TRACEY AND KIMBERLY EATON
Success lives right outside your comfort zone. For Tracey Eaton, his comfort zone had long been the end zone. As a former defensive back in the NFL, Tracey did what so many people only dream of doing: he made his passion his job.
For a while, Tracey Eaton had it all. He was a star athlete with the best coaches in the world for six years in the NFL. He played most notably for the Atlanta Falcons, although he did brief stints with both the Houston Oilers and the Phoenix Cardinals.
He had met an amazing woman for four of those years, Kimberly, who had asked him to marry her. Kimberly proposed to Tracey, in a hilarious twist of fate. Once they were married, they lived half the year lavishly in Atlanta, and in the off-season, they lived in a gorgeous house in Seattle. Tracey and Kimberly, shortly after getting married, started their family together, and things seemed as though they couldn’t possibly get better.
There came a time, though, when Tracey had sustained so many injuries and felt satisfied with his career as a professional athlete enough to retire. He walked away from the NFL of his own volition.
Tracey and his beautiful wife, Kimberly—who had her own athletic foray as a track and field star at Arizona State—both share a competitive spirit and the drive to be the best they can possibly be at whatever they attempt. Though they’re both remarkably successful now, they’re also some of the most humble, down-to-earth people you’ll ever meet.
For the Eatons, success is more about integrity, faith, and commitment than anything else. They’re both go-getters for all the right reasons. Whether it’s at work or at play, you won’t find them slowing down for anything. So, when Tracey retired from the NFL, you can bet that the Eatons kept firing at the same speed they always had.
Unfortunately, maintaining the sort of lifestyle they had become accustomed to while Tracey was raking in NFL money was costing more than they could bear to afford. They went from having hundreds of thousands of dollars just sitting in the bank at all times to being buried in credit card debt. It was only about a year before Tracey followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a stockbroker.
From an outsider’s perspective, it seemed like the Eatons truly had it all. Tracey, of course, thrived as a stockbroker thanks to his competitive nature. Despite appearances, though, Tracey and Kimberly weren’t happy. What Tracey had been making in a day, he now had to work for a month to earn. Plus, they had virtually no time for one another; Tracey’s long hours and compounding stress put a palpable strain on their marriage.
To Tracey and Kimberly, success means more than just monetary security, though. Success means that they have the freedom to focus on their marriage, spend more time with their children, and travel the world together as a family. Without that idea, they would not have been able to be there through their son’s battle with kidney disease; they would not have had the friendship to make it through those unbelievably difficult and scary times. Luckily, they’re on the other side of those worries; their son is healthy again, and after having three great kids of their own, they decided to adopt a child from the foster care system. They feel so blessed that they’re able to spend their days blessing others.
The reason they continue to build their business has nothing to do with necessity. They don’t need to work another day in their lives, but they keep pursuing opportunities because they’re passionate about going out there and finding like-minded people who have a vision for themselves that extends beyond the day-to-day grind. They want everyone to be able to be as free as they are.
Tracey’s two most powerful words of advice for anyone looking to be as successful as he is? Play injured. He believes that a successful life, a life worth living and documenting, begins when you take risks and throw caution to the wind. Even when he was at his lowest, he maintained the optimistic standpoint that if you throw yourself wholeheartedly into whatever it is you’re doing, you’ll end up wildly successful in most people’s eyes—but most importantly, by your own measure.
LA FIGLIA DI UN RE.