One of the key components to success in business, no matter your chosen field, is the ability to network effectively. This is as true for young professionals just entering their profession as it is for the more grizzled veterans of the trade. I have been blessed over the years to have a strong, vibrant, supportive network of colleagues, friends and associates in the sports business who have been a tremendous help to me in so many ways and on so many occasions. I would hope that I have added value to many of them as well, but that’s not for me to say.
At this stage in my career, I continue networking, albeit a bit more strategically than when I started out. Early on, I thought carpet-bombing my resume all over the professional sports landscape was the way to make inroads that would help me advance my career. That didn’t work out too well. Recalling the mistakes of my youth, and in appreciation for all of the help I have received and continue to receive, I am dedicated to building a different kind of network these days. One that will last for years to come.
I am actively seeking young people and young professionals to assist, encourage and support as they look to get started or advance in their careers in sports. Over the years, I have built relationships with scores of young people that I have met at conferences, through teaching and through unexpected communications on places like LinkedIn. Now I desire to be more focused and purposeful in seeking out young people to lend the proverbial helping hand. The plan is to communicate, in a meaningful way, with at least one young person a week – by phone, email or in person. I already have a number of young professionals on my list that I will be reaching out to immediately; people with a desire to work in sports I have met over the past several months.
This type of network, where I simply desire to sow into the lives of the next generation, is the type of network that will last. For I believe and am confessing that every person helped will, as their careers develop and advance, help scores of other young people. The powerful effect and influence of this type of network will be felt for ages. If you are an aspiring sports professional feel free to reach out; or you know of one, send them my way. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, some may think I’m asking for trouble, and that having such an open door may get a bit overwhelming. No concern there, as I am convinced that the greatest thing we can do on this earth is to help another person. I’m committed to greatness. For those of you who have been fortunate to build a successful career in sports (or who are on your way to doing so), why don’t you join me? Make a commitment to invest in the life of a young person to help them on their career path. Together, let’s leave a mark that cannot be erased. Together, let’s build a powerful network that will stand the test of time.