Crushed NFL Dreams Turn Collegiate Star, Derek Ibekwe, Into Serial Entrepreneur

·7-min read

Former freshman all American, Derek Ibekwe always knew he was meant for big things in his life and had his eyes on the horizon of the NFL. The Universe had other plans for him though, and he soon realized that life can take you down a path that brings you much more than you had ever hoped for. Today we’re here with Derek as he shares his entrepreneurial journey with us. Let's start from the beginning of your journey, Derek. What first inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

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From 7th grade I made the decision that I wanted to go play football at the collegiate level. Being the last born of 5 children in a Nigerian household, I didn’t want to depend on my parents to pay for school so I took sports very seriously because I knew the burden it would take off my parents. NFL dreams weighed heavy on my mind from the time I started getting recognition and accolades in high school.

When I got to college I had instant early success on the New Mexico State Football Team. I earned freshman all American honors by foxsports.com and was the star defensive player my first two years. After an unexpected injury my upcoming junior season I was pushed to the back of the depth chart. I went from being one of the star defensive leaders to barely seeing the field my senior season.

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Dedicating all of my time to workouts, practices, film study, and football prospect camps I didn’t have time to get a job to have money throughout high school and college. I always had an entrepreneurial mindset even at a young age.

I orchestrated a-candy business in 3 different schools all throughout middle and high school, I owned vending machines, and sold over 800 fire sticks to college students. My first year I even went to the extent of getting a card reader (swiper) so I can accept payments digitally so people pay me when losing in video games like 2k or NFL Madden. Doing all of this while day trading crypto currency I always knew I was a natural born hustler.

That’s an interesting shift in career paths. So with your business you’ve created today, what is the concept?

Basically, what I do now is teach and educate individuals on how to trade in financial markets whether it’s crypto, stocks, or forex. I’ve been trading stocks and crypto for about 7 years now but I recently started trading foreign exchange two years ago. Day trading itself requires a lot of studying and long hours but there’s numerous opportunities to make large amounts of capital in volatile markets. Teaching over 600 individuals how to make money from their phone. It's great that you’re taking your own experience and sharing it with the masses. How else are you helping people throughout your business?

Right now at this moment I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to call trades for over 10,000 individuals. That way anyone who may not know what they're doing is still capable of copying the same trades I take everyday in the market and still make money. Individuals have been able to change their financial situation whether it’s paying their rent, car loans, tuition, or retiring off some of the signals I’ve called. Being able to help and impact other lives Is why I enjoy what I do. I look back and I never imagined me being in this position and being able to impact so many lives. Giving people another source of income but most of all helping people get their time back to do the things that they enjoy. Can’t even take credit for what has transpired throughout this opportunity. I know it all comes from God.

Day Trading in the foreign exchange market is an Ivy league skill set, but once you understand what you're doing, you can generate a lot of money. That is where my business steps in. We teach you how to harness the power of the financial market. It opens you up to all the endless possibilities all from your phone. I also help people become independent and show others the steps necessary to generate passive income. Tell us about your goals for the future of your business and for yourself personally.

One of the goals for myself and my business is to inspire and continue to impact as many lives as possible. I want to show athletes that just because you don’t make it playing professional sports doesn’t mean that your life should end on the last whistle. Trials and tribulations will continue to come throughout your life and how you face them is what will determine who you are. For the longest I couldn’t imagine a life without football and now I’m happiest I’ve ever been without it. Majority of problems individuals are facing now in society tend to be financially related. I want to change lives and at very least inspire. The Late Great Nipsey hussle said “The best thing you can do for a person is to inspire them”

Those are some worthy goals, I’m sure you’ll hit very soon with your amazing work ethic. When you were growing this business and even growing up as a child, did you face any adversity that’s helped shape who you are today?

My parents are from Nigeria, so I didn't have the typical American childhood, they were very strict on me from a young age because they saw the potential in me. At first, I didn't understand why my parents were so hard on me. As I grew older, I started realizing that they were preparing me for the life lessons and values that would benefit my future.

Once football became my goal, it was what I focused on entirely. Awards and accolades followed. As mentioned earlier, my early success took a downfall as playing time and NFL dreams slowly finished. Weighting a mental, spiritual, and emotional toll on me. I started to question my purpose in this life.

God works in mysterious ways though, in that moment I felt like I lost everything. I found myself doing accounting and realizing very quickly that It wasn’t my passion and I didn’t want that in life. It was then that I jumped in head first into day trading. Well, I ended up losing about $16,000 over the span of eight months. It was a trial by fire, and I didn't really understand the scheme of trading. I had made up my mind that this was going to be my get rich quick plan and the first $400 day I had, convinced me that I could do this every single day.

Instead, I ate humble pie and lost my life savings. So one weekend I locked myself in my room and tried to figure out where it all went wrong. After a long 36 hours of studying and redirecting myself, I was able to make up all the money I had lost, off my last $1,000 investment in a week Umn. Within two months, I was able to make over six figures and from that point started a business educating traders on how to trade in foreign exchange market.

It's amazing how things always work out in the end! In closing, please share with us what advice you have for the aspiring entrepreneur.

Persevere - Understand that the entrepreneur’s road has a lot of ups and downs and it isn’t the smooth ride to the top. But, if you can remain consistent with your discipline and stay focussed on the final goal you will achieve great things.

Fire - Every day's a new day, and you have to attack it. If not for your family than you’ve got to do it for yourself. There are a lot of people who don't want you to succeed. So prioritize yourself and wake up every single day with a fire to succeed burning within you.

Mindset - The right attitude towards your own successes are the key to you moving successfully towards your goal. If I had quit when I was no longer playing football, where would I be today? The freedom I have now from the opportunities that were created through this journey have been life changing. Your mindset towards your goals is everything.

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