Navigating a Career Change from the Sports Industry to Financial Advising

Kyle Krebs

Key Takeaways

Kyle's journey offers several vital takeaways for individuals considering a career change:

  • Stay Adaptable: Embrace adaptability and be open to exploring new career paths when circumstances demand change.
  • Leverage Transferable Skills: Recognize and leverage transferable skills from your previous career, as they can provide a foundation for success in a new field.
  • Seek Support: If possible, have a support system in place to help meet immediate financial needs during the transition phase.
  • Embrace Humility: Approach the career change with humility and a willingness to learn, even if it means starting from scratch.
  • Seek a Team Environment: Look for a firm that combines individual motivation with a supportive team environment, providing resources and mentorship.

Kyle's story is a testament to the rewards of taking a leap of faith and pursuing a career that aligns with personal values and passions, even when it involves starting anew in a different field.

In this case study, we'll delve into Kyle Krebs’ journey, where he transitioned from a 14-year career in the sports and entertainment industry to a fulfilling role in financial advising at Strategic Financial Partners (SFP). Kyle's story underscores the importance of adaptability, transferable skills, and humility when making a significant career change.


Kyle worked in the sports industry for more than a decade including stints with an NBA team and a minor league baseball team. In 2020, the sports and entertainment industry faced unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic. Kyle's role as the Director of Ticketing for the baseball team became unsustainable as games were canceled, leading to layoffs for him and his department of 20 colleagues. With a child on the way, Kyle realized he couldn't wait for the industry to recover and needed to explore a career less susceptible to pandemic disruptions.

Challenges Faced

Kyle's transition presented various challenges, including finding a career that aligned with his skills, meeting the financial needs of his growing family, and starting over after 14 years in a different field. He considered other options, including a project management role in a painting company, but his degree in finance led him to explore financial services.

Discovery of Purpose

Having lived in Memphis since 2014 and having worked closely with financial services firms during his previous career, Kyle was familiar with the local financial planning landscape. His background in sports and entertainment also made him aware of SFP's concentration in serving athletes and coaches. He envisioned leveraging his existing relationships and passion for helping people make informed decisions.

“It's a joy for me to serve people,” Kyle said. “I think that's just part of my DNA. I feel very fulfilled and excited about the way I'm using my gifts and skills to help somebody get to a better place in their situation.”

Kyle's transition to financial services allowed him to combine his love for serving people and his desire to make a positive impact on their financial futures. He likened his role to coaching, where he guided households toward making better financial decisions, finding deep fulfillment in this responsibility.

“In the past, I have enjoyed coaching and leading teams of people,” he said. “And now I think of my job as leading a bunch of households of people to collectively all make better financial decisions. It is a joy to see that progress. The fact that I get paid to do it is great.”

Transition to a Fulfilling Career

Kyle embraced his new career, despite the challenges it posed. He recognized the need for humility as he ventured into an industry where he was starting from scratch in terms of knowledge and experience. He was determined to grow and provide value to his clients.

“When I sold floor seats for the Memphis Grizzlies, I understood the basics of getting to know a client, understanding what their needs are, and then trying to address needs. And that is a transferable skill,” he said.

Also, Kyle's wife played a crucial role in his career transition, with her job providing financial stability during the initial stages of his transition. This support allowed him to focus on building his practice without the immediate pressure of making significant income.

Unique Aspects of Strategic Financial Partners

SFP's unique appeal for Kyle was its blend of individual motivation and a supportive team environment. He appreciated that the firm encouraged its professionals to find what worked best for them while offering valuable resources and mentorship. The local presence of SFP in Memphis gave him credibility and an edge in building relationships with clients.

Kyle shared about his experience at Strategic Financial Partners, “You can draw experience and tools from other people who have been doing this for a lot longer. They are eager to help and share in the work that you're doing once you figure out what works well for you. There's a genuine interest here to do right by our clients. And also encourage the entrepreneurial mindset of the professional, but also be a part of a team.”

He added that he has benefited from the supportive environment, “People celebrate each other's successes and genuinely care if things are not going very well for other people who are part of our office. That is nice — coming from my background. I came from a background of playing team sports and being a part of a team in my previous career.”

Advice for Those Considering a Career Change

Having successfully navigated a career change, Kyle has some advice for someone considering such a big step: “Ask, ‘What do I care about doing as far as a career?’ A career is still just a means to put food on the table. But that career is a lot more fulfilling if you have a passion for or feel a calling to do it.”

Kyle also added that it’s important to understand your approach to work and your priorities. “Are you someone who’s going to be a self-starter to make it happen, instead of waiting for it to happen?”

“Are you someone who could be disciplined enough to live your life at the entry-level standard — from the time you put into the job to your spending habits and how you take care of your family?”

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What other career allows you to make a tremendous difference in the lives of people and still meet your income aspirations? This Financial Advisor career is different. It is empowering to the people who enter its service. It is impactful to the individuals and families it can help. You don’t need a Finance degree, but a high sense of motivation and determination are essential. It’s not always easy, and it’s always a challenge. You may not be able to change the world, but you can help change the future for your clients. It is a career where you see the positive outcomes of your best efforts.  Read on for more details on careers at our firm.