From NFL Quarterback to Serial Entrepreneur: Fran Tarkenton on Growing a Successful Business

When I say Fran Tarkenton what comes to mind? For most of us it’s probably football. Fran played quarterback for the University of Georgia Bulldogs and played for 18 years in the National Football League as quarterback for the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings.

Fran is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. Simply put, he’s recognized as one of the greatest football players of all time.

Of course, many of us also know Fran as the author and co-author of some excellent business books. These include Every Day is Game Day, What Losing Taught Me About Winning: The Ultimate Guide for Success in Small and Home-Based Businesses, and One More Customer.

In addition, Fran has launched a variety of successful companies over the years. He has made his mark in industries such as computer software, financial services, and small business training and development. His largest company achieved revenues of $142 million.

For the past seventeen years, Fran’s mission has been to be the trusted spokesperson for Small Business in America. Today his companies provide services and applications for small business owners throughout the country to help them succeed. (FYI, in this episode of the podcast, Fran introduces us to Small Biz Club — an amazing free resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs.)

Fran has an inspiring business philosophy. Here’s a quote that captures its essence: “There is only one reason for a business to exist – to provide products and services that enhance and improve the quality of life of its customers.”

In this dynamic interview, Fran reveals:

  • The roots of his passion for business and helping small business owners
  • His 7 Business Maxims and why they’re essential to lasting success
  • The power of combining desperation with an intelligent business strategy
  • The wealth of information / support available for free via Small Biz Club

Are you ready to be inspired? Scroll down to the Podcast Player now and have a listen! (Special Bonus >> Here’s a link to the PDF transcript for this episode. Subscribe by email below and get access to all of our podcast interviews in written form.)

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Work with Stephen Lahey

A self-employed consultant for 13 years, I've worked with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to solo professionals like you and I. Through hands-on experience I've learned a lot about sales, marketing, and what it takes to build a successful small business. I use this knowledge to help solo entrepreneurs consistently attract and acquire more of their ideal clients. >> Learn more about my services.

  • Stephen Chase

    Frantastic! The basis of most of the 7 maxims is LEARN: Love it and don’t stop.

    • Stephen Lahey

      Thanks for subscribing and commenting, Stephen! You’re so right, Fran is a passionate life-long learner. Of course, he also applies what he learns! :)

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  • Emily Chase Smith

    Wow, what an amazing guest. I have to admit I know him from That’s Incredible! Can’t wait to hear him throw down some business knowledge.

    • Stephen Lahey

      Yes, Fran did host That’s Incredible for a while, didn’t he? I had forgotten about that. Thanks for commenting / listening, Emily! I know that you’re going to find Fran’s wisdom and passion inspiring – enjoy!

  • hamilton wallace

    Nice job Stephen. Fran’s message is a simple but powerful one. His ideas on respect really resonated with me. I see the opposite of respect so often. Amazing how simply respecting others can be such a wonderful strategy.

    • Stephen Lahey

      Genuine respect has a powerful effect on relationships. And I totally agree with you, Hamilton, it’s rare. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. It means a lot, thanks!

  • Christopher Stafford

    What an amazing message and an amazing talk! Congrats Stephen!

    • Stephen Lahey

      So glad you enjoyed it, Chris! Fran really is inspirational — thanks for listening and commenting!

  • Julie Ann

    Incredible and inspiring message, Fran! Thank you so much for sharing, Stephen.

    • Stephen Lahey

      Thanks for commenting, Julie! Fran is one of a kind and it was a privilege to have him on the podcast.

  • Jason Gracia

    You’re pulling in some incredible guests, Stephen. Very impressive and very impressed with Fran’s interview. Especially liked his 7 Maxims!

    • Stephen Lahey

      Thanks Jason — I found Fran’s 7 Business Maxims inspiring, too. Appreciate you taking the time to comment!

      • Jason Gracia

        Absolutely my pleasure, Stephen. You’re a true expert, which puts you high on my list.