Edawn Coughman is a former NFL player who initially signed on with the Seattle Seahawks. He was the first player from Shaw University to play with the NFL. He subsequently played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Washington Redskins.
Edawn currently owns and manages a trucking company and runs a few Airbnbs. He still has a great love of football. He stays involved in the sport by coaching for the Lanier Longhorns as well as mentoring young athletes during their time in college as well as through a three-month combine training program in order to give them the best shot to become NFL players. He really enjoys giving the young athletes encouragement and seeing the results of his mentorship when they are successful.
Tell us a little about your industry and why you chose to run Airbnbs?
I really enjoy having Airbnbs. I have five properties that are set up as Airbnbs, and I’d like to have more. I had considered trying to make money through real estate, but this keeps things simple for me. It is a little bit tougher during COVID, but it’s still working out.
What surprised you the most when you started your career, what lessons did you learn?
When I first got started, I was actually surprised at how rude people could be and how careless they would be with your property. People will do everything at your house that they would never do at their own house. You’ve got to know where people are coming from. They come to let their hair down.
What is one piece of advice you would give someone starting in your industry?
Take your time and recognize that you’re not going to always get what you want out of it all the time. You must understand that the customer comes first. If somebody messes up, don’t let it upset you. Take care of it. Do better. Charge extra fees if they mess up.
If you could change anything about your industry what would it be and why?
I would make it easier for people to host their property. I think it would be better if they could simplify the process. They do quite a bit of background checks and it can take up to five weeks. It should not take so long.
How would your colleagues describe you?
Balls to the wall awesome. I am pretty motivating. I can get emotional when I talk to the kids. I am pretty high energy.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
Sometimes it does get off balance, but my kids help to get me back on track. They are always asking to do things and go places, and they help me to keep the right balance. They don’t want to be at home all day, and they want us to have some good times together.
What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?
Definitely my iPhone. It is awesome. I love it.
What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
It was hard getting out of the hood. I had my mom, my grandma, and my auntie in my life. My father got life in prison, so he was not around when I was growing up. I just spoke with him in the past year for the first time. I reached out to him. I always talked to the kids I coach about respecting their parents and to honor their father and mother, and I decided to try to let go of this hurt that I have and reach out to my father. It was holding onto stuff in my heart and I was hurting inside, but I felt that reaching out to him made me a better man. It was a good experience. It was good to hear his voice. I found out I had a sibling that I had not known about before. It will take time to build more of a relationship, but I was happy I did it. I was happy to let go of that pain. You can’t be a better person if you are holding onto pain your whole life. I am proud that I did it.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
My auntie and my mom, people in my church, and a lot of coaches have made a huge difference for me in my life. The coach I had in college, he had played in the NFL too, and he helped me out a lot.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
Keep God first. Honor your father and mother. Respect others like you respect yourself.
What does success look like to you?
I am never complacent. I definitely want to grow more. I’m happy that I’ve gotten this far in life, but I want to be better.
What is one piece of advice you would like to leave our readers with?
Never take life for granted. Every day matters. You never know when one thing can ruin you. One thing can make you better. Make good choices. Take every day that you have and make it your best day. Keep a positive attitude no matter what. Always be grateful for the things you have in front of you. Don’t worry about things going bad. Keep pushing and don’t give up. Don’t quit. Always remember, even if you are having a bad day, sometimes your words can encourage somebody else. Every day counts, and every word matters. It always matters. Never take anything for granted.