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Takeo Spikes: I’m Not Going Back

As we dive into our “Thoughtful Money” series, I wanted this series to contain unconventional conversations that challenge our money mindset and uncover the reasoning behind how we think of money.

While many athletes, entertainers and celebrities are known for having access to a lot of money, it’s interesting how so many have fallen victim to bankruptcy and financial struggles. I believe that who we are with a dollar, is who we are with a million dollars. Unless we have the discipline and education to manage our money wisely, it can be very easy to revert back to toxic spending habits that serve temporary pleasures instead of strategically building a lifestyle that attracts and maintains wealth. Today’s guest is an athlete who excelled both on the gridiron and in the game of money.

Former NFL player, Takeo Spikes was drafted in the first round (13th pick overall) by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1998. After a successful 15 year career in football, he became a two-time All-Pro, a two-time Pro Bowl selection and is one of only seven linebackers in league history with more than 200 starts while playing for the Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers.

In preparation for life after football, Spikes began his broadcasting career with national appearances on television and radio and in December 2016, published his first book, Behind the Mask, a collection of intimate short stories about and photographs of some of the greatest linebackers to ever play in the NFL. His podcast of the same name, Behind the Mask, tells the REAL stories of some of your favorite players on and off the field, including Mike Singletary, Derrick Brooks, and the late Chuck Bednarik. In this episode, he shares his thoughtful money mindset and his amazing journey from the NFL to becoming an influential philanthropist who educates athletes and young men on how they can play the game and grow in wisdom and in wealth.

Key discussion points from this episode include:

  • Evolving in Purpose After The NFL – 8:36
  • Do What Comes Naturally To You – 13:24
  • Having An Intentional Money Mindset – 14:33
  • Split The Bill To Build Wealth Together- 18:36
  • Setting Parameters To Avoid Financial Guilt – 23:09
  • Have A Heart To Serve – 33:26
  • Behind The Mask – 40:15

This episode is brought to you by my new book, Redefine Wealth For Yourself: How To Stop Chasing Money and Finally Live Your Life’s Purpose. Through stories, principles, and practical exercises based on the Six Pillars of Wealth, this book serves as a guide to take you step by step through the process of creating a life of peace, purpose, and prosperity. If you’re tired of chasing money and ready to pursue your purpose, this holistic guide to wealth is for you. Purchase your copy today at

I’m Not Going Back Takeaways

  • “What you put in is exactly what you’re going to get out.” – Takeo Spikes
  • “I felt purpose in helping people.” – Takeo Spikes
  • “When you serve people, you’ll be surprised what you get back in return.” – Takeo Spikes
  • “Why wait on someone to do something for you when you can do it yourself.” – Takeo Spikes
  • “Whatever you do, you can’t go back and you can’t go broke.” – Takeo Spikes
  • “As much as I loved where I came from, I’m not going back because I have to go back.”
  • “You have to be intentional and strategic about everything that you do.” – Takeo Spikes
  • “The true definition of “Balling” or having a sustainable lifestyle is not what you can do while you’re getting paid at the moment, but how long you can do it after you leave the game.” – Takeo Spikes
  • “The thought of me having a ferrari excites me more than having a ferrari.” – Takeo Spikes
  • “You don’t owe anybody anything.” – Takeo Spikes
  • “Everybody wants to eat and that’s okay, but how can you make them sustainable so that they will be able to eat on their own without eating off of you.” – Takeo Spikes
  • Without financial parameters, it never will be sustainable.” – Takeo Spikes
  • “You can’t be afraid of letting go in order for it to come back.” – Takeo Spikes
  • “Sometimes, to help people you have to stop helping them, because there’s a difference between a hand-up and a hand-out.” – Patrice Washington
  • “Broke + Broke = Broke” – Takeo Spikes
  • “We can never become the person we’re destined to be if we don’t understand the principle of serving.” – Takeo Spikes
  • “In life you work for two types of checks: emotional and physical.” – Takeo Spikes
  • “When you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, that’s when true change is going to come.” – Takeo Spikes
  • “It’s not about what happens to me, but how I respond.” – Takeo Spikes
  • “You cannot weaponize what I’m willing to tell.” – Patrice Washington
  • “It’s not if adversity hits, it’s when it’s going to hit.” – Takeo Spikes
  • “I’m relentless. There is nothing you can do that is going to stop me.” – Takeo Spikes
  • “If we don’t tell our stories in any form or medium, somebody will tell it for us and they won’t always get it right.” – Patrice Washington

Redefining Wealth Rapid Wisdom Questions

And with that, let’s dig into Takeo’s responses to our Redefining Wealth Rapid Wisdom Questions.

Define Success:

“I define success not by what happens to you, but by how you respond.”

Define Wealth in 3 Words or Less:

“Hustle. Desire. Relentless”

One Book that Has Redefined How You See Wealth:

Good Company by Arthur M. Blank

Fill-in the Blanks … “My name is ___ and the truth about wealth is ___”:

“My name is Takeo Spikes and the truth about wealth is receiving clarity: hearing what you need to hear versus receiving what we want to hear. If you protect your peace of mind you invite clarity inside your circle, and when clarity comes inside of your circle, be ready to put your seatbelt on and drive toward success.”


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