My Career Change: Alex Roberts Career Transition From Hockey

When a professional athlete’s playing days are over, many do not realize that athlete’s career in another field is often just beginning. As part of VIKTRE’s dedication to not only drive interaction between athletes and their fans, but also provide other athletes with inspiration on their own career transition, our Career team made it a priority to show how successful many athletes have been since their playing days ended in a feature called “My Career Change.”

In this installment of “My Career Change,” we interviewed former hockey player, Alex Roberts.

As you will learn in the Q&A below, Roberts has transitioned to a career off the ice now that his playing days are over. His transition into Franchising has been a successful one where he has not only flourished, but helped others do the same.

What sport do you play?

Hockey

What teams did you play for?

University of Michigan
Indianapolis Ice (IHL)
Adirondack Red Wings (AHL)
Capitol District Islanders (AHL)
Toledo Storm (ECHL)
Coach:
Chicago Wolves (IHL)
USA Hockey National Team U-18
Plymouth Whalers (OHL)

What industry did you change careers to?

Franchising

How did you get into your new career?

After 11 years as a hockey coach I decided to make a career transition that was primarily based on improving my quality of life. While coaching was enjoyable and hockey was what I knew, the work/life balance was difficult. As we all know, sports can take up most of your evenings, weekends and holidays. When my son was born, I realized I didn’t want to miss out on all the great things that were happening at home while I was at the rink or on the road.

When I made up my mind to change careers I started networking with anyone and everyone in my contact list. Ultimately, it was a friend who played football at the University of Michigan while I was playing hockey there that introduced me to franchising. He had started a successful Air Duct cleaning franchise and he connected me with a multi-brand franchisor that hired me to help recruit new franchise owners.

Over the past 15 years I progressed through the franchising ranks, holding several executive positions including serving as President of the largest home improvement franchise in North America. Currently I own my own franchise consulting business where I help people get into business for themselves by matching them with the perfect franchise for them.

Once Alex was ready to leave the ice, he found his transition path.

What was the biggest challenge you faced making your career change?

The biggest challenge was overcoming fear. The fear of the unknown and fear of failure can lead to an inability to make a decision and keep you from achieving the big goals you’ve set out for yourself. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know anything about franchising. I didn’t know if this was the right move. Fear is natural and it can be healthy when used correctly. I used the fear to help gain the knowledge I needed to make an educated and informed decision based on reality and not the perceived fear. Asking questions, doing the due diligence, validating the industry and believing in myself was what ultimately got me over the hump.

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far in your new career?

I have helped hundreds of people get into business for themselves. Many people dream of owning their own business and taking control of their destiny but most people never actually do it. I help people realize that dream through franchise ownership, which provides a proven system, training and support and a roadmap for success. I have a system that helps match people with the perfect franchise fit. What I do is very rewarding and I feel a great sense of accomplishment every time I help someone achieve their American Dream of business ownership.

What advice do you have for athletes making their career change?

Network! Network! Network! Every one of your former teammates, classmates, coaches and front office staff are willing to help you if you ask. So will your neighbors, friends and your family. Seek introductions, seek knowledge and ask people about what they do. Spend a day in their shoes by shadowing them at work. Most of all, believe in yourself as the skills you learned in the locker room absolutely transfer over to the board room. Hard work, discipline, leadership and communication to name a few.

How can other athletes learn more about your business or your career change?

You can contact Alex via email at aroberts@franchoice.com or by phone at 734-369-4551. To learn more about his franchise consulting business visit his webpage at: www.franchoice.com/aroberts .

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