Name: Malcolm Jenkins
Profession: Professional football player (7 year veteran) in the
National Football League/ Owner of Rock Avenue Bow Ties, Ltd.
What is your inspiration: Trying to glorify God with the stage and blessings that He has given me.
How did you know and when did you realize that this is was what you were meant to do? I didn’t truly believe I could make it to the NFL until my sophomore year in college. I always knew I could be great and always knew I had talent, but I was never sure about how I stacked up to the rest of the world. Once I realized that I was just as talented as anyone else out there, I knew that I was born to do this.
Tips you have on turning your passion, or what you do in your leisure time, into a profitable business venture. Follow your gifts! Everyone has a gift and a talent. When we operate in our gifts, we usually create things that people love and appreciate. The quality and craftsmanship is apparent in the work that we love to do. We are more likely to stick to it when times get hard (as the most likely will). Don’t invest your money or time into something that you have no passion for.
The BE Modern Man tagline is “it is our normal to be extraordinary.” What makes you unique and stand apart from the crowd?
Everyday you turn on ESPN, NFL Network or you favorite sports news app and you see article after article of athletes getting into trouble or doing things that are typical for your average jock. That is a misrepresentation of what most athletes are. I am a husband, a father, a philanthropist, an entrepreneur, a motivational speaker, a mentor and a role model. I just happen to play football for a living! Contrary to perception, I am one of many extraordinary athletes out there.
How do leaders like yourself break through the static and make impact amongst your peers?
All you can do is live your life in a way that is honorable. It doesn’t take a grand gesture or a huge campaign. When you walk and live with purpose, it gets noticed! Everyone is searching for his or her purpose and passions; so as a leader, it is my job to give an example of what that looks like.
What, in your opinion, has been one of the most challenging moments that you’ve experienced, and why? Being let go by the team that drafted me was challenging. I felt like I had fallen short of the expectations of my coaches, teammates, fans, and most importantly myself! It was one of the first meaningful “Failures” that I’ve been through, and it caused me to struggle with doubt in my own abilities and gifts. Those same doubts, however, turned into motivation and helped propel me to the height of my career. What I had perceived as a failure, God use to build me up.
Do you believe that men of color are championed enough in the mainstream? If so, in what regard? To be fair, I think that men of Color are championed quite often in the mainstream. The problem is that men of color are often the villain more often than not. Not every man of color is worthy of praise, but there are many men of color that unfairly receive criticism and scrutiny.
Why is it important that BE Modern Men like you are represented in your specific industry or within the work that you do?
It is important for athletes who are doing positive things to be highlighted for two reasons. First, to counterbalance all of the negative news, stereotypes, and stigmas about athletes. Secondly, like it or not, our youth look up to athletes and try to emulate what they do. So it is important to give them a good example to follow. I am fortunate to be in a position to be looked up to by many kids and young adults and even admired by those older than me. As a role model, having an impact on the lives of young people, I try to make sure the example I set is one that I would be proud of others following.
What does a BE Modern Man mean to you?
It means blaze your own path. Don’t lose out on your potential to do something great by following what the crowd is doing. Embrace the fact that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and that you have something to offer this world!
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @blackenterprise and join the BE Modern Man conversation using #BEModernMan.