I got my first job when I was 12 years old.
I made $15 an hour shoveling the sidewalks at the local town library.
I remember waking up at 5am to walk half a mile, still pitch dark and freezing cold, with my plastic shovel thrown over my shoulder.
I had a job.
Not many, if any, 7th graders had jobs.
I’m also pretty sure I was the only one getting up, before school started, to push snow around.
I did – and I took great pride in it.
I never missed a day.
When it snowed, I was there – sometimes twice a day.
Looking back, as a 12 year old, it wasn’t about the money.
I can’t even tell you what I spent the money on.
Gum maybe? Marvel cards? Big Bites from 7/11?
I took pride in knowing that when people walked in and out of the library that day – they would be safe.
The walks would be clear and I had a part in it.
Are you doing something that you can take pride in?
Something that allows you to rest your head on your pillow at night?
If not – it’s time you grab your shovel.
Jacob Brown’s journey from the rigorous NFL fields to international stages is nothing short of inspiring. Today, as a seasoned entrepreneur, riveting speaker, and acclaimed writer, he stands as a testament to the power of resilience. Beyond his athletic achievements, Jacob co-founded Varlo—a premier brand specializing in cycling and triathlon apparel.
A three-time TEDx speaker, Jacob was distinguished as one of the ’40 Under 40′ in 2015. His insights and stories have graced the pages of Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and Good Morning America. Notable institutions and brand—including Intel, Meta, UPS, Stellantis, University of Notre Dame, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, and Central Michigan University—have been captivated by his talks.