Episode 27: Intentionality in balancing success: Justin Forsett's journey of faith, family, football, and entrepreneurship

August 22, 2023

Episode Summary

Justin Forsett - former NFL running back, successful entrepreneur, and co-founder of Hustle Clean, joins us this week on The Aro Podcast to talk about family, football, and success. Justin shares his inspiring personal journey, from humble beginnings living in a motel to the pinnacle of professional football and his entrepreneurial success. In this engaging conversation, Justin and Joey dive into the role of faith in Justin's life, discussing how it provided stability during some of his toughest moments. Justin offers his insightful perspective on greatness as he challenges the notion of compartmentalizing success and emphasizes the importance of excelling in all areas of life, not just one. Listen in as Justin opens up about his experiences and offers valuable wisdom for pursuing greatness while maintaining balance and integrity. This episode will motivate you to strive for excellence in every aspect of your life, grounded in faith and resilience.

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Episode Transcript

Justin Forsett (00:00):

I don't believe in balance. Uh, I don't think it's possible, uh, to give equal amount of time, uh, to every aspect and every title that you carry. Uh, but I do think you can be, you can use that same amount of energy, that same amount of vigor, uh, uh, and to all your, your roles because I, I don't believe that greatness can be compartmentalized. And if you wanna be great, uh, then that should flow through every aspect of your life. So, if you wanna be a great entrepreneur, it's not okay for you to be a crappy husband, father, spouse, parent. Like, if you're chasing greatness, then the excellency should follow through. The standard is the standard. So I realized that there's gotta be a level of almost, you know, a healthy obsession, of course, to whatever you're pursuing in order to be great at anything. But also, uh, you gotta prioritize and make sure that you're intentional about, uh, investing in the most important things, which is your wife and your kids.

Joey Odom (00:59):

Welcome back to The Aro Podcast. It's Joey Odom, co-founder of Aro. I'm so glad you're here, and you're about to be so glad you're here because you're about to hear from Justin Forset, NFL Pro Bowler. You're about to be motivated and inspired. You're gonna get some advice as a parent. You're gonna hear all about Justin's faith story. You're gonna hear about him coming up from a very young age in dire financial circumstances. Um, he talks one thing, just a little sneak peek here. I asked him about what made him think he could actually make it to the N F L being undersized. And he said, well, I was chasing a dream, but I was running from a nightmare. He goes, I had to get out there. There was no other option. And so he talked about how he used that to drive him into greatness in the N F L.

He was absolutely amazing. I'm so excited for you to listen to it, sit back, relax, enjoy my conversation with Justin Forset. Let's get started. Man. It's it first. Thank you. Um, I'm, I'm excited to have you. This is, uh, I gotta admit I'm a little starstruck. I did have you on my fantasy team back in the day, so it's, um, <laugh>. So it's, uh, it's, um, it's exciting to have. Did you ever have people come up to you at that time? Be like, man, what, what happened this week? Like, you were on my fantasy team? But people actually do that

Justin Forsett (02:12):

All the time. All the time. Really? Yeah. Yeah. Whether it's in person or online, like, man, what's going on? I see you sitting out at practice. Are you gonna be ready to go for Sunday? Uh, yeah. You get a lot of it.

Joey Odom (02:24):

That's amazing. I love that. That's so funny. Um, man, we, we are excited to have you. I mean, I, I think I, I everybody knows your name, everybody knows, you know, know the Pro Bowl career and they know what you've done. But I'm, you know, as I've dug into your story, your upbringing, man, it's such a good story. And, you know, a lot of, you know, themes of adversity and perseverance and all that stuff. Did, uh, I, I'm curious when you go all the way back, so it's, how did you, you know, you're in the midst of financial hardship. Most people don't see a way out of there. Like, how, how did you even, why do you think there even was a spark to believe that you, that you could make, that it could look different? Most people, you, the world around you is the world around you. What do you remember, or was there even looking back, what was it that sparked the fact that like, oh, I, this, this can look different? Where'd that belief come from?

Justin Forsett (03:12):

I think the mindset for me was always, it had to be different. It had to be more. Um, and if you ask me, um, you know, what was, uh, the deciding factor for you make, for you making it out, and it was kind of, uh, a two-headed thing. Um, one, I was chasing a dream, but also running from a nightmare, um, in a lot of sense. So, uh, just knowing that I knew that God had more for me, I knew that life had more for me than just that. Um, and I was gonna do whatever possible to make sure that that was a reality for myself and for my family. And, uh, so, because you could see it, you could see it in other places, you could see it on tv. Uh, I would read books, uh, about, um, Jim Abbott, uh, yeah. Who was, uh, one-armed, uh, sure. Preacher, uh,

Joey Odom (04:08):

For the Angels. Right. Played for the Angels, didn't he?

Justin Forsett (04:10):

Yep. Yep. I believe so.

Joey Odom (04:12):

I remember Jim Abbott. Yeah.

Justin Forsett (04:13):

And, uh, then also there was, uh, Wilma Rudolph, um, who was a track athlete that had overcome some insurmountable odds, uh, in order to have success. Men Olympian. Um, but I would see like these other athletes again, like Barry Sanders, like, well, they're just like men. They come from different neighborhoods. They come from different communities. But I, I believe that I had the same ability, or at least the opportunity to, to change my future as they did. So I just walked in faith.

Joey Odom (04:42):

It's interesting. Have you, have you considered, I'm sure you have at some point, have you considered for a moment the fact that, that you look back on Wilma Rudolph and Jim Abbott and people like that, who inspired you, who made you believe that something was possible? And again, Jim Abbott, you're right. Who would possibly think that? That a man with one arm, I mean, he had half of the other arm Yeah. Would be able to pitch in major leagues at the highest level. So he inspired you. Have you considered the fact that you are that to others now? Like when other people you think about, maybe, you know, the younger kids, the kids who are young in financial hardship, they see you five eight, not necessarily physically built for the N F L from a, from a stature perspective, but you made it. Have you, have you thought about that, that you are, that you are that to others?

Justin Forsett (05:20):

Yeah, man, it, it is, it is. You know, when I think about all the things that I'm so grateful for throughout the course of my life, um, that is one of the things that, like, you know, the platform that I believe that God has given me, um, I've, being a professional athlete, uh, not being an entrepreneur, it's just like, man, you know, I hope to inspire and encourage that next Justin for set, you know, somewhere. And that's pretty cool to think about that I could be that spark, like, you know, Jim or Wilma or Barry was for me. Um, you know, I was able to pick up a, a book in Scholastic book clubs, right? Sure. Um, back in the day and pick up and read about Wilma Rudolph and read about Jim Abbott. Um, but now, you know, people can go to my, go to a YouTube, watch my videos, watch my story, um, and, and dive into like how I was able to accomplish the success I was able to accomplish, and to know that that could be a spark for someone. That, that's pretty cool.

Joey Odom (06:26):

What were your, what was your parents' perspective there? They knew they were your, your dad. I, I think he, like you said, he was a preacher, truck driver, owned a barbecue restaurant. I mean, he was, he did a bunch. And he was an entrepreneur himself. Um, how did they encourage you along the way there you had these dreams and aspirations, and I'm, and I'm sure as a parent, it has to be hard to, on one hand, you wanna encourage, but then you also don't wanna put in a false sense of hope, necessarily. How did your parents handle that when they saw you with your dreams and aspirations from that young age?

Justin Forsett (06:52):

Oh, they were very supportive. Um, in their minds. There was nothing that me or my brothers couldn't accomplish, uh, right. If we put our minds to it. So there was no negative, uh, pushback, or there was no doubt. Um, it was all like, man, yeah, you can do it. Um, and they reinforced that. So the support system was there, the encouragement was there. The belief was there from, um, from the family and inner circle. Um, I just had to own it for myself, and I ended up doing that. Yeah.

Joey Odom (07:24):

Were there any teachers coming up you, when you were, when you were down in Mulberry, were there any teachers that you had that really kind of saw that young genius in you or spark athletically, whether it's a teacher or coach? What, who, who were some people that inspired that and maybe helped foster that to where you could grow that belief? 'cause it has to be hard. It has to be hard to hear again and again. You're not strong enough, you're not fast enough, you're not tall, tall enough. That has, that has to be discouraging at some point, at some point, somebody starts believing all of that stuff. So who, who counteracted that negative feedback you heard from others?

Justin Forsett (07:52):

Well, I had, um, uh, a young coach, uh, when I was growing up, my first years playing football, first couple years playing football that believed in me, uh, coach Frank, that, uh, just, uh, you know, massage didn't matter. Just gave me the opportunity. I had high school coaches that believed in me every step away, college coaches, pro coaches, uh, you know, when there was a lot of doubt, it, it was always someone there, um, to kind of just reinforce that, man, you, you belong. Um, and I had what it took. Um, but it was always, I, I could think back, especially early on as my grandmother, uh, who I spent a lot of time with. 'cause my dad, you know, having all these roles and jobs, my mom, uh, uh, busy as well, that, uh, she was there, um, to take me to practices, to, uh, take me to the recitals.

Um, spent a lot of time at her house, uh, you know, weekend, uh, on during the weekday. And I got off of school and I'm in, you know, waiting for a football practice or basketball practice. And she's in there watching days of our lives or guiding light. And, uh, and her just pouring into me, you know, when I had problems or when I was a little, had some, uh, fear or doubt, uh, about competition or opposition that I was facing, she would always just feeding into me scriptures and pointing to me faith and love, and just, just reinforcing that, you know, I had what it took no matter what I was up against. So, um, I had that, I had uncles that all just like, they were really strong, um, when it came to the sport.

Joey Odom (09:25):

Did your grandmother, was she, was, was she able to see you play in the N F L? Did she, uh, did, she may still be with us, but did, did she, was she able to see you play in the league?

Justin Forsett (09:33):

She did. She did. She was able to see me play, uh, in the N F L. Uh, uh, she passed away, um, um, my seventh year, I wanna say in the N F L. Um, but yeah, uh, she would show up even when I was in college. She lived in Florida, going out to Cal, uh, going out out to Berkeley, California to watch and see me. And, uh, I remember she would just always get upset when the, when my offensive line wasn't blocking <laugh>. She was always on, she was always on the, my offensive line. I always had to hold my grandma off when my offensive lineman, because they weren't taking care of her grandbaby. But, uh, but yeah, she was, she was strong and very impactful in my life.

Joey Odom (10:17):

That's amazing. I love that. Y you've alluded to it, and, and obviously your, your story can't be told without your faith story. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, I would love to hear, I would love to hear your faith story, not only from a young age, how that was, how your parents instilled that in you, but then how it became kind of your own, how it, even in high school, you talk about you were at 18 years old, having received some of those brutal feedback you get, which, hey, your scholarship got pulled. Sure. But you have the maturity even at 18, to lean into God, to pray to, to seek him, and all of that. And then even as you've grown up, um, into it has become more and more your own, I'd just love to hear, take a few minutes, I'd love to hear your faith story.

Justin Forsett (10:53):

Yeah, for sure. Um, you know, there's this notion that when kids go to college, they lose their faith. And I like to say that when kids go to college, they don't lose their faith, they lose their parents' faith. So they never had a relationship, uh, with God for themselves. So it's really the, it's easy to lose that, um, when you're not, somebody's not forcing you to go to the building of the church, um, on a weekly basis. Hmm. But at an early age, I was a preacher's kid. Like I said, I would, you know, uh, I would hear about this, this man, Jesus, um, a guy that wanted to save me and had a plan and purpose for my life. And I just know someone that, as a middle child and dealing with the middle child syndrome, never, never feeling like I fit anywhere. I just felt like, man, if I wanted to accomplish anything, if I wanted to do anything great that I was gonna have to lean into this guy that I kept hearing about, but at least I was gonna give him a try.

And, uh, I just remember early committing my life, um, to God as a, you know, a 12 year old, uh, 12 year old kid and being in middle school and just like, God, I'm just, I'm gonna lean and trust in you that, um, you do have a plan and purpose for me, and that, and you will bless me with the desires of my heart, and, um, and, you know, I will have impact for you. So that, that was the, that was the initial, uh, connection right in the, that first step of my journey. But just as I've grown and, uh, experienced so many different things in life, he's just constantly revealed, uh, to me that there's levels, uh, within the faith. Right? And, uh, and as I constantly faced rejection or opposition, he just kind of showed up in knew and real authentic ways. Like even when I got rejected to, from Notre Dame when I was in that basement, and I was crying my eyes out, and I remember, because at that time, you know, I'm, I'm a believer and I'm, I'm the kid that's in church all the time.

Um, I'm playing the drums in church, um, going to Bible study. I'm praying every night I'm reading my Bible and things like that. And, uh, so I'm mad at God, and I'm saying, God, like, why is, why is, uh, why does it seem like all of my friends and other people are getting the blessings that I been praying, I've been praying for? Yeah. Um, almost as if the, uh, the, uh, the older son and the prodigal son story, uh, right. Just like, why is everyone else getting the blessings? Like, I'm, I'm here. I'm, I'm the one that's praying to you, having a relationship with you. And I remember when I was on my knees and I was praying to God, like, you gotta show me something. You gotta give me, you gotta, you gotta gimme something to go off of, of here. Like, I can't keep doing this, um, and not seeing any return or anything.

God, you gotta open up some doors for me. And, uh, at that moment, I did the only thing I knew how to do. I opened my Bible, and I just literally, I just said, God, you just gotta show me something. And just flipped, threw the Bible, open the air, it, it landed on the floor and opened, and it landed on Proverbs three. So as I began to read Proverbs three, and it gets to five and six, and it's just like, yeah. You know, trusting Lord God with our heart, lean out on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he'll direct your path. And in that moment, and I was a believer for at least over five years at that point in that time, and I felt something I never felt before. It felt as if God was, I felt this warming sensation over my body.

It felt as if God was wrapping his arms around me and letting me know that I, I got you. Like, there's this, like, this peace that I had internally. Nothing on the external circumstance has changed, but something on the inside of me was just like, ah, something's gonna break. Like, I feel it in my bones, uh, that, that God had a plan for me. So I, I dusted myself off and, you know, just like, God, I'm gonna just trust you. I'm excel at what I can't control. But, uh, a few months later, that door opened and, you know, I ended up going to Cal, I ended up, you know, playing right away, ended up going to be a starter, met my wife there. And, uh, you know, it was a, it was a beautiful thing

Joey Odom (15:22):

That, um, that whole thought of first, I mean, you know, as a dad, and you gotta think, not that we can con, you know, comprehend the mind of God, but you think, you know, there are moments with you kids, with your kids, and you have five kids mm-hmm. <affirmative>, where there's something they're going through, and you do, you just give 'em a hug and you be like, I got you. It's okay. And it, and it's almost like they can't understand what you're talking about, but you know, like, I got something for you. It's almost like God's in the background. Like, listen, I got, I'm working on something in Berkeley right now. I can't tell you about it, but like, something's coming for you. You know what I mean? Yeah. Yeah. And so, that whole idea, and what's cool about that story, what I love about that is it's only, I mean, here we are talking, you're talking how many years later, and that is, that disappointment is such a big part of your story. Mm-hmm. It's like, we have to go through the fire. Like it wouldn't, we have to go through the fire. And that's when God's proven, proven, faithful. It's not like, you know, by, by, you know, being a person of faith, you don't avoid anything like that, but you have God with you through it. And so it's just amazing that all the stuff that we believe that is terrible and, and brutal and difficult, well, that's the stuff that's gonna lead to our greatest story, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>,

Justin Forsett (16:28):

Man, it is so true. Um, and it's easy to, uh, run from that or, uh, resist that because it's not comfortable, right? It is not something when you're going through it, you're just like, God, I, I want more of this pain. I want more of this frustration, <laugh> like, nah, that is not the, the feeling that we have when we're going through adversity or trial, but with the right mindset. And, you know, thinking about Romans a 20, A 28, and it's like, all things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and called the quarter to its purpose, like knowing that even this bad, this frustration, this disappointment can be used for my good, right? He's shaping me and molding me into the man I need to become in order to have the success that I want to have. So, um, yeah, just that mindset.

Um, and it's, that's how I face disappointment. That's how I face frustration now is an entrepreneur, and it gets difficult. It gets tough. Um, it gets painful. Um, but knowing that there is a benefit, uh, for it all, and that this even on the entrepreneur side is like, this is a sanctification vehicle in which I'm being, uh, stretched in places. I've never been stretched. I'm being pulled in places I've never been pulled because a familiarity will breed complacency, and I can become familiar with God, right? Uh, you can become familiar with him and just like, oh, I'm go to pray and go to church, go to Bible study. I'm a I'm a I'm a check, you know, you're checking off the boxes, but God is like, I, I want deeper relationship than that. I, I, I want more of you. I want to let you know that there's levels, there's, there's more peace for you. There's more joy for you, there's more love for you. Um, but in order to get there, uh, I gotta stretch you a little bit. And, um, you know, that can be hard to, to swallow at times, but it's for our benefit.

Joey Odom (18:16):

I remember my kids, when my kids were young, I remember my, my, uh, daughter, she was having some really severe leg pain. And, and doctor said, Hey, these are growing pains that she's feeling. And so you have that term, oh, growing pains. But I remember saying to her, I remember saying, Hey, it hurts because like, your, the, your body in its current state can't handle the growth that's happening inside of you. Mm-hmm. And so it's the same exact thing. We're going through these things and it hurts and it hurts, but that the end result of that is growth. The end result of that is big. And we want that. We want those growing, want the growth, but those pains are real, those pains physically. And I think it's like a metaphor that God has for us. This, this metaphor of the, of the physical pain in our bodies, in order to have physical growth, that's the exact same thing spiritually, is it's gotta hurt a little bit sometimes mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that doesn't make it fun, but it does make it more gratifying, and it is a absolute necessary part of the process.

Justin Forsett (19:02):

Yeah. I wholeheartedly agree.

Joey Odom (19:06):

Hey, I got an email the other day from Caleb in Dallas, Texas that I wanted to share with you. Caleb says, Joey, thank you to the RO team for creating this incredible platform. I already feel so much more connected to my wife and daughter. The app makes it almost addicting to use the box and compete with my wife for who's got more time in the box, totally helps me focus and connect with what I'm doing. Even if it's just eating a bowl of cereal or watching tv, I've found myself using more of my imagination and even picking up a book, something I'd forgotten about. I'm an ro fan for life. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Caleb. Thank you. And if you have an ro story you'd like to share, please just shoot us an email. If you're interested in learning more about ro, just go to go ro.com. And now back to this week's episode. Um, speaking of painful things, what was it like rooming with Marshawn <laugh>?

Justin Forsett (19:57):

It wasn't painful. Uh, I'm

Joey Odom (19:58):

Sure it was. That guy's hilarious.

Justin Forsett (20:00):

Yeah, he was, uh, it was, it was great, man. Um, I'm coming from, uh, the kid from the south and meeting a kid from Oakland, California. And, um, you know, just two different, uh, areas in the country, two different cultures, but, um, just a lot of the same, uh, values, um, in life when you talk about family, um, authenticity, um, and love, like, you know, loving humor, laugh, laughing, and having a good time. Like we just, we shared a lot of that together. So, um, he's a brother to my, I mean, talk to him today. I almost every other day we're, we're talking. Do you really? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. He's a, wow. He's a, he's a brother to me.

Joey Odom (20:46):

Did, did he eat a lot of Skittles in college too? I know, I know his, his career thing, he, that guy eats a lot of Skittles. Is that, is that a real thing or is that just a persona?

Justin Forsett (20:55):

No, no, no. He ate a lot of candy, period. <laugh>, uh, Skittles was one of them. Gummy bears was another. Um, you know, he could eat like trash and still go out there and perform other, you know, other of us, you know, couldn't. So

Joey Odom (21:10):

He was just, I mean, just like his nickname, he's beast mode man. That guy. That guy is incredible. So what, what was that like, so you're in the league, you played for, um, you draft in the seventh round, um, you made the Pro Bowl your seventh year. What was that like for thinking back on the kid who said, I have to, I love what you said. I was, I was chasing a dream, but I was running from a nightmare. You said it had to be different. What was that like the first time for that experience with your parents, where you could give back to them a little bit financially where you said, Hey, listen, we, I wanna, I wanna take care of you. What, what was that whole, I, I'm, I think people love watching videos of that, people giving their parents cars or whatever it was, but what, what was the, that overall feeling like and being able to kind of give back to them what they'd given to you over the years?

Justin Forsett (21:52):

Man, it was, it was awesome, um, to have that. I remember, uh, being able to send them, uh, a couple of the checks that I was got early on from doing signing deals, whether it's, uh, a Tops, uh, football card, uh, deal. And it was just really gratifying, uh, to, to be in a position in which I could actually help and do things that I always wanted to do. Yeah. And you know, when you come up from humble beginnings and you come up, uh, the way I came up and from my culture, you just got, you're pushed to think more mature at a early age. Right? Um, yeah. You're just forced to think about, you know, you know, I don't know how, how to put it, but you're just forced to think about real life stuff before most people. Sure. And I just, even growing up, remember looking at those McDonald's monopoly, uh, stickers and just like, mom, I'm gonna get you that Jeep Cherokee, or, you know, once I get this boardwalk, you know, we're gonna get up out of this situation. Yeah. And, and to finally be in a position where I could say, Hey, I can bless my family in this manner. I was, uh, it was really gratifying. And I, I thank God for it.

Joey Odom (23:21):

That's amazing. What, what a, what a feeling. What a neat thing. And for, and for them just to think, my goodness, he was, we thought he was talking crazy all these years, and he really did do it. He did everything he said he would. Right. Alright, so you, so you could have rested on your laurels. You could be playing golf every day. Instead, you, you decided to, to literally get in the hustle after you, after you retired, you and Wendell and Whale founded Hustle, clean, Uhhuh, <affirmative>, um, which you guys are doing really amazing stuff. Um, we're, we're gonna plug that and make sure everybody goes to the website. Everybody checks out, everybody go, goes and buys it 'cause it's for sale everywhere. You got partnerships with a bunch of people. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, how did Hustle Clean come along? Tell us about the story, the genesis of that, how you and Wendell and Will, how you, uh, how the three you got, uh, got after it and got that going.

Justin Forsett (24:04):

Yeah. It, it started just, um, went off season. We were both, we were all college teammates at uc, Berkeley, and went off season just, uh, coming up with this concept of this disposable washcloth, this antibacterial child, let their moose sweat, dirt body odor for they athlete. And, um, just figuring out ways in which we could execute and bring it to life. Uh, because we had this pain point as athletes, and we had this pain points as we had graduated from college. And, uh, just wanted a solution that really resonated with this community. And, uh, that was the genesis. We put the product on Amazon for several different iterations that came about, and, uh, constantly grew it, uh, off that platform. We had some iterations, uh, from the product, even when it was on the Amazon platform, just trying to make it better, make it right, uh, as a side hustle, because I was in N F L at the time, was a, uh, uh, a full-time job.

And my partners was E M T and a firefighter at the time, full-time. So pretty, pretty time intensive job, but it was a side hustle that we believed that was gonna be able to create opportunity for us to, to put the side hustle down and transition into this full-time. And, uh, my ninth year, N F L I retired, uh, 2017 and fully immersed myself in the business as acting c e o and co-founder of the brand. And, uh, we got on Shark Tank, uh, we got on Good Morning America, got on the View, then we got into Target. And that was just like really, uh, uh, a validating point for us as okay. You know, we got a big retailer behind us, and we got some exposure. And, uh, it was an opportunity for us to expand our brand. At the time it was called Shower Pill, and we was gonna transition it to Hustle Clean, which was a full assortment of care, not just that, that one product that we had, the wipe that we had, and, uh, for this customer. And, uh, yeah. Start taking off and going into other retailers such as, you know, now r e I, Kohl's, um, Macy's been a number of Fleet feet shops and Road Runner sports throughout the country. Orange Theory Fitness now. And, uh, yeah, it's been really cool to see the growth, uh, within the brand, but it had not come without any, you know, uh, lack of hardship or, uh, difficulty or challenge, uh, throughout the process.

Joey Odom (26:25):

I'd, I'd love to hear some of this. So we're, you know, we're, we're a startup ourselves. Give us some give, I would love to hear some of the pitfalls along the way. What are some of the things you've learned, the real pivotal things that you've learned that maybe can help some others, other entrepreneurs as well, who are going through the same thing?

Justin Forsett (26:38):

Man, first thing, uh, I got a lot of things that I could share here, <laugh>. Um, but I'll start with, uh, just because you're busy doesn't mean you're productive. Um, a lot of times an entrepreneur, you believe that just because you're doing a lot of stuff and you're working a lot of hours that you're being productive. Uh, but you gotta be, uh, you know, it's being, it's, it's about being more than busy. It's about being efficient with your time and making sure that you are doing things that are moving, actually moving the needle. Uh, so I, I would say that I would say, uh, which we didn't <laugh> we didn't, we had a lot of business going on. I should say that <laugh>, this is the reason why I'm, I'm sharing this advice. Everything I'm sharing is because this is what I've learned. Sure. Uh, then I would say, uh, lack of focus.

So being extremely focused on your core customer and your consumer, uh, is essential. Um, a lot of times we start businesses. We, we start 'em off with things that we believe that will be great ideas instead of things that, uh, we can validate that the consumer believes will be a great idea, uh, and it'd be a useful value add, uh, for their lives. And so, um, being focused on that, not necessarily, yes, you can be able, you can create something that you believe the customer, uh, will eventually need, but you wanna make sure that that is validated by, uh, a need within the marketplace. Yeah. Uh, so, and being focused on it, because sometimes your customers change. When I started, I thought our customers gonna be, you know, predominantly men, um, high performing athletes. Um, our 65% of our customers are women, uh, to this day. Wow. Um, so being able to know, like, okay, I gotta focus on this customer. I gotta know where they're at, what they're reading, where they're watching, who are their influencers, um, and meet them where they're at. Uh, so being focused on that is, uh, and obsessed with that is, is core. But what else can I share

Joey Odom (28:39):

By the way? I like, the word you just used was obsess, obsessed. I did like that word. It's not, it's not just folks. It is obs, it's, it's an obsession, right? It has to be. And it's harder when you, when you find out that a lot of your, you know, it's someone who's, who's different from you. So it's female. Same with us. It's, we thought this was all dads, and then it's, it's, it's a bunch of moms that are buying it. And so then you, you have to become obsessive about, okay, what's important to them? I love mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I do love that piece of advice a lot. And, um, and it makes sense that, you know, men are disgusting. Women like to be clean, so of course, be clean. So it makes, right, yeah, it makes sense.

Justin Forsett (29:11):

For sure. For sure. Yeah. It, it worked, it worked out for us. And, uh, we love our customer now. Um, and just kind of, you know, trying to find ways in which we can understand 'em better, better each and every day. But tho those two are essential. Um, uh, one thing I would say is like, as an entrepreneur, um, you have to know the ins and outs to every aspect of your business. Um, so even if you're transitioning from one space to the other, so like, I could, you know, I'm, I consider myself an expert at, at being a running back. Right? Right. I can teach you a lot of things about the skillset of being a running back, uh, but a lot of skills that would take me to be successful as an entrepreneur, it's different, uh, within my particular space. In my specific space, yes, it still takes work ethic, discipline, commitment, uh, resilience, relentlessness, uh, it takes all of those things.

But, you know, there's other things like, you know, I had to learn like how to operate, uh, E D I and being able to transmit data from one location to the other so my retailer can get the signal that they need to ship our product out. <laugh>, uh, I had to understand finance and understand why, why is it important for margins within our business? Um, I had to understand our p and l and balance sheets and cap tables, things like that, that I would have to learn in N F L. So you gotta become an expert, uh, within your space in every aspect of it all. Because at the end of the day, even if you hire someone to do a job in the finances, um, you wanna make sure that you have a good handle of information. Because people, I mean, we're human. Anybody that you hire, they're human. They're gonna make mistakes. Uh, unless you, you know, you know, you're working with AI and chat, uh, G B T, <laugh> and <laugh>, they don't make mistakes. But, uh, but yeah, you gotta count. You gotta consider that. And, uh, and you may, a mistake may happen, and it may not be your fault, but you're responsible. So knowing that you just wanna be as educated and equipped as possible, uh, in every way.

Joey Odom (31:19):

I gotta think is, you and I may, I may be presuming too much, and I'm curious if you, if you agree with this, but you had, you had the odds stacked against you from, from getting in the league, like you said earlier, you not, not big enough, strong enough, not fast enough. And so I'm guessing that at some point you learned how to thrive, and you actually wanted that because that was fuel to you. In doing this startup, do you, are you the type of person that almost creates adversity in your mind because you know how much it can fuel you? Is that, I mean, is it, do you, do you ever create that? It's almost like people talk about how, how Tom Brady would do that. He would say like, nobody believes in us. You're like, everybody believes in you. Tom, what are you talking about? Like, you know, 'cause you are, you're in a great position, you have a great platform. You played in the league forever. You have expertise in this area, and so you do have some things going in your favor to some degree, but is there mm-hmm. <affirmative>, do you, do you like taking the adversity whether real or, or, you know, some, an obstacle you create in your mind to help you overcome it? Does that question make sense?

Justin Forsett (32:14):

Yeah, yeah. Um, I'll answer it this way. I will never run from adversity. Um, but I'm not, I'm not looking to create it because I have enough of it on its own. I think being an entrepreneur, uh, you're just gonna have it. It is, yeah. Uh, something that's, you know, going to happen. Um, you're gonna, you know, I joke with my partner who was a firefighter, was like, you, you're still a firefighter, because we still put out fires almost on a, on a weekly basis,

Joey Odom (32:42):

<laugh>. Exactly.

Justin Forsett (32:42):

Right. So, uh, you know, I'm not going to seek it or having to, you know, conjure it up in my mind, like Michael Jordan or Tom Brady. Um, I just say if it's, you know, if you're at, it's, it's like you're at the, uh, D M V, you know, whatever trouble it's gonna be, I'm gonna grab a number. You tell that the trouble to grab a number, take a seat, I'm gonna get to you when I can. And, uh, I handle it that way. But, uh, but yeah, I don't have to conjure it up.

Joey Odom (33:09):

Yeah, exactly. It's already, it's already there. Yeah. Um, so, so tell, so the people who are listening, these are a bunch of families. Listen, uh, to the ro opac, I, I would love for you to tell, you know who this is for. I mean, this is for, you know, like my wife, she does bar class, I, I could mm-hmm. Absolutely. See her using these, keeping her, keeping these in her purse. So who is this for, and tell me the u the usefulness of your suite of products in people's lives.

Justin Forsett (33:30):

For sure. So, hustle Clean is a mission-driven self-care brand for the active lifestyle. So we create hygiene, wellness and recovery products, whatever they, athlete or fitness enthusiast, and even adventurer. Uh, we start with our hero product, which is the disposable wash cloth that removes sweat, dirt, body odor. So in those moments when a shower is optimum or not possible, uh, it allows you to wipe out or freshen up and allow you to extend your day, uh, without compromising your health. Uh, we have recovery soaks, uh, Epsom salt recovery soaks that will help you if you are feeling aches and you're on an adventure, or you're finishing a workout and you want to recover well, uh, you've using better for you solutions and ingredients. Um, we have hand sanitizer, uh, we have face wipes, dual-sided face wipes that are really popular. Um, and we're, we're diving more into the more traditional personal care space, but just hygiene, wellness and recovery for that, that fitness enthusiast and athlete.

Joey Odom (34:26):

I just realized how just hearing that, that poetry, you just, you just spoke, it really made me realize how bad my elevator pitch is. I mean, you, you

Justin Forsett (34:35):


Joey Odom (34:35):

Man, you have that thing down. That was, that was so good. And again, I like, I like it came from this like, from your, you said fitness enthusiast, so that this is everybody, this is a lot. Most people who are very intentional or out there, they are enthus, you know, enthusiastic about fitness, that's part of their everyday life. So this is for everybody, for, you know, for the competitive athlete, for the professional athlete, and then for everybody. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I want everybody to, is it hustle clean.com? Is that correct?

Justin Forsett (35:00):

Yep. Hustle clean.com.

Joey Odom (35:01):

Everybody needs to go to hustle clean.com. Uh, I can't talk about, talk about you without talking about you being a dad, you being a husband. Will you tell us in, in, in being an entrepreneur and being a former professional athlete, what is that like? You know, you carving out, I say carving out time, you being fully immersed with your kids. You talk about being focused on the important things. I know your kids are, are part of that as well, so mm-hmm. <affirmative>, maybe two questions. Will you talk about that balance of being fully immersed with your family while you're building up something on the entrepreneurial side? And then we, we talk about how you're raising your kids athletically, um, and knowing your success and experience. Are you encouraging them in athletics? So, two questions. One, as an a dad, as, as, as an entrepreneur, and then two in how you raising your kids athletically.

Justin Forsett (35:46):

Yeah. Um, as an entrepreneur, um, and being a former athlete, I don't believe in balance. Uh, I don't think it's possible, uh, to give equal amount of time, uh, to every aspect and every title that you carry. Uh, but I do think you can be, you can use that same amount of energy, that same amount of vigor, uh, uh, into all your, your roles. 'cause I, I don't believe that greatness can be compartmentalized. And if you wanna be great, uh, then that should flow through every aspect of your life. So if you wanna be a great entrepreneur, it's not okay for you to be a crappy husband, father, spouse, parent. Like, if you're chasing greatness, then that excellency should follow through. The standard is the standard. So, so I try to make sure that maybe, you know, I realize that there's gotta be a level of almost, you know, a healthy obsession of course, to whatever you're pursuing in order to be great at anything.

But also, uh, you gotta prioritize and make sure that you're intentional about, uh, investing in the most important things, which is your wife and your kids, you know, your spouse or your kids. Um, so I try to make sure that, you know, when I'm here, I'm present, uh, with my kids. I'm in showing up in different ways, whether it's, you know, with my wife, with, in our life group that we lead, uh, with our church, uh, when I'm with my kids, I'm coaching them, um, and I'm taking 'em to practice. Uh, I spend the time on the quality time. We're doing date night with the kids, or I'm doing date night with my wife. Like, I'm making sure that they're getting high quality time, uh, with me, even though I can't spend maybe, you know, uh, all of the day with them. Uh, so that's what that looks like. And then, uh, the second question, remind me what was, uh,

Joey Odom (37:31):

It was, uh, how you're raising your kids as, as athletes and athletically and pushing them and drive when to push and when to dial back and, and how do you handle all of that? You know, what's possible, but, but how difficult that road can be.

Justin Forsett (37:42):

It is difficult be because for me and my kids, they grow. They're growing up differently than what I did. Right. They have more and have access to more than what I had, uh, growing up.

Joey Odom (37:53):

They don't, they don't have the nightmare to run away from. Right. Exactly. Yeah.

Justin Forsett (37:56):

You know, they're living a really good life. They, they, they, they've traveled, you know, to, you know, more countries than I've ever traveled to <laugh>, um, uh, before the age of 10. Um, you know, so it's a different lifestyle for them. So the way I look at it is like, I try to make sure, even in sports, and I try to put them in positions where I can't, they, they'll nev they'll, you know, Lord willing, they'll never have one of these motel or hotel moments, right? Where, uh, you know, they're battling and water, electricity and things like that. They'll have all those things. But when there's a moment of opposition, when those men of adversity, we lead into it, and I make sure I can use it as an opportunity for them to develop that toughness and that resiliency that I was able to receive in another way.

Uh, so, um, you know, whether it's my kid, uh, there was a scenario in which, uh, in the basketball season, uh, it was 20 seconds left to go on the clock. Uh, he could have won the game for his team, but he missed the two free throws, uh, at the end of the game. So we went outside in the backyard, and, uh, I told him, we're gonna shoot, uh, we're gonna get this right in free throws, and until you make three in a row. And, uh, we were out there for over an hour and he was crying, he's frustrated, he's disappointed. Um, angry at me, and I was like, I just wanna go in. I don't wanna do this anymore. And I said, no, we gotta stick with it because I want you to, I want you to put in the deposits now. So when you get that moment again, you'll have something to pull from. Um, and we have to embrace this, this moment of adversity, and we gotta learn from it. Uh, so we did that, and then the next week, 20 seconds left to go on the clock, 15 seconds left to go on the clock. Uh, in order to tie the game, he gets fouled again at the free throw line. He syncs the two. They go in the overtime, he hits the point to win the game. No. Um, but, uh, we lean into those moments, uh, and use sports as an opportunity for, for development.

Joey Odom (39:57):

That's amazing that, that, and that couldn't have played out any better for you as a dad, for him to be mad at you than the <laugh> than the next game. And it pops up like that. That's so perfect. Yeah.

Justin Forsett (40:05):

Yeah. It was God thing.

Joey Odom (40:07):

Um, how old is your oldest?

Justin Forsett (40:08):


Joey Odom (40:09):

10? Okay. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so, I mean, that is, that's the, you know, it's gotta be a balance of figuring out how hard to push, right? I mean, is it, is it, um, in your kids, do you think, do you anticipate you like really grinding them? Or how did they, um, or like, you know, at what point do they, do you, does it become their own, it has to become their dream? Like it was your dream from a young age? Yeah.

Justin Forsett (40:31):

Uh, for me, as far as pushing and how far to push, like if we're saying, if we're gonna do something, we're gonna be all out and doing it. So I will push you to make sure that you're giving effort, you know, giving the right attitude, and you're preparing the best that you can as far as the results, you know, they are what they are. Um, um, and if you don't wanna do something and wanna, wanna, wanna participate in this sport, then we don't, we don't do it. Um, so you gotta want to, but, uh, you know, I'm also, uh, I'm also there for them outside of the game. I'm also there for them teaching them, um, whether it's, you know, right before bedtime, I'm telling them stories. I'm giving them life lessons, uh, with them on a car ride, using that as an opportunity to, to pour into them and invest in them. Um, so I think it's, it's, it's important, uh, that if we're gonna push hard on one side, that we're loving hard on the other side as well.

Joey Odom (41:24):

Man, that's good.

Justin Forsett (41:25):


Joey Odom (41:25):

What we try to do. Write that one down. The, the last question we ask everybody, you're clearly, you're clearly highly intentional in your life. Like you said, you don't, you don't believe in balance, um, which I love that <laugh>, but, um, the intentionality is a word that comes up. That's our theme is, you know, the RO podcast is conversations with people who strive to live intentionally. What does that word and term intentionality mean to you?

Justin Forsett (41:47):

Uh, intentionality is just, for me, I think about extreme focus, um, uh, extreme focus on, uh, on the priorities in life. And I try to, again, because life is crazy with five kids and a business wife and leading life group and coaching and all those things that I'm doing, that it's important that I'm intentional or extremely focused on prioritizing, uh, my time. And whether that's with my wife, whether that's with my kids, whether that's, uh, with parents or what have you, that I'm just having that focus time, um, um, with, uh, the people that I love, uh, because this time is fleeting. Um, as our parents, our parents are getting older. Um, as now as I'm getting older, I'm starting to lose, uh, friends, teammates, and, um, and just like, if you think about the perspective of life and what's important, um, if we wanna have impact, we gotta have intentionality about where we spend our time because it's things that, it's the thing, one thing we can't get back. And it's one thing that everyone is willing to waste.

Joey Odom (43:10):

<laugh>, man, we've, we've been talking about that so much. It's like we don't, as, as, as a society understand how little time we have, not just on this earth, but with the people that are most important to us. We, we have to, we have to make the most of it. We have to take in all those moments, even if it's just little bits at a time. We have to, we have to prioritize those. And to your point, you got to know how to prioritize. You have to know what's important to you first and, and then mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and then go after it. So I love that. Um, you have, speaking of using your time, you've been very generous with your time joining us. And, and here's what, here's what I would ask of everybody listening is, and I'm gonna do this right after we, right after we get off the call, I'm gonna go to hustle clean.com.

I'm gonna get some hustle clean products. And just as a thank you, I mean it, and I want everybody to do it. And I'm, I'm serious. I want everybody to do it just as a thank you to you for carving out your time to, uh, to spend some time with us in part wisdom on us. Um, I encourage everybody to listen to this, have your kids listen to it with you as well, Justin. Um, we're, I'm grateful for you, man. Thank you for inspiring me, inspiring us for doing what you're doing, hustle clean for raising good kids, for, for being a motivation for others who have some adversity stacked against 'em, and know, and they can get through it, and they, they just listen to you, right?

Justin Forsett (44:19):

Yeah. I appreciate that. That means a lot to me. Uh, extremely blessed, um, and honored that you would, uh, you would do that for, for our brand. And, uh, yeah, the, the love is reciprocated.

Joey Odom (44:31):

I appreciate it. Hustle clean.com. Also, Justin, you do speak corporate events. You speak at a bunch of events. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you're very, you know, very motivational speaker, so you do that as well, right? Where would that be? Justin fort.com. Ju

Justin Forsett (44:40):

Uh, justin forset speaks.com, um, you know, travel all over the, the country, uh, trying to pour into entrepreneurs and business leaders. Uh, so yeah, you can find me there.

Joey Odom (44:52):

Awesome. Justin, thank you so much. Appreciate you joining the, our podcast, man.

Justin Forsett (44:55):

Uh, no problem. Thank you for having me.

Joey Odom (44:57):

I love what Justin said at the end about balance. He said he doesn't believe in balance. In other words, if you're gonna go for something, go for it. With all of your being, go do with everything you have in you. Then he applied that over to greatness. Greatness applies in every area of your life. So if you're listening right now, that means you have greatness coursing through your veins. You've made it an important thing in your life to be intentional. So whether you're at home or you're in the gym or at the office, whatever that is, just know that you're walking and greatness, because here's what happens. If you view yourself as being great, you'll do the things a great person does. So walk and step into that greatness. Justin has also extended all Aro podcast listeners, a 15% discount@hustleclean.com. Check the show notes for that. I'm gonna go order some stuff from hustleclean.com right now. Thank you so much for joining us this week for The Aro Podcast. We can't wait to have you back for the next episode. The Aro Podcast is produced and edited by the team at Palm Tree Pod Co. Special thanks to Emily Miles for video and digital support, and to our executive producer, Aro's own, Katelyn Farley.