A chance to play in the NFL is the ultimate dream of millions around the world. An opportunity to don the colors of an NFL franchise and step out onto the gridiron in front of tens of thousands of roaring fans is something children fantasize about on a daily basis. Only a select few are talented and fortunate enough to achieve this dream. Those who do accomplish this tremendous feat are also ultimately met with a sobering reality. As is the case with all professional sports, NFL careers are simply not that long. Many athletes have reached the pinnacle of the sport and completed their careers before they have even reached their thirtieth birthday and the dream, as glorious as it was, is over.
Former NFL star Jovan Haye, however, isn’t ready to stop dreaming yet.
After a successful NFL career that spanned from 2005 to 2011 and included a highly productive stretch as a full-time starter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tennessee Titans, the former defensive tackle has embarked on the next chapter of his life with zeal and enthusiasm. Now retired from football, he has taken on the mantle of entrepreneur, businessman, and investor.
Haye currently functions as the co-owner of Totally New Technologies, an innovative company that is constantly creating new products and services. The company’s first major release is the SkimDoctor, a unique product that simplifies the task of pool-cleaning exponentially. Haye states that he was sold on the SkimDoctor from the moment he saw a demonstration of its capablilities, and believes that it is “going to revolutionize the pool industry.” As impressive a product as the SkimDoctor is, its success is just the beginning for TNT as a business platform. Haye says that the company has “ten to twelve new products and we’re just going to roll them out one at a time.”
Haye’s approach to business is rooted in a firm belief that the only products worth investing in are those with global appeal and an opportunity to reach the masses, and he recognizes the importance of a significant online presence. It is this philosophy that undoubtedly led him to co-found PostShareSell.com, a website that offers a unique and innovative spin on classified listings.
What makes the site so cutting edge is the way it facilitates “social commerce”, an amalgamation of e-commerce and social networking that figures to prove revolutionary to the future of online buyer-seller relationships while promoting products across an enormous variety of social media platforms. In fact, PostShareSell.com and Totally New Technologies have a synergistic relationship, as the capabilities of the website increase the opportunity to promote products like the SkimDoctor to consumers.
Haye, soft-spoken and intelligent, is clearly a big-picture thinker who has no trouble identifying his major influences in the business world. “My inspiration is Richard Branson. I love his story. I love how he literally started from nowhere. When everyone else is going left, he’s going right.”
Branson’s rise to prominence through innovation and risk-taking reflects the same sensibilities that Haye brings to his businesses. “You can’t be scared,” he states. “You have to take a risk. You look at all the great minds out there. They all literally had nothing or gave up everything to try to succeed.”
While Haye’s entrepreneurial endeavors keep him very busy, his passion for the sport he loves remains intense. Indeed, just to hear him speak of football, the enthusiasm in his voice is evident. As is true of all passionate fans, he spends plenty of time watching games and analyzing potential Super Bowl contenders. In fact when his local cable provider didn’t meet all of his NFL needs, he saw only one solution to the problem:
“I went out and got a DirecTV satellite dish so I could get NFL Sunday Ticket. That’s how much I love watching football.”
As a former defensive tackle, Haye is no stranger to big hits. With that said, the NFL is a league that is constantly in flux and there is little doubt that with the recent controversial rule changes the game has undergone, the NFL is a different place than when he left it. While he understands and supports the notion of protecting defenseless offensive players and would never want to see anyone get injured, he sympathizes with his fellow defenders for the difficult situation they have had thrust upon them.
“Anything that looks like a hard hit, they’re throwing a flag. Guys are getting fined, guys are getting suspended, and not just that, guys are getting bad labels… I was talking to (Tennessee Titans safety) Michael Griffin and I said ‘Griff, so what do they expect you to do?’ He’s a safety. The last line of defense. You’re putting him in a tough situation.”
In the midst of a hectic work schedule and football fandom, Haye released an autobiography in November 2013 entitled Bigger Than Me: How A Boy Conquered Dyslexia to Play in the NFL. Available at Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com, the book tells his remarkable story from the very beginning.
“It’s my life, but a lot of it is about the challenges of growing up trying to survive in this harsh world, being dyslexic,” Haye states. While the book chronicles some of the tougher times in his life, he is motivated by any difficulties he has faced, and is driven by the success of others in similar situations.
“I’m proud of my dyslexia and the more and more I read I find out that a lot of business savvy people are dyslexic.”
Indeed, at only 31 years of age, Haye has achieved a great deal in his young life, and is set to accomplish much more in short order. In May, he and his wife are expecting their third child, a daughter, and in the meantime his businesses continue to grow in new and exciting ways. While he may have retired from football, his second career is just beginning. As he continues to chase down his dreams in the same manner he once chased down opposing quarterbacks on Sundays, he maintains a level head and his ultimate goals remain altruistic and noble.
“Eventually, I want to branch out and start different foundations. Before I die, I just want to able to be one of those guys who can say he walked it… and he didn’t live for himself, he lived for others. I think that’s what God wants.”
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