Powerful Millennials: Featuring Brandon Boykin

Words By Sarah Rowland

Portrait by AJ Parker

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Brandon Boykin’s personal mantra is: Persistently and consistently refuse to settle. It’s a sentiment that’s become the core of the former NFL star’s most courageous and daring life pursuits.

“I was speaking at Liberty University, and that phrase came up during the talk. I immediately felt deeply connected to those words,” Brandon explains. “Today, I’ve got that phrase on my wall, on my mirror, in my car—it’s a reminder that no matter where you are in life, and no matter what’s happening, you must refuse to settle.” 

His goal was to play in the NFL for 10 years, but after year seven, Brandon knew his time in professional football had come to an end. “Even when I first got to the NFL, I quickly realized it wasn’t what I thought it would be. I questioned it all. As a kid, you look up to these players and their lifestyles and you want it all so badly. But things aren’t always what you think they’ll be. After seven years, I was completely finished. I was totally clocked out mentally, and I had absolutely nothing left to give,” he says. When he made the decision to move forward with new pursuits, Brandon felt completely relieved that it was all over. “I felt all this pressure just go away, knowing that I didn’t have to play for anyone else. I was done, and I was ready for the next thing.” 

“It’s our human nature to want things to come easy, but the most successful people in the world are those who never get into a comfort zone. They’re the people who truly never settle.”

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He’s become a man who truly wears many hats. Currently working as a broadcaster, journalist, keynote speaker and emcee, a highly familiar face to Atlanta sports fans, and now a model—Brandon’s not afraid to take on a new challenge. “Isn’t that what life is all about? The challenges get us to where we’re supposed to be and mold us into who we’re supposed to become.” For him, the world of sports journalism gives him the ability to really speak for the players and allow their voices and stories to be heard. “As a player, people don’t often hear our side of things. You’ll hear analysts who speak about the games, but often the player’s voices aren’t really heard. I’m someone who’s actually been in that world and knows what the player feels,” he explains.

Brandon believes that staying in your comfort zone is the killer of dreams. “It’s our human nature to want things to come easy, but the most successful people in the world are those who never get into a comfort zone. They’re the people who truly never settle.” His advice for people hoping to pursue their own passions is always to not care what anyone else thinks. “What you think about yourself is all that truly matters. You are your own problem and your own solution. I tell people to not be afraid to try, to not be afraid to be vulnerable. You’ve got to open yourself up and not be afraid to be human,” he says.

With all of his current pursuits—from a broadcasting career, to a new modeling contract, and many things in between—Brandon has become a true entrepreneur with a plan. “Now that I’m in the business world, I’d like to own more in the room that I’m in. I’d love to tie all athletics and entertainment together in a way that helps to grow people. I want to be the friend people need, and it would be so rewarding to build my own empire doing things I love while helping people grow themselves along the way.