Sports Entrepreneurs Turn Passion Into Gold

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's 10:00 a.m. and you just finished your third unproductive meeting of the day. Next to you sits a cold grande caffe latte from Starbucks and an Everest-sized mountain of paperwork. You ignore them both, choosing instead to stare at your reflection in the sliver of glass that Human Resources has the nerve to call a window. Your blank face says it all.

There has to be a better way to make a living -- but what?

If you're the literary type you could go off the grid and live in the woods for a while. You'll have no boss to answer to, but you may not be so happy when you're stuck selling your vampire trilogy at the local flea market.

Another answer to the professional doldrums is to start your own business. After all, you'd be hard-pressed to find an occupation that requires more passion, drive and all-out mojo than being an entrepreneur.

Even more effective: Start a company in the sports industry. It won't be easy, but you'll likely benefit from a healthy, active lifestyle, and the lines between work and play may start to blur. If you're lucky, they'll fade away entirely.

"Quite honestly, I never work," says Jeff Archer, co-founder of YOLO Board, a stand up paddleboarding company based in Miramar Beach, Fla. "I'm always working, but I never work -- it's just how it all flows together."


For the past seven years, Archer and co-founder Tom Losee have spread the gospel of stand up paddleboarding, or SUP, across the Southeast. The company is small but growing. Last year they expanded to San Diego, and they've set their sights on the rest of the country.

"We see this as the water bicycle," says Archer. "It's something everyone can do. We're seeing giant growth in places that are just lakes and rivers, places you've never heard of before that have nothing to do with the coast or ocean and have more to do with just water.

"It's not a fad, it's not going away. It's a little bit of a drug -- gliding across the water is something special and makes you feel like a kid again."