DiscoverPlaymakers: On PurposeAlways Compete (ft. Jake Olson, Author, Speaker + Co-founder and President of Engage)
Always Compete (ft. Jake Olson, Author, Speaker + Co-founder and President of Engage)

Always Compete (ft. Jake Olson, Author, Speaker + Co-founder and President of Engage)

Update: 2022-06-01


Always Compete (ft. Jake Olson)

A barrier-breaking former athlete on purpose, potential, and football


“Competitive environments can change, but the type of competitor you are, I think, really matters to always compete and to have that staple of knowing who you are and what competitor you want to be, in those different arenas is what's going to be that difference maker.”

—Jake Olson


Jake Olson is famously known as the first completely blind college football player. He has used this experience to inspire and motivate others by speaking and authoring two books, while also creating a nonprofit to help visually impaired children and support cancer research. His story has been featured on ESPN, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The LA Times, Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post, and more. Meanwhile, Jake is an entrepreneur serving as co-founder and president of Engage, an online platform that digitizes the process of booking talent like himself.

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[7:50 ] - Competing On & Off the Field

Jake Olson on what it takes to be a competitor

Jake doesn’t hesitate when asked what makes a competitor in sports and life. “Someone who's willing to adapt, who can review themselves and take criticism, who can discern the change that they need to be better, who surrounds themselves with people who encourage them and who believe in them and are willing to go the extra mile with them when they want to do something crazy, and having self-belief.” There are the ingredients. Are you cultivating them in your life?

[13:47 ] - Seeing Beyond Blindness

Jake’s powerful guidance for people afraid of their future without sight

Jake is often approached by parents of children who are going blind. His advice? “He's going to grow up to love something, and he's going to be passionate about something. Just be there for him, willing to help him get to that place where he can do that thing." Is this easy? No. But it is simple. Be there for them, and support their passions.

[24:52 ] - Erase Barriers. Always.

If something in your control is stopping you, don’t let it

Jake speaks on the fears and insecurities that kept him from playing football. Eventually, he had to admit that his blindness was keeping him from enjoying the game he loved. So he found a way, and that way was the position of long snapper. What are the barriers you impose on yourself each day, and what can you do to remove them?

[43:13 ] - Einstein & Drake

Two very different people, two powerful messages

When asked if he would go back and change anything in his life if he could, Jake responds by sharing two of his favorite quotes— from two very different sources. Einstein once said, “There are two ways to look at life. One, as if though nothing is a miracle. And two, as though everything is a miracle.” Meanwhile, rapper Drake says in one of his songs, “Some nights I wish I could go back in life. Not to change things, just to feel a couple things twice.”


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The WHY Institute

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The best part? It’s completely free for Playmakers listeners. Are you ready to find our WHY in just five minutes? Take your assessment now.



Paul Epstein may not be a hard charging running back on the actual football field, but his list of high-profile wins in the world of sports will have you thinking that he could be.

Paul has spent nearly 15 years as a pro sports executive for multiple NFL and NBA teams, a global sports agency, and the NFL league office. He’s transformed numerous NBA teams from the absolute bottom in league revenue to top-two in financial performance. He’s broken every premium revenue metric in Super Bowl history as the NFL’s sales leader. He opened a billion-dollar stadium, helped save the New Orleans NBA franchise, and founded the San Francisco 49ers Talent Academy.

He's since installed his leadership and high-performance playbook with Fortune 500 leaders, Founders and CEOs, MBAs, and professional athletes.

Now, as a global keynote speaker, #1 bestselling author, personal transformation expert, turned senior leader and advisor to PurposePoint and the Why Institute, and host of the Playmakers: On Purpose podcast, Paul explores how living and working with a focus on leadership, culture, and purpose can transform organizations and individuals anywhere to unleash their full potential.

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The Playmakers: On Purpose podcast is an all-access pass to a purpose-centered tribe of leaders in business, sports, and life who are on a mission of meaning and impact. The show takes purpose from an out of reach North Star to a practical and tactical exploration of how we can step into each day, ON PURPOSE, where life no longer happens “to us”, it begins to happen “for us”. 

From the Why Coach of the San Francisco 49ers to your coach, take a seat at the table with sports industry executive, #1 bestselling author, personal transformation expert, turned senior leader and advisor to PurposePoint and the Why Institute, Paul Epstein, in this inspiring, yet immediately actionable podcast. 

From formative stories pre-purpose to personal and professional transformation’s post-purpose, each show will share a high-energy, prescriptive blueprint to ignite impact and drive inner success, fulfillment, and purpose no matter your starting point. It’s time to meet Paul at the 50 and get ready to live and lead ON PURPOSE.

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In Detroit, history was made when Barry Gordy opened Motown Records back in 1960. More than just discovering great talent, Gordy built a systematic approach to launching superstars. His rigorous processes, technology, and development methods were the secret sauce behind legendary acts such as The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.

As a nod to the past, Detroit Podcast Studios leverages modern versions of Motown’s processes to launch today’s most compelling podcasts. What Motown was to musical artists, Detroit Podcast Studios is to podcast artists today. 

With over 75 combined years of experience in content development, audio production, music scoring, storytelling, and digital marketing, Detroit Podcast Studios provides full-service development, training, and production capabilities to take podcasts from messy ideas to finely tuned hits. Here’s to making (podcast) history together.

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Always Compete (ft. Jake Olson, Author, Speaker + Co-founder and President of Engage)

Always Compete (ft. Jake Olson, Author, Speaker + Co-founder and President of Engage)

Jake Olson, Detroit Podcast Studios, Paul Epstein, Connor Trombley