Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Do You Want to Be a Professional Triathlete? - Revenue

A few years ago I wrote a post "I'm a Pro Triathlete" and it's still in the top 5 all time on this blog. The other day I was listening to an interview with Sarah Piampiano on the podcast Jim and the other Guy and she said something that struck a thought. She said "Most Business succeed or fail in 2 years so I've set a 2 year business plan". It's such a simple thought but one I'm confident most with a Pro Card don't think about. I'm qualified to talk through this because I lived with a pro who's the reason I'm not a coach Tim Sheeper, and I lived with Murphy Reinschrieber and saw it all.  Let's look at the math of a simple business plan.

Revenue
Less Operating Expenses
Less Fixed Expenses
Equals: Gross Income
Less Taxes
Net Income

Revenue
First step is to know the available Revenue. How much total money is available to an athlete.

  1. Local Events
  2. Regional Events
  3. National Events
  4. International Events
  5. Sponsors
  6. Outside Job
Questions to ask yourself
  1. Can I clean up Locally? - Add total available 1st place income. An offshoot question of this is do I live in the right place to make enough money locally? 
  2. How much realistic money is available Regionally? - Add that to Revenue. Same offshoot question is there enough regional money? 
  3. Is there a national event in the area and do I stand a chance of making money? If Yes add it, If not don't do the race. 
  4. Same in #4 for other National Events
  5. International - Unless you are going to move there for a time and call it local don't do it. 
The two big elephants in the room are Sponsors and Jobs. I feel like most athletes look for sponsors first in the entire revenue stream and then most Pro athletes have a job too. 

Sponsors - Do not I repeat do not expect income. Product yes, bonus maybe but do not expect income. You have to kick ass at the national level to make income here, and you have to kick ass internationally to make really good income. Another point on this. Just because you get the points to race the World Championships doesn't lead to sponsor dollars. 

Outside Job - The two year business plan does not call for a job. If you really want to make a go at being a professional triathlete a job can't fit. Remember this is a 2 year plan to make it work. You can last 2 years with no job. You can't become a really successful Net Income positive Triathlete with a job. 

This alone is probably scaring many off. But this why most people don't go into business for themselves. There is a risk of failure. You can't be afraid to fail. You have to be willing to fail. Only then can you become a professional. 

In the next installment we'll look at expenses. 

It's a good life....
Dave
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