We chatted to Commonwealth Gold Medallist Alison Shanks about YES and the life of a professional cyclist.
School | Queen’s High School, Dunedin
YES Product | Sweet & Saucy – red capsicum sauce
Professional track cyclist Alison Shanks YES company created a profit with their capsicum sauce crafted from a local cooks recipe and this good start in business inspired her to complete a Commerce degree majoring in Marketing. Now Ali continues to apply her business and marketing skills working with her team of sponsors to develop and promote their brands including Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Avanti Cycles, NZ Beef & Lamb, Mizone and 2XU Apparel.
“YES gave me an understanding of all the different components that go into a company to produce one product and the importance of using each individuals expertise in their specialist area to get the best results. At that age you have to make decisions about your future and there are so many options. The YES experience unveiled an area that I found I was passionate about and it helped me decide to go on and do my degree” says Ali of her YES experience.
Ali continues to apply her marketing skills as an ambassador for the New Zealand Olympic Committee helping to promote the London 2012 Games.
As a professional athlete Ali trains around 400km a week on the bike both in the velodrome and on the road along with regular weekly gym sessions. Ali undertakes frequent international travel to races and to training bases (we spoke to Ali from her current base in the USA) but still calls Dunedin home.
“It was always my dream to be a Silver Fern netballer, but I got sick of too much time sitting on the bench so I jumped on a bike and turns out I was pretty good at it!”
Ali’s three tips for budding entrepreneurs:
- Search for something you are passionate about – you will know when you have found it as you will be excieted, motivated and mentally stimulated by the though of it and it won’t feel like ‘work’!
- Be prepared to put in the extra work, do everything you can to do a perfect job, the harder you work the more satisfying the rewards will be.
- Dare to dream big, have no “what if’s”!
Connect with Ali:
Website | www.alisonshanks.co.nz
Twitter | www.twitter.com/alisonshanks