In this month’s client success story, Ken Jenkins, president of GotProHealth, discusses how he fulfilled his dream of entrepreneurship after playing in the NFL. He found new coaches at SCORE who helped his small business thrive.
A different playing field
After 5 years of rushing the football, Ken Jenkins hung up his helmet to start his next career. He spent the next 20 years working in various fields like banking and IT, but nothing felt right. Then he became a massage therapist, married an acupuncturist and discovered the benefits of alternative medicine. Ken knew these complementary techniques would also help his NFL buddies manage their post-football ailments.
Ken and his wife Amy felt more people should know all their health options, but one issue arises in the world of alternative medicine—you don’t know whom to trust. They realized a solution. Why not create a network of the best alternative healthcare practitioners available around the country? They established this network using a vetting process, so anyone could find a trustworthy and qualified provider nearby.
In 2012, SCORE developed a partnership with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) while Ken was a member. The organizations joined resources to help ex-NFL players explore entrepreneurial options for life after football. Ken took full advantage of the partnership. He attended a SCORE workshop and met SCORE mentors Dee Rogers and John Clarke.
Ken worked with his new coaches to develop all aspects of GotProHealth. Joe helped with financial aspects and established business milestones. Dee assisted with marketing strategies. They met once a month for six months, then once a quarter, and now twice a year. The result: a growing network of alternative medicine providers who not only treat Ken’s NFL teammates but people who never stepped on a football field.
Beyond learning business tools and strategies, Ken also found emotional support. He says being an entrepreneur means staying up late worrying about everything. “It’s nice to be able to call someone…to always have a resource when you get stuck. I can’t tell you what kind of security blanket that is. That makes us feel that we’re not out here doing it alone, that we have someone to talk to who’s been through what we’re going through. There’s never been a problem that they haven’t been able to help us with.”
Create your winning team
For aspiring small business owners, Ken offers some straightforward advice. “SCORE is a free resource, and you would be a lunatic not to engage them. You can’t get that kind of information for free.” He explains that if you paid the true cost of SCORE’s resources, it would “put you out of business before you get into business.”
“SCORE is willing to walk you through and hold your hand through the process. Why wouldn’t you use it?”
Get in the game and start your small business today. SCORE mentors are ready to coach you to success.