Moving from one job to another is always a little nerve wracking. Changing from one industry to another...that’s another ballgame entirely. We talked with Molly Fletcher again to learn about her experience transitioning careers and why she did it.
4word: You left a highly successful and lucrative career as a sports agent to become a speaker. What prompted this career shift?
Molly: It really evolved naturally and in large part was about staying open to opportunity. I wrote my first book while I was still a sports agent and as a result, began to get requests to speak. Simultaneously, I was bringing big speaking engagements to my clients (top athletes and coaches), so I gained an understanding of the appetite for this kind of content. As I began to get more requests, I really started to think about what making the shift from sports agent to motivational speaker would look like.
Ultimately, it was about the platform. As a speaker, I have an unbelievable platform to inspire, connect, and lead. To be able to share stories and experiences and connect them back to the audience for their benefit, and connect them to other people to help them in their own world—that’s incredibly rewarding. That’s what makes me excited when I wake up each day.
4word: As you transitioned careers, did you ever doubt your decision? How did you know you were making the right "move?"
Molly: Of course. I left a job that I really loved and that was very comfortable for me, in term of salary, benefits and clarity. When I left the agency where I had been for almost two decades, I had three keynote speeches booked that added up to about 5% of my base salary—yikes. We had planned for a dip as this ramped up, but it was still scary to take the leap. But the passion I felt for what I was about to do helped suffocate my fear, and I took a calculated risk. I saw a gap in the market, I had gained traction, and I had tremendous passion for what I was about to do. My advice: when your head and your heart are aligned, go for it!
4word: Upon entering your new career, you essentially had to reinvent yourself. What did that process involve and how long did it take?
Molly: I never really felt like I was “reinventing” myself, although I’m sure it looked that way from the outside. There was a common thread for me between what I did as a sports agent and what I wanted to do as a speaker and author. That common thread was building relationships. I’ve always thrived when it comes to taking raw connections and building them into authentic relationships. I believed that if I was able to do that as a sports agent in a high stakes, big ego environment, I would be able to get on a stage and establish an awesome connection with an audience of hundreds or thousands of people. It may have been a completely different career, but the premise was the same. It’s been six years now since I made the transition, and it continues to grow and evolve in an amazing and exciting way!
4word: Now that you've gone through a major career transition, is there anything you look back on that you would want to change?
Molly: The only the thing I would change is I wish I had done it sooner—a few years earlier than I did. The rewards, personally and professionally, have far exceeded my expectations.
4word: What are some tips you would offer to someone contemplating a career change?
Molly: Do the financial projections, the business plan, the competitive analysis, etc. Ask yourself: what’s at risk to make this change? But also get clear on your passion. Is it strong enough to suffocate the fears, the doubts, and the inevitable challenges that come with a new career and new road map? You will have tough days, but the key is recovering from those fast with passion and vision.
It’s also important to get clear on your mission in life. Does this transition align with your mission? Does this enhance your best self? Aligning your mission with your work allows you to bring your best self every day and can lead to some magical rewards.
Do you feel like a career transition is in your future? Like Molly, is a passion of yours quickly becoming more of a calling? Don’t be afraid to step out and start down a new path. The rewards could very well be worth the risk!
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Molly Fletcher is a trailblazer in every sense of the word. She is a rare talent of business wisdom, relationship brilliance and unwavering optimism. As a CEO, she shares her unconventional and unique techniques that made her one of the first female sports agents in the high stakes, big ego world of professional sports and now a successful entrepreneur.
Formerly, as president of client representation for sports and entertainment agency CSE, Molly spent two decades as one of the world’s only female sports agents. She was hailed as the “female Jerry Maguire” by CNN as she recruited and represented hundreds of sport’s biggest names, including Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz, PGA TOUR golfer Matt Kuchar, broadcaster Erin Andrews, and basketball championship coaches Tom Izzo and Doc Rivers.
As she successfully negotiated over $500 million in contracts and built lasting relationships, she also observed and adopted the traits of those at the top of their game. She has been featured in ESPN, Fast Company, Forbes and Sports Illustrated, and has energized organizations as diverse as AT&T, Bank of America, Michigan State University, Georgia Tech, the PGA TOUR and Home Depot.
Molly is the author of three books: A Winner’s Guide to Negotiating; The Business of Being the Best; and The 5 Best Tools to Find Your Dream Career. She’s also the founder of The Betterment Institute, a series of online coaching courses for corporations and individuals.
Molly has been recognized by Michigan State University with the Outstanding Alumni award and has received numerous other awards. She currently serves as a National Trustee member for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, after serving on the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta board and as a member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO).
Molly earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Michigan State University while competing in tennis as an elite college athlete. Molly’s energy and passion for life shines through everything she does. She finds her greatest joy at home in Atlanta with her husband Fred and their three daughters.