Entrepreneurial Success Story of A Former NFL Player

When you think of former NFL players transitioning to entrepreneurship, it’s usually a story of glitz, glamour, and an easy transition. But as the latest episode of “Self Love and Sweat THE PODCAST” reveals, the reality is far grittier and more inspiring. This episode, titled “NFL Athlete to Entrepreneur with Andrew Sendejo of BrainTree Nutrition,” dives deep into the former NFL player’s success story, highlighting the challenges and triumphs of transitioning from the gridiron to the boardroom.

Timestamps to help you navigate this episode:
0:00 Intro
2:46 FREE Self Love & Sweat MONTHLY Calendar
5:10 Dealing With Self-Doubt and Imposter Syndrome
13:42 Seeking Mentorship in NFL
25:05 NFL Athlete’s Business Transition
32:56 Post-NFL Life and Career

Who is Andrew Sendejo?

Andrew Sendejo is a former NFL safety turned entrepreneur and philanthropist. Undrafted out of Rice University, his NFL career spanned 12 years, showcasing his resilience and grit. Now, he’s the co-founder of BrainTree Nutrition, a company focused on brain health supplements for athletes, and an angel investor with 4th & 1 Ventures. Sendejo remains committed to giving back, supporting Rice Athletics and contributing to Alzheimer’s research.

Andrew’s Undrafted NFL Player Success Story

Andrew’s journey is not one of privilege but of perseverance. Undrafted and overlooked, he clawed his way into the NFL, proving his worth with every tackle and interception. This underdog mentality, which is a key element of the former NFL player’s success story, became his fuel, pushing him to excel not just in football but also in the business world. Sendejo shares how he battled imposter syndrome, turning self-doubt into a driving force for growth and achievement.

The Challenges and Rewards of Starting A Business After the NFL

Leaving the NFL was not an easy feat for Sendejo. The transition from the camaraderie of teammates and the adrenaline rush of games to the strategic world of business required significant adjustments. However, Sendejo embraced the change, channeling his competitive spirit and discipline into his entrepreneurial ventures. He shares how he co-founded Brain Tree Nutrition and Fourth and One Ventures, demonstrating the power of adaptability and the ability to transfer skills from one domain to another, a key aspect of his success story.

Tune in to this episode of “Self Love and Sweat THE PODCAST” for a raw and inspiring look at Andrew Sendejo’s success story. His journey is a reminder that with tenacity, resilience, and the right mindset, you can overcome any obstacle and achieve remarkable success, both on and off the field.

Full transcript episode 177

Lunden Souza: 2:26
Welcome to Self Love and Sweat THE PODCAST, the place where you’ll get inspired to live your life unapologetically, embrace your perfect imperfections, break down barriers and do what sets your soul on fire. I’m your host, Lunden Souza. Hey, have you grabbed your free Self Love and Sweat monthly calendar yet? This calendar is so amazing. It comes right in your inbox every single month to help you have a little nugget of wisdom, a sweaty workout, a mindset activity, just a little something, something to help keep you focused and motivated and keep that momentum towards your goals. So every day, when you get this calendar, you’ll see a link that you can click that will lead to a podcast episode or a workout or something that will be very powerful and quick to read. And then you’ll also see, on the top left corner of every single day, there’s a little checkbox in the calendar and what that is is that’s for your one thing. You can choose one thing every month, or it can be the same, something that you want to implement and make this something that you can easily implement, like daily meditation or getting a certain amount of steps or water, for example, and staying hydrated and even taking your supplements. This can be something if you want to get more regular doing a particular habit and routine. You can choose what that checkbox means. So if you want your Self Love and Sweat free monthly calendar delivered right to your inbox every month on the first of the month, go to lifelikelunden.com/calendar, fill out the form really quickly and you will have your calendar in your inbox within a few short minutes. That’s lifelikelunden L-I-F-E-L-I-K-E-L-U-N-D-E-N dot com forward slash calendar. Go, get yours for free and enjoy this episode.

Lunden Souza: 4:32
Welcome back to Self Love and Sweat THE PODCAST and Self Love and Sweat radio, wherever you’re listening. This is going to be a great episode today. I’m excited. Our guest is Andrew Sendejo. From gritty safety to savvy entrepreneur, 12-year NFL veteran Andrew Sendejo transitioned seamlessly from the gridiron to the boardroom. This San Antonio native defied the odds, rising from an undrafted All-American at Rice to an NFL starter. His journey is a testament to resilience and business acumen. Welcome to the show, Andrew. How are you doing?

Andrew Sendejo: 5:08
Hey, how’s it going? Thanks for having me.

Lunden Souza: 5:11
So good. Okay, so undrafted to starter and released. I think it said three times.

Andrew Sendejo: 5:27
Yeah, I think anybody that is undrafted in the NFL. You’re always trying to find your home, and so that is kind of the typical story for a lot of these undrafted guys bouncing from team to team until you finally find a situation, a style of defense or offense or special teams, a coaching staff that really likes you, a GM that likes you, and you can kind of stick around, but, I think, being released from different teams and whatnot. Obviously you kind of ride that roller coaster of like is this actually for me? Is this like, should I pivot and go do something else and like get into the real world? But uh, you know, just kind of one of those typical deals, you know like very cliche, but just kind of sticking with it and just being confident in yourself and just kind of seeing it through.

Lunden Souza: 6:11
Yeah, what were some of the? Did you have any self-doubt after being released? Maybe like the first time. Maybe you were like, okay, I’ll get back on the horse, but then, after the second and third time, was there any part of you that was like maybe the NFL isn’t for me and like, what were those voices? What did they say?

Andrew Sendejo: 6:32

Andrew Sendejo: 6:33
There was times where I was playing in the NFL and I still was like I don’t know if I should be out here right now, like this is out of my league.

Andrew Sendejo: 6:40
But yeah, you definitely are kind of going through that, especially just you know your whole life of growing up and wanting to be a professional athlete, to be there and then to kind of see it in person and be like, wow, this actually might not be, you know, for me you kind of go through those little dips. But I think at the same time you would also see other players all around the league. You know either make a mistake or miss a play and you’re like I know I can do that better than that guy did, and so you would. There’d be these times where you would get kind of knocked down in a sense, and then you would see another thing that would give you hope, and so I think just having that back and forth happened all the time. It kind of just kept me afloat to where I was like no, like I can play, I can play in this league for sure.

Lunden Souza: 7:26
Yeah, so a little like imposter syndrome, even when that fourth time you came back and then Iating to where I was a starter, you know once.

Andrew Sendejo: 7:52
I became a starter. Then it was a whole kind of another transition, um, and kind of the same kind of the same kind of deal where it’s like, okay, am I good enough to be a starter, like, maybe I’m just a special teams player in this league, and then, you know, continue to be a starter and playing better and better. And then, once I got towards the end of my career and you know my 10th, 11th, 12th season, I’d had enough games under my belt to where I was like, okay, I’m a full-blown starter or special teamer, I can kind of do anything. Now I’m the oldest guy on the team, I’ve been around for a while, so then you play even better because you’re just playing with so much confidence at that point.

Lunden Souza: 8:31
Yeah, you had enough like skin in the game and you showed up anyway. I talk about this a lot with my clients and on the show like courage, tenacity. All that stuff isn’t just like built in, it’s like a muscle. You like are scared, shitless, and then you do it anyway. You have that imposter syndrome and you keep showing up Like does that resonate with you?

Andrew Sendejo: 8:54
Yeah, you always have to. It’s like a mix of being kind of like stubborn and naive and confident and like all wrapped into one to where you’re just like I’m just going to keep going and just like keep doing this over and over. You know, in football we have all these different little cliches as far as like pounding the rock or like you know, all these different deals, but that’s, I feel like that’s kind of life in general. Anytime you’re trying to accomplish something, that’s a rare kind of exclusive feat, like playing in the NFL or building a business, and just kind of. You know, like I said, just stick it with it and don’t let in the downs, don’t get too low, don’t get too high, and just keep steady and keep it going.

Lunden Souza: 9:42
Pounding the rock.

Andrew Sendejo: 9:44

Lunden Souza: 9:44
Tell me more.

Andrew Sendejo: 9:47
It doesn’t break on the first time. You have to keep hitting that thing until it finally cracks. And so that’s very, you know, for football, especially just such a long season, and throughout the season you’re going to have some games, you win, you lose in life, in business, all those things, and the rock will eventually crack. You got to keep slamming, keep hitting away, and so I think that’s just always kind of a good analogy for what we do in business and in life.

Lunden Souza: 10:20
Yeah, I like that. That’s kind of what I thought it meant, but I would never play it in the NFL, so I wasn’t sure what it meant to you guys.

Andrew Sendejo: 10:27
I don’t think I’ve actually ever pounded rocks either, but it makes sense.

Lunden Souza: 10:33
For sure, for sure. Um, so when you mentioned, like some of this imposter syndrome or these feelings of like, can I do this Like okay, so my dad was a baseball and football coach for high school mainly baseball, so I remember some moments of being a kid and hearing the discussions, but of course, nobody’s in the locker. You guys are in the locker room with you guys. You guys are like we see on the field the lights, the uniforms and the fireworks and we get all you know, but, like, is this something that you would discuss with your teammates? Was there open dialogue about some of these fears and frustrations or these imposter syndrome feelings, or is this something that you like kept inside and didn’t share? Um, what’s that like?

Andrew Sendejo: 11:28
I would say mainly inside yeah, there’s not a lot of um, you know a lot of these football guys and guys in general kind of just have this alpha persona, uh, whether it’s you know guys being too prideful, but typically you wouldn’t kind of say it aloud Like the way I did.

Andrew Sendejo: 11:47
It was like man, I don’t know if I like belong here or whatever Cause you, you have that inside, but when you go on the field you have to like flip your whole mindset. But I think guys in the locker room you can kind of tell by body language and the way that they’re getting corrected in the meetings by their coaches. You know if the coaches are really on them. You can tell when guys are a little frustrated or whatnot. So you can kind of see those symptoms, if you will, from guys. But so you don’t really need to like I mean, I guess you don’t really talk about it uh to your, to your teammates, like that Um, you know, I think the only way you kind of address it to other teammates is if you’re like a younger player and you’re having problems with a certain play or a certain technique or something, you would reach out to the older guys by hey man, can you show me how to do this or whatever? And that’s kind of the version of uh, getting help and like speaking to somebody.

Lunden Souza: 12:44
Cool. So like hey, can you help me with this play or help me understand how I can do better? Or maybe I would imagine and correct me if I’m wrong If you noticed your teammate maybe having more, let’s say like somber or upset body language, you might like smack them and be like let’s go bro, or something like this.

Andrew Sendejo: 13:02
Yeah, yeah. Or like you know, like you get, you get tough guys are getting frustrated and you know you can just like on the side where you’re walking like hey, man, like don’t worry about that, just like keep doing that, like really well, you’re doing really good at that. Like you know, it’s just you can kind of see the body language after a while, um, and things like that. But yeah, you’re right with you know getting help, so to speak. You know just kind of like reaching out to an older player and be like hey, where are your eyes on this player? Like what are your keys that you’re looking at? And so you’re trying to just always like pick this information out of their brain because they’ve seen it a million times, and so if you could kind of absorb some of that knowledge, it’ll help you tremendously.

Lunden Souza: 13:43
Yeah, I think asking people who are, let’s say, wiser or who have been in the game longer, in any facet of life experience, They’ve done the hard thing longer. They’ve had just like crazy roadblocks that probably I can’t even imagine and I just, yeah, I resonate with what you said of like reaching out and being like hey, what do you like? Gaining that perspective? What do you see that I don’t see right now? What did I miss? How can I do better? Did you do that a lot? Do you think that that’s why you were so successful in the NFL and had such a long career and were at some point the oldest in the game, to use your words, because you reached out for that mentorship?

Andrew Sendejo: 14:42
Yeah to. There’s just no way to really go into the league and and not get help like that and just you know, um, and not have that advice from, like the older veterans on the team and so, uh, you know, being on a couple different teams, obviously, like whoever when I wasn’t a starter, whoever the older, you know, veteran safety was, I’m like what, you know all the questions that I just kind of talked about. I’d ask I’m like what are you looking at? What are you doing here? Like, how do you study film? Uh, you’re trying to figure out. You know all all the questions that I just kind of talked about. I’d ask them like what are you looking at? What are you doing here? Like, how do you study film? You’re trying to figure out.

Andrew Sendejo: 15:10
You know all your pain points too, of like, hey, when you’re covering that guy, like what are you? You know what’s the what is, what’s your thought process on this? But then also asking the other side of the ball. So I would go ask the quarterbacks because, like the safeties and the quarterbacks are kind of like always directly, kind of competing in a sense of, without getting too technical, you know like we’re showing a certain defense to try to confuse the quarterback. The quarterback’s looking at the safeties to see, like, what we’re doing.

Andrew Sendejo: 15:38
But so I’ll go ask the like the other side. I’m like, hey, what are you looking at here? Like what am I doing? That’s giving away what the play is, or like how do you know that I’m going to be going to that side of the field? And just things like that. So I think after a while you just kind of you don’t, you realize you don’t know everything, you realize you have a lot to learn, and you kind of you let all your pride go aside and you’re just like, hey, like I need help, like how to help me with this, and even to your coaches and everything, me with this, and even to your coaches and everything. And so I think that’s a part of probably just you know, the male persona of being a little like alpha and prideful toward like oh, I don’t need help. But I actually think it’s you know more alpha to reach out to get help, and because that will actually elevate you even more. So snaps for that, yeah, so always snaps for that.

Andrew Sendejo: 16:25
Yeah, so always, always reaching out. And you know, even now in business, you know I’ve only been retired for two years, so I’m basically like fresh into the real world and I’ve gone to a ton of my first year out. You know, a ton of different meetings. I’m on these calls. There’s all this different jargon and business language that I don’t even know and it reminded me of being a rookie in the NFL and the coaches are talking about all these plays and I’m like I have no idea what they’re talking about.

Andrew Sendejo: 16:52
And using kind of what I’ve learned in the past of like not being too prideful, I don’t really care that if I don’t know what that jargon means. So I’ll literally ask in the middle of like a meeting. I’m like what does that mean? And I probably look you know I probably look dumb in the moment they’re like how does this guy not know that? But I always think about it like this is your expertise, like I just got here and so if I go, took you into the football meeting room and drew plays up on the board like you wouldn’t know what the hell I was saying either. So that’s fine, like I will eventually learn that.

Andrew Sendejo: 17:23
So I think that’s too to where, uh, just for me to kind of drop the pride and not try to act like I’m smarter than I am or that I know things that I don’t know, I’m just like, hey, I don’t even know what that means, like, what does that mean? Um, and you also catch people using things that they don’t even know what it means, because then when they try to explain it, they’re like, well, it’s basically this. I’m like okay, so you don’t even know what that means. But, uh, so a lot of what has happened in my football life has helped and prepared me to transition into business, as far as just, you know, being confident, preparing, studying, learning, being able to work long hours. All those things that I did in football have kind of set me up to be a successful businessman.

Lunden Souza: 18:10
Yeah for sure. And I think that’s like the most motivating, at least from my personal perspective, is like when I look at the history of Lunden, it’s like okay, well, I did those three hard things. So this is the same but different, and I’m going to show up. I like the phrase the way you do one thing is the way you do everything. Some people might push back or disagree, but I just feel like no, I showed up when that was hard, so what’s the difference? I’m still going to show up.

Lunden Souza: 18:34
When that was hard, I rose my hand to ask the question, like you mentioned in football, to ask for perspective, and you’re going to do the same there. And I think that momentum that you generate in one area of your life can really carry on into other areas of your life. Before we transition a little bit into, like your transition into the business world, I just want you to brag on you a little bit like share us, share with us, about what your career was like, what teams you played with, like 12 years, like that’s really cool played.

Andrew Sendejo: 19:12
So, uh, I, I was undrafted out of rice. I kind of have a uh. You know I’ve told this story a lot. So, um, some people are like that’s a really crazy story and to me I’m kind of like I don’t know.

Andrew Sendejo: 19:18
I’ve heard of stories where, guys, it was a much harder path to get to the NFL but I was undrafted, unsigned, and I went and played in the United Football League, which is around now, but it was around. It folded and then they restarted it when they merged with the XFL, so it was like a developmental league. I went and played there and then I got picked up out of that league to the NFL. I went to Dallas, got released, went to the Jets, got released and I finally I did a bunch of workouts with all these different teams. Uh, nobody signed me and I finally signed with the Vikings in 2011.

Andrew Sendejo: 19:54
I was there for nine years, uh, and so like got to kind of rise my way through the the ranks there. As far as my first couple years. Every year I was like I don’t even know if I’m going to make the team to. Okay, I’m definitely making the team, but I’m just a special teams player and then it was okay. Now I’m working on competing for a starting job to like I’m a solidified starter on the team, like leader, kind of captain role, so it was. That was kind of the beautiful thing about being in one place for so long as you get to kind of build your name there the organization, uh, the city, the community, whatnot, uh, and then 2020, I went to Cleveland and then 2021, I went to Indianapolis.

Andrew Sendejo: 20:38
So, as a Texas native, I was in all the really cold uh, all the cold teams, uh, so I I would live like eight months out of the year in the cold and then I would finally come back to Texas and in the off season and thaw out for a little bit. But so, yeah, I was able to get 12 years in and I think, just from where it started to where it ended I don’t even myself I didn’t. If you would have told me I was going to play 12 years in the NFL, I would have said no way. I think, coming out of college especially at a place like Rice that’s not known for sports, it’s known for academics that was the objective for going there was to get a good degree and get a good job. I was a two-star recruit out of high school. I obviously wasn’t drafted or signed out of college.

Lunden Souza: 21:24
What does that mean? Two-star recruit Out of five stars?

Andrew Sendejo: 21:28
Yeah, out of five stars, yeah, out of five stars. So your five star recruits are like these, really like big name high school recruits that go to like the power five conferences. So a two star recruit like you’re might have a D one offer here or there, but usually you’re going to get like some one double a or division two offers for sure. So you know, I think, going from like two star, I had some good high school teams but you know I wasn’t just like this crazy. You know five star type stud that was going to go to like a UT or something like that. So you know, I think, just kind of being able to play like four times the average length of someone in the NFL, be able to play for one times the average length of someone in the NFL, be able to play for one team for a long time, is always a goal, because you know people will kind of remember you like oh yeah, you played in Minnesota for a long time. Versus, if you’re kind of bouncing around every year, you don’t get to make as close of friends and teammates. And you know, now I have a relationship with, you know minnesota, minneapolis, because I was there for so long and I still go back every year to go, uh, check out a game.

Andrew Sendejo: 22:34
But, um, I think, overall, like at the end of the 12 years, uh, I think I was just, you know, I think, because I only wanted. I was like I just want a taste of the nfl, like if I just get to try it with the team I would be happy. And then I got there and it wasn’t good enough. And then I finally was on a team and then I, it wasn’t good enough, I wanted to play, and then I was playing and I was like, well, now I want to be a starter and so, just always, kind of this vicious cycle of never being satisfied uh led to, you know, being able to play for 12 years and, um, it’s been great because now I have, you know, on top of the business stuff, I have the time to go do the things I couldn’t do while I was playing football.

Andrew Sendejo: 23:12
So football is like during all the holidays, so you don’t really see your family, you don’t get to do Christmas, all these things, and you’re just so wrapped up in work that it almost like holidays, like didn’t exist anymore, and it almost like devalued the you know how. You know precious those moments are with your family and so now I get to go do those things, go be with my, you know, nieces and nephew and mom, dad and stuff like that. So been able to, you know, kind of make up for some lost time with family and things like that. So you know, it’s been, it’s been good.

Lunden Souza: 23:49
Yeah, I bet that feels good. When you started the story you’re like yeah, I’ve told it a lot, but like, are you proud of you? Like when you hear that story and you look at that, are you proud of you? Honestly, just curious.

Andrew Sendejo: 24:03
Yeah, I think I think if you, if it was like someone else’s name and you just handed me that paper, you’re like, hey, read this story on this guy. I’d be like man, that guy is a hard worker. If I just didn’t know, I’d be like that guy is a hard worker and he’s going to figure it out and kind of find his way out of the mud, so to speak.

Lunden Souza: 24:23
Yeah, I like that Just curious, Cause I think sometimes, yeah, we look back at our history and we forget to be like wait, I did that, so just wanted to create that space here, Cause I yeah, I mean that’s really cool and super badass.

Andrew Sendejo: 24:39
I think you kind of just not become numb to it, but I think it just because you’ve seen it and heard it so many times. Maybe it loses its effects over time. But then every now and then I’ll kind of look back and I’m like, oh shit, like that’s hard to do, like it’s just hard, it’s just hard to get drafted and stay in the NFL for 12 years, let alone go through the kind of path that I had to. So, yeah, proud.

Lunden Souza: 25:03
Nice, nice. Let’s talk a little bit about your transition out of the NFL. That was your life for so long. I imagine your identity. I spent most of my 20s living in Austria working for Adidas Runtastic and I did a lot of fitness events in front of thousands of people, these live workout parties, not to the caliber of the NFL, but I remember from myself. Once that was done, yeah, everything shut down in COVID. I took that hat off and just transitioned into something different. I remember being like wait, who am I off stage? It was just go, go, go and do, do, do and then when I took the time to land, I was like it was like a re-getting to know process of who I am now and who I’m becoming. How was that for you? Was it hard to like leave the identity of an NFL player? What was that kind of journey like? And is it still kind of happening Because, like you mentioned, you’re fresh off the boat, sort of?

Andrew Sendejo: 26:06
Yeah, I think there’s certain things that are tough to adjust to, but I would say, um, personally, you know there’s actually while I was playing football. You know, if I ever met anybody or met people, I wouldn’t, I would never even say that I played football. Uh, you know, if I’ve met people in Austin, um, you know, I’m like, oh yeah, I live half the year in Minnesota, I live here whatever for work, and I just leave it at that, um because, like, for multiple reasons, that we can get into later. But I feel like I got so used to um because, like, for multiple reasons, we can get into later. But I feel like I got so used to um, like not having to, like I never talked about playing football, that it wasn’t like that was the only thing I was known for and I think I prided myself on being more than just a football player. But it always kind of stays with you, like even now being done people they’re like this guy played for 12 years, like you’re still the football guy, um, and so I think maybe current players get nervous that, like after football, like they won’t have that kind of you know clout around them, but it’s still kind of carry with you for for a long time because it is like a special deal, um.

Andrew Sendejo: 27:13
But I would say, you know, my transition too has been like just really kind of funny interesting things that I miss about football. And people always laugh at this because they’re like, do you miss it? And I’m like I mean, yeah, you miss, you know the game and things like that. But there’s also a lot of things I don’t miss about, like the stressors of the game and, you know, going into the season you’re like shit, I’m about to be in this maze for like six months of just working every day, physical, mental exhaustion, and so those parts I don’t, you know I don’t miss, but I do miss.

Andrew Sendejo: 27:46
Every morning you could go in and there’s a full breakfast buffet. You don’t have to cook, you don’t have to clean, you don’t do anything, you just go in there and everything you get get for breakfast, you just put it on your tray, you eat it. You can get like custom almonds, everything, smoothies, already all pre-made and pre-ordered, uh. And then you just go get in the hot tub and just relax and then you start your day. So I would say, uh, when I got out of football, one of the things I’m like wait, so I have to, I have to cook this and I have to clean this Like this is ridiculous.

Lunden Souza: 28:19
Oh man.

Andrew Sendejo: 28:22
Real life, Andrew, I’ve adjusted since.

Andrew Sendejo: 28:25
But you know, I think a lot of the friends I made playing football they’re only just a call or text away, so that kind of like camaraderie of a lot of guys talk about like missing the locker room and things like that.

Andrew Sendejo: 28:37
You know, thankful that I also kind of have friends outside of football that kind of give me that same camaraderie and locker room feel, and so I guess you know there are some areas that kind of make up for it. I think you, you understand when you sign up for this game that there is going to be this time in your life where you have to adjust. It’s like, um, you know, realizing that there’s gonna you’re not gonna really be able to hit that high again, but at the same time being thankful that you were ever even able to achieve something that high, uh, as far as that feeling and that sensation, so, so, something that most people don’t get to. So you know, I think overall it’s, it’s, it is a transition, but I feel like, just you know, the, the people I have around me, some of the business things that I have going on have kept me busy. I’ve made the transition a little bit easier than than maybe most. But again, you’d have to probably talk to a bunch of different guys and see how it is.

Lunden Souza: 29:44
Yeah, I’m sure the perspective is subjective. So that breakfast buffet it reminds me of being at my favorite nice bougie hotels and you go down for breakfast and the omelet buffet that you mentioned. So that’s really funny that you said that, but I get it. Yeah, I mean the, the meal preparation, the wellness, the community, um, what about, like, I’m sure you still train, like and work out and I’m sure that never leaves you, but like, what about aggression? Like you know, I know I don’t know specifically. I know a lot more about baseball positions. I watch a lot of football so I know the game, but do you ever just want to run and smash into someone? How do you get that out?

Andrew Sendejo: 30:41
never do that. When they put it in that hd slow-mo it looks way worse than than what it is. Uh, but I don’t that’s another thing. I don’t miss any of the contact or anything like that. Uh, I had probably, uh, I had not probably. I had eight surgeries while I played in the nfl through. Those were on my back. So I I don’t really exercise much anymore, so that is an an area that it’s hard to kind of get that release and the way I try to drain myself now is just through, you know, through through the business and and what I got going on there. And so, yeah, there’s just, you know, there’s times where I’m like man, I really would love to go do that, but I’d probably be like, you know, I’m like man, I really would love to go do that, but I’d probably be laid out for about a week or two just in pain. Another part of playing the game is that you realize your body might not ever be the same after that, but in my eyes, worth it.

Lunden Souza: 31:32
Yeah, yeah, I agree. When I watch football and then those slow-mo things and someone’s twisting and you’re like oh when I watch football and then those slow-mo things and someone’s twisting and you’re like, and I imagine, do you just like have so much adrenaline that you don’t even really feel it?

Lunden Souza: 31:46
Or like at the end of the game are you just like donezo? And then I guess you have like all your massage people and like all the things to love on you and get you back into shape to get out there the next day. But like it hurts, right.

Andrew Sendejo: 32:00
Yes, that’s, that was always like. The rule of thumb is that if it hurt during the game, you knew it was actually hurt because you had so much adrenaline. Usually you don’t feel anything and then the next day you’re like, oh, wow, that really hurts and you’d have some surprise aches through that, like something would pop. You’re like, why is this hurting? Like I didn’t even get hit there. Uh, so you, you know during the game that like there’s a couple of plays here and there you’re like, okay, that’s gonna hurt tomorrow, but usually in the game, unless you actually seriously got injured, didn’t always hurt. But yeah, you have your, your whole lineup of body work, people, your masseuse, uh, you know your dry need, needling, acupuncture, like you know all the everything you can think of. There’s almost, during the season, no limit as to, like what you would do to feel good and feel better so that you can be ready for, you know, the next, the next week of practice and the next game.

Lunden Souza: 32:55
Nice, nice. So what does life look like for you now? Tell us more about what you’re doing in business and, like I know, you mentioned spending a lot of time with family, celebrating holidays, like grounding down. A little bit more. Tell us about that and what business you’re starting and or that you’ve started, and what you do there.

Andrew Sendejo: 33:20
Yeah. So since being done playing, I went kind of full, full time into BrainTree Nutrition, the brain health supplement company we realized while we were playing so we started this at the end of my career we were playing there weren’t a lot of safe, efficacious, banned substance-free products that we were allowed to take that helped with memory, focus and neuroprotection, to help with all the repetitive TBIs, concussions, everything like that. So a co-founder his mom, is a neurologist and so we brought her onto the team to help kind of formulate everything and then, just with our knowledge of nutrition supplementation and just, you know, going through a very, very thorough kind of R&D process and due diligence on this area, we decided to make a product to maximize brain health and a line of products using neurologist formulated products with ingredients that are backed by human clinical studies. So we wanted to make something and kind of change kind of the stigma on a lot of these dietary supplements. People are often like, oh, it’s the wild west and you can just make whatever. Well, there are times where it is like that If you’re getting something on Amazon that you haven’t really thoroughly checked out, that it’s made in the USA, that it’s made in a GMP certified facility. They could have just taken those ingredients, had it all made in China. It gets shipped to the Amazon warehouse and you’re getting it from there and you have no idea what’s in there. Versus, all of our products are made in an NSF, GMP, FDA-registered lab, so that ensures the potency, the accuracy of the dosage and just the highest standards for manufacturing practices. And because it’s all here in Austin, we’re in the lab, in the facility. We get to see everything from start to finish. So we basically have eyes on the product throughout the entire process so that we can give you the purest, most potent product that we can.

Andrew Sendejo: 35:26
And so this kind of BrainTree really started, like I said, kind of like an investment. My co-founder he was done playing, he also went to rice with me, played in the NFL is like a master formulator when it comes to supplementation with me. Played in the NFL is like a master formulator when it comes to supplementation. You can pick up any product on the shelf and hand it to him and he’ll be able to tell you basically everything of all the ingredients in there. That’s the level that he’s at, like mad scientist level.

Andrew Sendejo: 35:50
And so you know, going into the brain health space it’s been, you know, going into the brain health space. It’s, it’s been, it was. You know, my last play of my NFL career was actually I got completely knocked out like a really bad concussion. And you know, just the segue into it made sense because it was, you know, kind of like a. It was an investment, then it kind of became a hobby and then I, you know, I decided to just kind of take over the whole thing and really like take it to the next level, where I knew I knew it could go. And so that’s where I’ve been spending most of my time on that Just continuing to improve the company, scale the company, grow it, talk about it, everything that I can Passionate about it. Continuing to research new ingredients to help improve people’s brain health. I would say that’s probably one of the most fun areas of this is that I get to guinea pig and sample all these new ingredients and researching studies on new ingredients, and so I’m learning a lot on multiple fronts on the business side, on just brain health as well.

Andrew Sendejo: 36:51
And then, outside of that, I started doing a lot of real estate, you know, investing, developing when I was playing, and you know I still do a little bit of that on the side. So that’s kind of every now and then I’ll just, you know, do my real estate portion. I’ll block off some time to look through listings and different like potential projects and go check out different projects. If there’s any opportunities there, I would say that’s probably I don’t know maybe 10% of my time now. The other part of my day I will spend with our venture capital groups fourth and one ventures, so it’s an angel group of all NFL athletes and we’re changing the way that athletes can invest. And so while I was playing, it was just your traditional investment opportunities.

Andrew Sendejo: 37:37
You get a lot of real estate deals, obviously the stock market, your financial advisor putting your money into different areas, and so, unless you’re an A-list player, you don’t really get access to these early stage companies to invest in.

Andrew Sendejo: 37:52
They weren’t like the big name guys, but now that we have this group, we’ve been able to allow accessing, been given access to invest in a lot of these companies and so giving guys the opportunity to have control over where they put some of their money and something that they actually want to get behind.

Andrew Sendejo: 38:12
So I’m an advisor for 4th and 1 Ventures and a lot of what I do there is just trying to use my connections, and all the guys I know that are still playing in the NFL to you know say, hey, there’s this opportunity that I wish I had while I was playing. If you want to like, join this group and get involved, you can learn a lot. You know, you can get behind brands that you, that you want, and you know I always tell the guys you know, instead of getting paid to post someone’s product and promote it like now, you own the product you know, and so that’s been a really cool, fun, interesting kind of venture. And then, on top of that, I’m also in the middle of planning a wedding. I got engaged a month ago.

Andrew Sendejo: 38:49
So thank you. So that also. I usually spend my Saturday mornings doing some of that and just uh going through all the different things. So I’m learning a lot on um wedding planning business, uh, all of it. So I stay pretty busy.

Lunden Souza: 39:09
And I guess for the record we should say it is Saturday morning when we’re recording this. Well, maybe a little bit later for you. So thank you and thank your fiance for letting us cut into wedding planning time just a smidge to talk today. I’m very grateful.

Lunden Souza: 39:25
Two things I want to touch on before we wrap up. One of them is I love what you’re doing to educate other players in the NFL on how to be smart with their investments and their money. I would imagine that there are, just like you know, some players who come in and probably have a very good career and make a lot of money and then probably spend all of it or don’t know how to invest wisely or don’t know how to approach that from, like, a longevity standpoint. So I think that’s super, you know, cool, I think. I just I don’t remember specifically, but I know there’s stories of, yeah, professional athletes or rappers or like whatever that like make it really big and then you buy all the things and then you forget that, like, you might not always be that professional superstar bringing in those big paychecks all the time, and so I think that’s really cool that you’re teaching that.

Andrew Sendejo: 40:16
Yeah, that’s definitely one of the stereotypes behind really anybody that has gone from no money to a lot of money. And you try to teach guys. Just even with us on fourth and one of like even these types of investments we’re doing like here’s kind of some strategy that you should use here, and so it’s been good to educate, learn, give guys opportunities, and so it’s just. You know, even for me I’m on both sides now, like as an owner of a CPG brand and then also being on the investment side. It’s been really awesome because I get on these calls with these CEOs that have companies that are way further along in the process than we are at BrainTree, and now I get to lean on these guys, I get to call them, I get to ask them about strategy, like hey, how did you navigate working with this retailer or this distributor and whatnot. So I kind of have this nice little ecosystem that is all kind of working together and so everything is kind of building the other one up.

Lunden Souza: 41:15
Ecosystem. I like that. And then one thing I just thought of, because you mentioned it before and you were like we can get into it later. So I just want to ask you why did you not tell people that you were in football? Why did you say like, oh, I’m in Minnesota for work. Did you like not want the recognition? Did you not want them to ask you for money? Like why?

Andrew Sendejo: 41:35
Yeah, so they wouldn’t put drinks on my tab is what it was? No, it was, it was. It was mainly because I think there was a lot of times you, as soon as you say that, uh, it kind of changes the whole dynamic of when you meet someone it’s like, are, at that moment, you know, for the rest of that interaction, are they treating you for how you actually are, as a person like, oh, this guy’s nice, he’s cool, whatever it is you know. Or are they like now, are they just you know, how you actually are as a person Like, oh, this guy’s nice, he’s cool, whatever it is you know. Or are they like now, are they just, you know, trying to be nice to you? Or, uh, you know, want to hang out with you because you play football, or, at the same time, it could be negative where they’re like oh, this guy thinks he’s hot shit because he plays football or whatever. Uh, instead of just kind of just being a regular person like, take me as I am, like if you actually enjoy my company and whatnot, and then we’ll eventually get into the fact that I play football, if we hang out long enough, like, eventually we’re going to have that conversation Like, so what do you do in Minnesota, and things like that.

Andrew Sendejo: 42:34
So I just always liked to have people treat me just for who I am, as a person, and not for anything else. Um, cause it can get kind of tricky to navigate, uh, you know, after a while, and so I think, having years of doing that, now I don’t have to deal with the transition of man. I used to introduce myself as a football player and get this, this great reaction. Now I have to like introduce myself as, uh, like you know, an entrepreneur, like whatever, and I don’t get the same reactions Like I was. I’ve been used to just, um, introducing myself as you know. Oh, I do this and and and like not having any crazy reaction. Uh, so I think that actually has helped me in my post-career kind of transition.

Lunden Souza: 43:20
Cool, cool. Yeah, just curious. I thought of that. I was like, wait, we didn’t talk about that yet. Last question, and then tell us how we can connect with you, learn more about BrainTree and things like that. You’ve been through the struggle, you’ve been denied multiple times and there’s someone listening now I can pretty much guarantee it that’s in that spot, that maybe it’s the NFL, maybe it’s not the NFL, where it’s like that second, third, fourth, fifth, I don’t know umpteenth attempt at something that you maybe have a calling for. What would you tell that person listening now?

Andrew Sendejo: 43:54
Yeah, I think we kind of alluded to it a little bit earlier.

Andrew Sendejo: 43:58
As far as just pounding the rock and just staying with it, I always like the analogy of of like fighting your way through the maze and like there’s going to be times you’re making progress and you’re like, oh, I’m getting to the end, and then you realize you get into another dead end and then you got to turn around and pivot and go the other direction.

Andrew Sendejo: 44:15
But if you just stick with it, you’ll eventually get yourself out of there. The other direction, but if you just stick with it, you’ll eventually get yourself out of there. And so I think that, along with that, I always say to play with confidence is something, you know, I wish I would have told myself or done as a young player throughout high school college NFL just playing like you belong there, conducting your business like you belong there, like belong there, conducting your business like you belong there, like you know, I’m a starter, I’m a solidified starter. Your business is a, you know, a legit, certified starter business. You know that level, that elite level, and so that would be probably the couple of tips that I would.

Lunden Souza: 44:55
I would say Cool, thanks. And then, where can people connect with you? Website, social media, not your phone number.

Andrew Sendejo: 45:02
Yeah, you can find us at braintreenutritioncom. You can find us on socials at takebraintree, so go check us out.

Lunden Souza: 45:10
Cool, and all of that I will put in the description, in the show notes, all the things. So, for those of you listening, if you want to connect more with BrainTree, you can do so using those links. Andrew, thank you so much for your time. It was a pleasure and, yeah, thank you for being here.

Andrew Sendejo: 45:25
Yeah, thanks for having me.

Lunden Souza: 45:27
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Self Love and Sweat the podcast. Hey, do me a favor Wherever you’re listening to this podcast, give us a review this really helps a lot and share this with a friend. I’m only one person and with your help, we can really spread the message of self-love and sweat and change more lives all around the world. I’m Lunden Souza, reminding you that you deserve a life full of passion, presence and purpose, fueled by self-love and sweat. This podcast is a Hitspot. Austria production.