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8 Ways To Go From Athlete To Entrepreneur

If you’ve been lucky enough to earn a living as a professional (or even collegiate) athlete, you know that opportunities in sports, after sports are few and far between. You become a coach. You become a broadcaster. Or you become a suit (get a corporate job) – marketing, sales, insurance? But what happens when those traditional (expected) routes don’t work out, don’t support your desired lifestyle or just aren’t fulfilling? Do you sit on the sidelines while “the chosen few” live the life you want?

Of course not. What YOU do is become an entrepreneur.

So, what are the best ways to go from Athlete to Entrepreneur?

This can be a frustrating transition – I know because I’ve been there.

Eight and a half years after winning Olympic gold, I launched my first blog and two and a half years after that I launched my first signature coaching product, officially becoming an online entrepreneur. After writing free content and selling affiliate products, launching my own product was HUGE.

I knew that if I wanted to build a serious business – one I was passionate about and one that gave me the financial stability to live life on my own terms – I was going to have to step up. And I’m glad I did!

If you’re ready to find a profitable business idea and turn it into income, this is for you.

If you’re wondering how to turn your passions into a money-making blog or business, I’m about to show you how.

And if you want to go from the “I don’t know what’s next” athlete to superstar online entrepreneur, keep reading.

Today I’ve got 10 ways to transition into life after sports with purpose and power, and go from athlete to entrepreneur like a PRO.

1. Create an eBook or digital product

Putting your expertise on paper or creating an e-course is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to start generating significant income online. There’s a reason I listed this one first. I love creating digital products. It’s scalable, profitable and evergreen. You can create a product one time (and within a few hours) and make money again and again and again without having to actively sell or promote all the time. Now people have to know you’ve created something, so you do have to market, because your products are not going to sell themselves, but once you put in the initial work, digital products can become true passive income generators.

People love digital products. They are easy to consume and can be accessed on the go through a simple download to an iPhone or tablet.  With digital products you’re literally bottling your genius and selling it to people who are looking for specific solutions in a particular area. 

If you like this income model, make sure you read my post The Athlete’s Playbook to Creating, Packaging and Selling your eBooks! It has everything you need to take an idea and turn it into a badass digital product!

2. Launch an online bootcamp:

Take your digital product live with an online bootcamp. Did you know you can charge for a virtual workshop? Yes you can!! It’s nothing more than a private webinar or Google Hangout with a price tag on it. You can charge anywhere from $47 all the way to $497 or more for people to have access to you and your expertise. I’ve done this with my Brand U Bootcamp Weekend Intensive. It was a live workshop from 9 – 12pm over the course of 2 days and it was a hit!

It was a really cool way to share my expertise and get paid for it. There was real time engagement and interaction with the attendees and it presents a more intimate learning experience that most online courses lack.

Plus, you can turn your live event into an evergreen product by recording it and offering the replay for sale! You know I’m all about reinvent, remix and resell! It’s all about getting the most out of your work.

Just like other digital products (eBooks, eCourses, and video downloads) – an online bootcamp can be used as a litmus test to see if there is enough interest for you to build out your particular product idea into a more extensive online course, membership site or live retreat. If you market your bootcamp at a reasonable and fair price, and it gets some good attendance, use that as momentum to launch a more in-depth product!

Action plays:

  • Choose a date and time to launch your bootcamp (make sure you give yourself enough time to promote it). If you already have an email list, promote the course at least 7-14 days in advance. If you don’t have a list give yourself 30-45 days to generate interest and buzz.
  • Pick your specialty topic. Make sure it’s relevant, actionable, and solves a very specific problem your perfect fit fan is facing. You don’t have to cover a lot of stuff, you just need to cover the right stuff. So be specific.
  • Create a clean, well designed sales page that highlights the key benefits and expected outcomes for those who attend the bootcamp. (i.e. You will learn… or By the end of this bootcamp you will be able to…) People need a compelling reason to want to pay and stay!
  • Once your sales page is completed, put a button on it! (in my Beyonce voice). You can use a Paypal “Buy Now” button which is super simple to create or you can use a Digital Product Delivery (DPD) button on a Lead Page or custom blog page). Click HERE to see an example of the DPD button on one of my sales pages.
  • Create a killer powerpoint or outline your bootcamp talking points. If you’re doing a powerpoint presentation make sure your visuals are on point. Visuals sell!!
  • As a bonus, create a follow along workbook your guests can use to take notes or to walk them through the actionable steps they need to do as homework after the live event.
  • Set up your live bootcamp to stream on Crowdcast, LeadPages, GoToMeeting, Zoom, WebinarJam, or Hangouts On Air and when it’s time, Knock it out the box.

Easy, simple, low cost, high return. And remember you can also sell the recording after the live bootcamp for a different (higher) price!

3. Create and sell an online course

Remix your ebook, bootcamp or mini-course into a larger online course. I love, love, love, love, love creating my own signature coaching courses. They are fun to create, fun to launch and fun to sell.

Courses are like video playbooks which give you the play by play to creating a specific outcome. With an online course you can meticulously map out specific steps to help your students get a desired result.  Similar to an eBook, you create it once, package it up and can sell it again and again.

In Athlete To Entrepreneur, we go through a very specific process of creating and selling your first online training course or signature product.

Courses are versatile and can be delivered in a number of ways – from video to text, audio to email – and can command premium pricing. Many online coaching courses, have a community element to provide ongoing support and accountability during and after the course. This can be in the form of group training sessions, a live inner circle mastermind, or access to a private facebook group.

Courses can be evergreen (enrollment is open all the time) or launched a few times a year.

In Athlete To Entrepreneur this is a key area of focus and we’ll go through the launch process, play by play to ensure that awesome product you just created gets sold!

4. Sell a group program or group coaching sessions.

So speaking of private groups, another way to go from athlete to entrepreneur is to create a group coaching session. I like group coaching sessions, because you can use it as a beta test group before you launch to the public. Group sessions are typically limited in size, and it’s easier to get hands on with each individual student. It’s a great way to share your expertise with others while really focusing on delivering all-star results.

Because of the intimacy of the smaller groups, you can really hone in on the struggles of each student, answer questions and get valuable feedback on how to make your course even better.

Action plays:

  1. Schedule Coaching Calls (i.e, twice a month for 3 months, every week for 6 weeks) using Skype, GotoMeeting, Google Hangouts or
  2. Create supporting content (Playbooks, checklists, video tutorials)
  3. Create a private Facebook group
  4. Put a price tag on it ($297 – $10,000). Whatever the price, make sure it reflects the VALUE of the content, your time investment, what your target market can afford, community support, and the results you promise to deliver.
  5. Add a buy now button to your sales page
  6. Market to your email list/network of clients/perfect fit fans via social media, blogging, speaking gigs, etc.
  7. Deliver and help your students win!

See how simple that is? This is a product you do not need to put a lot of leg work into. All you need is a topic, an outline of steps or a process for generating results and a coaching call schedule.

With group coaching sessions, the value comes from gaining access to YOU and having access to the community of accountability partners to grow with.

8 Ways To Go From Athlete To Entrepreneur

5. Physical Products

There are many athletes that have ideas, not of creating an online course or coaching program but of creating tangible, physical products people can touch. Whether it’s clothing, jewelry, art, a line of health and wellness supplements, or toys for your pets, physical products can be just as successful as digital ones.

Athlete turned Entrepreneur, Jude Waddy, Founder of PhysiPet, provides interactive toys for your pets to keep them in shape and entertained.

You can sell your products from your own online store, or leverage online platforms such as Etsy, Amazon, eBay or Shopify.

The catch with physical products is that you need capital to produce, package and store physical items. There will be overhead and more work but hey, don’t let that stop you from turning your passion into profits.

You can sell physical products from your blog as well, just make sure what you sell is in alignment with the readers you attract. If you are already creating content about “eating Paleo” selling items like cookbooks, food diaries, weight related exercise products would be a good fit. Candles and home decor items? Not so much.

So think about all of the ways you can create amazing physical products that your customers would love and that would support your existing brand.

6. One-on-one coaching or consulting packages

If you can create an online course, you can create a consulting package. If you have a skill that allows you to help people get the results you desire, many of those people will want someone to guide them through the process in a more one-on-one setting. There are pros and cons to one-on-one coaching. This is linear income. You have to show up to get paid. Plus, there are only 24 hours in a day. Your earning potential is limited if one-on-one coaching is your only source of income.

I have a 3 month coaching package where I provide one 90 minute game plan session a month, plus email support and action items). It allows me to provide hands on help for those clients who need a little extra guidance and it gives them the feeling that they can walk away with a workable plan that will give them a predictable result.

With consulting packages you want to be super specific, even focusing on one or two aspects of your specialty niche. My Life After Sports Coaching package specifically helps athletes identify their passion and profitable business idea. Once we pinpoint that very important piece, we then develop a game plan to turn that idea into income.

It’s not a therapy session, or a pick your brain session or a can we chat about why nothing is working session. My coaching sessions are very intentional and the end game is to deliver some sort of result.

So for example if you are a personal fitness trainer, you can create a one hour session, where you come up with a custom workout an nutrition plan.

If you are a photographer, you can create a consulting package where you help beginner photographers learn the basics of photo editing.

If you are an author, you can create a coaching session where you help aspiring authors outline their novel.

One packaged service that I don’t publicly promote anymore because I could not keep up with the demand, is for Lead Funnel System Creation, where I create copy and set-up your entire funnel from the lead capture page to the email sequence to the thank you pages.

Here’s the thing about consulting. You don’t have to be certified but you do have to be an expert. Meaning you must be able to deliver what you promise. People pay you for your skills not your certificates, so don’t feel like you can’t be a coach or consult because you’re not a PhD!

At the end of the day, people just want to be partnered with people who can help them make meaningful progress. And if that person if you, make sure the world knows who you are!

7. Offer an extremely specific service or app

I am all about being specific. The more niched you are the better. The more niched you are the more you can charge (because there will be few others who can do what you do).

When you’re thinking about going from athlete to entrepreneur, it’s important to think about the things you do better than anyone else. Are you technical? Creative? A Visionary?

If so, and you see a pothole you have a solution for, offer that solution as a service to people in your network.

Can you create services for small business owners who lack social media savvy?

Can you create an app that helps entrepreneurs develop a simple brand strategy?

Maybe you can create an app that helps parents choose the sport their kid is most likely to succeed in based 5 key points of data (physical traits, personality, age, genealogy and environment). I mean wouldn’t it be awesome to predict which sports kids would excel at! Now that’s a billion dollar idea!

The point here is to pick your prefect fit audience, find specific solutions to help them and offer a results-driven product to help them achieve that desired goal.

8. Speaking Engagements

If you are not afraid of owning a stage, speaking engagements can be a great source of income and exposure for your business. With speaking engagements, it is important to be very selective and crystal clear about the audience you are speaking in front of.

Athletes are always are a big draw. The key is to deliver powerful, motivational content that inspires people to live bigger, better lives. If you are confident speaking in front of a large audience, can speak with authority, have a strong point of view and can move people to action, speaking gigs may be the play for you!

Magnetic speaking and industry leaders can command $25,000 or more as a headliner. Pretty awesome, huh?

At the end of the day your success is as limitless as your ideas. You can choose one of these ideas to pursue as you transition from athlete to entrepreneur or you can pursue them all. The sky is the limit.

Whatever route you go, deliver your best stuff and you’ll always be in high demand!

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