By Tyler Carter
Will Baggett calls himself the ‘serial entrepreneur’ and has reached a place in his career where he wants to provide the knowledge he’s learned to provide to others.
Not only is he a young professional, he is also regarded as one of the top speakers and presenters in the country.
Below is a Q&A with Baggett where he details how he got started, trials and tribulations and where he is headed.
DW: How did you get started and what inspired you?
Baggett: I would say that my fascination with words began when I was 6 years old. There was a movie called Street Fighter that came out in 1994 as a spinoff of the popular Nintendo video game series. I was so fascinated by the real-life depiction of it, that I memorized the entire movie word for word, from start to finish. It was over an hour and a half of content!
I recall asking my dad to come in the room so he could listen, and he sat through the entire movie and listened to me recite it. That meant the world to me. Shortly after, I was tested for gifted classes and started doing school plays. Ever since then, I’ve always been fascinated with words and theater, and there’s a major theatrical twist to my speaking engagements to this day.
This passion coupled with a desire to help people instilled in me by my parents and grandparents are what I credit my success as a professional speaker to today. In addition, I realized in 2020 that I was a 7 th generation entrepreneur, and that family pedigree is what keeps me going.
DW: Can you elaborate on your 10-year career in sports and what that consists of?
Baggett: It’s hard to believe a full decade has gone by, but what a ride it has been! 6 months before my career in sports started in 2012, I was working as a day stocker at Walmart in Oxford, MS, and I still maintain that blue collar mentality to this day to keep my edge.
I was a graduate assistant with the American Football Coaches Association, as well as a strength and conditioning coach with Baylor University from 2012-2014. From there, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to intern with the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. (I also drove for Uber on the side for extra income.) After that, I joined IMG as sports licensing and brand management administrator.
Nearly two and a half years later, the College Football Playoff came calling and I joined the staff as an Operations Coordinator for three National Championship Games. It was an awesome experience! Since I’ve been in Dallas, I’ve also worked numerous Final Fours in other cities and has also coached at SMU and TCU. The pinnacle of my career happened in spring 2022 when I was able to work my first Super Bowl out in Los Angeles, CA. Although I’m a high school has-been, I found a way to continue my career in sports for another decade, and it has been an absolute blast!
DW: The Blueprint for a Successful Career; what does that consist of in your eyes, and can you provide just a brief summary of what it takes to find success is whatever endeavor you are venturing into?
Baggett: I just realized this, but I just checked the calendar and realized The Blueprint was released just over 6 years ago. It was released in 2016 when I was 26 years old in collaboration with my mentor from the American Football Coaches Association. The last time I checked, we had sold just under 5,000 copies in four countries and maintained a perfect rating on Amazon. We are extremely thankful for everyone who has supported us! While I’m very proud of that accomplishment, anyone that knows me well will tell you that I’m always talking about the “next play”. So, I think it’s time for The Blueprint 2! Writing is a passion of mine that has opened so many doors, so I’m excited about the next iteration and how it will serve other people.
In essence, The Blueprint is a book that was written by two professionals who are members of the Millennial and Generation X cohort, respectively. There was a great deal of disconnect among generational professionals at the time, so we sought to bridge that gap by sharing our experiences and how we worked together to make a great team. Like everything else, we found that the difference is in the details and how you communicate with one another will make or break any relationship. That’s the key to success in my opinion. Do the simple things at a really high level to create separation.
DW: What have you learned most about yourself in your quest to help others?
Baggett: I have learned that none of us are perfect, no matter what we try to portray online for others to think. It’s important to take breaks or remove yourself from situations or activities that do not serve your highest good.
It’s perfectly fine not to be okay. I have dealt with diagnosable mental and physical health challenges, and it really changed my perspective on what life is all about. None of us are going to live forever, so we should make the best of each and every day. The problem is not the problem. It’s how you respond to it.
DW: You are also during philanthropic work and giving back to your community in Mississippi (which is where I am from also). Talk a little about that, how it came about and what inspired those moves?
Baggett: The Sip! There’s not a week that goes by that I don’t meet someone with Mississippi roots of some sort. It’s a special place, albeit with unique challenges that persist to this day. For instance, Mississippi has the most African Americans of any state per capita. It is also the most unbanked state of any in the US. There are other lifestyle and systemic issues of course, but with all that in mind, there is no other place I would rather call home. I registered The Baggs of Blessings Foundation as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit as a means of assisting young people with technological resources and scholarships to continue their education.
The reason I am who I am and have been able to accomplish things is because I had the resources, and I want to ensure future generations have a fair shake at receiving an education. When you are focused on survival, it’s very hard to excel and be creative, so I want to help with those basic needs. Black people are the most creative people on the planet, but what often happens is we’ll create a trend/style, but will not have the resources, relationships, or revenue to truly grow to the heights other communities have been able to.
The Sip got something to say!
Baggett can be found on all social media at @W_BaggTalk.