Being an athlete can prepare you to be an entrepreneur

For all athletes, finally, comes the time to step out of the competitive field. From there, many of them try to take a path that may also be satisfactory, and for some of them, that path is to be an entrepreneur. To some, this could be something natural, but some questions remain in the way, like how to do it properly. Jason Hanold offers quick hints on how to approach this new path:

Your athlete attitude controls what drives and motivates you to succeed, including strands of competitiveness, desire, passion and perseverance. Traits that make athletes excel on and off the field. Entrepreneurship may be the ideal path for making the most of those unique traits. Success is unique to you and has to be tailored to what you value. However, you define it, embrace it. Own it. Eat, sleep and breathe it. Then, as you work on your plan to achieve that success, do periodic gut checks to make sure you are still on the right path.

Set targeted actionable goals that keep you working toward a challenge. As you reach each one, use the sense of satisfaction you get as motivation to power through the next. With a better understanding of who you are, you are ready to be an entrepreneur. Your business will rarely look like the business plan you started with, but don’t get discouraged. Embrace failures like an athlete, learn a lot in those moments, and never give up, evolve and strengthen your game.

Athletes like Lebron James and Tony Hawk are the perfect example of being an entrepreneur after retiring from their career in sports, earning more off the playing field than on.

Oscar De La Hoya won five titles in different weight classes (the youngest boxer ever to win five world titles), with a career total of 10 championship belts and the 1992 Olympic gold medal. During his sports career, he earned $612 million in revenue. However, his management company, Golden Boy Promotions, consists of more than 40 fighters and numerous businesses, generating more than $100 million annually. He personally owns more than 50 percent of the company.

Regarded by many as the best basketball player known to the game, Michael Jordan changed the way basketball is viewed, totaling more than $90 million in earnings as a player salary. Currently, he owns the Charlotte Bobcats and is the face of Nike’s Air Jordan sneakers, Gatorade, Wheaties, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Rayovac, and Hanes. His estimated worth was more than $500 million before his divorce in 2006.

Venus Williams is currently ranked 6 in the world singles WTA. From her career since 1994, she pulled $75.8 million. As a businesswoman, she is the CEO of her interior design firm “V Starr Interiors”. She also launched her own fashion line in 2007. She is part owner of the Miami Dolphins with her sister Serena. In 2001, she signed a five-year endorsement contract with Reebok International for $40 million. Her new book “Come to win” was in the New York Times Bestseller list. She was ranked number 83 on Forbes’ 2010 Celebrity Top 100 list.

Tony Hawk was sponsored at the early age of 12 and was a pro athlete at 14. He changed the face of the skateboarding world, winning over 73 international competitions, and inventing more than 80 tricks. Hawk is the owner of Birdhouse, one of the largest skateboarding companies in the world, and he started his own clothing line, named “Hawk Clothing.” He has deals with Activision, Six Flags, Kohl’s, Infospace, Adio shoes, Jeep and Sirius Satellite Radio. With Activision, he created Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Video game in 1999, which quickly became a bestseller, now making him the No. 1 action-sports video game franchise. Tony continues to release video games for all gaming systems. He has an estimated net worth of $120 million.

John Elway played for the Denver Broncos, with an initial $12.7 million contract. He helped lead the Broncos to five Super Bowl appearances and two wins. Since retirement, he has owned several businesses and writes an NFL blog. He also founded The Elway Foundation, a non-profit organization for the prevention of child abuse. He is also the owner of two restaurants and once owned five car dealerships in the Denver area. He sold them to AutoNation in 1997 for $82.5 million.

John Elway_Being an athlete can prepare you to be an entrepreneur_Jason Hanold

Image courtesy of Malingering at Flickr.com

In college, Marcell Haywood was a star basketball player, attending Florida State, he continued his outstanding performances. Sports taught Marcell Haywood important lessons about competition; about winning and losing. Being involved in athletics, also taught him about how to handle aspects of life as an entrepreneur. He found himself utilizing insights he had learned as a point guard: he learned how to stay focused in the face of a challenge; that he is the type of person that gains clarity and strength in the face of challenge and steps up to the line; pressure serves to focus him on becoming more assertive and deliberate.

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