Edawn Coughman is a former NFL player who initially signed on with the Seattle Seahawks. He was the first player from Shaw University to play with the NFL. He subsequently played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Washington Redskins.
Edawn currently owns and manages a trucking company and runs a few Airbnbs. He still has a great love of football. He stays involved in the sport by coaching for the Lanier Longhorns as well as mentoring young athletes during their time in college as well as through a three-month combine training program in order to give them the best shot to become NFL players. He really enjoys giving the young athletes encouragement and seeing the results of his mentorship when they are successful.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I was working out and training, and the guy who was training with me asked me if I would be interested in training some of the younger athletes, and I really wanted to do it. I fell in love with it because I saw how the kids will gravitate towards me and they like me for my energy. It was not planned so much but I saw it as a good opportunity for me. I’ve stuck with it and really enjoyed it. It’s been really great activity for me to be involved with.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
First of all, I thank God every day for letting me see another day. I’m a single father. I get my kids up and going. I get them on the bus for school. My kids are 13, 12, 7, 5, and 2.
Then I take a look at my schedule for the day. I organize the loads for my trucking company and communicate with my drivers. I will check on my Airbnbs and make sure they are cleaned up and ready for the next guests coming in. During football season, I am usually coaching. I coach the Lanier Longhorns. We went to the championship game this last year. Now we are getting ready for the next season.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I will pray and ask God for guidance and then I begin to imagine an idea and how it might work out. Once it is in my head, I try to see how I can execute on the idea. With everything I have done, I surround myself with people that are already doing it and learn from them.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I really like being with the kids that I coach. It definitely gets me excited. The program has been growing and we get more kids involved each year. Every year I get about 15 more kids than I had the year before. I’m not looking so much for growth as I am developing. I just really care about the kids. I really enjoy working with the kids that really want to get better. I focus on those kids. I give them as much effort as I can. I am not focused on being the biggest person out there in this area. It want to make sure that I can help the kids get to the next level and get what they need.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I practice at staying humble and being consistent in what I do. I try to be single minded, not double minded, and focused on the things that matter to me and my kids.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Slow down. Listen more. Take your time to understand what is going on. Don’t try to do things too fast. Take your time and do things the right way.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Practice makes perfect. I say that a lot. The practice is not always fun and people don’t like that, but when you practice something over and over again, you get better and better without even realizing it.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I always stay focused on studying my craft and getting better. I am always looking for ways to improve my performance and I practice over and over again. I don’t want to be complacent. I want to keep being an innovator.
I continue to eat right and work out. I want to stay in shape for when I am training the kids and coaching. I read a lot and I try to stay grounded through my faith and my relationship with God.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I always try to learn from people. I listen and get ideas from them. I always listen to older people and people that have accomplished the things I want to do myself. I look for people that are better than me so I can learn from them. That has always helped me out a lot.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I owned a restaurant and I did not do some of the things that I should have done as far as learning the business. Initially, the business did not do as well because of that. I recovered from that by learning the business and managing it better. It made me a better business owner. I learned how to actually get my hands dirty. I learned how to handle the business instead of just hiring somebody and relying on them.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I have been thinking about starting an ecommerce business. Anything that is digital or internet based seems to be a good idea to me. Everybody wants everything right now. They don’t want to wait.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I got a PS5, a PlayStation5, for my son for Christmas.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I am always using Google.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recommend reading the Bible. I grew up in church, and it has been really good for me. My grandfather was a pastor.
What is your favorite quote?
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
“Hard work beats talent, and talented people work hard.”
● Work hard and always try to improve.
● Be caring. Love others like yourself.
● Stay humble. Everything could be gone in the blink of an eye.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.