So, you want to work for Gaspari? Maybe you don't....
Not a day goes by that doesn't include at least one person inquiring about working for my company. However, once they get an idea of the hard work and discipline I expect from my employees and athlete reps, many of those inquiries disappear. Somehow, there's an idea circulating in our industry that a sponsored athlete is entitled to free money that doesn't require much in the way of hard work to get. That may be true for some companies, but not mine. Work ethic is the number one most important quality any aspiring sponsored athlete could posses. And, I'll tell you why....
During my competitive career, there wasn't much money to be made in the form of prize money, and there was only a few extra bucks available as a sponsored athlete. It was pretty evident that bodybuilding wasn’t a sport that was going to make me rich. Although the health and fitness boom had begun, it didn’t have the pervasive market presence it does today, and bodybuilding only represented a small slice of the pie.
The relative paucity of financial opportunities available in bodybuilding is one of the reasons I love sponsoring athletes. We have both amateurs and professionals in our lineup of sponsored athletes, and they do a lot for us. My philosophy of working with athletes is a little different than that of other companies—and it is based on what my dad taught me as a kid: it’s all about work ethic.
I want our athletes to do well financially and I pay them well. I don’t want them wondering whether or not they're doing the right thing in pursuing their passion. If they work hard, I treat them like the valuable asset they are. I don't want them to have to worry about finances, like my generation of bodybuilders did. I want them to be successful now, and I want to help them set themselves up for a smoother transition than I had to life after competition. The most important thing out of all of it though is my desire to help them learn the value of hard work. What that means is that I only hire workers.
I’ve had agents and athletes approach me over the years to become part of Team Gaspari and many times I've had to turn them down. Not because they aren’t talented and successful, but because they don’t want to work like my team does. A lot of companies give contracts and write checks to bodybuilders and other athletes with pretty low expectations. Maybe they have to do a formal photo shoot or two, and then make three or four appearances a year to say they use their product.
If that's your idea of how an endorsement contract works, then don't come knocking on my door. I expect my athletes to work! Three or four appearances per year is a joke. We require four or five per month! Making appearances isn’t just about showing up with a smile on your face. You have to be in top shape, you have to be good with people and you have to have expert knowledge of Gaspari products before you get on a microphone, or in front of a camera, and represent my brand. I’ve heard some competitors who want us to sponsor them say, “That’s a lot of work!” I just laugh. No, it's not. My dad laid brick and stone six days a week. That’s a lot of work! You have it made.
We’re not just about appearances though. We want athletes who are active, not only on social media, but also the sport. We want competitors who actually compete. One of the toughest jobs in my company is effectively managing our athletes’ appearance schedules around competitions and the hardcore, focused, training schedules that lead up to any event. It's a fine line, but an athlete's competition means as much to me as it does to them. And the harder I see them working the more support they get.
The reward we get is obvious: positive publicity for Gaspari Nutrition. What do they get? A nice supplemental income that allows them to commit wholeheartedly to their sport and at the same time, the opportunity to build their own brand. We really do want our team members to be more successful competitively, financially, and in notoriety than they ever could on their own. I'm well aware of the sacrifices they make, I made them too. The difference is, I want it to be better for them than it was for me. All I ask for in exchange is discipline and hard work.
I have a very simple point in all this: nothing worthwhile in life is easy. I guess you could win the lottery, but those who come into easy money usually can't handle it and end up broke, or even worse off than before they won the money. The vast majority of “lucky” people simply can’t handle all that “easy money.” They think they can get rich without working hard for it, and will then have the discipline and understanding to manage all that wealth. Sorry, life doesn’t work that way, and I'm not going to fool athletes with a cush job so they can end up worse off after their athletic career than before. I teach them about the value of hard work.
What I can offer your competitive and professional career has tremendous value, but you have to work for it! Because it's worth is. Nothing worthwhile in life is easy.