What a former and current athlete can learn from Kobe

By Danny Sellers

On Monday, Kobe Bryant announced the creation of a Venture Capital fund he co-founded with business partner Jeff Stibel. Bryant and Stibel have raised funds to the tune of $100 Million and will invest in technology, media and data companies. The duo have been investing in companies together dating back to 2013. If you need a refresher...

Kobe Bryant is:

  • Future Hall of Famer
  • Arguable Top 2 Shooting Guard...EVER
  • Already Rich
  • Already Very Rich

If you’re anything like me, when you were a kid, you wanted to be a professional athlete. Me personally, I wanted to be a professional football player. I wanted to be called up on draft day and get paid major bags to play the game I loved. Even though I made it farther than most by getting to play in college, I had little to no chance to ever making a paycheck playing.

The typical Average Joe will work well into his 60s. They have decades of hopefully increasing salaries and savings accruing interest. According to RAM Financial Group, the average Pro athlete career is as follows: NFL-3.5 years, NBA-4.8 years and MLB-5.6 years. So Kobe’s 20 year career is an extreme outlier. His earnings are the elite of the elite. But as an athlete, the only undefeated opponent is time. If you are lucky enough to make it to college ball and even more fortunate to play professional, time will win…

Again, Kobe is very rich and made an estimated $680 Million in his career, according to Forbes. In the same calendar year of his retirement, Kobe announced this venture that will likely yield substantial, longer term returns. Even Kobe, one of the richest athletes OF ALL TIME knew that at the age of 38 you still have decades of living to do.

We can all take a page out of Kobe’s playbook here. Even if you’re literally one of the greatest of all time, you still need a Plan B. You can’t play forever. Even the most elite of the elite have a very finite earnings window. So whether you’re getting paid in scholarship dollars or cold hard cash, the well will run dry and you have to shift gears. If you want to stay in your sport, coaching, training, management are all viable options that can bring in some major checks. If you’re like me and your 9-5 has nothing to do with your sport, you can still leverage your worth ethic, discipline, and experiences to sell yourself.

Use that same mentality that made you great on the court, field or arena and find your next passion. Once you find the next thing that makes you happy go for it with the same obsession and you’ll be just as elite….And not as sore!


Photo Credit : WSJ