Wealth Management Advisor Doug Dawson Opens Networking Breakfast Series with Talk on Building a Legacy
Grits and the gridiron were on the menu when former NFL player and Dawson Financial Services Wealth Management Advisor Douglas Dawson spoke about achieving athletic and business success at the Sept. 18 Bauer College Alumni Association (BCAA) networking breakfast.
“It takes a lifetime to build a legacy,” Dawson said. “It only requires one bad decision, one mistake to take that away.”
Dawson recalled his experiences as a child growing up in the 1970s, looking up to Olympian Bruce Jenner, knowing that if he worked hard, he could also become a great athlete. He started setting goals and eventually ended up a professional football player in the mid-1980s for the St. Louis Cardinals — now known as the Arizona Cardinals — before a torn Achilles sidelined him for several seasons.
During that time, Dawson joined Northwestern Mutual and realized the opportunities in front of him, thanks in large part to the legacy of his grandfather, Ross Dawson, a general agent and member of the Million Dollar Round Table. However, the younger Dawson did not set his sights on reliving his grandfather’s experiences — he set out to create his own success.
“Nothing good happens if you don’t work hard,” Dawson said. “You’re going to find people with more talent than you, with less talent than you, but if you focus on your own goals, with the ability that you were given, you will find success. When you work for a higher calling, you don’t compare yourself to others.”
Dawson went on to finish among the top 20 with Northwestern Mutual eight times, but also made a stunning comeback on the professional football field. It took years of exercising and strengthening his injury site, and even getting turned down by the Dallas Cowboys, before the Houston Oilers picked him up on their roster. He played four seasons with the former hometown team, all the while continuing to meet with clients. His last two years of professional football turned out to be his first two years of finishing among the top 20 with Northwestern Mutual.
“I have this life perspective that I refer to as ‘delusional optimism,’” Dawson said. “All it means is that in everything I set out to do, I do my best and let the results happen. This way of thinking will get you a lot in life because perception is reality.”
Dawson said that despite both athletic and business success, his sole purpose and what he feels all success in life stems from is an attitude of “servant leadership.”
“If you always remember to serve other people’s needs instead of your own, the more successful you can become,” he said. “You have to find a way to become indispensable to others.”
By Danielle Ponder
BCAA Presents: Douglas A. Dawson
On Sept. 18, Bauer College Alumni Association kicked off their fall networking breakfasts as Douglas A. Dawson, former NFL player and Dawson Financial Services wealth management advisor, discussed how the lessons he learned from the NFL gridiron translate into business success.