Wouldn’t you like to get paid for all the experiences you’ve had as a professional or collegiate athlete?
Playing a sport for your JOB is considered the pinnacle of achievement. And it’s pretty impressive to experience sports at such an elite level. Less than 2% of athletes make it to such an achievement. Once there, the trimmings can be just as sweet – sponsorships, endorsements, great money, greater lifestyle…until the day it’s over.
If you’re one of the lucky few, you have the option to leverage your personal brand into financial opportunities for years to come. Or you might be branded well enough to parlay it all into a job still in the profession – commentating, coaching or administration.
Most athletes fall into one of two categories: ex-college or former pro. College players typically get a job post graduation & move on as full-time business professionals. Pro players, upon retirement, unless they made enough money AND were savvy enough to save their money, either get a 9-5 job, get a coaching job, or they invest in various business ventures for which they’ve had no training or have to trust someone else with their investment.
Then there’s the whole ego thing. You’ve spent years being told how wonderful you are, not having to watch what you ate, rarely paying for perks…and now you’re working the same job as your neighbor – only you’re probably invited to lots of weekend cookouts.
Being a former professional or collegiate athlete is tough.
That’s why I’m here. This is the type of straight talk you’ll get on this blog, in the business course & in the weekly e-mails I send out. Because I’ve been there – being a collegiate standout, feeling like a small fish in a big pond, being a pro, being treated as an investment instead of a person. Being demanded a performance at the expense of my knee. And then experiencing the bad luck, poor timing, being subject to some other coach / trainer / owner / injury’s opinion about me. ENOUGH!
I’m fairly sure you’re here because you’ve been in some of the places I’ve described or you’re in one of them now. Either way, you’re still looking for how you can be subject to no one but yourself. That is exactly what the Elite Sports Business Academy (ESBA) is about: leveraging your experiences into a life and timeline that has no limits or ends beyond what you determine for your self.
So if you’re looking for your ‘what’s next’ then you’ve found it here. Next can be a side hustle, the long-range game plan, or the ambitious 20 day challenge to $2.5k. You decide. But that’s the best part…it’s YOUR decision.
ESBA clients come from an elite list of athletes
ABOUT ESBA (the business model)
Elite Sports Business Academy (ESBA) is actually the brain child of my wife. When we first started GFT, no one else in the country was doing what I was in terms of the business model, scaling it so quickly, or making it a full-time income. Actually, most people said it could not be done, that I would have to work as a coach or have a ‘day job’ & then maybe I could make extra income.
Then, when I added employees, we distinguished ourselves even further. During that time, I would tell people, soccer has been good to me & God has been good to me, so I feel I have a lot to share with others. I’ve been blessed with wonderful employees, contractors, & clients.
But there are a few things we learned along the way that inspired ESBA:
- One person can only do so much. I am a laid-back guy who needs sleep & down time. Especially as I’m more inclined toward being an introvert, after spending 4-6 hours / day training, plus e-mails, meetings, blogging, parenting…you get the idea. I needed a way to teach without continuing the 1:1 model we have for the last 6 years.
- There is a mindset problem in small business employment, not a jealousy problem. When some trainers see the money you’re bringing in, they get jealous. Thankfully, this is not a common problem, but when you have a small business, you’re definitely more like family & so losses can seem more personal. But it’s an education issue. These types of employees or contractors* don’t understand the money required to pay for the business, them, insurance, etc.* Most employees of any company don’t usually understand this. They especially don’t understand how their desire for more can get them in trouble if not gained in an honest way.*
- Many will try to copy you. Yep – been there, had it done. It still happens! Trainers will try to take clients, money, or copy the business model, only to have it NOT WORK. One time I was meeting with a potential trainer for hire & he brought along a friend. The friend began to stammer & then admitted that he had plagiarized most of my website. He wasn’t the first to do that. There are many areas where others may ‘copy’ you…it’s not flattering when you’re trying to support your family.
- I am not a business manager & I do not want franchise. Former colleagues wanted me to franchise the business. But this was too expensive & a great risk to the GFT brand, as well as a lot of ongoing training. Plus, I don’t like to tell people what to do. I enjoy encouraging them, teaching them, helping & supporting them. Abbie enjoys helping people find their unique gifts & abilities. So managing was not for us.
- Other sport athletes wanted in on ESBA too. Being from Midland, TX, there are a LOT of amazing pro football & basketball players who’ve come out of that West Texas area. They started asking me if my business model would work for them. I was game to try it – & it did work! Not only for soccer, but for basketball, football & volleyball.
*These are just a few of the topics we cover in the BUILD course.
STOP WASTING YOUR TIME, WONDERING WHAT WORKS…LET US SHOW YOU!
I am a former professional soccer player, collegiate standout, multi-sport high school athlete & entrepreneur. I played pro for over 7 years. But I chose to retire when I found out I had a daughter on the way. I found little support, no roadmap for anything outside of coaching or traditional employment, & no path for entrepreneurship.
That was ten years ago. I started my first sports business & have scaled that into 3 successful businesses. During my time as a pro, I experienced the game in over 17 countries, saw many more than that, & tried my hand at coaching for Stanford University’s summer clinics.
What I learned was that I like to be a positive influence. My passion is to encourage others: the 10k+ soccer players I’ve trained over the last decade, the ‘tough’ kids I’ve mentored through the local public schools & programs, the multi-sport athletes I’ve mentored over the last 5 years, & now you.
I’ve definitely learned what works – and what doesn’t – in this technologically-driven age of business. It changes every day. But I’m willing to share my knowledge with you and help you grow your business too. The models I teach ESBA students are the exact same as those I used currently in my business and what allowed my doctor-wife to become a stay-at-home mom within 3 years. Now I streamline those lessons & processes for you so you don’t have to wait as long or wonder what’s next.
So if you’re looking for inspiration & helpful tips, check out the blog. Like a broad overview of what you need? Get the essentials checklist. Start with our most basic, 4 hour training course: BIZ. Ready to dive in? Then enroll in our signature course: ‘BUILD: 20 days to $2.5k.’ Want to know which tools I’ve used and loved to grow my businesses? Check out the Resources tab.
ESBA is the support I wish someone had offered me when I was first starting out – but now I can offer that to you. Let’s get started!