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Quarantine Routine is a regular feature that asks political, business, sports and entertainment power brokers how their daily lives have changed -- and how they're still doing their jobs -- during the coronavirus crisis.
Former New Orleans Saints star Marques Colston is used to juggling multiple business projects, but the coronavirus pandemic has forced the Super Bowl champion to focus more than ever on time management.
An unheralded prospect out of Hofstra University in New York, Colston was a focal point on a dominant Saints passing attack that tore through opposing defenses for a decade. After retiring in 2016 with a Super Bowl ring and more than $41 million in earnings to his name, Colston focused on entrepreneurial pursuits, establishing himself as a coveted corporate speaker and mentor to current and former players.
Colston, 36, serves as director of business development for Main Squeeze Juice Co., a New Orleans-based fast-casual juice and smoothie chain that operates 12 locations in two states. He’s also a primary investor in Timeless Herbal Care, a Jamaica-based cannabis company eyeing expansion to the U.S., and a member of the NFL Players Association’s OneTeam Collective, an athlete-driven incubator for startups.
Main Squeeze Juice Co. has remained operational during the coronavirus pandemic by utilizing drive-thru lanes. Like many Americans, Colston has relied heavily on communication tools such as Zoom, Slack and Google Hangouts to coordinate response efforts across his businesses.
Colston spoke to FOX Business about how the coronavirus pandemic has altered his approach to managing his various business interests and changed his outlook for the future.
FOX Business: How has your daily routine changed since social distancing measures began?
Colston: For all of the businesses that I work with, it’s been problem-solving and really trying to adjust on the fly. Main Squeeze, we’re a storefront that, luckily, a lot of our locations have drive-thrus. So everything with business is trying to figure out how to reposition what they do to fit this virtual world. Restaurant businesses are trying to leverage take-out, a lot of these other digital businesses are trying to compete for eyeballs and visibility online. It’s just been a constant challenge of trying to figure out how to exist and compete in this new digital-only world.
FOX Business: What are the biggest challenges in doing your job during this crisis?
Colston: The one thing has just been time management. It’s always been important but it's become the top priority now, just because I’m managing working within the different businesses. I have two kids, so I’m also managing their day and taking them through their curriculum. What it amounts to is, I’ve taken what my normal day would look like – I would be in the office and I’d be working eight to 10 hours per day – so now I’ve got to take that same workload and try to condense it down to the three to four to five hours that I can squeeze out of a day now uninterrupted. It’s helped me to really trim some of the fat and some of the excess, but it’s made me figure out how to be laser-focused for shorter periods of time to get the same amount of work done in less time.
FOX Business: What do you miss the most about how you did your job before this began?
Colston: I’ve got a whole different level of respect for schoolteachers now (laughs). But I think just the ability to get out and interact with people face to face. You just kind of take it for granted when you’re not able to do it. It probably sounds like a cliché thing, but yeah, just the ability to get out and sit and have a lunch meeting with some colleagues. That combination of work and friendship and camaraderie, I definitely miss it.
FOX Business: What surprised you most about how life has changed?
Colston: I’ve realized that even as I’ve been using some of the digital platforms, the transition hasn’t really been as steep. I think the realization is starting to hit that even as the virus itself kind of wanes away over the next few months, the ripple effects for businesses, like what markets are going to look like and what customer behavior and customer demand is going to look like is going to be completely different in ways that we can’t think about today.
I spend a lot of my days just trying to be thoughtful around, how do you pivot to really leverage the opportunity as it exists today versus what is it going to look like in 12 months when we’re not quite back to normalcy but we’re past this immediate threat? Just trying to figure where that midpoint is and how do you steer businesses to be able to position themselves for the intermediate to long-term.
FOX Business: How do you blow off steam?
Colston: My schedule, I’ve adjusted it to where I’m up earlier so I can make sure I get a workout in to start the day and two to three hours of quiet focus before the rest of my house is up. On days like today where it’s getting a little closer to the weekend, I will definitely pour a glass of scotch as a nightcap.
FOX Business: Do you think pro football will be able to play games this fall?
Colston: It’s tough. I think the industry itself and the need for the industry from an entertainment standpoint will drive them to figure something out. I don’t think it’s going to look like what we’ve traditionally seen, though. We might see games go on without the fans, but yeah, I think it’s such a big industry that it has to happen. It’s just not going to look the same.