This is the first edition of “In the Huddle with Fran Tarkenton,” a new weekly feature in our AMAC member newsletter. Fran is on the advisory board for AMAC and is an AMAC National Spokesperson. Each week, Fran will share stories, ideas, and news from his perspective as an advocate for small business entrepreneurs. Leading off, Fran talks about his background and how he got started in business.
I’ve been an entrepreneur all my life. From when I was five years old, I was contributing to the family income and learning about hard work and helping others—building the foundation of my love of entrepreneurship. That passion for business and entrepreneurship didn’t end when I entered the NFL in 1961. As a rookie, my salary was $12,500—so come the offseason, I went right back to work! In my first years in the NFL, I worked for companies of different sizes, in different industries, and in different positions, learning about all the different aspects of running a business. That experience and knowledge made it possible for me to move into starting and running businesses even when I was still in the NFL, and beyond. Those experiences shaped the course of my life, and I’ve been on the entrepreneurial path ever since—providing value to other people and looking for new, creative ways to solve problems in people’s lives.