There have been so many wonderful contributors to my book Standing Above the Crowd and I thank them all so much. My good friend, workout buddy and running partner Greg Guedel, who is an attorney at Foster Pepper Law Firm here in Seattle, WA wrote the following (this is not actual legal advice and Greg is not acting as your legal counsel, but common sense advice) to help professional athletes stay on top: before, during, and after their professional careers.
Please enjoy reading and considering the following if you have a potential professional athletic career in your future, or if you know of someone who does:
10 RULES FOR THE ELITE ATHLETE
Professional sports are a collection of multi-billion dollar industries, and the search for new talent gets more intense and competitive every year. It’s not uncommon for scouts to begin watching promising athletes as early as middle school, and if you have elite talent you’ll soon find yourself with an ever-growing circle of “friends”. A few of these people may be genuinely interested in helping you develop and achieve your potential, but most are simply out to get money – your money.
The word “Pro” is short for professional, and you need to approach your athletic career as a professional enterprise. The moment you receive your first paycheck, you have created a business: “You Incorporated”. Just like any other business, you must manage it intelligently in order for it to grow and prosper. The following ten rules are collected from my experiences and the advice of my legal and business partners. Following these rules will help you steer clear of the problems that derail careers, and give you fundamental principles for managing your success.
5. Get professional help in managing your business affairs. The first two people you should hire are not a driver and masseuse – they should be your lawyer and accountant. And don’t hire “Uncle Larry’s cousin the attorney” either, find respected professionals who have successfully represented high-level clients for many years.
Always keep in mind: nobody will care more about your career than you do. It’s your responsibility to manage your career well. If you stay focused on your goals and consistently work hard to achieve them, you will naturally find yourself standing above the crowd.