“Mike Tyson told me I was too pretty to be a boxer, and that I need to take a knife and make a scar down my face.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Calvin Brock, Founder and CEO of Jack and Landlords, 2000 Olympian, and former #1 world ranked pro heavyweight boxer. In, 2006, he challenged for Wladimir Klitschko’s IBF/IBC world heavyweight championship titles at Madison Square Garden televised live on HBO
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “Boxing Backstory”?
Going into the Olympics, I was predicted to win gold by Sports Illustrated and my coaches. I lost my first match. After the Olympics, I was predicted to be the least likely to succeed in the pros by boxing pundits. I went on to challenge for the world heavyweight championship with an undefeated, 29–0 record, ranked #1 in the world.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
We’re making contacts to the nation’s largest corporate landlords. They are Invitation homes, American Homes 4 Rent, Tricon American Homes, and Progress Residential. We are going to save them tens of millions in tax deductions while giving them the same protection without security deposits at no cost to their pockets.
With Jack and Landlords, landlords are doing away with security deposits and having tenants do an addendum for the additional cost of the landlords’ guarantee paid along with rent each month. Thereby, tenants have no large outlay of cash, give their landlords the protection equal to a month’s rent, landlords receive tax deduction, and no downside of security deposits such as disputes, landlord/tenant damage payouts, and escrow account management. Jack and Landlords is underwritten by Selective Insurance Group and is the business smart way to lease.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
Mike Tyson told me I was too pretty to be a boxer. I need to take a knife and make a scar down my face. This was in 2000, with my Olympic team, in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Casino at a championship boxing match. My Olympic team and I was exiting through the back of the arena and ran into Mike Tyson in the hallway standing alone.
What would you advise to a young person who aspires to follow your footsteps and emulate your career? What advice would you give?
Don’t pass up on going to college. They will need it after boxing.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I publicly speak to kids, have mentored as a big brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters, give financially to organizations, and maintain a good character in society.
Is there a particular person that made a profound difference in your life to whom you are grateful? Can you share a story?
My parents. They have always been by my side with love and support even to this day. My dad never boxed before and become my amatuer boxing coach. The coach I had retired in my first year of boxing. It was a huge sacrifice on part of my mom and dad. I’m talking day in and day out for all 13 years of my amatuer boxing career.
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
“In the U.S., you can make it if you try.” Presidents have quoted that. It resonates to me because this is a land of opportunity for everyone rich and poor, home and homeless, parents and no parents. Our government, organizations, and citizens keep a second chance alive.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each)
- Wear a nose guard headgear. If I had worn a nose guard headgear, I would have never received a detached retina sparring. It ended my pro career
- Don’t bench press. It destroys the rotator cuff. I had to have shoulder surgery.
- Invest in income producing real estate. You can ride by and see it when the market crashes.
- Read business news. It makes you smart business minded and exposes you to a world outside of sports. Ferris Bueller quoted, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
- Develop your customer relationships while building your business. Makes for a faster and more productive start when jumping off. Example would be connecting on linkedin with strategic customers.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. :-)
Stephen Shwarzman, co-founder and CEO of Blackstone Alternative Asset Management Company. He and his partner built the largest hedge fund asset management company in the world. One of his companies would be a great customer of mine. I hope to one day become his customer.
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If you would like to see the entire “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me” Series In Huffpost, ThriveGlobal, and Buzzfeed, click HERE.