate it. Good to be here. This is where I stopped talking. And you guys talk the whole time. But um, I want to talk we’ll talk about some highs and lows, career wise sports in business. But I wanted to start off with transitioning transitioning from professional sports, to business and the different facets are involved in Brent, I would love for you to start off and talk a little bit about transitioning from professional sports to business.

Brent Novoselsky 7:12

Everybody thinks about transition, the one thing they don’t really think about is when you’re transitioning from the NFL, to business. I mean, you you’re in a locker room, first of all, so it’s that locker room mentality that you can no longer have going into a business at least back in the 90s. When Wendell and I came out, I think jamara it was probably a little more professional. When you got I mean, literally during my tenure with the Vikings was when they first allowed women to come into the locker room and interview you. So we all have a little pal things that we had to put on and you know, just the differences that that made. But more importantly, when we transitioned out. Except for maybe Barry Sanders and Megatron, every single one of us didn’t really walk out of the game the way we wanted to. Most of us were carried. So with me it was my neck. I had a neck injury. So as a season ending injury with Wendell, I think we were done after fairly laurencin.

Wendell Davis 8:14

That was pretty much it. I yeah, you could say that.

Brent Novoselsky 8:17

Yeah, you know, you blow out two knees in one play. It’s not such a good thing. And Gemara, I’m not sure were you injured? Or did you actually walk away?