Rushing cost me $24,079! Let me break it down for you.
$23,214 in student loans for a masters degree
$39 for a WordPress theme
$170 for logo design
$300 on book formatting and design
$30 for “trying to buy traffic”
$200 for headshots
$79 for website creation
$47 for email platform
That is a grand total of $24,079! Not to mention the many hours spent creating profiles on EVERY social media platform, formatting my website, and all the other random things I did. Hell, I’m exhausted just thinking about all that. Here’s the real kicker. If you were to ask me what my business was, my answer would have gone something like this
As insane as this sounds, this is a common path for many athletes that want to pursue entrepreneurship (this is fancier than saying start a business apparently). Fard Bell, one of my mentors, told me that ignorance on fire is better than knowledge on ice. Meaning, it’s better to do a whole lot of activity than to sit still and do nothing because you’re scared to make the wrong move. What he didn’t tell me was how EXPENSIVE it was.
You are going to spend money and time randomly if you don’t ask some questions of yourself PRIOR to going all in. I’m just saying.
As an athlete you are conditioned to take action and “make it happen”, so it feels good to start going hard right out the gate. You feel like you’re accomplishing something, but if someone asked you what “this thing” is all about you can’t articulate anything. You are so pressed to get out and do something (because let’s be real, nobody wants to leave sports and be a regular person). Just because you take a lion and put it in a herd of sheep doesn’t mean the lion is gonna wanna now become a sheep. That lion still wants to roar and be the queen of the jungle. The key is learning how to still be queen in a new setting.
Whether you are in school now, about to graduate, or recently graduated and are now at a job that you don’t particularly care for. It’s important to know that you won’t be God’s gift to the game forever, but, you are God’s gift to somebody. It’s your job to figure it out and begin to walk in a new role.
That takes some serious reflection because for 10+ years you’ve been living, eating, and sleeping the game, so picturing yourself in this new fashion may not come easily.
Often there is a lack of clarity when it comes to what your new goals should be, what you want life to look like, and how to efficiently use the skills you’ve acquired during sports.
That’s why I’ve created the Gym Bag Framework.
The goal here isn't to "find your passion" or "discover your purpose" (which are phrases I’m not really fond of).
At this point you are just taking inventory of what you currently have. Let's think about a gym bag for a moment... this is where you keep the stuff for games/working out. The bag itself has a fundamental purpose, but it can be used in several different ways. You can use it for work out clothes, you can use it from travel, you can put a pet in it (not my pet though, Dame isn't really about that life). I think you get what I mean though. The bag has a purpose, which is to carry stuff, but you use it in many different ways.
In this example, you are the bag. You have a fundamental purpose (the meaning that you want to have in life), however, that meaning can be manifested in different ways. You have skills, assets, and talents that make this possible, but you've only used them for athletics so far. This is the exercise I want you to do.
Dump the bag out by asking yourself these 3 questions: <<< click here to download free worksheet
1. What personal meaning do I get from athletics?
2. What skills and qualities did I learn through my participation and what do I need to learn?
3. Is it possible to get that same or similar meaning from something else?
- Anyone that played a sport has a personal reason as to why they play sports. The most common are status increase, escape, intrinsic joy, or financial gain in the future. This is important to know because as you begin to think about your next move when your career is over, this longing for personal meaning is still going to be there. If you wanted status before you are probably going to seek it another way. If sports was an escape from something, you are going to try to escape another way.
- Everybody in the world of athletic transition talks about transferrable skills, but aside from telling you that you have them, not much else is said. Yes, you have discipline, perseverance, and you’re able to work in a team environment, but if you don’t focus those skills toward learning the necessary skills to perform the functions of your new career or business, none of those skills matter.
- This is the most crucial question of the three. When you start trying to figure out your big idea or what field you want to go into, if you don’t choose based on the personal meaning that you truly want you are going to be miserable.
Quick story, my friend Big Tommy Burns (IG:@bigtommyburns) is a speaker, strength athlete, and phenomenal personal trainer. After college he got into the field of education because of course he liked helping people. He quickly realized that he didn’t like the red tape and the restrictions that were put on him when it came to helping his clients.Plus he missed the gym. That was always one of his favorite places in the world. He got so much fulfillment there. That’s when he decided personal training and competing in strength competitions (while helping train others for competitions) was what would give him the most life satisfaction.
That’s what this is all about y’all. Life satisfaction and options. If you don’t know what your options are though, you will just take whatever is given to you.
Now, you can go out and just start “doing stuff” and you very well may do alright. However, if you want to save time, money, and frustration from having to start over a million times, answer the Gym bag framework questions. At the very least, when you go meet with an interviewer or your new business coach you will be ahead of the game and you can get right down to business.
P.S. What has been the biggest obstacle when it comes to figuring out your next move after sports? Leave a comment below