Agent You
eBook - ePub

Agent You

Show Up, Do the Work, and Succeed on Your Own Terms

Nicole Lynn

  1. 256 pagine
  2. English
  3. ePUB (disponibile sull'app)
  4. Disponibile su iOS e Android
eBook - ePub

Agent You

Show Up, Do the Work, and Succeed on Your Own Terms

Nicole Lynn

Dettagli del libro
Anteprima del libro
Indice dei contenuti

Informazioni sul libro

What does it take to achieve your personal and professional goals? When is the right time to take calculated risks, and how do you prepare for the moment when opportunity presents itself?

If anyone can show you how to do this, it's Nicole Lynn. As the first Black female agent to represent a top three NFL draft pick, Nicole worked her way from childhood poverty to become a Wall Street financial analyst, then attorney, and now top agent to elite athletes and entertainers.

In a male-dominated profession, her success was earned through a combination of hard work, preparation, self-advocacy, tenacity, and faith.

"In this book, Nicole reveals her incredible journey and how she got where she is today." -Gabrielle Union (from the foreword)

Agent You shares Nicole's key strategies for creating a plan and executing it, even in the face of self-doubt and external obstacles.

In Agent You, Nicole will teach you how to:

  • Discover and stay focused on your purpose.
  • Develop your personal brand and advocate for yourself.
  • Prepare for big opportunities.
  • Land your dream job.
  • Manage your workload and still prioritize self-care.

Each chapter includes exercises to help you implement the strategies presented, so you can start working toward your goals today. You define what success looks like, unlock a plan to succeed on your own terms.

What will your legacy be? Regardless of what life's challenges you face, everyone can own their success story and walk in their purpose -- and Nicole believes you are your best agent.

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Find Your Purpose
“Find your purpose or you’re wasting air.”
—Nipsey Hussle, “Victory Lap”
If you’ve ever heard me speak live or listened to me on a podcast or attended a workshop I’ve taught, you’ve undoubtedly heard me say this phrase: “If you are not walking in your purpose, you are just working and living to die.” I hope that statement shakes you to your core. I hope that statement makes your stomach sink and makes you feel uncomfortable. I hope it lights a fire in you and makes you question everything.
How we use our time while on this earth is the most important decision we’ll make in our lives—and the goal should be to use this time by walking in our purpose. When you google the definition of purpose, this is what you’ll read: “The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.” Powerful words. When determining your life’s purpose, you’re determining the reason for which you exist, the reason for which you were created.
Wait. So, you’re saying we weren’t put on this earth to work really hard, gain and lose ten pounds over and over again, get in debt, then get out of debt, go on a fancy vacation, and then die?
Of course we weren’t.
We are each placed on this earth for a specific reason. This chapter is going to help you identify that reason. And listen, I get it. Every blog, every podcast, every influencer is talking about “living in your purpose.” It’s the new fad. Although I recognize it’s a trend, I’d be remiss not to talk about it in this book, because I believe nothing is more important than walking in your purpose.
Sometimes we overcomplicate the conversation about finding purpose. We assume that finding purpose involves an intricate, difficult task, like curing AIDS or ending world hunger. However, finding purpose is as simple as determining that the thing you’re doing every day is the thing you’re meant to be doing.
When you start the journey to identify your purpose, it may feel like you’re on a road trip without a map. You take one highway and discover you’re on the wrong highway, so you quickly exit and end up on the feeder road. You try to get back on the highway, but each of the entrances is blocked. So, you take a detour. The next thing you know, you’re back on the highway, going the wrong way. Then you’re on a side street. Then you’re in a dead-end cul-de-sac and don’t know how to exit. The journey to find purpose can take you on many different routes. I’m sure some of you reading this book right now have changed professions even two or three times. Started and ended businesses. Had passions that died off and then found new ones.
It annoys the crap out of me when authors and speakers talk about purpose while also seemingly hiding the ball. Like: “Oh, I’m so happy I’m walking in my purpose! What a blessing and an honor blah blah blah” (eye roll). Thanks, lady, but give me the secret recipe! These people make finding your purpose sound difficult, like it’s reserved for an elite group.
News flash, people: Everyone has a purpose, and finding your purpose should not be hard. Period. In fact, your purpose was placed deep inside of you when you were born, and now it’s just a matter of bringing that part of you to light, of discovering more of who you are. More of what makes you . . . you.
As someone who believes I am absolutely walking in my purpose, I want to help you do the same. Therefore, I’ve simplified how to determine what your purpose is and boiled down purpose to four criteria. I believe your life’s purpose is:
  1. Something you’re naturally good at;
  2. Something you enjoy;
  3. Something that makes an impact in the world; and
  4. Something you would do for free.
If you can check off all four of these items, you’re likely already living in your purpose. And I know there’s someone out there right now saying: “This is dumb. I’m in my purpose for sure, but I can only mark off three out of those four items.” While it’s not a perfect formula, I do think it will help point you in the right direction.
Let’s break down each of these criteria.
I sat on a panel with Microsoft vice president Lani Phillips. When asked about what she thought purpose was, she defined it as someone’s superpower—the thing that comes naturally to you. And I couldn’t agree more.
For instance, when you think about Superman, you probably think of his ability to fly. When you think about the Hulk, you probably think of his superhuman strength. What do people think about when they think of you? What is your “superpower”?
I don’t want you to make this difficult. Instead, think of the thing your friends identify as your strength. They might say things like, “Oh, Nicole is really good at that,” or “We could ask Taylor—she’s got a knack for that.” It doesn’t even have to be something you were taught or went to school for. Take a second and make a list of these things; maybe you have four or five things you excel at. That list will narrow as we apply additional factors.
If you’re having trouble with this list, ask some of your trusted family or friends. This might be uncomfortable, but their perspectives can be valuable for this exercise. You might be surprised at some of the things that you overlook, because, well, they come naturally to you! That’s a good thing—that’s your superpower.
Your purpose should be something you enjoy. I don’t believe we were put on this earth for a purpose that makes us miserable. So, ask yourself: Of the items on this list, what do I enjoy? What can I lose track of time while doing it? Maybe it’s dancing, and your purpose is to reach people through your performances. Can you dance for what seems like just a few minutes, and the next thing you know, two or three hours have passed? Or maybe you’re on a church committee, and you enjoy serving each Sunday in any capacity: greeting people, taking up offerings, or praying at the end. Maybe you’ve always been good at art, and when it comes to designing clothes, you could sit for hours on end drawing your dream pieces.
Now, I won’t say you have to enjoy your purpose all the time, because the journey to get to living in your purpose could be filled with obstacles. And just because it’s your purpose doesn’t mean it comes without grueling, hard work. My life as a sports agent is a living testament to that (keep reading—we’ll get to that later in the book). But I do believe that when you finally reach the destination, you will enjoy it. Walking in your purpose should bring you fulfillment and joy, but that doesn’t always equate to happiness along the way. Even after a really tough day—possibly with tears involved—you should be able to look back and say, “This is what I was meant to do.” So, take a look at your list and cross off any items you happen to be good at but wouldn’t enjoy doing.
Your purpose should have an impact on the world. Again, don’t make this complicated. Some of the obvious ways to make an impact include fighting for social justice, donating funds to a charity you care about, curing a disease, starting a nonprofit for homeless kids, and so forth. But here are a few other ways you may not have considered:
  • Being a mom or dad and raising kids to be good humans
  • Adopting a dog from a homeless shelter
  • Creating jewelry that makes the owner smile Making people laugh through your comedy
  • Taking things off someone’s plate by being an executive assistant
  • Coaching softball for middle school girls and teaching them the value of teamwork
  • Being a loving husband or wife to a spouse who needs love
All of these, plus many more, impact the world and shouldn’t be overlooked. Don’t let the world or society tell you what an impact is or isn’t. You define this on your own terms, as everyone is impacted differently.
In case no one has told you: your purpose and your impact don’t have to be your day job. Let me say that again in a different way: what you do to pay the bills doesn’t have to be your life’s purpose. I’m a civil litigation attorney who represents some of the world’s biggest companies. I handle high-level, complex, commercial litigation cases like breach of contract claims. Would I say I’m making an impact on the world by saving these Fortune 500 companies money and protecting them from liability? If I’m being honest, and by my definition of impact, I’d have to say no, I feel I’m making zero personal impact. Yes, I am good at being an attorney and I enjoy it, but I don’t feel I’m making an impact on the world through this work. Thus, I don’t find purpose in my day job. My purpose lies outside of that.
Maybe you’ll find purpose in your side hustle or your hobby or in your personal life or in your friendships or in your marriage. And, hey, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones whose purpose is in your work, and every single day you get paid for your calling. Either way, it’s important that whatever you deem your purpose is, it’s something that makes a lasting impact.
Look at your list again. You’ve narrowed down the things you are good at and crossed off the ones you wouldn’t enjoy. Now, remove those you don’t deem impactful. Perhaps this list only has a couple items left, and you’re that much closer to determining your purpose.
It’s now time to apply the “purpose test” to the remaining items on your list.
As long as I can remember, I’ve always known exactly what I wanted to do in life. I may not have always known it was called a sports agent, but I knew I wanted to help athletes. I never wavered on this, and every career step I took was to reach this goal.
I still recall the day I finally received the confirmation I needed to know I was truly walking in my purpose. It was a few years ago, and I was in my second year as an NFL agent. I was walking around my neighborhood with my best friend, telling her how excited I was to have successfully negotiated my first contract for a client. To me, a junior agent, the contract had taken forever. So much back-and-forth, so many days of research, and true negotiation skills. I was so relieved it was done, and I also was proud of myself for this accomplishment.
As I told her the story, she said: “That’s really great! So, how much money do you think you’ll take home from that deal when your commission comes out?”
I stopped in my tracks. “Commission?” I asked. Not one time while in law school, while studying for the NFL agent exam, while applying to sports agencies, or even while recruiting this particular player did I ever think about what I’d be paid.
I looked at her with a blank stare and said, “Wow, oh my gosh—I forgot that I get paid to do this.” And that was the moment. Right there, standing in the middle of my neighborhood, sweating like a pig (because of the hundred-degree Texas heat), I knew I was truly walking in my purpose! The entire time I had negotiated this player’s contract, it never crossed my mind that this was a job I was doing, and I’d be compensated for my work. So, when I realized I’d be making money—cash money—off of the deal I’d worked so hard on, this was an added bonus. The money clearly didn’t faze me, and it had nothing to do with why I was in this profession. I was in this profession because it’s my purpose.
I call this the “purpose test.” I was doing something I was good at, something I enjoyed, and something that was making an impact every single day with young athletes. Even so, it wasn’t until I acknowledged I’d do this job for free that I knew it was truly something I was called to do. When you’re struggling to determine if you’re truly walking in your purpose, ask yourself: If you didn’t need money, would you do this activity for free? For example, do you love blogging so much that you’d do it forever and not worry about what it brought in? Does the idea of owning your own business and being an entrepreneur excite you, or the funds that come from that job? The answer to the purpose test is how you’ll know.
Let me be abundantly clear about something: I do want to make money, and lots of it. Just because you want to make money doesn’t mean that gig isn’t your purpose. The purpose test simply asks about the initial excitement. Is the initial excitement about owning your own business and working for yourself, and the money is secondary? Is the initial excitement that you get to star in movies and walk on the red carpet and then, as an afterthought, you get paid too?
In that moment while walking around my neighborhood, I not only wanted to make money, I also needed to make money. I was drowning in law school debt and supporting my extended family back home. I had no help, so the money was necessary. But the money was my secondary excitement. Representing some of the biggest names in football was the primary excitement.
Even in writing this book, I didn’t think about how much I could earn from writing it. I’m writing this book because I...

Indice dei contenuti

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. Foreword by Gabrielle Union
  6. Introduction
  7. 1. Find Your Purpose
  8. 2. Get Your Dream Job
  9. 3. Be Your Authentic Self
  10. 4. Treat Yourself Like the Brand You Are
  11. 5. Embrace a Mamba Mentality
  12. 6. Stay Ready, So You Don’t Have to Get Ready
  13. 7. Get Comfortable with Losing
  14. 8. Do All You Can, Then Do No More
  15. 9. Ditch Imposter Syndrome
  16. 10. Score a Seat at the Table
  17. 11. Practice Self-Care
  18. 12. Let Go of Busy
  19. 13. Curate Your Tribe
  20. Conclusion
  21. Appendix A: Agent You: Take Action! Exercises
  22. Appendix B: Things to Remember
  23. Acknowledgments
  24. Notes
  25. About the Author