Purpose #3: Lani Grass – Once You Know, You’ll Never Be The Same

Purpose #3: Lani Grass – Once You Know, You’ll Never Be The Same

In this episode of RealTalk, I talk with Lani Grass, an entrepreneur, speaker, and coach that focuses her time working with professional women on identifying their authenticity, how they want to show up in the world, and then build a path to self-actualizing.

Being a natural-born introvert in a challenging childhood gifted Lani with the ability to read between the lines and deeply understand people. Having lost nearly everyone in her life years ago, she rebuilt her identity out of who she was at the core and her intention in life.

Born in Bangkok, Thailand, she now lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and her youngest daughter. Her burning desire is to use her mastery to help women recognize and play a bigger role in who they are, so they grow confident to create the life and career they love.

Her philosophy:

When women lead in organizations and use their feminine strength in a powerful way, the outcome is a more balanced and purpose-driven environment.

To learn more about Wave of Women, contact Lani at:

Email: lani@backstagewithlani.com

LinkedInLani on LinkedIn

WebsiteWave of Women

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The #1 Key To Success In Life After Sports

The #1 Key To Success In Life After Sports

In April of 2006, I finished my college basketball career and embarked on my first job as a loan officer. By the end of August, I was already searching for another job and found myself selling gym memberships for 24 Hour Fitness. I initially thought, because of my athletic background, that selling gym memberships would be a great fit and I was completely wrong. I quickly found myself upside down financially and sleeping in my friends’ attic for several months. I finally applied for a job as an insurance agent and was hired, but never started because I failed the insurance exams. The next job was cold-calling realtors and selling them ads over the phone. That job lasted 4 months and ended with me getting fired.

As you can tell, my transition from college athletics and education to the professional world was quite rocky. It would continue to be rocky for almost a decade. In 2017, in the midst of what appeared to be another failed attempt in trying to build my own business, I sat in a parking lot frustrated with the results I was having in my first few months of entrepreneurship. Instead of getting out of the car to make my cold calls, I decided to call one of my mentors to get his perspective on what I should be doing with my career. With tears streaming down my face, I listened to him explain all the challenges he faced when building his business. This conversation spurred me back into confident action as I realized that the frustration I was experiencing wasn’t uncommon, and is the story for many young entrepreneurs trying to get their business off the ground.

In March of 2021, I celebrated my 4th year in business. I’ve had the opportunity to work with extremely successful entrepreneurs and organizations in my local market, while also continuing to grow my network of clients and partners across and outside of the United States, something that I wouldn’t have been able to do if I didn’t make that call as I considered quitting on myself.

As I reflect on the obstacles I faced in finding my strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities as a former athlete turned entrepreneur, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the clients that believed enough in me to give me a chance to earn their business, and the close friends and personal advisors that have been there for me during the difficult times. I also recognize the decisions I made that led to tremendous amounts of pain and frustration.

The #1 Path To Success In Life After Sports

As hard as I’ve worked over the years to figure out what my strengths were and where I should apply them, nothing I’ve personally done has been the key to me finding success after sports. Every breakthrough I’ve had personally and professionally can be tied to a specific relationship I had with someone who I trusted that had an answer to the challenge I was facing at the time. Yes, I had to be humble enough to seek out help and advice. Yes, I had to build the relationship to have the opportunity to ask for advice. But, if I didn’t have the right relationship to call at that time of crisis in 2017 to seek guidance, I easily would’ve made the wrong decision as I did dozens of times prior. One of the best decisions you can make as an athlete looking to find success at any stage of your life is to build quality relationships with peers and advisors that can help you break through to higher levels of success in your personal and professional life. When I sit down with successful entrepreneurs from various sectors, this is often what they attribute to being their #1 path to success.

If you’re looking to create your version of success in life after sports, maybe you don’t need any new skills or opportunities, perhaps you’re only one relationship away from a major breakthrough.

If you’re ready to build a strategy that attracts the right quality relationships to your network, then contact us!

No Athlete, You Don’t Need A Plan B

No Athlete, You Don’t Need A Plan B

If you’re an athlete, you’ve had your friends, parents, and relatives tell you that you need to go to class so you have something to fall back on.

I don’t know about you, but when I look at the options available to most undergraduate students, I don’t necessarily see those options as worthy of distracting you by taking the focus away from athletics.

I was a D1 athlete, and I followed the rules by going to class and doing my homework.

During my sophomore year, I selected Sociology as my major, because at the time, I was genuinely interested in pursuing a career in social work.

The reality is, most colleges are failing their students by not providing the cutting-edge education needed to be successful in the current economy or prepared for the future of work.

This was the problem I faced 14 years ago, and millions of graduates across the United States have experienced the same.

In fact, it was a problem when your parents graduated from college too.

If you follow Ray Dalio, Robert Kiyosaki, or any other financial expert, they will tell you that if you rely solely on what is being taught in our traditional education system every year, you have no chance of achieving financal success, and you will not live life on your terms.

As a former athlete, struggling financially feels like losing in the first round of the playoffs when you were projected to win the championship. It’s flat out embarrasing.

I’m here to tell you one thing:


You will not achieve long-term success and fulfillment in athletics if you’re committed to making sure you have something to fall back on.

However, athletics alone shouldn’t exclusively be your Plan A.

How do you address that?

You need to design a Plan A that includes your athletic career and professional ambitions.

These ambitions should be integrated, not treated as two separate tracks.

You should be building a life strategy that includes all of your goals and then build relationships, opportunities, and economic models that will support your personal ambitions, interests, and values.

The reason most athletes fail after sports is because they didn’t plan beyond sports and therefore they missed their greatest opportunity to open doors that extend beyond sports.

You don’t want to wait until your sports career is over.

Define the opportunities you’re attracted to, and start building out your life strategy, NOW.

Think about how you might use your current athletic career to develop relationships in the industries you want to work or own businesses within. Consider where you might volunteer in the offseason so you can add value, while also positioning yourself to establish your professional image and brand.

Take the time to write down the values of the people you want to surround yourself with. Reach out to former athletes that are living the life you want to live after sports and interview them.

Ask yourself, what are your values? Who do you want to serve with your talent? What industries fit your interests, passions, and capabilities?

If you don’t take the time to define who you are, what you want, what values you want to live by, and what industries you want to participate in, your sports career will end and you will find yourself scrambling.

I played by the traditional rules and had my Plan B and it took me a decade to figure out how to build a career that fit my passions. The reality is my Plan B didn’t inspire me, and if I would’ve pursued it, I would have spend decades thinking about a few highlights of my sports career instead of being excited about the personal championships on the horizon.

It’s 2020.

You shouldn’t invest 10-20 years of your life into athletics only to end your career with a framed senior night picture and your practice jerseys. If you were a professional, your livelihood shouldn’t be hanging in the balance as you wait to “get the call” from your agent trying to get you an opportunity overseas.

That’s the old way of transitioning for athletes. One that has people shaming athletes for not finding something positive to do with their life.

You’re worth more than that, and it’s sad that people keep telling you to be happy and satisfied you got a 4-year Sociology degree. As a person that has fought for your team to win championships, you know that isn’t good enough for you, and it isn’t in the least bit exciting.

Athlete, you need to treat your education seriously, but you don’t need a Plan B.

You need a strategy for life that will allow you to build a life brighter and brighter, year after year, long after your athletic career is over. The only way to effectively do that is to first design the life you want to have and then leverage athletics, scholarships, partnerships, and relationships to achieve the results you want.

Don’t look for a Plan B.