My Career Change: Adam Edwards’ Career After the NFL
When a professional athlete’s playing days are over, many do not realize that athlete’s career in another field is often just beginning. As part of VIKTRE’s dedication to drive interaction between athletes and their fans, our Career team made it a priority to show how successful many athletes have been since their playing days ended in a feature called “My Career Change.”
In this installment of “My Career Change,” we interviewed former NFL Defensive Back, Adam Edwards. Most know Edwards from his collegiate days at Oklahoma State, and his time in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys.
What sport did you play?
What teams did you play for?
What industry did you change careers to?
Business Consulting, Angel Investing and Franchising
How did you get into your new career?
I first entertained my future in business by starting a lawn mowing service at the age of 10. I was limited to my late father’s tools and the local neighborhood I lived in, but it was the experience that taught me the value of honest, hard work.
In 2003, I partnered with a team of NFL investors on my first business venture in Oklahoma, and quickly developed other locations in Washington D.C., Indianapolis and Pennsylvania, to name a few. In 2008, I became a minority share owner of a small virtual shopping company, modeled after QVC. In 2011, my investment firm The Edwards Angel Investment Group, procured the master franchise rights for Golden Heart Senior Care of Oklahoma, and then built and sold the 18-unit master in less than two years.
I’m also the Co-Founder and Principle of iMatch Franchise, a Global Franchise Brokerage and investment firm. The firm represents over 400 brands and facilitates relationships between entrepreneurs and various franchise concepts. I oversee recruitment, business development and the matchmaking process. We also specialize in Mergers and Acquisitions, Leveraged-Buyouts, Business Valuations, Business Listings, 144A Bond lending, Unsecured Lending and much more. Recently, my investment team inked a deal to create a national market for Waters Edge Winery throughout the United States and other selected countries.
What was the biggest challenge you faced making your career change?
Since venturing into the world of Entrepreneurs, I’ve gained many lessons. I believe empowerment and education are keys to success. I’d advise interested athletes to gain industry knowledge and conduct intense research before getting involved in any business.
“Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.”
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far in your new career?
Receiving the prestigious Journal Record-Beacon Award for being a Community Influencer has by far been my biggest accomplishment!
It began with a single, abused mother sleeping in the back alley-way of the Waters Edge Winery property downtown. When the owners approached her, they decided to contact the YWCA for assistance and partnership discussions.
Since that moment, the Oklahoma City-based winery has been serving those less fortunate. Waters Edge Winery in Oklahoma City created the Water to Wine Network with the sole purpose of benefiting local charities and artists on a monthly basis. By uniting community partners with local charities, Waters Edge Winery aims to not only serve one-of-a-kind wines, but build positive outcomes and provide hope to those in need.
“We aspire to impact our community through awareness, conscious giving and connections,” said Edwards III, co-founder and CEO. “For Waters Edge Winery, serving others and giving freely is a high priority and embraced by our organization. I’ve witnessed firsthand that charitable giving improves employee engagement by boosting productivity, ethical behavior, gratitude to the organization and pride in their work. Overall, becoming a charitable influencer has most certainly made us a better community partner and a better employer.”
Waters Edge Winery employees volunteered nearly 500 hours through Water to Wine, which aims to provide emotional, spiritual and material comfort to those in need.
“By giving, we engage in community building and practice social consciousness. It is through these actions that we hope to achieve a servant’s attitude of gratitude,” Edwards said. “This is our objective.”
Through its Water to Wine Network program, the winery was able to help the YWCA provide five free memberships for a year to families and to help the organization in its fight to prevent sexual violence against women.
In addition, the program enabled local artists the ability to earn commissions on their artwork – greater than $10,000 while committing 10 percent of those earnings to their favorite charity. The winery also raised more than $2,000 in one evening to support a breast cancer awareness campaign, raised more than $2,500 for a homeless family and raised more than $5,000 annually for a local homeless alliance. Their efforts go beyond charities helping people, and also target local animal shelters and pet fostering programs.
Other results included raising $1,000 in one evening for disaster relief during the Oklahoma ice storms for three families, raising more than $50,000 for an African charity serving both local and international communities.
What advice do you have for athletes making their career change?
Most importantly, I encourage pro athletes to earn or finish their degrees. Furthermore, becoming certified through accredited courses in your field will expedite the transition and make you the industry expert.
I suggest finding a mentor to provide coaching and advice about career paths, such as NexGoal or franchise opportunities with iMatch Franchise. Lastly, I recommend prospective athlete franchisees to envision themselves as successful business owners. I believe that a positive outlook is essential to achieving your goals.
“Three keys to success are finding the right People who want to follow a proven Process to maximize Profits.”
As a former athlete, I was used to a play book and a team-oriented atmosphere. I’ve found that franchising offers both.
How can other athletes learn more about your business or your career change?
For more information about my services, please select these following links: