There are 4 ways Olympic athletes can use their journey to build profitable brands

Expressed opinions Entrepreneur Contributors are their own.

Olympic athletes are in danger. Let me tell you the details.

My best friend from childhood, Alex, competed in the ’98 Nagano Olympics as part of the US Ski Team. Then, he tore his ACL, at which point, the US ski team dropped him. If he wants to continue the competition, he has to fund himself. But begging for money from friends, family and patrons was frustrating, tiring and constant. Also, it forced him to ask himself something like, why am I doing this? Who am I doing this for? I know and don’t think about anything else, so what if I retire? She was scared, alone and no one came to help. So he left the game.

Like Alex, most Olympians face a similar core crisis – both identity and financial. One study concludes that “only 0.5% [International Olympic Committee] The funds were directed directly to the athletes. “This is in stark contrast to the world’s largest sports league which pays its athletes between 40-60% of their revenues, thus finding that half of the Olympians in the study consider themselves financially bankrupt.

Here’s why: As the Olympians begin their athletic careers, the only way to succeed globally is through Tunnel Vision – Relationships, Friendships and Hobbies.

Related: 30 legendary athletes who have become business all-stars

Then, an inevitable day comes when the armor of the famous athlete begins to crumble. And the question comes: what next? And how can I get out of the financial and emotional prison I have created for myself? The tip of the scales, and the waterfall of depression (more than 70% of elite athletes, according to a study by the IOC).

This is the ultimate paradox of the most successful and successful athletes in the world. Their single focus is both what drives their lifelong dreams and pursuit of their sport at an uneven pace and turns into an acid that erodes the foundation they have sincerely built.

Part of it is our fault as spectators. Since 1896, some breaks due to economic, war or epidemic crises, the Olympic has placed thousands of athletes on the throne, honored them and gained international fame, whether they were ready or not. And the expectation is that these athletes follow strict physical, mental and intellectual standards and stereotypes, whatever tools they may have to accomplish them.

The question remains: How can we prevent this ongoing and widespread destruction of Olympic athletes? How can these athletes earn the globally recognized badge of honor and beautifully transform it into something that has meaning, purpose and financial security? In working with dozens of Olympic and action sports athletes, here are six lessons that can help athletes avoid post-Olympic depression, increase income opportunities, and build a profitable, meaningful future.

1. Create personal identities now-versus-then

Identities consist of a variety of traits that you use to categorize and define yourself and the traits that people around you create. By creating an integrated set of contacts, it allows you to build self-confidence and give people a reason to connect with you, who you are (vs. who they want you to be), what you believe and why. It allows you to control your own perception of the world.

Your identity may be brother, runner, LGBTQ advocate, coffee drinker, yogi, vegetarian, etc. The point is, you have to be clear about what they are up to now. If you do not, you run the risk of letting the world’s whims, media, friends and family form your acquaintance, causing you to lose control.

Related: Entrepreneur Identity Crisis

2. Nail your original story; Make it personal

The key to building trust, relationships and credibility about who you are and what you stand for is building a strong core story. Having a strong core story allows you to stay consistent across social media, in interviews, creating keynote speeches or sponsored discussions. To create a personal brand story, here are the questions to consider:

  • Backstory: How did you become interested in your sport? Were you born with a natural talent, or did you learn skills along the way? Has something happened to you that forced you to change and opened a door? Have you failed at anything?

  • The challenge: What have been the biggest obstacles to your success? Injuries, competitors that keep hitting you, weather that prevents you from climbing to the top, bad luck in a course?

  • The main turning point: What has allowed you to overcome your challenge? How has it changed your life, your sport, your happiness or your ability to achieve something?

  • Victory: What have you achieved or created since that moment? How did it feel? Has it changed anyone else’s life?

  • Transformation: How have you changed mentally, physically, intellectually or spiritually? Have you achieved results?

3. Find out whose hero you want to be

The most common mistake athletes make is jumping in without understanding what their audience is thinking, feeling, what they are excited to do, what they are willing to feel, or what they are motivated to do. Knowing this will allow you to provide words, stories and truths that will make your audience’s life better, more meaningful, happier and richer. And it creates community.

You need to understand what your audience is passionate about and what drives their motivations, needs, behaviors, challenges, pain points, goals, aspirations and fears. Question to ask: What do you want to avoid or what are you afraid of happening in your life? Where do you feel stuck, which one seems difficult and which one disappoints you? What do you want to feel, what do you dream about and what do you need and desire the most? Is there something standing in your way to get these things?

Write down the words, phrases or sentences they use to describe their challenges or their aspirations (either internally or others), then use it to help you offer something that will help them survive or improve.

Related: 9 Ways to Meet and Understand Your Audience

4. Create an original message anywhere with a neutral answer

You need to give people, brands and partners a reason to be attracted to you. To do this, you must understand that neutrality cannot be noticed, and ambiguity is always perceived negatively. In other words, smooth, banal and milk toast are forgotten and certainly not picked up by the sponsors.

So, to remember, to build a loyal following and to encourage brands to look at you, it is important to determine if you care enough about what you want to position. To find out what these things are, ask yourself three questions:

  1. Do you have a different idea about a common belief in your sport, in your industry, in your circle of friends and athletes?
  2. What happens to your sport, because it has been done that way forever but can get old now?
  3. Have you been “wounded but not destroyed” (term credit: Brian Brown)? Think of what you have gone through that left a mark. Maybe you weren’t treated well because you were gay, had an eating disorder or were criticized for the style you ran. But, you survived, didn’t you? What did you learn from it?

Then, take this insight and share consistently.

5. Make the invisible visible

Athletes have a travel aspect of life that is endlessly interesting, entertaining and inspiring. Sharing your formula, the “how” behind what you do, helps people think they know you, but also has a small chance of being like you. It also creates a boomerang effect where the audience keeps coming back for more and that means the ultimate gold rush for community-brands.

To do this, follow these three rules:

  1. Be specific and concrete. That deep connection with your audience, and your relativity, only happens when you become very hungry and express the right thoughts, feelings, mistakes, pains, victories and losses that you have experienced. The more descriptive and precise you can be, the more universal the feelings will become.
  2. Start with bleeding. Turn off your content and your stories so we can hold on from the start Of course, you need a point in the story, but don’t increase the lead up, because you’ll start to lose people with a lot of context.
  3. To be consistent. People have to hear a message seven times before it can sink. Also, an average of 0.83-10% of followers see your posts, so repeat your original messages frequently and consistently so that they are heard.

Related: 5 steps to becoming an ‘Olympic’ entrepreneur

6. Plan and target revenue opportunities

With a brand new story and messaging strategy, it’s time to transform into a specific revenue opportunity. Here are five steps to generate revenue:

  • Create an email list. Unlike social media, you own your email list, and it does not change algorithms. So, create a way for fans, followers and sponsors to come to your email list and email them events, campaigns, nutrition, training, things you like, learn or hope to update on a regular basis (weekly is ideal).

  • Create a sticky content calendar. Consider your social media presence in your resume. So, creating a consistent content schedule that you can stick to is vital.

  • Create a keynote presentation. Using your original story or a clear message, create an original presentation that you can shop around the brand. Paralympian Aimee Mullens brings in 30- k 50k per talk, and brands the world by hiring athletes to speak at conferences, events and company meetings.

  • Contact non-local brands. Take your identity from the top and write 10 brands lined up with those parts of yours. Ask what they need, then offer to support them with social media, videos and blog content in exchange for their financial support.

  • Hire a sports agent. If you want to increase your speed and face more opportunities, hire a sports agent. You can expect them to pay up to 15% of your earnings, but 15% of $ 100k is more than 0% of 0.

As an Olympian, you have earned a universally recognized badge of honor that carries weight, prestige and dignity in the eyes of an international audience. The time has come to make use of it so that you can be sure that your win, sacrifice, win, defeat and effort are important and can help you build a profitable and meaningful post-sport career.

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