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Tracy Deforge is the CEO and Co-founder of The Players’ Impact. The Players’ Impact is a platform that empowers athletes and businesses exclusively for current and former professional athletes looking to preserve and build wealth through their premier private market investment opportunities. Some of their community members include Tracy McGrady, Gabby Douglas, and many more. Their portfolio companies include Cameo, DraftKings, Robin Hood, and others.

Shawn Springs is the CEO of Windpact, a materials data and technology company located in Leesburg, Virginia. He is passionate about protecting the next generation of kids, and the inspiration behind founding Windpact stems from his 13 seasons playing in the NFL. In 1997, he was drafted third overall in the first round, spent time with three teams — the Seahawks, Washington Football Team, and New England Patriots — and was in the Pro Bowl.

Donte Whitner was an 11 year NFL veteran, three-time pro-bowler, eighth overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, All-American at The Ohio State University, and NFL TV analyst with CBS Sports. He is a Partner and on the Athlete Advisory Board at Kirtland Hills Capital. Donte is also an accomplished real estate developer, NFLPA President of the Orange County Chapter, and sits on the advisory board of several organizations that help athletes understand the importance of financial literacy.

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

  • Donte Whitner and Tracy Deforge talk about the education that builds a foundation for athletes in business
  • Shawn Springs and Donte speak about the mindset needed to succeed in business as an athlete
  • Donte, Tracy, and Shawn’s mentors in business and sports
  • Dealing with ego and vulnerability
  • Diversification is key
  • The highs and lows of business

In this episode…

As an athlete, you have the power to do what you want with your money. Suppose you’re looking to go into business or invest in any company. In that case, you need to change your mindset and take responsibility for the process, including vetting the professionals you want to work with. That can only happen with a change of perspective, since many athletes are used to having professionals do business for them.

How do you take ownership of your business life and understand it as well as you know your sports? Also, keeping in mind that the lifespan of your professional career is short, how do you start to plan your future so you don’t go bankrupt when you quit playing?

Listen to this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast with Dr. Jeremy Weisz featuring Tracy Deforge, Shawn Springs, and Donte Whitner. They discuss and expose the truth about being an athlete in business, the mindset needed, the professionals to vet, the mentors to keep, and the low and high points of the journey. Stay tuned.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:22

Black Airlines. My name is Ben greevey I’m from Everett Washington. I was wondering when Shawn Springs is going to play both sides of the ball, wide receiver and quarterback all pro both ways. Whenever Dahuk goes home or decides to put me on that side of the ball Javi I don’t think there’s no time soon but hopefully one day maybe.

Jeremy Weisz 1:01

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, Founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders and I have a panel today which I will formally introduce with Tracy, Donte, and Shawn but before I do, I always like to point out other interesting interviews you should check out on the podcast saw me This is appropriate for past professional athletes turn business leader entrepreneur by the founder of Big League Chew, Rob Nelson, you were just sitting in the dugout, you know, and he just didn’t want to chew the tobacco and so he created the shredded gum which we know now is Big League Chew we had Chris Gronkowski who created the ice shaker. I don’t know if people have seen him on Shark Tank with him and his brothers on the show. That was a good one. And the group interview with Wendell Davis Brent Novaselsky and Jamal Williams and they talked about the transition from NFL to business so check on that and many more in This episode is brought to you by Rise25 that Rise25 we help businesses give to connect to their dream 100 relationships and we do that by helping you run your podcast you know for me, the 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 over the past decade to profile the people and the companies I admire and share with the world what they are working on. So if you’ve thought about starting podcasts you should go to and email us if you have any questions and today’s guests formally introduce Tracy Deforge is CEO and Co-founder of The Players’ Impact. The Players’ Impact is a platform built to empower athletes and business exclusively for current and former professional athletes looking to preserve and build wealth through their premier private market investment opportunities. um you know some of their community members which we’ll talk about Tracy McGrady Gabby Douglas and many more and their portfolio companies Cameo, DraftKings, Robin Hood and you know for each of you I had pulled out a couple fun facts maybe some people know them maybe some people don’t know them. So you I know you’re all a little worried. What did he find on me?

I have Shawn, I have a great one for you. Which I’m going to mention and Donte Have a great one for you too. But for Tracy’s. Specifically. You know, people probably know you earned your JD at Seton Hall on that you work for the NHL Major League Baseball. I don’t know if everyone would know that you are sixth time marathon runner in Division One athlete and 2018 haymakers for hope fighter. So you know, maybe some of you will know that maybe not as Shawn Springs is CEO Windpact wants to protect the next generation of kids inspiration behind founding Windpact stems from his 13 seasons playing in the NFL and drafted third overall in the first round 97 and spent you know, time with three teams, the Seahawks, Washington and New England Patriots and was in the Pro Bowl and, you know, obviously you know, both Donte and Shawn played for Ohio State, but fun fact for you, Shawn. I don’t know if people would know this. Okay. Was undefeated and out of isn’t true, but undefeated? One on one street basketball.

Shawn Springs 4:21

Street basketball,

Jeremy Weisz 4:22

you say that it’s such a random fact. And I was gonna say you lost my friend Michael Goldstein. It’s Silver Spring, but it wasn’t cold. It was um, I have here that john West so is that is that true? You were one on undefeated and one on one free basketball for the longest time?

Shawn Springs 4:43

Yeah, I was pretty good at basketball.