Money Smart Athlete Blog

Building the athlete’s entrepreneurial team

By Constantinos Massonos, Contributor

One of the hardest parts of a professional athlete’s life is transitioning to a second career after sports. Sports stakeholders, having recognized the issue, strive to help athletes realize that their “dream job” won’t last forever, and that they should start preparing for life after sports as soon as they start competing professionally.

Athletes can utilize the characteristics that allowed them to compete professionally, by choosing between two main paths, getting employed or working for themselves by becoming entrepreneurs. The decision should be taken after carefully considering factors such as an athlete’s character and personal goals or level of education and fame.

Entering the entrepreneurial world, athletes have the advantage of building on their stardom to launch their business. But fame alone is not enough. A huge amount of information, skills, capabilities and knowledge are needed for a business to become successful, making it almost impossible for a single individual to succeed. So surrounding yourself with the right group of people who will support you and provide you with the right skill set is vital.

Creating an entrepreneurial team might not sound too challenging but it involves much more than just getting a group of likeminded people together. There is extensive academic research on building entrepreneurial teams but in brief, you need to form a team that will be innovative, strong and viable, with a diverse enough set of skills and strengths; a team that you will feel comfortable letting take control, in order to push your business forward.

Here are a few tips to help you get you started on building your ideal entrepreneurial team:

  • Realizing the areas in which you are personally lacking in skills, will help you identify the roles you must fill in order to get the right people for your team. You should remember that you are not looking for individuals like yourself, as you are already part of your team.
  • Recruiting the perfect candidates for your team, is not going to be an easy job but you can use your personal or professional network to help you identify prospective targets. If you get an introduction you feel can work, you can arrange to meet them over a coffee or lunch and check whether you have any chemistry with them.
  • You have to keep your team small. Your team will be spending a lot of time together so it is important to have the cohesion that will allow them to work together effectively and communicate and share ideas easily.
  • Your team members shouldn’t need constant direction and supervision. They should be able to develop their own methods, utilize available resources and manage their time in order to complete any given assignment.
  • You need to be constantly looking for new talent who can bring that extra kick to your team and help your business stay on top of its competitors in terms of innovation.
  • Your team should share your vision and goals. Research shows that monetary benefits are not the main motivation factor for your team to perform at the top of its game. Have them invested in a greater plan, your plan, and reap the benefits of their performance.

As the head of your entrepreneurial team, you will have to create and sustain the right climate between team members and be able to correct any team dysfunctions. For more help on building the right entrepreneurial team for launching your business, send us an email at [email protected]