You’re 27, the greatest Olympic athlete ever, and you’ve recently announced your retirement to the world. Still, there’s 40 years before full Social Security benefits kicks in.
In recent interviews, Michael Phelps doesn’t seem to know, yet, what exactly to do next. Which is fine, of course. He's accomplished a lot. He did mention swimming with sharks in South Africa (now that would be a race!) and working with kids. He also plans to work on his golf game (which is what every retiring athlete seems to say; along with “spend more time with my family,” if married with kids).
Phelps admits to feeling a little lost without swimming, which is honest and to be expected.
Not that he needs help, but here are suggestions from Sugar, Inc., which describes itself as "a digital commerce, original content and global media company." We tossed in some thoughts in parenthesis.
1) Walking Endorsement (No-brainer, but is it a career?)
2) Reality TV — Dancing With the Stars? (Maybe a few years away.)
3) Own a Sports Team (Phelps apparently enjoys Fantasy Football; why not the real thing? May need to start with indoor soccer or pro lacrosse, however.)
4) More Philanthropic Work (Michael Phelps Foundation promotes healthy living.)
5) Coaching (Not many great athletes become great coaches, but sure he could help kids and struggling, middle-age swimmers at his budding swim school.)
6) Acting (After Batman and Spiderman, may be time to bring Tarzan back with swimmer taking over role former swimming champ Johnny Weissmuller made famous.)
7) Finish College Degree (Traditional venue for 20-somethings to figure out what to do with the rest of their life.)
8) Motivational Speaker (Opening after Rudy Ruettinger was charged with stock scamming.)
9) Sports Announcer (Rowdy Gaines is pretty good. Does swimming need a second color commentator in the booth?)
10) Politics (Please, no.)
11) Entrepreneur (In business, it’s best to gamble with other people’s money. Ask Jamal Lewis.)
12) Host a Travel Show (Best places to swim around the world — it's a natural)