While he is known for winning three Super Bowls and being one of the greatest tight ends in 49ers history, many people do not know the type of impact he has made in the business world.
The International Business Association hosted ex-San Francisco 49er tight end and business professional Brent Jones on April 24 in room 2480 at Las Positas College. Jones shared his personal experiences in both football and business.
“If you are really passionate about something, do not let anybody tell you anything different,” Jones said.
Jones found an interest in business during his second year at Santa Clara University where, at the time, Jones was playing on partial baseball and football scholarships. During the last football game of his freshman season against St. Mary’s, Jones dislocated his shoulder and had to have surgery. The injury cost him his baseball scholarship. The football coach at Santa Clara, however, offered him a full football scholarship instead. Knowing that one hit could end his athletic career, Jones’ economics professor recommended he read the Wall Street Journal so he could keep up with the latest news on the global economy.
“The most important thing is that you always have something to fall back on,” Jones said.
While playing for the 49ers, Jones continued to pursue his interest in business and began to research companies that he could invest in. Jones sent countless emails to Silicon Valley’s Premier Venture Capital and was turned down numerous times. Soon, his perseverance paid off.
“Just send an email that shows interest. There are a lot of people that would really love to learn,” Jones said.
While Facebook, Twitter and email are great ways to communicate and stay in touch with your network, Jones truly feels that the strongest bonds stem from face to face interactions.
The biggest challenge to the prospective entrepreneur, according to Jones, is just getting your foot in the door.
“Don’t let roadblocks obstruct your path. Keep going,” said Jones. “If you keep your feet moving, you’ll do well.”
Jones is the co-founder and Managing Director of Northgate Capitol; on the Board of Directors for Stanford Hospital and Angel Investor for Data Domain, Nvidia, VA Linux, Verisity and several other Silicon Valley start-ups.
While students were excited to meet a 49ers legend, Jones hopes they walked out of the room with a better understanding of what it takes to make it in the business world.