tim cole jr

People tend to make a lot of assumptions when they first see Tim Cole Jr. He has a strong presence that’s hard to ignore. Some see his stature and think he should go back to playing football. Others might learn that he recently graduated with a Master’s in advertising from UT and think his next step should be working at an agency.

Amidst all of the assumptions and “shoulds” of others, Tim does things his own way.

“I don't want to just follow something blindly. We can all think critically for ourselves.”

For Tim, regardless of the goals he pursues -- in sports, career, or personal life -- there are two things that remain constant: he does it because he wants to (and not because of anybody else) and he sees it through until the end.

“After my senior year, I trained and I did Pro Day at UT. I'd been playing football since I was 6. I saw Pro Day as an ending chapter. I didn't want to say, ‘Oh, I'm not going to try it.’ and then always wonder, ‘What if?’”

Tim didn’t end up getting a call back from any teams, but he admits that it was a “blessing in disguise.”

 nina ho//collective blue

nina ho//collective blue

Shortly after Pro Day, Tim got involved with Elite Sweets, a fitness brand that makes gluten-free, high protein donuts for those who are both health conscious and possess a sweet tooth. As a co-founder and CMO, Tim put himself through the wringer to learn about and execute on his new role  all while pursuing his Master’s. Before joining Elite Sweets, Tim had never pitched before. Months (and lots of practice) later, Tim and the Elite Sweets team won an $180,000 grant through the WeWork Creator Awards.

“When you start [off], people don't understand your vision, and they don't understand your ideas. They'll be like, ‘Oh, how's your little company?’ because they're not expecting it to be anything. And then when you reach a level of success they tell you, ‘I always knew you were gonna be good!’

When you start [off], people don't understand your vision, and they don't understand your ideas. They'll be like, ‘Oh, how's your little company?’ because they're not expecting it to be anything.
 nina ho//collective blue

nina ho//collective blue

Tim’s learned to block out the noise, especially when it comes from people who only know him from a distance. Even when we were in line buying coffee before our interview, a stranger started a conversation with Tim, found out that he used to play football for Texas, and then proceeded to suggest that he go back into sports without knowing the fullness of his accomplishments, passions, and goals.

“People get excited to tell you what you should be doing. They project their fears on you because they probably tried, and it didn't work. But they don't know what I'm doing. They don't know what type of work I'm putting in every night. They don't know if I can make it or not.”

“People get excited to tell you what you should be doing. They project their fears on you because they probably tried, and it didn't work. But they don't know what I'm doing. They don't know what type of work I'm putting in every night. They don't know if I can make it or not.”

Fortunately, Tim has a solid support system. His parents followed an unconventional path themselves, so Tim knows that navigating through life isn’t always as simple progression through college, marriage, then kids (in that order) as society would have you believe. And like many of us, Tim has intentionally created his own cheering section consisting of other creators, entrepreneurs, and ambitious people – all chasing their own unique definition of success.

“My friends and I challenge each other to be more than just one dimensional. Eventually, the whole nucleus of friends is elevated from supporting each other.”

Tim’s ultimate goal is to pursue his interests in music, fitness, and fashion while simultaneously creating a positive impact for the people that his work affects.

“Whether or not the things I do are [considered] ‘successful’ touching someone's life and motivating them is a success in my eyes.”

For now, Tim is focusing on the work he’s doing as CMO of Elite Sweets and as a Manager for Gold Ain’t Cheap – an entertainment management company and creative collective.

Look out for Elite Sweets donuts in stores around town and catch some GAC shows! You can stay updated on his work through Instagram.

 nina ho//collective blue

nina ho//collective blue