3 Lessons We Took Away from “Eliminating the Box” with Eddie and Taj George
December 9, 2020 / Share:
Yesterday, we hosted Taj and Eddie George at a speaker series called “Eliminating the Box,” where they shared what it means to break out of the box of celebrity and become entrepreneurs.
“I think that anyone who has an idea and puts one foot in front of the other and strives for it is an entrepreneur,” said Taj “You can’t put an entrepreneur in a box, and if you do, you’re wrong.”
Eddie, a Heisman trophy winner and former starting running back for the Tennessee Titans, is also the founder of Edward George Wealth Management Group where his financial acumen and a people-first approach to clients are redefining investment advisory. Taj’s career as a wildly popular entertainer began almost 30 years ago and still continues today, as one of three in the multi-platinum R&B Group, Sisters with Voices (SWV).
“There’s nothing worse than tossing and turning at 2:30 in the morning, not able to sleep because you don’t know what to do with your life… People put you in a box. They say, ‘The next thing for Eddie George is to be a coach or a commentator, and that’s it,” Eddie said.
Together, they form a team that supports excellence in education, entertainment, and entrepreneurship, including providing funds for high-qualified programming and enrichment opportunities for entrepreneurs. Here are three key takeaways for entrepreneurs from today’s event.
You have to learn to pivot.
Both Eddie and Taj have had to pivot during their entrepreneurial journeys.
For Taj, her singing and song-writing career took a sharp turn when COVID struck, meaning that she and her group members had to build new ways to connect with their audience. But Taj was offered an additional, timely opportunity – to create the insurance arm of Edward George Wealth Management Group.
“My entrepreneurship prior to this was singing,” Taj said. “Never, in my wildest dreams, in thirty years, would I have ever thought I’d start an insurance company. I would never have thought my box had anything to do with insurance in it.”
She studied for her insurance exam, balancing the rest of her life alongside it, and was certified at the beginning of 2020, just in time for COVID to hit and put a hard stop to live shows.
“Everything you do when you wake up every day, the entrepreneur is in you. You just have to say ‘Hi,” she said.
Being an entrepreneur requires G.U.T.S.
“Fear is that buzzard that’s always circling around you, waiting for an opportunity to crack in,” Eddie said. “To start anything worthwhile, with passion, you’ve got to have GUTS to do it.”
No matter what a person does, if they’re doing something risky, it will be challenging, but there will also be people who want to help you see your dream come true. But the ability to persevere every day, and keep returning to the dream is key. For Eddie, this breaks down into four components:
G – “Gumption, the gall, the will… to be willing to see it all the way through no matter what.”
U – “Understanding the wisdom, the guidance, the desire to be a student of your craft, perfecting your craft.”
T- “Tenacity, to have the willingness to get back up, to see it through” when things go wrong
S – “Sacrifice. You’re going to have to sacrifice something – your sleep, your friends, your family. You have to balance it out.”
When fear sets in, Eddie relies on his faith and his checklist to get him through, making sure he is mentally, physically, and spiritually aligned with his purpose before pitting action against fear and moving forward.
“The higher you go, the more challenges are going to come at you, attack your dreams, attack your integrity, and attack your character.”
Don’t make failure the end of your journey.
A young Eddie George was told he would never achieve his dream of being an NFL player and Heisman trophy winner, much less leave his Philadelphia neighborhood. But after a failing math grade threatened to hold him back, his mother made the first pivot in Eddie’s life: Sending him to an out-of-state military school.
“There at Fort Union, I was exposed to young men from all over the world… It was a melting pot of different cultures, different backgrounds, different ideas, different ideals. And that’s where I first got the idea of thinking outside the box,” Eddie said.
He realized there that his dream life didn’t have to be focused solely on football, and it planted the fodder for his future venture, Edward George Wealth Management Group
“When you think things are failures in your life, or roadblocks, or the most devastating thing that can ever happen, it’s really there to elevate you,” he said, noting that his failures forced him to dig deeper, to refocus his priorities, and to work harder.
“All that to say, when people tell you, you ‘can’t,’ tell them thank you,” Taj added.
Weren’t able to catch the event? We’ve got you covered. Check out a full video of the event here, and keep an eye out for more events in the EC’s Speaker Series coming up.