Mel Kiper Jr. Describes The Insanely Low Annual Salary He Earned During First Year At ESPN As He Gambled On Himself

Mel Kiper Jr. says he earned just $400 in his first year at ESPN while covering the NFL Combine
Screengrab via YouTube

Mel Kiper Jr. is known for his hot takes when it comes to the NFL Combine and NFL Draft, as the longtime ESPN analyst has studied film and evaluated thousands of potential prospects since joining the Worldwide Leader all the way back in 1984. And, while Kiper all but invented a new industry with his draft projections back then, it came at a major cost.

Recently appearing on The Favorites Podcast of The Action Network, Mel Kiper Jr. described the difficult journey it took for him to reach the pinnacle of his career, even adding that he took a paycheck of just $400 in his first year at ESPN in order to build something he believed in. Talk about some serious sacrifice, right? We often have to ask ourselves about personal values, and if we’d be willing to give up money for freedom or passion, but Kiper took it to a whole new level by taking so little cash to follow his dream.

Kiper’s message to everyone listening? “Pay your dues,” while sticking with your goal. It’s a great reminder of hustle, sacrifice and determination, so take a listen below at the NFL Draft analyst’s words of wisdom.

If you’re a football fan, it’s easy to be jealous of Mel Kiper Jr. After all, the guy literally gets paid to watch football all day long, and just toss up some suggestions for the NFL Draft each year. It doesn’t matter if he’s right or wrong, either, because, similar to a meteorologist, people just want some sort of information, with Kiper making an educated guess based off of what he’s heard from NFL teams.

As the NFL Combine wraps up and football fans turn their attention towards the 2020 NFL Draft, Kiper will undoubtedly be littered on TV screens as he tries justifying his predictions. And, although he’s built authority over the years after three decades of growing an industry that didn’t exist and was often criticized early on, he stuck to his guns, gambled on himself,  sacrificed income and, now, can look back to see that it was all worth it.

Let this be the latest reminder to be patient and persistent, because your goals won’t happen overnight. Great lesson here from Mel Kiper Jr.

(H/T The Big Lead)


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