ENJOY THE PROCESS: Adam Mendler, goes one on one with Saladworks’ franchisee, Marcus Burley




I recently went one on one with Marcus Burley. Marcus is a former NFL cornerback who played the Jaguars, Seahawks, Browns and Texans and is now a Saladworks franchisee.

Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to share your advice. First things first, though, I am sure readers would love to learn more about you. First things first, though, what is something about you that your fans of yours don’t know? 

Marcus: I am a very driven and passionate person. When I put my mind to accomplishing something, I don’t stop until I achieve the goal. I believe that this trait directly correlates to the success that I’ve had, ultimately placing me where I am today.

Adam: What inspired your drive to run a business? How has your experience playing football translated to your experience running fitness franchises? 

Marcus: My inspiration to run my own business started with the idea and vision of ownership. I always had the desire to own my own and with the shift to healthy eating becoming more popular, I felt the best time to invest in Saladworks is right now. My experience with the NFL definitely translates to the healthy eating that Saladworks offers. My lifestyle as an athlete required daily consumption of healthy options to ensure the ability to perform at a high level.

Adam: What experiences, setbacks or challenges have been most instrumental to your development and success as a football player and as an entrepreneur?

Marcus: I would say the daily grind of an athlete is very similar to an entrepreneur. Every day is different and has it’s different challenges. Operating a business and performing as a professional athlete usually comes with a lot of unknowns. You have to become comfortable with believing even when you can’t quite see it. Perseverance is key.

Adam: What players and coaches did you enjoy playing with and for the most and why? What are the characteristics of a great coach and a great teammate? 

Marcus: I often refer to my time in Seattle when asked this question. I had the amazing opportunity to play as a member of the Legion of Boom in Seattle. Not only were we a top 5 defense of all time but I developed lifelong relationships with some of the best guys to ever play the game. Guys like Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas. I enjoyed playing with those guys so much because they demonstrated how to prepare yourself to perform at a high level. Great coaches and teammates create an environment where everyone teaches the next person so there are no weak links. Seattle Seahawks and Pete Carroll are the best at doing that.

Adam: In your experience, what are the defining qualities of an effective leader? How can leaders and aspiring leaders take their leadership skills to the next level? 

Marcus: I believe the best qualities of a leader are leading by example and being able to relate to everyone. People are motivated in different ways and the best leaders find a way to connect to everyone and bring the best out of everyone that they are around.

Adam: What are the best lessons you have learned through your career in sports that are applicable to those of us who will never earn a living playing pro ball? 

Marcus: One lesson that I’ve learned from sports is to always play the game like it’s your last opportunity to ever play again. Leave it all out there so when the time comes that you don’t have the opportunity to further pursue your athletic career, you have no regrets. My dad instilled that in me while playing little league sports at a young age.

Adam: What is the most surprising thing about life in professional sports? What is something that would shock fans? 

Marcus: I believe the biggest shocker to fans is that professional sports feel the same as little league and high school sports when you’re out there playing. It’s still the same game.

Adam: What are the best lessons you learned from your time as an entrepreneur? 

Marcus: A lesson that I have as an entrepreneur is to trust the timing of things. You may want to rush things but everything happens for a reason. Trust the timing of everything.

Adam: What is the single best piece of advice you have ever received?

Marcus: I have fortunately been on the receiving end of a lot of great advice from wise individuals. One point that comes to mind would be to always trust and enjoy the process. Enjoy taking the steps that are required to reach your goal.