Business is the 5th Major Sport
Something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is how much business mirrors all major sports. There’s a reason so many athletes gravitate to entrepreneurship while in the league or when they are done playing. In my opinion, business is the perfect Second Act for any athlete. Many athletes have entered the entrepreneurial space to find the same if not more success. LeBron James, Tony Hawk, Shaquille O’Neal, the list goes on & on. As an example, let’s look at the career of 5x NBA Champion, 2x NBA Finals MVP & 18x All Star Kobe Bryant. In 2014, Kobe invested $6 Million in BodyArmor. That $6 Million is now worth upwards of $200 Million. Bryant even came out and said he’d rather be known for Venture Investing than Basketball.
“There’s going to be another team that wins another championship…if you really want to create something that last generations, you have to help inspire the next generation, and they create something great, and then that generation will inspire the one behind them, right? And that’s when you create something forever. And that’s what’s most beautiful,” [source]
With all that being said, Here’s a deeper dive into my thinking:
First let’s justify that Business is a sport:
Definition of sport: “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”
● Physical exertion — hustle, hard work, travel, etc.
○ For athletes & entrepreneurs, there’s something about being the last one in the gym or being the last one in the office. Both parties thrive on seeing hard work pay off.
○ Being able to learn from failure & overcoming roadblocks is a huge part of both industries. Whether it be a setback injury or an investment hitting rock bottom, both groups have to learn from their mistakes in order to be successful.
● Skill — self-explanatory
○ While athletes require specific talent & skill, so do businessmen & businesswomen in their own right. Whether it be having great people skills, intuition, or an extremely calculated mathematical mind; each entrepreneur has a skill set that sets them apart from others similar to your modern day athlete.
● Competition is at the center of business
○ No matter what type of industry an entrepreneur is in, he/she faces competition. For many, that competition is what drives them to be their best.
● Entertainment — these days entrepreneurs have as many followers as football players, basketball players, etc.
○ Heck, look at my brother @garyvee. Through the content created and distributed on platforms such as Instagram and Youtube, “fans” can watch entrepreneurs grow the same way they see conventional athletes grow.
Why Business is such a great sport for athletes?
The biggest reason I advocate for athletes to get involved with business is because there is a different “prime” for your athletic career versus your Business career. Both athletes and entrepreneurs start their careers around the same time. However, due to the wear and tear of sports by age 26 athletic ability starts to decline in most humans. While in business at age 26, you are still just getting started & laying down the foundation for the rest of the career. As an athlete, you already have a leg up on everyone else entering the business world. Athletes embrace the grind and know what it takes to get to the top. Not to mention the network & brand that is built up throughout their professional careers. Many doors that would not be open to your average joe, open up due to your past history as an athlete.