Student of the Game with Krystal Beachum
Q: You are the author of For the other 98% and founder of Student-Athletes Unite, can you talk about your mission behind both initiatives?
A: Student-Athletes Unite was birthed out of things I wish existed as a student-athlete. Division II, Division III, Junior Colleges, NAIA athletic departments do not have the resources or funds like those of Power 5 conferences to help with programming. So I want SAU to serve that purpose through entrepreneurship and career development.
“For the Other 98%” was written for current-student athletes who want a different life outside of doing the 9-5 upon graduation. The book encompasses my own experience as a student-athlete entrepreneur, and proven strategies to turn your fans into opportunities.
Q: What was your experience like as a student athlete and what are some things you could change if you knew what you know now? Did your experience motivate you to provide these platforms?
A: Learning more how my athletic characteristics can carry over into entrepreneurship skills. With the current state of millennials creating companies at a rapid rate, it would have been beneficial to learn how student-athletes could capitalize as well. My experience as a student-athlete inspired me to provide the educational platforms to help the future generation of student athletes.
"I think it is now time for the student-athletes to take ownership of what they are capable of doing."
Q: Richard Sherman stressed that people have no idea how hard it is to be a student athlete, do you feel sometimes the term athlete-student should be used instead? What areas would you focus on or fix to benefit student athletes with their strenuous schedule?
A: Athlete-student should be used instead because that is what most athletes are. Yes, there are a few outliers and schools that solely want to create the OVERALL student-athlete but it is very rare.
I want to focus on providing wisdom, advice in increments through audio or video. The content can conclude student-athlete entrepreneurship, building your personal brand, and career development. Our minds are used to on demand and short segmented information. I believe I can reach student-athletes by providing that. We have to engage student-athletes where they are and use the proper channels to reach them.
Q: Your book is titled for the other 98% but in reality your principles still apply to the very few student athletes that do make it, how does your platform also benefit someone that may go one and done?
A: There will always be exceptions to rule, which makes the book even better for the person that may be a one and done. Building your personal brand and relationships start right when you step on a college campus. One day, that player may want to come back and finish that degree or may need help down the line. You can leave a great long lasting impression within a year. The principles and strategies that are outlined in the book can also carry over into the professional career as well. You would just have to amplify those opportunities once they come.
Q: Your profile states you’ve grown up with the entrepreneurial bug, how can fellow student athletes use their platform to build their own business or expand on one of their passions. Why is it so important for athletes to have that entrepreneurial drive?
A: I have grown up with an entrepreneurial bug because of my father, grandfather, and a few aunts and uncles. So I saw the beauty of entrepreneurial journey, but also the challenges. It is not for the weak hearted. First things athletes should know are the NCAA rules and regulations around creating a business as a student athlete. You do not want to become ineligible because you did not do your research.
I think every athlete should have their own personal website because they can create their own story. They can vlog/blog, collect emails, add their resume, and athletic stats if they wish. It would be their own digital footprint so when they decided to create their own business or expand on one of their passions, they will already have people interested in them and what they are pursuing.
Athletes already have the characteristic of being an entrepreneur. They just do not realize it yet or have the tools needed in order to make it happen. This is the best time to become an entrepreneur because of the social media era. There are so many ways to make additional income but if the student-athletes are unaware of different avenues then the cycle will continue of the debate of how the NCAA should pay the athletes. I think it is now time for the student-athletes to take ownership of what they are capable of doing.
is the founder of Student Athletes Unite and author of For The Other 98%. Beachum has made her priority to help give student athletes the tools to help them succeed at the next level both inside and outside their respective sport. Krystal has been able to combine her love for sports and entreprenuership while making an impact for fellow student athletes.