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DreamNation Episode 223 – The Power of Dreaming Big, With Johnny Rodgers

Here’s a snapshot of a few things we talked about…

  • Who is the Clark Kent, When It Comes to Johnny? [00:01:40]
  • What He Bought When He Made his First Make a Hundred Thousand Dollars? [00:10:02]
  • How He Kept the Belief that He was Going to Make a Hundred Thousand Dollars? [00:11:13]
  • The Role of His Environment in Keeping Him Going? [00:18:58]
  • What Keeps Him Going Every Single Day? [00:24:32]
  • Where Does He Get His Inspiration From? [00:26:40]
  • One Thing He Wishes He Had Implemented Sooner to Accelerate His Journey? [00:32:22]
  • His Advice for People Looking to Take Action [00:38:07]

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

In this episode, Casanova and Johnny talk about his journey and the mindset that helped him become one of the all-time greats in football.

Johnny is a family man, who loves his great grandkids, and grandkids. He is proud of his Omaha, Nebraska roots. He calls it going against the current, the way several notable athletes and business leaders from Omaha and Nebraska went on to do national and international great things.

Johnny grew up in the Omaha River bottoms and was a shy and timid kid. When he heard somebody say a hundred thousand dollars, it was the most money he had heard about in his life. From that point onwards, it became the mission of his life; to make a hundred thousand dollars.

When a boys club leader told his mother that he was special and needed somebody to teach him the finer points and strategies of the game. At 11 years old, he didn’t have a career, but he had the direction, and he had a dream.

When Johnny got to high school, he was the athlete of the year for the state of Nebraska. He was an All-American in football, baseball, and basketball. At 17-years-old, he was offered $25,000 by the Dodgers to play for them, but he turned it down because he just wanted to make a hundred thousand dollars.

Coach Bob Devaney recruited him and offered a scholarship to play baseball and football at Nebraska. Johnny went on to win the Heisman trophy along with other accolades, but when he was drafted by San Diego, they offered him a $50,000 contract.

Montreal Alouettes offered him $100,000, and thus he achieved one of his lifelong goals. From there onwards, he focused on making a million dollars, and sure enough, he was among the first to sign a million-dollar contract in the Canadian Football League.

Johnny adds that he didn’t have people with money in his life to teach him money skills. He adds that when got the opportunity where a hundred thousand dollars really wasn’t that much money, and he didn’t know it. By the time he got to the hundred, a million dollars really wasn’t worth that much money again.

Along the way, Johnny had some setbacks. One of them resulted in him going to jail. When they finally worked it out and he got back into the game, he had to overcome a lot in order to get back to the point where he could even be considered for an All American.

As they were winning a lot and being on TV a certain number of times and performing well in the big games and the bowl games, the game of the century, they got a lot of exposure. This helped Johnny greatly overcome the setback.

Johnny says that if had not made that mistake, he probably wouldn’t have been the type of athlete that he was because when he went back, he went back with a tenacity to really work out, to try to be the best person and the best player that he could be.

He adds that the reason why he is a mentor is because he had mentors. He didn’t have a father, but he had coaches, people that were trying to get me in the right direction. He learned through the team sports that anything you can do by yourself ain’t big enough. It’s all about teamwork that makes your dreams work.

Johnny says that if we focus on and get better, because we don’t have to stay in one place, we could do anything that we want to do, if we really believe it. But you have to really believe in you first and you have to team up with some other people to get to those levels.

He adds that he can’t live on what he has done. He has to keep doing things and think that’s what will keep him young. He says that the things we’re doing right now are just smaller things because we will get bigger and we will get better as we go along, if we keep breathing and keep ourselves healthy.

Johnny adds that everything you think you need to be doing and you just can’t do it no more; you are only halfway there. He says that that is why they always had enough energy to make that difference because he realized that whoever got tired first, lost. So, do more than other people are doing, if you want to get to the places that they’re not going to.

He adds that one thing that would have accelerated his journey was understanding how money works. This can only be achieved through education, and Johnny made sure that unlike his parents and grandparents, his kids and grandkids receive education.

Johnny further says that you got to like yourself, because if you don’t like yourself, you are probably going to give up hope. For people looking to take action, Johnny says that mind your spirit. There is a being that’s out there and if you do good things, good things will happen to you. The creator sends me help all the time. If you like yourself, you’re probably going to be all right.

Key Quotes:

  • “Every day is game day.…”
  • “Not every other day, but every day, every single day. We in it to win it…”
  • “All the things that I decided I wanted to do; I didn’t know that there weren’t possible when I was young…”
  • “My mother told me to stop telling people that I was going to make a hundred thousand dollars because they would think that I was crazy…”
  • “Thoughts are not just things. Thoughts are the cause of things…”
  • “If you can hold a thought long enough, you can have it…”
  • “Money works 24 hours. Don’t take no time out, don’t have sex, don’t date. It just works…”
  • “I’m the first guy, the only guy I know that had a felony before I won the Heisman…”
  • “Winning is everything. But in Nebraska, we rate it right up there with oxygen…”
  • “Success is not a secret; it’s a strategy…”
  • “If you just have that hope and that belief and you keep fighting at the end of the day, hopefully, God willing, there’s going to be a will that’s made for you…” – Casanova Brooks.
  • “In every single sport I’ve played, I was basically an All American…”
  • “You don’t win Heismans by yourself, for national championships by yourself, you don’t build a great business or reputation by yourself. It’s always in conjunct with others…”
  • “You can be a better girl and a better boy and a better man, if you just focus. Focus is F O C U S. You follow one course until you succeed…”
  • “I think we’re not human beings, we’re humans becoming…”
  • “I help other people have access to my access…”
  • “You only quit when you get tired…”
  • “Education, it is not part of your life, education is life itself. You gotta be working on trying to be the best human being that you can…”
  • “That’s why you don’t give up because you’re giving up on God…”
  • “Dream with their eyes open. You can’t dream with your eyes closed. You got to be able to see your dream…”



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