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Top Ten Income Models Every Athlete Needs To Know!

When it comes to building a 6 or 7-figure business online, the key is leveraging systems that allow you to turn your ideas into multiple streams of income.

As an athlete turned entrepreneur it’s a good idea to set up multiple streams of income right away so that you can concentrate on growing your brand and your fan base. The faster you have money coming in, the faster your business will grow.

Also, keep in mind that is takes money to make money!

And that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today: creating income streams that keep your pockets padded.

Just like football teams have back up quarterbacks and 2nd and third string receivers, you want to have multiple income streams working for you in case your primary income stream gets sacked. For many entrepreneurs there’s a lot of pressure to make money quickly and there are some very specific income (business) models that can get you into profit mode fast.

Well to keep things easy, here is a short list of simple & profitable income models (THAT WORK) to get your entrepreneurial wheels turning:


Probably the easiest and least expensive in terms of getting a product out there in the marketplace is selling what you know with information products. This is an excellent way to leverage your time while sharing knowledge you already have. You create a product once, promote it and profit from it over and over again. Information products are low cost. You can create an ebook or video course, upload it to your website along with a shopping cart button and you’re in the game. All it costs was your time to create the content. Anyone can turn their expertise into an information product. Anyone!


  • Pro Athlete’s Guide To Yoga Basics eBook
  • Your First Flip eCourse
  • Gardening for Beginners Video Tutorial


If you sell jewelry, designer handbags, clothing, computers, baby products, or candles, you’ve got a product based business model. You can sell just about anything. You deliver a physical product and your customer pays you.

If you want to make money selling physical products, you can tap into a network of hot buyers by setting up an online store such as Etsy, Amazon or eBay.

You can create and sell your own products, re-brand a product as yours, or have someone who has already created the product drop ship them for you.


  • Health & Wellness Supplements
  • Footballs for Girls (give it a feminine look)
  • Custom-made sports gear


If you don’t want to go through the motions of creating your own products or selling your own services you can make money blogging as an affiliate or distributor by selling someone else’s product in which you get a percentage of the sale for connecting the buyer and the seller. This is how I got started in business, as an independent distributor for a health & wellness network marketing company.

There are a variety of different affiliate and network marketing programs where you can earn a few cents to thousands of dollars with the sale of one product.

Athletes past and present like Tennessee Titans Running Back Chris Johnson, Cleveland Brown’s WR JJ Birden, Lakers Center Shaquille O’Neal, Saints QB Drew Brees, Future Hall of Famer Terrell Owens and many others are proponents of the network marketing industry.

For a small start-up fee you can leverage this home based business model by becoming an independent distributor or affiliate of a company. You sell a product on behalf of a company and they pay you a commission. Think Advocare, BeachBody, Mary Kay. Even companies like Target and DirecTV have affiliate programs.

Other Examples:

Click here for more information on the pros and cons for athletes who are considering network marketing.


If you have a particular expertise in an area and there is a market for it you can sell your services. This includes coaching, consulting, graphic design, content writing, putting together custom diet plans, or anything else you offer a client in exchange for money.

What’s great about this income model is that it is one of the fastest and most budget friendly ways to get started online. You don’t need a big database of prospects (just a few clients or one major client) and you can make a great deal of money packaging what you are good at.

If you want to make money selling your services you’ll want to build a brand and deliver ideas and advice packaged into both products and services like seminars, books, online digital programs, retreats and one-on-one coaching. Deliver solutions that help people solve a problem, and your customers will pay you.

If you’ve been through a difficult process or have overcome some hardship and come out the other side with a method for getting through it, you could coach someone who is in the same spot you were in. It is essential that you think about your personal experiences and how those can be crafted into a coaching or consulting offer. The more specific the better!

If anyone’s ever asked you how you went through a certain phase or process in your own life, you might be qualified to coach others through that same process. Your personal story is important to your services, so let it shine and base your services on that.

Here are some examples that are SPECIFIC and PERSONAL to my own experiences…


  • I help people with signature content creation and eCourse creation
  • I consult solo-entrepreneurs and small business owners about creating passive income through network marketing
  • I help athletes transition into entrepreneurship and get the support they need to start businesses and find their fortune off the field.


These take a little bit of work but are awesome for creating passive residual income on a monthly basis. You can give prospects access to exclusive material, marketing training, coaching, software, etc, by placing it in a membership site that only paid members have access to.

Subscriptions can be set up as one time payments, recurring monthly payments or yearly payments. This income model is awesome for the more experienced business owner or blogger who wants to make available more in-depth and on-going courses and training models.

If you want to make money with a membership site, take a look at a company like Asana, MindMeister or Jillian Michaels. They sell monthly subscriptions to get access to custom software, productivity and weight loss training products respectively.

More Examples:

  • DigitalMarketer (Internet marketing tutorials)
  • (Health and nutrition community site)


Online stores range from very specific niche shops with a handful of items, to huge catalogs of products (think about a huge online store like eBAY/AMAZON/ZAPPOS). E-Commerce can mean an Etsy shop, your own website, selling handmade or custom items, or white label products you’ve rebranded under your own company name.

E-commerce shops don’t require the same amount of overhead as a brick and mortar store, but they may require you to stock inventory and ship physical items. Think of things that you might make and sell yourself, or think of items you can purchase in bulk and re-sell under your company name. If you wanted you could carry your own product line alongside similar or complementary product lines made by someone else.


  • Custom: Designer yoga apparel manufactured in studio
  • Reseller: All natural health and wellness products (made by others and sold by you)


Blogging in and of itself isn’t exactly a “business” model and every income model we’ve discussed so far should have a site with a blog on it, but if you’re serious, smart, and work hard, blogging can become your main source of income.

Blogs usually make money by incorporating other products or services into their business model, but some are monetized entirely with ad revenue.

If you love writing, photography, coaching and sharing, blogging might be a viable option for you. Blogging takes time and a significant amount of work, but the return can be amazing. Take my free blogging course Build A Money Making Blog here.

Blogging is probably the number one most oversaturated idea out of all of the income models we’ve discussed so far in this playbook. And for this reason, it’s important to make sure you start a blog that stands out like a sore thumb in your industry.

For your blog to survive it has to be supported by a specialty niche! No one wants to read a blog about “my random thoughts.” If you want your blog to be your business (and not just a personal diary), you need to have a unique perspective and showcase content that empowers, entertains, educates and informs. The more specific, the better.

Blogs take a lot of hard work and time to monetize but it can be a jumping off point, for any type of business. Many coaches, internet marketers, writers, speakers and creators use blogging as a hub for people to find their products and services.

No matter which business you choose, a blog is essential. Your blog can become the storefront for your info products, physical products, membership sites and software apps. Having multiple income streams is key to any successful blog, so try to think of ideas that have the potential to produce passive income in more than one way .

Here are some ideas I’ve come up with over the years to get you thinking. Notice how each one is very specific and unique.


  • DIY projects (Headboard Heaven — blog about creating custom headboards)
  • Food blogging (Raw Foods Rebel — where you turn regular recipes into vegan, raw versions)
  • Health and wellness blogging (Fitness Addict Blog — Be the guinea pig and test and review the latest health and wellness supplements)
  • Beauty and lifestyle blogging (Queen of The Crop  — Test and review different hair styles and products)
  • Education-based blogging (this is where I started. Teaching people how to build a home-based business leveraging internet marketing)


A “brick and mortar business” is a term used mainly on the Internet to differentiate between companies that are based solely online, and those that have a real-world counterpart. Such a business has a commercial address “made of brick and mortar” where customers can transact face-to-face.

The company might also have an online presence, but prior to the Internet, a brick and mortar business was standard for nearly any company that sold goods.

Some types of businesses are best served by, or even require, a hands-on base of operations to provide their products or services.


  • Almond Haus
  • Bel-bambini
  • T-Shirt Print Shop


Think of franchising as paying someone for his or her business strategy, marketing strategy, operations strategy, and the use of his or her name. That’s pretty much what franchising is. You are establishing a relationship with a successful business so you can use it’s systems and capitalize on it’s existing brand awareness in order to get a quicker return on your own investment. You are using it’s proven system and name, and running it by it’s rules.

Former NBA star, Jamal Washburn, who was thinking about his exit even when he entered the league, has leverage the Franchise Income Model to build a major business empire. He has amassed contacts for 37 Papa John’s, 34 Outback Steakhouses, three Dunkin’ Donuts and the largest Toyota dealership in Kentucky.

Are you still your own boss? In some respects, no. You still have to answer to someone else and follow his or her direction. You don’t really own the business; you own the assets you’ve purchased in order to establish the business.

If you want to make money with a franchise, get ready to hand over some serious coin.


  • Yogurt land
  • 24 Hour Fitness
  • Papa Johns
  • Complete Nutrition


Maybe you’re more passionate about a cause than any one particular business idea. Being a change agent can be just as, if not more fulfilling than becoming an entrepreneur. 

Non-profits are run in many ways like a for-profit business and to be successful you’ll need to have an entrepreneurial mentality. There are some key differences in for-profit and non-profit businesses in terms of company structure and tax implications but for the most part your goal is to make as much money as you can by connecting your idea with people who care about the solution you are offering.


So there you have it — 10 strong income models that every entrepreneur should know. Over the course of your business career you will surely be working one or more of these models. In fact you can leverage a few of these business models at once to create multiple streams of income as an entrepreneur.


The downfall of many aspiring entrepreneurs comes not from the lack of great ideas, but the lack of a clear income model in which to execute your idea. To start a successful business you need to be clear on how you want to deliver your products and services to your perfect fit fan.

Choosing a proven income model gives you a proven template to implement. It’s not about reinventing the wheel it’s about playing smart. Find entrepreneurs who have done or are doing what you want to do and become an expert at that chosen business model — BEFORE you start your own business.

Tell me? What income models do you like? Let me know in the comments below.


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