Throughout my career I learned a lot about finding my strengths on and off the court. I learned how to become an effective player even though I don’t have the best natural skills. I have also learned that I have knowledge and experiences that can benefit young athletes looking to accomplish some of the things that I’ve been fortunate enough to. That allowed me to setup programs and products to help people and build a business in the process.As a young man growing up, I came from a single parent home. I was raised by my mother. We lived in a rough neighborhood filled with drugs, prostitution, and violence. It’s a miracle that I was mature enough to not be influenced by the things going on around me. Sports is one reason I was able to steer clear of those things. I would much rather compete and imitate athletes that I had seen on television than interact with the negative things going on around me.Looking back, basketball saved my life. It has challenged me in ways that have really shaped my character, work ethic, determination, and attitude off the court. I knew when I was nine years old that I wanted to play basketball for a living. At that point I became a lifelong student of the game. Their hasn’t been many days that have passed that I haven’t thought about basketball in some way or another.That fueled me to learn and study everything I needed to become a pro someday. I also watched my mom barely get by growing up. I would see how she looked miserable coming home from work. That also drove my desire to do something for a living that I would enjoy.With those things on my mind growing up I studied the game harder. On many of my early teams I didn’t play much. My birthday fell in an awkward time that made me play with older kids on all of my teams. With the lack of playing time and physical abilities of older kids, I often contemplated quitting the game. My desire to one day play professionally always overshadowed the present situations.I learned how to discover what I did well that others didn’t necessarily do well or things that they didn’t like to do. Once I learned this I was able to slowly improve my value to the team as well as my playing time. I learned that by playing harder defense, rebounding, and hustling would allow me to get playing time. All of the other kids were only focused on scoring and offense.I saw a void in those areas so I filled them. When the team needed one of those things that other’s didn’t want to put the effort to do, I got the opportunity to do it. That was one of my most important lessons in life. Many people have the same abilities and opportunities in many areas. The difference is that some people overlook smaller tasks that don’t get much attention to do things that the masses would like to do.I have been able to play at every level of basketball (amateur, high school, college, pro) because I focused on being able to do the overlooked things first before attempting to do what the masses are after. So if you’re looking to become an effective basketball player, the key is to be a complete player that can do the little things as well as the things that get the press.By doing those little things I was able to play the game for a living. Although playing basketball for a living has its perks, it has downfalls too. Most don’t realize that all pro athletes don’t make a lot of money. Some athletes make just enough to live off. Once I reached the pro level I found out about the business side of the game.I came fresh out of college and made decent money in my first contract playing in Europe. I didn’t realize that the next season was not guaranteed. I had a good season and I was excited about the next season. I came home for the summer to workout and prepare. Little did I know that economy would take a plunge and my agent wouldn’t be able to find me a deal the next season.I waited an entire year on my agent to find me another job. It never came. I lived off the money I had made my first season throughout that period of time. I had run out of money. I then was forced to go and take a job at Kroger to have something coming in while I still worked out following my dreams. This was a low period for me.That’s when I started thinking about my life and what would make me happy. I had to think about what I would do if I were unable to play again. I had a degree in Computer Science so that was a field that I thought about going into. I began offering small businesses my services. Luckily one took me up. It was not a lot of money but it proved that I could earn money in an unconventional way. I didn’t have to put in the same 7 hours at Kroger to make what I did in one hour of work for the small business.I had one small stream of income coming in on the side of my Kroger job. I started doing some more thinking. I was able to earn a little money in college from personally training kids. I remembered how much I enjoyed doing that. I made decent money for a hour or two of my time a week. That sparked the entrepreneur in me. I began personally training kids again. So at that point I knew how to make three small streams of income. I also remembered that I once through a camp while in school.I remember having around 15 kids in my first camp. I was so excited that the kids and parents attended my camp. I made decent money. I made more in 5 hours than I made in almost two weeks at Kroger. So I began thinking of how I could do group training again. It’s something that I loved to do and it was proven to make money.That led to me doing research of how to start my own after school program. I was able to figure it out and take care of all the licenses and paperwork that needed to be done. I planned out my program and was able to hire one of my best friends to work with me. It was not enough to quit my daytime job but I learned how to create another stream of income. It hasn’t been about the money for me. It’s always been about the process.I am driven by being able to do things that the average person isn’t able to do. I also began studying and spending a tremendous amount of time researching online entrepreneurs. I studied Tony Robins, Brian Tracy, Frank Kern, and Brendon Burchard. These people made me realize that I could maybe someday take what I’ve been able to accomplish in basketball and help other young athletes around the world. I was able to learn how to create my own information products.I spent a lot of time working on my book, video programs, website, and sales systems. I was able to sell some of my products that I created all by myself that were digital. I realized that my Computer Science degree had come in handy. I was able to create those things because of the skills that I had picked up in school. They didn’t cost me anything to make but my time. I didn’t make enough to quit my day job but I learned how to create another stream of income.I took another job working at a factory. I was working their part time while I was minding my own business after I left my job. I would get off and go train kids in my after school program. I would personally train a few kids on Saturdays. I would work on the small business’s website and social media on Sunday’s. Although my business was earning a little bit of money, I enjoyed doing those things and they didn’t feel like work. I had cracked the code of earning money while doing something that I loved.I had really felt like a million bucks because I was my own boss after I left the warehouse job. I began to dream again about how I wished I had learned how to put those things together before I turned pro originally. I thought to myself how great it would be if I could earn money in the states while I was gone playing basketball for a living. I became obsessed with the thought of how great that would be.The only problem was that my program that I had started only last about 5 months. I would also have to be in the United States to conduct my personal training. I would still be able to help the small business with their website and social media so that would be perfect. I would also be able to have my website and products online to help other athletes learn the skills that I have on and off the court so that would be perfect.The money earned in the United States wouldn’t be that much but it would be passive income. I could still live out my dream of seeing the world and playing professionally while still earning a little bit while I was gone. Well if you’ve read this far I must tell you that I’m currently doing this!I was working my warehouse job and minding my own business after my job. The warehouse was about to offer me a position in my field in a couple of months. I told my agent that my deadline was January 1. I would be done with basketball if I didn’t find a deal. I had been waiting a year and a half on the opportunity to play again. I was tired and about to give up. December 30 I received a call that a team in Europe was going to give me a chance to try out. It must have been the man above working because I had truly given up and was about to put my playing days behind me. I flew out of the United States on my deadline date Jan 1, 2013. I almost cried when I realized the date when I was on the plane.He answered my prayers of allowing me to see the world again playing the game of basketball, only this time I have a couple of small streams of passive income going on back home. My friend has taken over the after school program for me. I am still communicating and helping the small business back home. I have clients waiting to began training again once I reach the United States again. I also have my website that never sleeps now that can help athletes learn my story, blueprint and tips of how I became a professional athlete and entrepreneur!I learned today that I did not make the team. It’s a blessing anyway that the man above answered my prayers. He allowed me to play again abroad and earn at the same time while I was gone. So if my playing career is truly over now, I have credibility to teach other athletes what allowed me to have mild success on and off the court.I hope that everything works out for me and my family, that I get to continue playing. If it doesn’t I’m excited and looking forward to expanding my business of doing things I love on the side of a real job until I can go full time doing things that I love to do!Professional athlete and entrepreneur Wesley Channels signing out. Check out my website for free training of how to do these things discussed. Also please share this with others that could benefit from it. It was a long and depressing year and a half. Now I have weathered the storm and would like to help other’s avoid the same experiences.