It's Just A Title...
Being a Certified Agent is just a title.
The same way having “Founder” next to your name is just a title. Trust me, I speak from experience!
Sure I'm proud of the fact that I started my own agency! And I’m confident in my ability to figure out how to make it work. But just because I have "Founder" next to my name doesn’t necessarily mean shit! Sure, maybe I worked hard and put myself in a good position. If we lived in an effort-based economy I might be in first place!
But the reality is, we live in a results-based economy! So I need to continue to work at it until I get consistent results.
There are many amazing people in this world with accomplished titles next to their names. But there are also many people with those same titles that have run businesses into the ground because they were in it for the wrong reasons. And don't forget about the people without a title at all who are one of the best in their industry.
Your title doesn't say anything about your character. Or your values. It's just a title.
If you are getting into this agency business because you want to people to refer to you as “a cool sports agent,” or so you can put that title in your caption on Instagram, you will probably experience a long and miserable journey.
I’ll agree with you on the following statement -- being an agent sounds fun.
And since the barriers to entry to get your FIBA Agent license are ridiculously low, the amount of certified agents continues to increase exponentially. As of the beginning of last basketball season, there were 635 officially certified FIBA agents. On top of that, last year seemed to bring in a large class of new applicants. And if we count the people who operate overseas as an agent without officially having their license, we’re probably talking just short of 1,000 player agents in the overseas market. But there is a reason why the majority number of players are represented by the minority number of agents. Because this career is difficult! If it was easy, everyone would be making lots of money as an agent.
Which means one thing… being an agent is not necessarily the correct path for you!
[ Reminder ]: It could be! And I hope I can help you along the way if it is!
But the point of me starting this blog series was to shed light on what it’s really like to be an agent. If I can give one person some insight on how to match their skill set and passions to a career path outside of being an agent, (but stay involved with basketball), then this will be a success!
There is No Formula!
If you decide it’s the path for you, please remember there is no cookie-cutter formula for success! There are many different ways to get into the business, but here are three ways to try to get your foot in the door:
Work for free (get experience at an agency any way possible)
Tag along with a player (Family, friend, teammate? Stay close during their path to become a pro)
"The Department Shift" (Work for team or agency in a different capacity first, then work your way over)
As I shared in part I, people told me I should not try to be an agent when I was just getting started. But unfortunately those same people didn’t tell me why I shouldn’t! And those same people didn’t give me pointers on career paths that were different than becoming an agent, but similar enough that I could truly fulfill the passion.
So that’s what I hope to continue sharing with the next wave of aspiring agents. I hope I can share with you my biggest pieces of advice if you do become an agent. And I hope to share with you some alternate, but similar, paths that you can go down if you decide that being an agent is not for you.
Where to Begin? Identify your Relationships!
Do you get along well with coaches?
Do you understand the game at a high level?
Do you have direct access to high level players?
Do you communicate well and have the trust of decision making family members?
Do you have a network that includes front office personnel?
Do you have a significant other and/or children who need you to be around as much as possible?
Are you okay with being on the road 250 days out of the year? Can you afford that?
There are plenty more questions you should ask yourself. But that will be a good start. Based on your sincere answers to those questions, you can identify or eliminate potential career paths in the basketball industry.
Whether you end up in the NBA Draft Green Room in the near future or you decide to shift paths to become a coach or a scout, you will need to organize a plan for success.
Here are 5 Principles of Success that I continue to lean on as I grow personally and professionally.
Not everyone’s path is the same! There is no blueprint for success. There will be many challenges and every single day might look a bit different. So if you don’t like adversity, if you don't want to be in the personal services business, or if you are tempted to cut corners... than being a sports agent is probably not for you.
If you are willing to invest in yourself, stay patient and play the long game... you have a chance!
If you've been reading this series, I truly appreciate you! I hope I helped shed some light on what sports agents really do. And I hope you learned something that you didn't know before! If you have a different opinion on any of these topics, please let me know! Would love to hear your side.
If you are hungry for more or want to ask me a specific question, don't hesitate to reach out!
If you missed the previous parts of this series, check out the links below:
Part One: So You Wanna Be An Agent?
Part Two: How Do Agents Make Money?
Part Three: Sports Agency Business Model
Part Four: Contracts 101
Part Five: Agent Certification Process
Part Six: Recruiting 101
Part Seven: What Happens When Agents Get Fired?