From Rugby to Writer & Book Influencer: How Ben Mercer Reinvented Himself

Ben was a professional rugby player with an English literature degree — something not unheard of in the diverse rugby world, but also certainly not usual. After retiring from the sport, he was confronted with the task of redesigning his life. Although it was initially tough, he took the slow approach of focusing on the things he enjoys doing, which proved very beneficial in the long term. Ben has self-published 3 books so far, he is freelancing, running courses and he recently became a rising TikTok creator.

What We Talked About

  1. Life After Professional Sports: Ben shared the behind-the-scenes of his transition from being a professional rugby player to life after sports. He talks about the challenges he faced, such as income anxiety, ending a long-term relationship, and feeling anxious about the future. He also talks about mourning of his past identity.
  2. Career Change and Self-Discovery: Ben talks about the positive side of being forced to reinvent himself. He mentions working in various roles, such as a bike business, freelance writing, and project management.
  3. Writing and Self-Publishing: Ben shares his journey of becoming a writer, including his decision to self-publish. He started by writing articles and blogging, which eventually led him to write a book about his experiences. He discusses his decision to self-publish and how it allowed him to maintain control over his work.
  4. Personal Learning Journey: Ben talks about learning to enjoy his own company, challenging himself in new ways, and developing new interests like surfing and long-distance running.
  5. Embracing Social Media and Online Sharing: Ben shared how he started sharing on TikTok and Instagram which not only helped him connect with a wider audience but also opened up new opportunities. This helped his book to become a bestseller in the rugby category on Amazon.


On Transitioning from Professional Sports (26:00)

I was mourning the loss of my identity as a rugby player… It was a difficult time. I was anxious about the future, I had income anxiety, I’d just come out of a long-term relationship. I was underestimating how difficult that transition was going to be.

On Career Exploration (28:01)

I worked in a bike business, I did some freelance writing, I did some project management… I was just trying to find out what I liked. I was trying to find out what I was good at. I was trying to find out what I could make a living from.

On Networking and Community (33:03)

I was networking, I was joining online communities… I was meeting interesting people. I was trying to find out what was out there. I was trying to find out what I could do. I was trying to find out what I enjoyed.

On Writing and Self-Publishing (37:00)

I wrote a book about my experiences… I decided to self-publish it… It became a bestseller in the rugby category on Amazon. I was really proud of that. I was really proud of the fact that I’d done it myself.

On Personal Growth and Learning (39:01)

I learned to enjoy my own company… I challenged myself in new ways… I developed new interests. I learned to surf, I started running long distances. I was open to learning. I was open to personal development.