How to create your very own all-star team... outside of sport.
Show me a successful business owner, athlete, entrepreneur, CEO, or manager and I will show you an amazing delegator. Eventually, there will come a time when you just can’t do everything yourself. Athletes should take note.
As a professional athlete you're going to want to spend some time creating a team of your very own. Let’s call this group of individuals your personal all-star team. Establishing this team should be one of the first things you do once turning pro. Once complete, your team should consist of at least the following specialists;
While your relationship with your agent is probably as good as ever, it’s recommended to stay in regular communication with them as things can sometimes get overwhelming during the first few months as a pro athlete. Lean on your agent to help guide you through these early stages of your career. They have been here before, leveraging that knowledge to your own advantage can be an amazing asset.
The Financial Advisor
You’re in a great spot - you’re young and now making great money playing the sport you love. Over the course of your career, your financial advisor will be one of the most important players on your personal all-star team. They will assist you in developing a game plan to help manage your new found wealth. During the interview process you should go through when selecting an advisor, make sure to ask the tough questions like, "how do you get paid?", "who else do you work with?", and "what makes you different from others in your industry?". Business Insider recently released an article [link], sharing some questions you should be asking to advisors you are considering. Financial freedom is not far off, make sure you have the right advisor to help take your (financial) game to the next level.
The Cross Border Accounts
One of the largest ongoing bills you have to pay will be to the taxman. Depending on the state or province you live in, your tax bill can easily run from the hundreds of thousands, well into the millions. Compound that over the course of your career and it will end up being one of your largest expenses. There are many strategies available to athletes to minimize the amount of taxes they pay. It is also worth noting that due to the inherit nature of professional sports and the fact that some athletes earn income in multiple states, provinces, and even countries, they should be working with an accountant who has experience in working with athletes and is knowledgeable about the tax systems in both Canada and the United States.
The Insurance Agent
Injuries happen, that is just the nature of sports. Sometimes, these injuries even happen outside of your playing time... like in the backyard with your kids, in vehicles, or even on vacation. Working with a qualified insurance agent can ensure that no matter what the unfortunate injury (or liability), your earnings, health, and assets are as protected as possible. Trust me, given the amount of money athletes make, you and your family will appreciate such protection in the case, knock on wood, an injury occurs.
You get what you pay for here. While some lawyers might seem more expensive than others, obtaining a great one can pay off in spades down the road. You’ll probably need one eventually for immigration issues that may arise, work Visa’s, and various legal issues. When the unexpected hits the fan, having a great relationship with this individual will prove to be a great resource.
The Branding and Endorsement Specialist
You might or might not realize this, but you are a business. Growing your brand through initiatives like participating in community outreach programs, special appearances, and charitable work will go a long way. It will take time, but with the assistance of a specialist in this field, you can become someone which companies will pay to associate themselves with. Sponsors care about many things, one of them being eyeballs. The larger your following (brand) the easier it is to monetize your fame. Social media can be a big help in growing such a following. Specialist will share with you both the opportunities, as well as risks, that come with the regular use of social media platforms. If done correctly, this can become an additional revenue source for you, your family, and financial advisor to grow moving forward. Here are two articles [link] and [link] that show the potential value in brand creation and social media followings.
Choosing who to put on your team can be a daunting task, and while your initial reaction might be to put this to the side for the time being, I can ensure you much greater will come from tackling this initiative head on. Use your own research, family members, and mentors to help you select the right people to be on your all-star team. Just like you lean on your teammates for support on the field, rink, or court, you will lean on your personal team to safeguard your new found popularity, wealth, and fame.
Best of luck in this new journey and please feel free to comment below or reach out should you have any further questions.
Associate Financial Advisor
The 53rd | Raymond James Ltd.
Scotia Plaza – Suite 5300
40 King Street W., P.O. Box 415
Toronto, Ontario M5H 3Y2
Grant Laschowski is an Associate Financial Advisor with Raymond James Ltd. Information provided is not a solicitation and although obtained from sources considered reliable, is not guaranteed. The view and opinions contained in the article are those of Grant Laschowski and not Raymond James Ltd. Raymond James Ltd. member of Canadian Investor Protection Fund