How To Transition From Being A Pro Athlete To A Successful Business Pro
As a professional athlete you were loved and idolised by your fans, teams and coaches (most coaches anyway). You were financially rewarded and were extremely good at what you do. People went out of their way to be around you – brands, agents, advisors, businesses all wanted to be associated with you.
That’s all in the past now, today you are retired from your sport. Especially if you’ve recently retired, you are probably not thinking about what’s next yet…but trust me, that will come at you very fast, like a tonne of bricks! There will be a morning you wake up and think “Shit, what do I do now?”
The transition from being a professional athlete to a business owner or employee can be extremely daunting and challenging. You’re used to people saying “yes” to you, agents taking care of your needs, coaches giving you direction, assistant coaches setting up your daily & weekly schedules, scouting reports on other teams/players drawn up for you, people taking care of your needs at every turn, all you gotta do is turn up and play….all the sudden that’s all GONE! You’re agent is too busy looking for his next superstar athlete, coaches are focused on current players and now you’re not sure who to trust with your money or who to turn to for advice.
Transitioning to the business world, you might also be scared that your lack of experience and/or skills in the business world will always lose out in interviews to those who have experience and are established business professionals. Here’s the good news…you’re way better equipped for business then you think and you’re highly desirable by hiring managers.
Less then 1% of the population become professional athletes. Millions of people try and yet you are one of the few that gets to live out your childhood dreams. The amount of commitment and effort it takes to become less then 1% in any field is ridiculous. Any employer would love to have that level of commitment in their business. Other skills you’ve developed in your sport can be easily transferable to business and the non-athlete candidates you’re going up against may not possess – team work, social awareness, handling media, speaking in a public environment, answering tough questions live on TV, competitive AF, resilience, handling losing, coachable and much more.
You’re extremely likeable, people want to be around you and hear your story. This is why networking is a great way to meet business professionals and hiring managers. Leveraging your LinkedIn profile can help you land your ideal job. The ability to network, build and maintain business relationships can really set you apart from other employees. Being active on LinkedIn, attending networking events, joining your local chamber of commerce are all great ways to create a reputation in the business world.
When networking, your selling points are: “Public speaker, motivator, retired pro athlete, financial and equity analyst, business development manager, relationship manager.” These are all experiences you’ve had as a professional athlete: speaking to groups of people, motivating community groups, dealing with large amounts of money, networking with sponsors and attracting members.
There are many opportunities for retired athletes. Ride the wave of confidence from being a pro athlete, keep an open mind and attack the only way you know. Trust me, pro athletes become even better business professionals!