Desmond Clark is the Founder and President of Bear Down Logistics, a third-party brokerage that offers dispatching and warehousing solutions. With a successful 12-year NFL career, he is now a global motivational speaker, accountability coach, two-time published author, and podcaster. Before founding Bear Down Logistics, Desmond was a Co-owner and Partner at The Insurance People, a full-service agency that caters to all types of insurance. His mission is to share his life lessons, cultivate meaningful relationships, and create value for those he interacts with.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [05:15] Desmond Clark talks about his NFL career and lessons that apply to running a business
- [10:52] The behind-the-scenes of becoming successful
- [13:56] Desmond explains how he addressed hiring mistakes he made
- [15:56] What was the genesis of Bear Down Logistics?
- [23:20] Bear Down Logistics’ ideal customer profile
- [26:16] Desmond explains why he decided to join NFL
- [33:51] Things that drive Desmond and parenting challenges
In this episode…
Every entrepreneur aspires to build a company that delivers results and is successful in its goals. So, what can you learn from an NFL player turned entrepreneur who built a successful logistics company that embodies values that led to his success on the field?
As an NFL player, Desmond Clark learned the value of discipline, hard work, and teamwork in being successful. Embodying these values has been instrumental to his transition from a successful football career to a thriving one in entrepreneurship. Desmond’s approaches to building a successful logistics company are guided by principles he nurtured in his football career that enable him to develop and execute business strategies effectively. He shares his journey into entrepreneurship and how he leverages lessons from his NFL career to deliver value to clients.
On this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast, Dr. Jeremy Weisz interviews Desmond Clark, Founder and President of Bear Down Logistics, about his NFL player turned entrepreneur journey. Desmond talks about his NFL career, leveraging NFL career lessons to run a business, the behind-the-scenes of becoming successful, and how he addressed his hiring mistakes. He also shares the genesis of Bear Down Logistics, its business model, and its ideal customer profile.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Principles of Winning: 5 Keys to Create a Standard of Excellence by Desmond Clark
- Brian Rice on LinkedIn
- “[Shark Tank Series] From NFL Player to Business Leader with Chris Gronkowski Founder of Ice Shaker” on the Inspired Insider Podcast
- “[Athlete Entrepreneur Series] Poise: What it Takes to Lead and Win with Executive Coach and Super Bowl Champion, Bennie Fowler” on the Inspired Insider Podcast
- “[Athlete Entrepreneur Series] Life After the NFL: Pressure and Facing Your Demons with Brent Novoselsky, Gemara Williams, and Wendell Davis” on the Inspired Insider Podcast
- “[Top Black Business Leader Series] Confidence to Live Richly And Die Wealthy with Chris Gandy, Founder of Midwest Legacy Group” on the Inspired Insider Podcast
- “[Sweet and Snack Show Series] Creating a Healthy and Delicious Beef Snack with Gabe Carimi Co-Founder of Stryve” on the Inspired Insider Podcast
Desmond Clark Highlights
- “What makes a good teammate for me, somebody who you know they’re gonna show up, not just in the game, but in practice, and every part of the game physically, and probably even more importantly, mentally.”
- “You don’t go to work without a game plan.”
- “You don’t go on a practice bill without a game plan.”
- “ All you have is your name and your work.”
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Cofounders Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran credit podcasting as being the best thing they have ever done for their businesses. Podcasting connected them with the founders/CEOs of P90x, Atari, Einstein Bagels, Mattel, Rx Bars, YPO, EO, Lending Tree, Freshdesk, and many more.
The relationships you form through podcasting run deep. Jeremy and John became business partners through podcasting. They have even gone on family vacations and attended weddings of guests who have been on the podcast.
Podcast production has a lot of moving parts and is a big commitment on our end; we only want to work with people who are committed to their business and to cultivating amazing relationships.
Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.
Insider Stories from Top Leaders & Entrepreneurs…
You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.
Jeremy Weisz 0:22
Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of inspiredinsider.com where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different. I have Desmond Clark and his company is Bear Down Logistics it’s beardown-logistics.com. And Des I always like to mention other episodes people should check out of the podcast before we get started and since this theme is kind of a athletes, entrepreneurs, okay, some of the other cool ones I’ve had I had Chris Gronkowski. Brother Robert Calci, founder of Ice Shaker he was on we had Bennie Fowler. He talked about hauling in the final pass of Hall of Famer Peyton Manning and his business. We had Brent Novoselsky, Gemara Williams and Wendell Davis, who is also Chicago Barry’s co-founder of a healthcare products company Gabe Carimi was co-founder of strive, which is an air-dried beef Snacks Product, Chris Gandy, founder of Midwest Legacy Group played for the fighting lion and the bulls and the Spurs and that many more on inspiredinsider.com. 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. And how do we do that we actually help you run your podcast, we’re an easy button for a company to launch and run your podcast we do the strategy, the accountability and the full production execution. Des, we call ourselves a magic elves that work in the background to make sure it’s easy for the host in the business, they just focus on what they should be focusing on, which is relationships in their business. So, for me, we know each other a little bit. Des, the only number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships and I found no better way to do that than the profile the people and the companies I most admire in this planet and share with the world what they’re working on. So if you’ve thought about podcasting, you should give questions go to rise25.com And I’m going to introduce Desmond Clark. He is as I mentioned founder of Bear Down Logistics he’s an all-time great Chicago Bear and he actually had a stellar 12-year NFL career I’m going to actually, I have something pulled up really quickly. Des because you know I do a lot of research ahead of time and right now if you’re watching the video piece you can see Bear Down Logistics but as I read this I found this awesome I don’t know if you’ve seen this there’s a Desmond Car Tribute. Have you seen this? Yes, this is awesome. So anyways, I want to play it on silent as I read this because I watched the whole thing but there’s a lot of really cool highlights here of him catching passes scoring touchdowns but so I thought it’d be appropriate but today’s a global motivational speaker leadership trainer two times published author, founder and CEO Bear Down Logistics as I mentioned, and what they do is they’re a third party brokerage that offers dispatching and warehousing solutions. I mean, this wouldn’t be proper without mentioning some of your career highlights and my opinion Des, awake for us he was two time second team all ACC selection two Time Team MVP finished his career as ACC all-time leading receiver select as alternate to the Pro Bowl in 2005. He helped lead the Bears in 2016 NFC Championship and to the Super Bowl, Super Bowl 41 against the Colts and he was a first Bears Tight End since Mike Ditka, which is a 1962, 64 to have three consecutive 40 reception seasons. One of my friends, Des funny. Emery Morehead who I grew up with played against you in that Super Bowl and Emery and his son are the two and I don’t know if you know Emery but they were the first father-son duo to have both played and won a Super Bowl. I think that’s a trillion. So that’s kind of crazy. So anyways, thanks for joining me.
Desmond Clark 4:19
Yeah, sorry. I just say that his son had a winning against us. But I do know Emery Moorhead So, Emery Morehead he was the number two tight in embarrassed history for catches and yards and touchdowns and I clipped him over my time. And he sold me my first house. Chicago, so I know Emery really well.
Jeremy Weisz 4:44
Yeah, NFL player, entrepreneur. I knew he did a lot of stuff in real estate. I want to get into what you do at Bear Down but I want to also hear from NFL career a little bit, it just takes grit and toughness to even get to the NFL and also play in the NFL and he played 12 seasons the NFL. I mean, I get injured in walking around the block. Right. So that’s amazing. Who were some of the toughest defenders that you had to play against?
Desmond Clark 5:15
Oh, Willie McGinest is one of the things that comes up because he played on that tough New England Patriots teams. And he had those long arms and he was so strong that it was hard to block him. Demorrio Williams was a number-one pick from Houston, Texas. And I think back then everybody was disappointed that they picked him over Reggie Bush, Reggie Bush went number two. But that dude was just like Willie McGinest, like real strong, long arms. And I remember playing against him trying to block them. It was like the Three Stooges or something when you’re holding somebody’s head, you’re trying to get to them like this. That’s how I felt that whole game like I couldn’t get to him. It’s all so long. So those are two of the toughest guys that I had to block. Played against great guys like Ray Lewis in the league. And he was also my teammate in high school. So Lewis was yes, he was. Yes, he was. So yeah, I played against some pretty good people.
Jeremy Weisz 6:26
What was Ray Lewis like in high school? I actually just watched the third. I think it was 30 for 30 on Did you watch this?
Desmond Clark 6:32
I watched some but I watched the intro. Good.
Jeremy Weisz 6:36
So good. I forgot what it’s called. But it’s like the Ravens.
Desmond Clark 6:40
The bully bullies of Baltimore? Yeah. Yeah. What was he like in high school? The same way. So Ray was two years older than me. And in high school, he was a senior when I was a sophomore, but my brother played with him two years and so he knows Ray a little bit better. But Ray was the same way just intense all the time. And always the hardest worker on the field and the most talented guy on the bill. And when you think about talent, like there’s a lot of people that waste talent, but when you have that work ethic to go along with that talent, like he has, that’s what makes him a Hall of Famer,
Jeremy Weisz 7:24
With Bear Down and when someone has a company and they’re a founder, they have to build a team right around and I’d love to hear from a football standpoint to who are your favorite teammates of all time?
Desmond Clark 7:36
Oh, man, I got a lot of them off. Thomas Jones, Olin Kreutz, Musa Muhammad, Alex Brown. Going back to guys like our Wilson, Rod Smith with the Broncos, I played with Ricky Williams, who I found that was just a great interesting do when he just came up and wanted to play cards with a group that was playing cards on a flight back to Miami after a game. And I know I’m leaving plenty of them out. Jason Mckei, Rex Grossman. Man is so many guys that I really enjoyed sharing that field with and going into battle with every single day. But those are the names that come to mind right now.
Jeremy Weisz 8:27
What makes a good teammate,
Desmond Clark 8:30
Somebody who you can trust somebody who when it’s time to get out there on that field, they’re prepared, they’re ready to go. And they’re gonna give you everything that they had. And then off the field, you have a connection with them where you know, it’s a brotherhood. So a lot of those guys, most of those guys besides Ricky Williams, that I named, I hung out with those guys outside of the playing field. So that’s what makes a good teammate for me, somebody who you know they’re gonna show up, not just in the game, but in practice, and every part of the game physically, and probably even more importantly, mentally.
Jeremy Weisz 9:12
What are some of the lessons that you take from the NFL that you brought in bringing to Bear Down Logistics?
Desmond Clark 9:19
Well, you mentioned that grit in the grind that it takes to make it to that level, right? I found out that if you want to be a good entrepreneur, is gonna take a lot of grit, and it’s gonna take a lot of grind. And, and the other thing that is a parallel from my time in NFL right. When I came into the league, I was a sixth-round draft pick. So I didn’t come in as a first-round are expected to have this long, 12-year career. It was every year and not even every year. Once I got this piece of advice. It was every day I had something that I focused on. So every year I got better. Because every day that I went to practice, I had a focus. And I believe that’s so important with how you approach your days as an athlete. And as an entrepreneur, you don’t go to the job without a game plan. You don’t go on a practice bill without a game plan of what you’re trying to get accomplished. So those are the things that I believe that I bring from that past life who have been in NFL to now I’ve been in the field of been an entrepreneur.
Jeremy Weisz 10:39
What do people not see? Right? You see people, you see you on game day, catching those passes, running, getting a touchdown, but what have you will not see, with the training, the sacrifice?
Desmond Clark 10:52
Is parallel on both again, being a kind of athlete and been entrepreneur, as athlete, like you say they see Sunday, they see Monday night, they see Thursday, but they don’t see Wednesday morning, especially late in the season, when you got to walk slow down the stairs, because all your joints are hurting. But when you get to practice, you have to put in that work. And it just clicks and you just go and it’s like all the soreness just left. Another thing that people don’t see is the amount of studying that goes into the game like the game is only 50% Is that physical, the other 50% or more is actually mental. We have more time in the film room than we have out on the field actually practicing. People don’t understand this. In the NFL is like a real job Wednesday, we’re there 7:30 In the morning when I leave it to 4:30, 4 o’clock, 4:30. And we only practice for two hours. So what are we doing all day all the time is studying. And the same thing as entrepreneur. I did a podcast a couple of weeks ago, and everybody see $47,000 in one week. And they didn’t see what it took to get there. They didn’t see the loss of $25,000 that I had over two months prior to that, because I made bad hires, right. And I didn’t go through that process and what I had to learn from that, to be able to make that boy $7,000 in one week. Or one month, I shouldn’t say in profit. So they miss out on the behind-the-scenes stuff. And I’m a big, big advocate of not focusing on that goal and not looking at, hey, I want to have a million-dollar company, or I want to score 10 touchdowns this year. Let’s focus on the process of putting yourself in position to have that million-dollar company or putting yourself, getting yourself ready stand in shape, making sure that you’re mentally focused on you know, the game plan. So when your number is called in a football game, you have the opportunity. Now you’re getting the end zone, but there’s so much stuff that you have to do prior to going in is all prior to having a million-dollar company. Most people don’t get to see.