Sam Acho is a new author, public speaker, humanitarian and a committed Christian. A veteran NFL linebacker who is twice a nominee for the league’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, he has been named one of the 20 Smartest Athletes in All of Sports. Sam has spent time with world-shaping organizations, such as International Justice Mission, the American Diabetes Association and the Clinton Global Initiative. He has lobbied Congress to change laws as it relates to justice-related issues both inside and outside the United States. He hosts the Home Team Podcast, is a frequent guest on ESPN, and his brand new book is titled Let the World See You: How to Be Real in a World Full of Fakes.

Sam didn’t plan any of this. “For me, it was a story of just walking through the next open door,” he says.

His junior year of high school, Sam had no hopes or dreams of playing professional football, but he decided to go to a football camp at the University of Southern California with his brother that summer. When they showed up, they realized it was an invite-only camp for top student athletes from the state—and they weren’t invited. The camp let them in anyway, and at the end of the two days, the coach offered Sam a scholarship on the spot. As this news spread, Sam started getting letters from schools all around the country to go play football in college. That was Open Door No. 1.

Listen to the full episode to hear Sam’s story and learn how he got to where he is today.

A few lessons from Sam…

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