He’s worked in sports management with the likes of Brett Favre, he bought and sold four businesses by the time he was 35, he’s done multiple M & As in his time as an investment banker, and now he’s a bestselling author (Networking is a Contact Sport, Moving the Needle), speaker and coach. He also loves the work of our recent guests Dean Niewolny and Lloyd Reeb over at the Halftime Institute.
With that kind of background and experience you can probably guess, we were not exactly short of conversation! Listen to the show for some absolute gold advice about how to set yourself up for a fulfilling life after business, or read on for some of the highlights…
How did Joe get started?
The 8th in line of 8 older brothers, a negative net worth of $50,000 and a love for manufacturing, Joe had no doubts he was destined to be an entrepreneur. He went to the library and built his own database of manufacturing companies, pre internet, with the goal of calling all the owners to see where they were at. Joe’s main goal was to find someone that would be willing to take on a hard working, ambitious young man that would be willing to sell their company over time.
After finding his perfect situation Joe did just that… and then acquired 3 more manufacturing companies before selling!
What happened when he first sold his companies?
He sold his companies at a relatively young age because he had 4 little kids at home and was starting to realize that he should reprioritize some things in his life.
After Joe sold he got to work on his bucket list, i.e. single-digit golf handicap, running the Boston marathon etc. But soon it just wasn’t cutting it. In his words: “I thought I’d either have to create a new list or go back to work, or I’m gonna die!” That’s how he ended up in sports management, specializing in acquiring companies on behalf of sports stars.
What has he learnt from the people he’s worked with?
Most people don’t have any idea how to pause, call the whistle, and look at the replay. How can you go onto to a life afterwards of passion and purpose if you have not assessed how you have played the game so far? Having intention in the second half is hardest part!
What he noticed about people who succeeded in their second half:
Anyone who has successfully transitioned into their second half has taken time to reflect and take a look at who they are and what they really want. In the first half, we are busy working to create a stable household and to provide for our family. Many people measure success on the things we can see, i.e. flash cars, big houses etc., and this is more the domain of the first half. In the second half it’s more about things we don’t see, like respect, dignity and serving others. In the second half it’s about finding a purpose and having a life vision.
Joe’s advice on how to measure your life after business:
If your life turned out really great, what metrics would you use? Not enough people really define what success means. They can easily assume they’re unsuccessful, or on the flip side, aim for something they assume will make them successful; but it could all end in tears if they haven’t focused on what success really means to them.
The questions Joe asks himself at the end of each day:
- What’s the best thing that happened today?
- What did I do today to create my ideal day?
- What am I most grateful for?
- What’s one new thing I learned today?
- What did I do today to make X dollars for my family?
- What did I do today to allow God to work through me?
- What am I looking most forward to tomorrow?
Wise words for the road:
“We find things that burn inside of us, and I think we’ve got to listen to that calling. It isn’t one day we have an epiphany, I think it’s a gradual step, kind of like putting a jigsaw puzzle together.”
[clickToTweet tweet=”“The problem with keeping up with the Joneses is once you catch the Joneses they refinance and you’re screwed!”” quote=”“The problem with keeping up with the Joneses is once you catch the Joneses they refinance and you’re screwed!”” theme=”style2″]
[clickToTweet tweet=”“It’s more important to ask good questions rather than have all the answers.”” quote=”“It’s more important to ask good questions rather than have all the answers.”” theme=”style2″]
Being the ninth in a family of ten children, compromise, loyalty, developing relationships, and discovering ways to help other members of the family were instilled in me at a young age. I feel very grateful that I have had the opportunity in my lifetime to establish some incredible relationships and combine my love of business with my passion for sports. I have owned and operated 4 manufacturing firms, was President of the Wisconsin Sports Authority, and founded and ran SMG, a sports marketing and management firm that represented coaches and athletes including 3 time NFL MVP Brett Favre. I am also an investment banker, private equity investor, New York Times best-selling author, trainer, and national speaker. A common theme in every aspect of my career is that I try to be well networked and develop life-long relationships along the way.
I have also served on 28 boards of directors over the past 30 years and am currently active on six including the Bradley Center Sports and Entertainment Corporation, The University of Notre Dame Graduate Alumni Board for the Mendoza College of Business, DMT Corporation, Dielectric Corporation, Town Bank, and Wintrust Financial Corporation