Former NFL Pro Marques Ogden, on Leadership, Loss and Life After Football

Published on May 18, 2020

In 2003, Marques Ogden was drafted into the NFL as an offensive lineman and played 5 years in the league. By 27, his body was telling him it was time to move on.

Marques decided to retire and pursue a career in construction and contracting. During his time in the league, he took part in NFL programs to learn the business of construction.

Rapid Business Growth

He founded a construction company called Kayden Premier Enterprises.

The company had fast growth and in 2010, Marques won The African American Subcontractor of the Year Award in the state of Maryland.

He got buried in a massive project, the client didn’t pay on time, cash flow problems came about quickly. He tried to move fast in order to solve the situation.

The Hardest 90 Days

By the spring of 2013, he had lost it all.


His business went bankrupt, losing almost 2 million dollars on one project in a matter of 90 days. He reached out for financing options but in 90 days, it was all gone.

He started blaming everyone; his partners, the economy, anyone and everyone except himself.

Then, eventually, he hit rock bottom, he was working overnight as a custodian and realized the problem wasn’t everyone else, it was him.

Even with a degree in finance, he didn’t have enough of the right information to handle the problem.

“For the longest time I blamed everybody; my business partner, that company, yada, yada, yada. Then, when I was working as a custodian on the night shift, From 10 p.m.

Until about 5 a.m. every day, I had a pivotal moment where someone’s trash got on my bare skins, clothes, all my body and that was my pivotal AKA wake up moment I don’t think it changed, today, life would always be the exact same way.

Taking what life gives me, not going out for what I want. And that’s why I made a change in my life.”
– Marques Ogden

The Greatest Lesson

The greatest lesson from the loss? Personal responsibility. It was not the fault of others, but responsibility actually fell to him.

Since then, he’s become one of the most requested speakers globally, a best selling author, and a highly in-demand mentor; none of that could have been possible, had he not learned such a costly lesson.

In January of 2020, Ogden launched his book “The Success Cycle: 3 Keys for Achieving Your Goals in Business and Life,” reflecting on the cycle that had taught him so much.

Marques Ogden sits down with me, Jeremy Ryan Slate, on the latest episode of the Create Your Own Life Show.

Jeremy Ryan Slate a Contributing Editor at Grit Daily. Based in New Jersey, he is the founder of the Create Your Own Life Show, a podcast that studies world-class performers. He studied literature at Oxford University, and is a former champion power lifter turned new-media entrepreneur. Specializes in using podcasting and new media to create celebrity and was ranked #1 in iTunes New and Noteworthy and #26 in the business category. Jeremy was named one of the top 26 podcast for entrepreneurs to listen to in 2017 by CIO Magazine and Millennial Influencer to follow in 2018 by Buzzfeed.  The Create Your Own Life Podcast has been downloaded over one million times.

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