NHL Alumni Starts Online Business - Wake the Fun Up

NHL Alumni Starts Online Business

NHL Alumni Didn't Imagine an Online Business in His Future - What About You?

Life Takes Courage Sometimes

NHL Alumni takes the plunge into the digital world.  Life can be challenging sometimes and having the courage to adapt and change has been a constant part of my life. My journey as a professional athlete, partner in an insurance business, executive recruiting and affiliate marketing firm has given me many transferable skills. None of these include computer technology.

Taking a Leap into the Unknown

Believing the digital era is here to stay my wife, Adrienne and I founded a business that is growing as a result of technology instead of shrinking. As affiliate marketers there is no more gridlock, working 9 to 5, cold calls or trading time for money. We have learned to leverage the power of the internet. 

My Hockey Journey

“All Our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them”.  Walt Disney  My dream to play professional hockey and play in the NHL came true. Research suggests 1 in 4,000 minor hockey players make it to the NHL.   1 in 4,000 Kids Make it to the NHL I was not the most talented hockey player.  What I had was grit.  My courage, passion, determination, and willingness to train and practice harder than most was challenged and developed as a young athlete. There may be people that have more talent than you, but there is no excuse for  anyone to work harder than you do.”  Derek Jeter

The Journey Was Not a Straight Line

Before playing for the NHL, I was a graduate from Business Administration at Michigan Tech University where I was given a full ride athletic scholarship. Following university I signed a contract with the Montreal Canadiens and played with the The Nova Scotia Voyageurs in the American Hockey League (AHL).  Our team won a Calder Cup which earned us a place in the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame. Traded from the Montreal Canadiens to Atlanta where I played for 2 years and then was traded again to the Vancouver Canucks.

The Hockey Culture in the Seventies

Hockey fans will remember the Philadelphia Flyers, Bobby Clark and the “Broad Street Bullies”.  This was a point in time in NHL history where players had to fight and be very physical to survive and stay in the league. To win a hockey fight the rules were simple back then - you had to throw and land the first punch.  Usually the player that got mad first or had the quickest temper won the hockey fight.

I tried to be tough and fought in the American League. By the time I got to the NHL I was tired of getting punched in the face by another player who had a quicker temper than me.

Lessons Learned?

I was not tough enough, but I could have trained differently.  Looking back, an idea would have been to learn the skill of martial arts rather than traditional boxing.  Knowing I was not going to get mad first I could have developed the confidence to block the first punch to protect myself and gain the first punch advantage. 

I also learned that very few guys get to the NHL, this I took for granted for a long time.  I needed to remind myself I made it to the highest level in professional hockey. It was my passion, dedication and a strong work ethic that got me there. Upon reflection, it's Interesting, many of the reasons for my success as a professional athlete are the reasons for my success in business.

NHL to Insurance Sales Guy

My transition from being a professional hockey player to the “real world” was a culture shock.  After playing hockey for 4 years in university and professionally for 6 years my career came to an abrupt end.  This forced me to adapt. With a young family the pressure to provide weighed heavily on my shoulders.

I went from being a celebrity NHL hockey player where everyone wanted to talk and hang out. To being a life insurance sales guy where no one wanted to talk to me.

Like being a professional hockey player I needed purpose, passion, determination and grit to get through the first 2 years. Only 25% survive in the life insurance business.  I knew that 75% people who started in the insurance business would quit and I was determined to be 1 of the 25% who survived. This turned into a 20 year career in the insurance business.“Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out and not just for a week, not just for the month but for years”.  Angela Lee Duckworth

As a sales guy, entrepreneur and former NHL professional hockey player, passion, determination, grit and perseverance have been very important in my ability to adapt.

Insurance Sales to Executive Recruiting

During the early years of each business I realized very quickly that success was not going to happen over night. It was about trust and doing revenue producing activities such as cold calling and prospecting consistently. This was the recipe for success.

Skill Doesn't Equate to Passion

In both businesses my job was to fill the pipeline and develop new business by cold calling, prospecting and networking.  In both businesses, I was good at cold calling and developing new business and at the same time I hated it and had great anxiety for many years.

I learned early on in my sales career that making the calls was not about having all the answers.  Success was about being consistent. Success was a result of perseverance, determination and doing the numbers.  My motto: “More calls = more appointments = more sales”.  Bob Murray 

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”.  Wayne Gretzky

Executive Recruiter to Affiliate Marketer

Adrienne and I are partners in an Executive Search Firm (People First Solutions), where we have enjoyed success. Now our business is being disrupted by technology.  We decided to embrace technology and digital era. What's that saying? If you can beat'm join'm?! I wasn't going to make the same mistake now that I did by not being strategic and learning martial arts in hockey. Adrienne and I decided to join the digital economy and benefit from all it has to offer.

Affiliate Marketing is a Growing Industry

The affiliate marketing industry is projected to grow to $6.8 billion over the next five years. From our experience as Executive Recruiters we saw an opportunity to help other baby boomers.  We know there are many baby boomers with lots of energy looking for something new.  Many have lost their jobs  due to a merger/acquisition and downsizing. Perhaps their job, industry or profession has been disrupted by technology. Some have simply lost their passion and are tired of trading time for money. Many are looking for a new opportunity.

A Solution That Worked For Us

Change is scary, especially if change isn't your choice. For us, the choice to stand still wasn't an option. Technology was changing our industry so quickly we knew we soon wouldn't recognize it.  We could put our head in the sand and hope for the best. That sure hadn't worked in the past and we were sure it wouldn't work now. 

We Are Not Alone

We found an educational community and program called Six Figure Mentors or SFM. Education gave us the opportunity to stay current, and learn a new skills. Our community is a group of like minded digital entrepreneurs who are all at different stages in their online journey. We learn from the best.  People who know what it takes to be successful, all with proven track records.  We all work collaboratively supporting one another.  This educational community gives us the opportunity to work with people we like and trust from all over the world.

New Found Freedom

All we need is our laptop and the internet.  Our online company allows us to earn while we learn and work whenever and wherever we want. Having the flexibility to travel and work has given us the freedom to see the world. While continuing to make a difference, much like we did as executive recruiters. We were searching for time and financial freedom.  We wanted to travel and have more time for family and friends.

The Life of an Affiliate Marketer

To be clear, this opportunity is not for everyone.  It takes courage to change and try something new.  Persistence and determination is necessary when the learning curve is steep.  If you are tired of gridlock, trading time for money and working 9 to 5 work this could be a solution.  With grit and courage to learn a new skill this idea is worth checking out.

As NHL Alumni, I'm glad I made the leap into the digital world and perhaps you will be too. 

Adrienne and Bob Lifestyle Entrepreneurs

Adrienne & Bob

We are digital entrepreneurs who took a courageous leap to start our online business. We have owned an executive recruitment company for over twenty years. The industry is being rapidly disrupted by technology. As a result of the skills we have learned our recruitment business is 100% virtual. Both of our businesses allow us flexibility to work when and where we want and do the things we enjoy.