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Tim Tebow on investing: Tithe first, and find ways to make money while you sleep

Tim Tebow is only 31 years old, and he’s already been a Heisman Trophy winner, a professional football player, a professional baseball player, an author, a producer, TV show host, and an ESPN analyst.

In 2007, Tebow was crowned the best college football player in America when he was playing for the Florida Gators. After graduating from the University of Florida, he signed a five-year contract with the Denver Broncos that included an $8.7 million signing bonus. Tebow later switched from playing professional football to professional baseball, playing for the Mets’ AA team in Binghamton, NY, last year. He will start this season with their AAA team in Syracuse, NY. In between careers, he has worked as a college football analyst for ESPN, where he signed a multi-year extension in 2017. During Spring 2019, he made his debut as the host of “Million Dollar Mile,” an obstacle-course-competition TV series. The show is produced by NBA legend, LeBron James, and airs on CBS Network. Contestants on the show have a chance to win up to $1 million if they completed the incredibly challenging obstacle courses.

Most recently, Tim proposed to Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Miss Universe 2017, and she said yes! They are currently planning the wedding of their dreams and getting ready for the next chapter of their life!

Tebow spoke with MarketWatch about how he approaches each new career, how he invests his money, what his most cherished possession is, and where he took his dad for his 70th birthday. Check out what he had to say below!

MarketWatch: What was appealing to you about working on “Million Dollar Mile”?

Tim Tebow: A couple of things. The people behind it. I’ve had a relationship with LeBron since I was a Bronco and he would come play the Nuggets. Also the relationship with some of my friends over at CBS. The show just really fit my heart, too — about competing and pushing yourself to the limit and finding your breaking point and pushing past it. All of those are things I really love.

MarketWatch: What’s it like to work with LeBron?

Tebow: I think he and his whole team are very professional and they do a great job. I think you can see that from what they’ve been involved in

MarketWatch: How long did it take to shoot the first season?

Tebow: We shot it for several weeks in downtown Los Angeles. We shot it at night, and I think that was something that was really cool about the show. And the obstacle courses are insane. It’s huge and it’s over the top and I think the cinematography from it will be very cool. I think people will like it, and families can watch it together.

MarketWatch: What’s the best financial advice you’ve been given?

Tebow: One would be tithing. Two would be being involved in things that allow you to make money while you sleep. One of my mentors, one of the things he said was, you can’t speak at every event. Be involved in things that give you an opportunity to make money while you’re at dinner or with your family or while you’re playing baseball.

MarketWatch: Does that mean things like real estate? What percentage of your money is in real estate and what percent in stocks?

Tebow: Real estate is a piece of it. Depending on what it is. I think if you’re able to find good deals in markets that will be able to turn around, that could be a good play. But I also listen to people a lot smarter than me in those areas and on those issues. 

MarketWatch: Do you have a financial team you’ve been with for a while?

Tebow: Yeah, and they’re very helpful and people who really study it and know. I think one thing I try to focus on is to really know what areas I have strengths — and where I have weaknesses. So I try to fill my life up with people that are really good in certain areas because I think it’s important to be a good steward of your money and your resources. Money gives us the ability to bless and to help. It’s not just having it, it’s how you use it. 

MarketWatch: Have you made any money mistakes?

Tebow: When the market was down, I wish I had been able to invest in some of those companies earlier when they were down. Before they peaked back up. 

MarketWatch: What’s something you don’t mind splurging on?

Tebow: I didn’t mind splurging on the engagement ring for my fiancee. She’s worth it. That’s a one-time thing, but I would gladly do it over and over again for her.

MarketWatch: What’s your favorite possession?

Tebow: The Bible that I’ve had ever since I was 10, 11, 12. I don’t bring it with me everywhere anymore, but I did for a long time. What I started to do with that is I would take notes on speeches and sermons and talks and put them in there and so I’d have hundreds of notes in there. Also letters from when I was a recruit that coaches sent me — some of the first letters from Urban Meyer that he sent me, I had them all put away in there.

MarketWatch: Do you plan to ever retire?

Tebow: Retire? I don’t think so. I’m just not one of those people. I think there are seasons in life for things, There’s a season to work, and push yourself and work harder. I don’t ever want to be one of those people that is doing something that I can’t wait until I’m done with it. If that’s my mind-set, then I don’t want to do it in the first place. And I think I really learned that from my parents. What they do is not a job, it’s a life passion. And I want to have life passions that I’m focused on. And one of those things is my foundation and bringing faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. And really fighting for people that can’t fight for themselves. 

MarketWatch: I grew up in Binghamton and know you lived there last year when you played for the AA Mets. What’s your favorite restaurant there?

Tebow: By far my favorite restaurant was CoreLife Eatery. I literally went the first day I was there. I was so grateful because it was on the way to the ballpark. I can’t even tell you how many times I went there. I’m one of those people who when I find my favorites, I’m good. I don’t need to change it up that much. I enjoyed Binghamton. The people were really great there.

MarketWatch: Anything unique you’ve done with the money you’ve made?

Tebow: I’m definitely someone that, the first thing I do is tithe, and then after that I want to put away a lot of it. Mentally, what I’ll do is just try to live off a piece of it, and I also break it up into groups. 

MarketWatch: What are your financial buckets?

Tebow: Tithing, saving, making memories, and being able to support different projects I believe in.

MarketWatch: What’s the last great thing you purchased?

Tebow: I got to take my family to Hawaii for my dad’s 70th. We got to do a lot of really cool Pearl Harbor stuff and we got to fly in an Apache. That was a really cool investment to be able to celebrate that with my family and my dad. 

One of the buckets I have is called “making memories.” I believe it’s so important for your close family and friends to be able to cherish it and if you don’t make the effort for it, I really feel like time can pass you by and so we need to plan that, create an environment where we can make special things happen because you remember times like that. They’ll always be special. And it’s worth the investment. It’s worth more than going to get new shoes or new clothes. 

MarketWatch: Any favorite memories from making “Million Dollar Mile”?

Tebow: On one of the obstacles, you have to climb up a 15-story building and zipline down, and I may or may not have ziplined down to start one of the shows.

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