It’s another fine showing for the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Once the games end and the world forgets about the Olympics for the next two years, many of these athletes will return to what most people would call, normal life. They have families, jobs, and dreams that don’t just include hearing their country’s national anthem played while standing proudly on a medal stand.
Some of these athletes will return to a life of entrepreneurship and while some will use the fame of being an Olympic athlete as a way to jumpstart their business, others will not. Here are a few athletes who have gone from the Olympics to becoming a winning entrepreneur.
For those who are fans of gymnastics, who could forget the 1996 U.S. gymnastics team given the nickname, “The Magnificent 7”? Shannon Miller was one of those athletes who won gold that year and in 1992 giving her seven gold medals making her the most decorated U.S. gymnast in history. As President of Shannon Miller Lifestyle: Health and Fitness for Women, she serves as fitness and wellness advocate as well as an author and speaker. She uses her experiences as a young athlete as a way to motivate others to follow their dreams too.
Olympic Sprinter Michael Johnson competed in the 1996 Olympics winning four gold medals and setting world records that still stand. Johnson went on to start, “Michael Johnson Motivation”, a company that provides motivational speaking events. He’s also an author and sports commentator.
Kristi Yamaguchi was a gold medal figure skater in the 1992 Olympics as well as a highly decorated figure skater all over the world. Along with her foundation, “Always Dream”, that supports organizations focused on making the lives of children better, she has authored children’s books and will soon start another business that designs and manufactures activewear for women.
It can’t be argued that these three entrepreneurs have their gold medals to use as a great advertising and exposure tool but more important, they formed businesses based on something in their past that gave them success. If your dream is to become an entrepreneur, first look at your past.
Capitalize on the experience and passion you have for something. Past success often brings free exposure and passion for something you love makes forming a business a little more enjoyable during the tough times.