Location: Los Angeles
Date: Wednesday 2nd February
Role: Retired Tight End
Sean Culkin has lived the dream. An all-round sportsman, he was identified as an American football talent at high school gaining national acclaim in his senior year. There then followed a prodigious college career playing for the Missouri Tigers, which lead to him securing a much sort after professional contract with the LA Chargers.
Professional football careers are unnaturally short: injury and commercial pressures mean most players are lucky to experience more than 2 and a half seasons. Sean Culkin had 4 seasons at three teams, albeit his career was effectively curtailed after he tore his Achilles early into his 3rd season.
Sean didn’t walk for 5 months, and there then followed the harsh realities of having to seek opportunities away from LA to prove himself again in practice and reserve squads. Then, in May of last year, Sean was released, and he decided to make the fateful decision to retire.
The thing is, the dream only manifests as a result of hard work, discipline and sacrifice. Nobody prepares for fate to cruelly cut short a sports career. Then there’s the compounding effect of having to not only find a new path but to replace a life that had been dictated up to that point by routine and teamwork. And do this largely on your own.
Sean, by his own admission, struggled with this transition. He went off-grid, and faced some demons. The measure of a person is how they deal with adversity. And Sean has shown that he has fortitude: he’s turned his life around by developing a Proof of Work mindset.
In this interview, I talk to the former American football player and aspiring entrepreneur Sean Culkin. We discuss sacrifice and hard work, the rigours and harsh realities of American football, the trap of the fiat lifestyle, learning to live in the present, and the next steps.