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David Gardner Interview - The Big Jump!

By Arel Moodie

· Conversation,Interview,Productivity

The Necessity to Reinvent Yourself

Once an athlete, always an athlete. Have you noticed how any athlete tends to be known more for their athletic career rather than anything else they do?

David Gardner is out to change that narrative through reinvention. In a previous life, he was a 6'9" former pro basketball player. He has since reinvented himself completely as the founder of the brand consulting and design firm Color Jar and host of The Big Jump Podcast.

It truly is a big jump: from sports to business! And it happens at a young age: a athlete's playing career may end around 35-40. But there's a lot of life after that age!

There comes a time where age catches up with them and they have to exit the sports stage. But while they may physically leave the field, their athlete reputation sticks like Stickum.

In some cases, it's a clear advantage: Ryan Mundy, former safety for the Chicago Bears, uses his Super Bowl pedigree as an introduction before he chops it up with business.

In some cases, it can be a self-limiting belief. What about "retired athletes," as if they already finished up their life at the age of 40 and are passing time.

It's a box that people put athletes in. It's a box that athletes put themselves in.

Maybe you and I are not pro athletes, but what about the boxes we place ourselves in?

But life doesn't end off the field, and athletes must reinvent themselves simply out of necessity and at a relatively early age!

"For you to grow up and become a man, you have to take off the baseball uniform."​

Reinvention is necessarily. It happens to athletes, and it happens to nonathletes: You can't let others put you in a box. You can't put yourself in a box.

Denver Nuggets Power Forward/Center Mason "Plumdog Millionaire" Plumlee did a hilarious rap video, knowing full well he would catch flak. Lyrics right here:

At first glance, something like this is a silly publicity stunt. But when you hear that Mason made this video because it scared him, because it was outside of his comfort zone.

Talk about thinking outside of the box. In that moment where Mason stepped outside of his comfort zone, he wasn't just an athlete. There's some magic in that moment.

David used to be eager to skip his sports background in any small talk, in an effort to prove to others that he was more than a retired athlete. You get the sentiment behind it-he's trying to reinvent himself completely.

It's like a caterpillar metamorphosing into a butterfly. It's like how you imagine a transformation from skinny nerd to musclebound meathead, or from unassuming introvert to magnetic actor.

But like Ryan Mundy above, he has started to integrate that former self into his life.

David prefers instead to liken the process of reinvention to a tree growing. You know how trees get more rings as they grow wider and taller?

Photo by Rachel Pfuetzner on Unsplash.

The old rings from before persist and still make the core of the tree. Once an athlete, always an athlete.

But as the tree takes up more space and grows wider and taller, it gets new rings. New characteristics. New skills. Tech investor. CEO. Rapper Plumdog Millionaire.

What to Reinvent Yourself As?

Can you picture yourself as a successful businessman? Astute lawyer? Or inspirational strongman?

It's great to imagine taking your life into different directions at will, shaping your skills like clay. Think about dreams that you have. Take in the sights, sounds, and sensations that come with your dream.

That's passion. It's strong emotion, but we all know how fickle it can be. How to control it and harness it toward progress?

David encourages you to follow your passion, and provides a 5-question inventory to determine if you can follow up with your passion:

1. Do I feel excited about this?
2. Could I see myself staying curious for the next 3 years?
3. Will it challenge me and push me out of comfort zone?
4. If my basic needs were met, could I do this for free?
5. If this were a total failure, could I still feel like I developed valuable skills, experiences, and relationships?

Thanks A TON to David Gardner for coming onto the show! If you're looking for more stories about athletes reinventing themselves, go find David and his show: The Big Jump here:

Check him out on Instagram @david_gardner!

And Remember...You Are Awesome!

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