September 2023 AOTM: Kim BradySep 01, 2023
Welcome back to TWN’s Athlete of the Month! Each month we are highlighting athletes in our network to share what they have accomplished outside of sports, their contribution to the athletic community, and more! Make sure to check out our socials and weekly newsletter to learn more about the athlete, what motivates them, and how to contribute to their cause.
Our September Athlete of the Month is Kim Brady!
Kim Brady is a 2x founder, small business advisor, external COO, and 2x author. She aims to support people and organizations to create their own path to success and become the best entrepreneurial version of themselves.
Kim played soccer at U.C Berkeley where she received a scholarship and studied Psychology and African American Studies. She has worked in many different fields including youth soccer coach, sales consultant, and family therapist before she switched gears into entrepreneurship, business coaching and author.
After building and selling her first business after 10 years, Kim wrote her first book, “Get Stuck In - Lessons From the Pitch to Build Your Business”. "Get Stuck In!" is a business and entrepreneurship focused book where Kim highlights her transition from corporate life to entrepreneur, and all the experiences, struggles and triumphs that followed.
Her second book, “Forever Athlete”, is a collection of stories from high-level performers in both sport and life and she is one of the 18 authors highlighted. This book is meant for people who are struggling to define themselves beyond what they do in life as an athlete. You can grab a copy of her books here.
She is focused on helping people understand where they came from as an athlete and using that to transition into entrepreneurship. She specializes in areas such as small business start-ups, transitioning from a sports career to entrepreneurship, team building, leadership development, and succession planning.
Kim’s infectious energy and enthusiasm are evident in her dedication to helping others succeed and achieve their goals. She firmly believes that everyone has the potential to define their own version of success and live a purpose-driven life. For those seeking guidance, motivation, and a trusted partner to navigate the exciting journey of personal and professional growth, Kim Brady is the ally you need to unlock your true potential.
On her website, Kim highlights her values and many services that she provides through her experience. Kim has two main messages, “Get Stuck In!”™ and “Live your life out loud"™. Through these messages, she aims to connect with people and organizations to help elevate their business and move forward from the struggles of their past business adventures.
KIM x TACKLE WHAT'S NEXT
We were lucky enough to have Kim join us at our Athlete Entrepreneurship Summit in October 2022. Alongside fellow current and former athletes, she shared more about the different ways entrepreneurship can look, and how to figure out what style of entrepreneurship is right for you.
Kim spoke a lot about action, and the importance of not waiting to be great at something to get started. She highlighted the importance of the learning process, and why athletes should never be afraid to ask questions. Kim explained how every athlete has had some sort of coaching experience in the past and should tap into that mindset when being an entrepreneur.
“The right time is now! If you choose yourself, whether it's a part-time side hustle or working a career and just getting this idea in your brain, the time is now to lead and ask questions of mentors.”
She also shared how many entrepreneurs and high achievers (especially athletes) forget how much they have accomplished and instead focus only on how far away they still are from the summit. If you only look at the top, you may get clouded and lose motivation, when you’re really collecting lots of wins along the way.
“It really is important to remind yourself how far you’ve come and not to only focus on the summit itself. Just focus on taking the next step, and then the next one, and the next one after that.
Thank you Kim for being a part of our event and for sharing your perspective with our audience on entrepreneurship and business. We know many athletes benefitted from your insights and your story.
Kim also shared her story with us on our Playbook Blog. Kim shares how her sports experience and her identity as a lesbian woman has shaped her entrepreneurial and business career.
In the blog, Kim talks about how growing up playing soccer and being LGBTQ+ has shaped her life on and off the field. She reflects on being born the year Title IX went into effect and playing soccer in Southern California, and how she worked hard to play college soccer, knowing there was not an opportunity to play pro at the time.
“Instead of chasing other people’s dreams and doing what is expected, I have chosen to live my life out loud in every capacity. I have used my athletic journey to design the life I want to live instead of settling for less. I have fought for equal rights for women and girls as well as for LGBTQ people by continuing my advocacy each day since I came out myself as a teenager.”
Thank you Kim for always being willing to share your story! We love to see her giving us permission to find what we really enjoy and want in life, and not being afraid.
OUR FULL INTERVIEW WITH KIM BRADY:
Why did you decide to start your own business?
So. Many. People. Hate. Their. Work. They hate what they are doing. They complain about their boss. They don't like their hours. They don't like their coworkers. "This isn't what I signed up for."
This was me in 2010. It was in the middle of the last recession, and all I did was complain to my best friends about how miserable I was at my last corporate position.
And then my nephew smacked me with a reality check: "Aunt Kim - you have always supported me, but you are miserable. You have accomplished so much yet you hate your job. Why should I listen to your advice?"
3 weeks later I quit my job. With no safety net. And I took my nephew in to help raise him. And then within 90 days, I started my own business after discussing some options with an advisor and some networking contacts.
What did being an athlete teach you about the work you are doing now?
Being an athlete is about doing your best every day with discipline, teamwork, technical and tactical skills as well as having the mental fortitude to ask for help and to keep fighting when times get tough.
Being an entrepreneur is NOT easy. And the "soft skills" that so many companies chase from athletes are not soft. They are honed for years, with multiple coaches and thousands of hours.
I was able to build my first business on soccer principles because that is what I knew and that is how I built my team. I then hired coaches to help me understand business principles and to hire employees. It's all TEAM.
What is the most important thing you did for yourself to start planning for life outside of sports?
I always knew that my athletic career would come to an end at some point. I pursued interests outside of my sport and I took classes outside of my major just to learn new things. I got multiple jobs and had different experiences working in different places even while I was competing. Try new things! Be a beginner at something! Travel as much as possible. Meet new people.
When and how did you decide you were ready to make the transition out of sports?
When I was competing, it wasn't an option to play professionally in the US. And unless you were on the USWNT, your college career was most likely going to be the end of the road. So we all knew there was a finite end in front of us.
However, several of us quit during our senior year due to a betrayal by a teammate and issues with the coach. So even though I kept my 4-year scholarship, I didn't compete in my senior year. Nine seniors left that year which was really sad and difficult to face. I don't regret my decision, but I am sad that I didn't play my senior year.
What advice do you have for athletes around moving on from sports to their next chapter?
Start thinking about your exit strategy now. Understand that everyone's career ends but that doesn't stop you from always being an athlete. Find activities that you enjoy doing aside from your sport. What do you want to learn? Who do you want to learn from? Seek out mentors in areas you are interested in learning about.
Have FUN exploring new things. Be a beginner again and fail. Be silly. Envision your life and what you would like to do in the next chapter of it. We all have multiple chapters. So ending one is also a time to grieve a bit, but be open to new possibilities.
Kim is setting an incredible example for athletes to follow in their own lives, both in and out of the game. We’re proud to highlight her as our September Athlete of the Month.