Host Kraig Kann chats with one of the most requested leadership executives on the speaking circuit. And Molly Fletcher has plenty of things to share.
Known as “the female Jerry Maguire,” Fletcher was a trailblazer as a sports agent, negotiating more than $500 million in contracts and representing names like John Stoltz, Tom Izzo, Doc Rivers, Erin Andrews and Matt Kuchar. Then, she made a big switch that didn’t come with a big game plan.
Now, as the CEO of her own company, Fletcher is a entrepreneurial content queen delivering for audiences as an author, podcast host and workshop facilitator. In this episode, she tells Kann why some fear new challenges in their career, why embracing fears and anxiety is a must, why public speaking is terrifying to many and why so many struggle to negotiate or ask their boss for a simple raise.
Join Kraig and Molly for her career and life story in this entertaining edition of Tracks to Success.
Welcome to tracks to success brought to you by presentation partners. This is the podcast that brings you inspiring people and they're inspiring stories. How did they find their way to the top and how can their path help you do the same? Here's your host network, broadcaster, executive and entrepreneur. Craig can
Right now on tracks to success. You'll hear from one of the most dynamic and engaging women in the business world. Today. She's a former division one college athlete who carved a niche in the world of professional sports as one of the first and most successful female agents. She's now flourishing as an entrepreneur and the CEO of her own expanding company. She's written multiple books. She hosts her own podcast and she's traveling the world as a sought after motivational keynote speaker, once labeled the female, Jerry Maguire, she's now busier than ever representing herself.
2 (1m 13s):
She's known as an innovative thinker and a master storyteller owning the stage and grabbing the attention of audiences around the world. Her name is Molly Fletcher, her inspiring story. And this edition of tracks to success starts now.
3 (1m 35s):
All right, Molly, this is a total thrill to have you. And obviously we go back a ways. My toughest challenge in this interview is that we can talk about a million things, but we've only got so much time, right? I mean, we only have so much, so I want to start with the, now you're a keynote speaker. You're an author, you're a CEO of a business designed to help people become their best self. You're a mother. It's not what you always did. The mother's been there for awhile, but you're probably busier now than ever.
4 (2m 8s):
Sure. Oh, sure. Well, yeah, no, you're sweet. I mean, well, you know, for 20 years almost I was a sports agent and, and transitioned to the world that I live in now. And, you know, I, I'm probably as busy as I was then, but I control my time a little bit more than I did as an agent, as an agent, as you know, from the work that you did. And I had the pleasure of representing you, you know, it was, you know, you're reacting a lot to you when you have, we had almost 300 athletes and coaches who are waking up everyday doing what they do, and which naturally means that you've got, you know, people that are getting hired and fired and athletes are getting released and coaches that are, you know, looking at other jobs and trades injuries.
4 (2m 51s):
And so it was, it was reacting at some level. I mean, as much as you can be proactive, you do at some level react. And, but yeah, now, so I speak and write and, and it's, it's just an honor and a pleasure, but certainly my number one priority is, is, you know, being a wife and a mother to three, three teenage daughters and my wonderful husband, Fred. So it's a, it's fun.
3 (3m 13s):
Yeah, I bet it is. And the three teenage daughters, Oh my I've, I've got that as well. I don't have three, but, but I understand where you're going. So we're going to talk a lot more about the agent stuff in just a bit and the keynote speaking and the books and all of that. So more on those topics as we move along, but I need to give our listeners some history on you. Let's take us back where was home as a kid. And the funny part of this is if I was going to interview your parents, like, would they have seen all this coming? Where were you that kind of a kid?
4 (3m 45s):
Yeah, well, I don't know what all this coming to means, but I, you know, my, my parents are incredible people and I'm so grateful. They're both still alive, you know, 78 and 82. And I grew up in East Lansing, Michigan with twin brothers that were five years older than me who treated me a whole lot more like a little brother than a little sister. And they were awesome. And, and our, and, you know, we are a very close family. I talked to my parents and my brothers actually every day, I'm 48 years old, probably people think, well, that's pretty weird, but we're very close. And, and so, you know, I grew up in a home where, you know, they were, there was just a ton of love, but they, you know, my, my parents were the kind of people that sort of always taught us.
4 (4m 33s):
You know, my father was a pharmaceutical sales rep who was a sales guy, right at the core of my mom was a teacher. So I think all of that has rolled up into the way I show up today. And, and I'm so grateful for the foundation that we had both from, you know, the things I learned around the dinner table, but also just the love that existed in our home. And, but when I graduated, I played tennis at Michigan state where I had the, after, you know, I grew up in East Lansing and then I was such a big girl. Right. I went to,
3 (5m 1s):
Yeah, I was just going to say, why, why, why did you not like venture off?
4 (5m 6s):
You know, because honestly I was okay coming out of high school at tennis, but I started when I was like 14 playing tennis. So that was pretty late, but I loved it. And when I leave, when I kinda got going with tennis, I, you know, I really went after it pretty quick and pretty hard, but I wasn't in a position to really play at a D one level at a ton of schools and Michigan state. Fortunately, the coach knew me cause I was local, knew my coach and knew that I was really continuing to get better and that I had a lot more in me. And she, I mean, she bet on me, right. I was a recruited walk-on and for that, I'm so grateful. And then I came in and there was some injuries and I find myself playing one doubles and singles out of the Gates as a freshmen and, you know, earned a scholarship by my sophomore year.
4 (5m 50s):
And you know, it was captain the team and it was just, it was special, but it was a blessing, you know, I, I am so close to my and dad and, and truth be told, I'm not sure I was ready to go too far away. So it was really a blessing to be able to be a student athlete right there. And my parents came to every match and all that.
3 (6m 6s):
Yeah. That's real cool. Did your, did your brothers push you around a little bit or, or did they toughen you up,
4 (6m 12s):
Dude? They, they toughen me up. I mean, they were, I mean, they, you know, they were both pilots and our pilots one flew a <inaudible> <inaudible>, they were both military guys and I'll fly for the airlines, but they, yeah. I mean, it was, it was kind of a situation where like, if they were all wrestling, my dad and my brothers and I decided to jump in, cause I thought I can hang. It was short of a thing. We're lucky if you step into this madness, you don't go cry. And after to me, cause you chose to step in. And so there were so many moments like that in life, right. That are such powerful metaphors for like today. Right. And you know, so, and, and they were, and they were, you know, they were things like I've said before publicly, like my, I would come home with a, you know, an a minus and I was an okay student, but I'd come home with an a minus and I'd be really pumped because I got an, a minus and only three kids got an a and everybody else got, you know, a, B or a C.
4 (7m 6s):
And you know, my mom would like love and kindness would sort of look at me with real authentic curiosity and say, well, what do you think those people that got an a did you know, and I'm super pumped, I got an, a minus, but it was always this undercurrent of, you know, just, there's always a way to kind of get better and, you know, and, and again, with like love and kindness, it wasn't, it was just a curiosity and it was a powerful thing. So, you know, they, I give them a lot of credit and they say, you shouldn't give me so much, so much credit, but I, I do because they they're, they're incredible people
3 (7m 42s):
What'd you major in, at Michigan state and D what's the tied to anything about being an agent?
4 (7m 49s):
No, I, I, Craig, I was a communication arts major and I think that was candidly because that's what all the student athletes majored in when I was a student athlete. Right. And, and the truth is, I didn't know what I wanted to do. I really did not know. And that's why, you know, when my daughters, they're 16, 16, and 17 now, and they'll, you know, when, when people sort of try to put pressure on kids now to feel like you got to know, you got to know and, you know, I think it's okay not to know. I mean, I, I had no idea, but what I was was really curious and I always wanted to learn and, and, and, and understand how, you know, all the different ways in the world that you can make money and make a living and give back and contribute and all those things. And, and it provided a good foundation for sure, you know, into the, into the world that I went in, in, but into, but as I'm sure you say in the work that you've done, you know, I wish I had a psychology minor cause as a sports agent really that I, you know, that that's really what I tell young kids.
4 (8m 45s):
They'd sorta joke. I joke with them and say, you know, major, you know, maybe business, but my psychology man, because that's what it is. That's what it is.
3 (8m 53s):
No, I mean, I look back at broadcasting as a major and I'm like, okay, that's all great, but it's such a narrow focus. And there's so many other things in life that, that we end up doing and needing, you know, you go all the way back to like high school. And you're like, why didn't they give me this class? Or when you take electives in college, there's so many now that they should force upon kids that would help them later in life. Now,
4 (9m 14s):
No, no question. Oh no, no question, no question. I mean, I, I wish I would have taken more business and accounting and, and things of that nature, but you know, again, like all of us in life and in business, we have, we all have gaps and I certainly have plenty. And, you know, you just try to hire people and put people around you to close those gaps and bring, bring strength to your weaknesses. And, and that's, you know, that's what you try to do
3 (9m 36s):
First job out of school. What was it? And how did this path to being an agent happen?
4 (9m 43s):
Yeah. Yeah. So I graduated and I moved down to Atlanta and long story short, I negotiated a deal to live in an apartment complex in exchange for my rent, by teaching tennis. It's a super long story. I won't, it's on YouTube it's ever, but I, I, it was, you know, I only had about 2000 bucks when I got down to Atlanta because I wanted to move to Atlanta because there was, you know, the super bowl, the Olympics, a couple of pro teams, college teams. And I knew I wanted to be in sports when I, by the time I graduated, but I didn't really know what that meant or what that even really looked like. But I knew that was an area that I had a lot of interest in. And, and so, you know, when I was able to teach tennis for my rent, it gave that two grand and Octavia lasts a little bit longer.
4 (10m 24s):
And so long story short, I started networking. And, you know, I always tell young kids and, and people really in general, right? Like, you know, when you ask for a job, you get advice. When you ask for advice, you end up with a job. And so my strategy was, I'm gonna ask as many people as I can for advice and try to get 15 minutes with a whole bunch of people. And I got an opportunity. And I, as I say, I, you say on my resume, I was the liaison between, you know, the, the NFL commissioner, you know, the super bowl, host committee, volunteers, transportation. But what I was was I answered the phone at super bowl 28. So it was super bowl, 28. This is Molly all day long every day. And that was my first job. I mean, I answered the phones, but I worked for this woman.
4 (11m 7s):
And, you know, I'd always believe that in tough things, there's always good stuff. And, and I worked with this woman that was pretty difficult and she didn't take, you know, I would put people on hold and she wouldn't pick them up and they would get mad at me cause I'm, you know, but she would just sort of put all these incredible, I mean, you know, Paul Taglia who write like a commissioner of the NFL, but you know, the CMO of Coke, the CML of home Depot, the CMO of Delta to put these people on a whole. And so fast forward though, they would come up into the office too. And, and they, they would see this sort of shirt shenanigan that was happening. Then I was trying to navigate them. Well, I was waiting, I got to know these incredible leaders.
4 (11m 47s):
And I thought, you know, if I can get them to like, and respect me enough, maybe they're hot, they'll help me or they'll hire me. And so I did that for about six months, and then I continue to navigate and network with, with often kind of these incredible people that were kind to me when I was young and early on. And, and then I found myself with an opportunity at, at a small sports agency. We had about four clients when I came in and my role was to go get endorsement and appearance deals for the athletes and coaches that we had. And, and I did that for about a month. And then I thought, God, how are we going to grow? Right? Like, how are we going to get more talent? Because that's really where the opportunity is, is if you can get more athletes under management, you can negotiate their primary deals.
4 (12m 31s):
And that's where, you know, the, the firm can end, the agency can grow and show. I went into the CEO and said, let's look, what's our growth plan. And he said, referrals. He said, it's all referrals. And at the time it was Chuck Daley referred Mike for Tello and for tele referred Lenny Wilkins. And he's walking me. I said, well, what if we got more aggressive? And, and of course I was probably standing there in a skirt and he's thinking, well, what has, how does that work? Right? Like you didn't coach in the NBA and you didn't play big league baseball. And like, and I put a business plan together. And fortunately he blessed it. And I, you know, started recruiting, you know, initially baseball players that were coming out in the track guys that were coming out of Georgia tech and Georgia that were right in my backyard.
4 (13m 13s):
And, you know, kind of with down there, you know, just trying to outwork everybody, leaning on the fence every day and signed some guys that year and the next year. And, you know, anyway, I'm talking too much, but, and then it evolved from there.
3 (13m 26s):
Well, I tell kids all the time when it comes to the networking idea, don't treat your conversations. Like you're looking for something, treat them as a research project, right? Ask questions, figure out how, you know, you can find a way in that you'll help them and don't worry about them helping you. And I think that helps a lot of people to kind of come up with a proper focus. Let let's talk about you as the agent. Okay. And I'm going to give you the labels that people say about you. A number one, which I know you've heard this, you've seen it. It's printed. It's pretty cool. The female, Jerry Maguire. All right. We all know this, show me the money and all that stuff. Do you like that? Does that rub you the wrong way?
3 (14m 6s):
The right way? How do you feel about that?
4 (14m 8s):
Yeah. You know, I, it's funny people ask me that I don't over think it, right. Like, to me, it's just a quick, a quick way for people to say, Oh, I get what she did. Right. Like I get it. Like, I don't, I don't overthink it. I mean, some people think, well, gosh, is that offensive or whatever, or is that, do you like it? Whatever, you know, it's just, it's a way to contextualize the work that I did for people pretty quickly. And, but I tell you, when you feel old is when you're sitting there with a 22 year old and they're like, <inaudible> and I'm like, Oh man, this is not good. So yeah, for our age group at work.
3 (14m 41s):
Oh, terrible. People also say, you're a trailblazer. Now I like this one for women in the sports agent world. And maybe beyond that, Molly, what does that mean to you?
4 (14m 52s):
Well, I'm grateful for that. I mean, I've had the opportunity to try to influence a young, a lot of young women over the years. And, and for that, it's wonderful. I mean, I think whenever we find ourselves with, with whatever the world has deemed to be, you know, a bit of a platform, you know, the, the, the thing that's most important in that, in my opinion, is to use that, to give back. And so to be able to influence and support, you know, young guys and girls, but young people who want to navigate and, and, and lean into this space or women in general, right. That are dealing with different things. I may not speak a lot. And oftentimes, you know, if it's, you know, I spoke to Lowe's to, to all their women or to a technology company, to all their women where there's not a lot of men.
4 (15m 33s):
And so when I can find myself, whether it's with young and old women, supporting them being oftentimes sometimes the only woman in the room and telling them what I found work worked and sharing mistakes that I made, but certainly things that worked and in hopes that it helps them, you know, to me, that's the gift and sort of any reference to sort of being a trailblazer.
3 (15m 54s):
Yeah. You've represented a lot of people, my guess, is that like me and kind of mention this already. There's so much stress and anxiety that, that goes with athletes or broadcasters giving their careers, right. Putting their career in the hands of somebody else, an agent like yourself, how did you manage that?
4 (16m 16s):
Well, you're and you're right. I mean, and I just, I took it very, very seriously because these guys and gals that we work with have oftentimes if it's an athlete, particularly such a short window of time to do something really special, you know, to make and contribute and do something that they've oftentimes, maybe worked 10, 15 years to sort of get to this place that only has so much time to probably do it. Now, Tom Brady is unique and special. And you see some of these guys that stay in this space for a long time. But when you look at the data and the stats, I mean the average length of a baseball guy or an NFL guy, I mean, it's not very long at all. And so to me, it was about taking that window of time incredibly seriously, and recognizing how unique it is and, and treating that athlete or coach or broadcaster as a CEO.
4 (17m 5s):
And they are now running a business that has, has a clock ticking on it every single moment. And to ensure that you maximize every opportunity inside of that window of time for them, but also prepare them for later. I mean, I think an agent's responsibility, isn't just the right now, but, but the later and particularly, you know, for, for, for athletes, because it will end. And, and I always used to tell my guys look, man, when, when that Jersey isn't on your back anymore, when you're not making 10, 15, $20 million a year, everybody doesn't take your call like they do now. And it changes. And I know you don't think it will ever change because you live in this world where you have hundreds of thousands of dollars coming in every other week that is not normal.
4 (17m 49s):
That is unique. And we have to be incredibly diligent responsible about it. So I took it incredibly seriously and try to ensure that, that I gave them all I got inside of that window of time. That was imperative.
3 (18m 5s):
Give us one of your clients that stands out, that you use in your talks and, and, you know, you respect so much and it was a pleasure. And all of that, I know you have a bunch and we could look all that up, but is there one that stands out to you that influenced you?
4 (18m 20s):
Yeah. I mean, boy, it's tough to pick one, to be honest. I mean, I'm so grateful cause we, we always represented really good people who happen to throw a baseball a hundred miles an hour, right. Or what happened to win a lot of basketball games, right. Or happen to be incredible on TV, but they were first good people. And that was always a number one priority priority for me because you're working 24 seven. And so when you look down and see that name on your phone, you want to like, and so that was important. But I would say, you know, John Smoltz was a writing and a pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. And, you know, John, I, I have so much respect for the way that he did what he did, the way he went about his, his career, his role, his platform.
4 (19m 1s):
And, and it's funny because I show all the little moments in these guys' lives in gals lives. I mean, and the world just saw the big moments. You know, the worlds would just see John step out on a mountain game seven and you don't throw hard, sit guys down and, and, and win game seven of all right. You know, that's what the world saw. But I saw, you know, the drive to the ballpark when he would call me because he had a hangnail on his thumb and he couldn't grip his curve ball. Like you want it to, you know, and or the, you know, the hamstring that he couldn't tell that to the, you know, the trainer about. Cause they thought he pulled from his next start. I mean, I shot all the little moments and the grind and, and the competitiveness that he had and, and the personal stuff that was, he was navigating around in his own life.
4 (19m 45s):
And I would hear, you know, the, the, the challenges in his personal life. And then I would watch him step out on a mound and, you know, throw 80 or 90 pitches. And, and, and I thought the world doesn't need that world thinks he's incredible. And they don't even know everything. And he is even more incredible than you think, because, so, you know, he is an incredible competitor, but he's a great human being. He's a great husband. He's a great dad. He, you know, he's a guy that shows up at children's healthcare of Atlanta on Christmas day, and doesn't want anyone to know about it. You know, he's the guy that's packing turkeys on Thanksgiving and doesn't want anyone to know about it. And that is cool.
4 (20m 26s):
You know? So he and Tom is always a, you know, it's probably no coincidence. They're both Michigan guys, but you know, you know, Tom is a guy that I respect because he's not changed. You know, he's had a lot of success, but he still same guy, you know, this guy from iron mountain, Michigan who, you know, he, I was on the phone with him the other day and he was laughing. He said, you know, Michael, I mean, I was out cleaning out my garage and some guy drove by and said, you do that. He was like, well, do you clean out your garage? And the guy goes, we got, and he goes, well, then why can't I clean out mine? You know, it's like, just cause I, you know, do X or Y. And so I, I guess the guys that I appreciated and loved the most were, and the girls were the ones that were authentic and, and that use their platform for good.
4 (21m 15s):
And, you know, and recognize that it was so much more about, it was so much more than about, you know, baseball or, or coaching. You know, it's about creating, you know, a team or advancing young men into the world. That's what it's about. So why'd you get out? Why just stop it? So we had, you know, so fast forward, it was 18 years almost. And I had about 300 athletes coaches, a team of agents that serve our, our clients. And so I, when I I've always been fascinated with peak performance and, you know, and that was one of the things I love the most about it was I was around, you know, top 1% people from a performance perspective. And so I started to see a common denominator and, and peak performers, whether it was, you know, the things that made doc rivers great was the same things that made a broadcaster grader or Tom Izzo, or, you know, Ernie Johnson jr.
4 (22m 10s):
And, and I started to see that I felt, you know, this can help people that this, this behavior and this mindset that, that I'm seeing with all of these different kind of performers, if you will, it can help people. And I thought, you know, I'm going to write a book about it. And so I wrote a book and I pushed it out into the market and it did pretty well. And so then, like companies started saying, Hey, Molly, will you come and talk about your book? So, you know, a lot of financial companies were coming to me to talk to their advisors. And so I started speaking about the book and, and, and then I found myself like at the back of the room, there would be other people that would see it. And then they would say, Hey, well, you know, when you come and do our national sales conference or where you come and do our, you know, sales kickoff in January, where you come and do.
4 (22m 55s):
And so I was like, well, yes, yes. Cause I felt like, man, that's just really cool. Like this is really helping people a lot. And I was getting feedback that it was helping people and I was getting emails and you know, all that. And I thought, man, this is really cool. Like, I feel like I've been blessed with this platform that now can help people, which, which was cool. And so, you know, I, so then I find myself at a place where I was like taking vacation days to go speak and, you know, I would land. I remember once I landed like Pittsburgh and small T called me and he was like, Hey, what are you doing? And I was like, Hey man, I just leave it. That's where he was like, Oh, who are you saying? And I'll never forget that moment. I was like, actually, when I'm speaking to a group of salespeople from Metronic or something, and he was like, Oh, Oh really?
4 (23m 36s):
Huh. Like, and I felt in that moment, very unauthentic. And I was like, I can't do both of these things at the same time for very long, I'm going to have to make a decision. This is these two worlds are. And, and you know, at the time I girls were getting older, you know, I was on the phone 24 seven and I was feeling this pull and I trusted myself and I believed that I could make this all go and work. And, and so I jumped. Right. Which was probably, you know, crazy. I mean, at the time, because I, you know, I was, I had, I don't know, 10 keynotes on the blocks for 10% of what I was making and an awesome team of eight, you know, clients and, and, and agents.
4 (24m 22s):
And, but I gotta be honest. I mean, it was the best decision I ever made. I actually wish I would have done it in like a year or so sooner than I did it. And you know, now I, I speak about 50 times a year. I've gotten five books out and, and, and feel like it's a message that that's transferring and helping business people do what they do with, you know, maybe just a little bit better, a little bit differently with a little bit different perspective. And, you know, using sports as that metaphor is powerful. So, you know, and I show it, wasn't like this grand plan. I wish I could say that, you know, but like a lot of our lives and like a lot of our work, I think it's like Arthur blank who owns the Falcons, told me once he said, you know, Molly, if you listen to your heart and you close a gap in the market and serve people, you're probably gonna make it.
4 (25m 10s):
You're probably gonna do all right. And that was really kind of what happened. So it's been a fun journey.
3 (25m 17s):
Molly Fletcher is our guest on this edition of tracks to success, tracks to success is brought to you by presentation partners, visual storytellers, passionate about connecting presenters with their audience. All right. You just talked about how scary it is to kind of venture off and do your own thing. And, and you mentioned the books. So you're, you're way ahead of me on all this stuff. Five of them, as you mentioned, interestingly, each kind of fits nicely under the topic of this podcast tracks to success. You got one, your dream job game plan, another one, the business of being the best, the third one, five best tools to find your dream career. So let's address that group because each of those kind of empowers people as I see it.
3 (26m 0s):
And I'm sure you too, to find their personal career happiness. Right. Do you find in the people that you talk with Molly that most people are feeling a little bit stuck and unhappy in their career?
4 (26m 14s):
No. Yeah. I mean, you know, I mean, it's staggering data out there around that. Right. And, and, you know, you work a lot in your life, right? And so part of the impetus around these books is, is, is to try to try to help people a, have the courage to make a change if that's what they need to do. But more importantly, you know, how do you recognize that? What we do is a really big part of the, the lives that we live. And we work a lot. I mean, we work 82,000 hours. I think I did the math once in lives. Right? Like it takes me 15 minutes to empty the dishwasher. And I gotta tell you, I hate it. Right. So like, yeah. So, I mean, I don't want to do anything for 82,000 hours if I don't love. And you know, this life thing is not a dress rehearsal, right.
4 (26m 56s):
I mean, we don't get to do it twice. So I am a, and all of these books, I hope help people recognize that, that we, we don't get to do this again. And, you know, having the courage to make a change, if they need to make a change to discover the gaps in their lives or in the lives of the people that they do want to serve and support, you know, and, and you know, one of my latest books, the energy clock helps people get really clear on what gives you energy and what drains your energy and how can you wrap the life that you live around? The things that give you energy. Because if we have energy, we can give that energy to the people in our lives that matter most, both personally and professionally. And so, you know, like you, and like all of us, we all have stories.
4 (27m 39s):
And that's what all my books are. That's where all my keynotes are their stories both personally, and about the athletes and coaches and broadcasters that I worked with it that I think are probably a story that connects with so many people in the world. Cause we all have our own stories.
3 (27m 53s):
Yeah. The energy clock is fascinating. And I hope people will read that. Cause you're talking about energy buckets and, and, you know, kind of putting your, putting yourself into different categories. But I want to ask you about one of your other books, because I think this is an interesting one, a winner's guide to negotiating. All right. And you told the story, this probably all started Molly when you were a tennis coach and you're trying to negotiate with your apartment complex or whatever. But most people I think are scared to death to sit across from somebody and represent themselves. Would you agree with that? And if so, why do they not understand their value or, or they're too nervous?
4 (28m 32s):
Well, I think, I think people are afraid to change the relationship. You know, I think people are afraid that they might offend somebody. I think they're afraid that if they ask for what they want, that the relationship could be strained or go away, there's a myriad of reasons. I think, you know, but, but I would say too, there's a gender component, right? I mean the data shows, right. Men compare negotiation to go into a football game, right. And women compare it to going to the dentist. And, and so, you know, it is a, but I, I believe it's an incredibly important thing to learn how to do. I think that we miss every day, lots of times throughout the day opportunities to negotiate. I think they're all around us. I think it's, you know, people often think of negotiation as money.
4 (29m 15s):
I think it's about negotiating where you spend your time, where you spend your energy, you know, it's, it's negotiating little things all day long. And, and, and I would argue that it's all day, every day, all around us and that if we start to recognize and practice in the little moments, right, like maybe it's begging the barista at Starbucks to throw a free shot of vanilla, you know, in your, in your coffee and in a way of the 25 cent charge, right. Like start to have fun with it. Just fun. Sometimes I, but I, I think the way that, you know, what I always try to share is that, gosh, if we can practice in the little, little moments in our lives, those are all the things that help us practice when we've got to renew a big vendor contract when we've got to negotiate a compact for ourselves, or even sometimes with our darn kids.
4 (30m 3s):
Right. All of the little moments in our lives prepare us. I think for often the big moments. And you know, for me personally, I lived in a world where I negotiated every day, all day long for my clients mostly. And what I found when I kinda got out into the sort of the real world, if you will, the business world, I found that man, people don't see it like an everyday thing. And that it's such a powerful thing though, if you can lean into these moments and, and, and I've always believed that the stronger the relationship, the better the outcome. And so we, we actually, about two years ago, I launched game-changer negotiation training. It's a one day training program where we go into organizations and we deliver this training.
4 (30m 48s):
And, and I launched it because what I realized is, gosh, all of these tools and tactics that I learned for almost 20 years as an agent, and these are obviously transferable and that in a world where people think that the relationships are supposed to be, you know, get on, on the opposite side of the table, take your gloves off and go at each other. Right. That's what people think of. I think when they think about sports agents in the sports space, but what I found was the opposite, right? That the stronger my relationship was with the network executive or the general manager, or, you know, the athletic director or the rep the better the deal. And in fact, the better the relationship, the quicker I could close the deal and I can close a better deal.
4 (31m 31s):
So what we teach people how to do is how can you be intentional about knowing how you show up at the negotiation table? How is the person that you're negotiating with show up? I think one of the mistakes people make is they spend a lot of time worried about what they want and not enough time in the head and the heart of the person you're negotiating with and all of that drives connection and the stronger, the connection, the quicker and better the deal.
3 (31m 56s):
So we both do workshops. And I know there are so many people that do workshops like we do. And I always think, all right, I don't want mine to be like that. I don't want mine to be like that. I don't want it to be like that. Mine's got to somehow be completely different from what anybody else offers. And that's how I try to choreograph the whole thing. So you just talked about the people on the other side of you in negotiation, what's most important for the people on the other side of you. In other words, what is the main thing that Molly Fletcher tries to get across to everybody sitting on the opposite side and in a workshop,
4 (32m 33s):
In a workshop? Right? So, and I have coaches that deliver our programs all over the world. So I actually don't deliver that many of them, although I do do some virtually now, but the most important thing is obviously, I mean, it will, it's a ton of things, right? It's an eight hour, one day program. And there's a ton of things that extend from that day. But I think that, that you've got to make it personal. You've got to make it real, right. I mean, if, if it becomes personal eventual, a lot of times we have a case study in our workshop that we customize that case study for people. So it's, it's about the work that they do. It's about the business that they're in. It's about the kind of deals that show up in their own lives. So when we, we know in life and adult learning that the more personal we make it, the more of that content and that behavior is changed and absorbed.
4 (33m 19s):
So we make it personal and they practice. We have no PowerPoint at all in our workshop. People are moving around from the beginning of the day and they're practicing and they're practicing in groups of two in pairs. They're practicing groups of four. When we do it virtually, we break out into breakout rooms and zoom up to have groups of four. But the most important thing is that it's personal and they practice and it's dynamic. And, and, and, you know, I think one of the biggest feedbacks we get is that there's absolutely no PowerPoint, right? It's not a deaf, I mean, there's not one thing we need no screens, right? I mean, it is boom. They're getting, they're rolling up their sleeves out of the Gates and, and getting it done. And, and they, they leave having actually worked on deals that they're inside of right now.
4 (34m 4s):
So they're getting work done that's real and relevant. Exactly. And so that's incredibly powerful too, because not only are they learning and practicing, but they're actually,
0 (34m 16s):
1 (34m 20s):
In addition to hosting this podcast, Craig leads the cannon advisory group focused on elevating communication for companies and individuals, company consulting and powering team and individual workshops, mind altering webinars. And Greg's inspiring keynotes for your conference or company meeting. They're all on the menu of services. Can advisory helps companies clarify their message, helps professionals build and showcase their brand and helps everyone present their best selves. So if you're the leader of a team or company looking to give your employees a game changing one day experience, or an individual who wants to become a speaker and presenter that gets other people talking visit Ken advisory.com.
1 (35m 10s):
And when you do connect, make sure to mention the tracks to success podcast, to receive a special discount on any of the can advisory services. That's can advisory.com. Now back to the interview.
0 (35m 23s):
3 (35m 29s):
A couple of questions before I let you go tied to speaking, which is now something that you do all the time. And by the way, I got another Starbucks question, which will be my, so hang tight for your negotiation with the Starbucks person. All right. Let's talk about speaking in public. Now you got to know this, cause you talked about, you know, how you had a couple when you first started and all that. And I want to ask you about your nervousness because that's, that's what I coach, I've seen you in action. You're amazing. And you do connect, but the number one fear among all Americans is public speaking. And number two is death by the way, which to me is completely laughable because it basically says right, that, that people would rather be buried six feet underground than be up on, on the top of the ground, talking about the life they just live.
3 (36m 12s):
So whatever were you nervous when you got on that stage at the very beginning?
4 (36m 20s):
Sure. Oh yeah, no question. I was, I was, I mean, I remember I was in San Diego speaking to a group of about 500 financial advisors, actually. I think it was from UBS. And I remember, you know, what I did that day and what I do now is different. Right. And like all of us in like we evolve and, and you know, I think that day I was behind a podium, you know what I mean? I was leaning on my PowerPoint quite a bit. You know, now I'm never behind a podium. You know, my slides are very, very minimal. If, if any at all, right. I think that if my slide deck doesn't work, it doesn't change the day at all. So it's different. And, and, but like everything in life, the more you do it, the more comfortable you'll get.
4 (37m 2s):
And, and, and I'm sure that's what you teach right. As you, if you know that if you can get people practicing and leaning into it a little bit. So yes, I was shown nervous out of the Gates and now I don't get nervous, but it's just because I just did it a lot in practice. And I think that's, that's probably relevant to everybody in the world. If you, you know, everybody has gifts and things that they do. And, you know, I'd be pretty nervous if somebody threw a Canon camera on me, like you did day after day, year after year interviewing some of the best golfers in the world. But once you did it and got good at it and kept doing it, you didn't get nervous. It,
3 (37m 35s):
Yeah, it goes away. It goes away. So this podcast is called tracks to success. All right. And we all need influencers. We all need people. Who've helped us along the way. What's one piece of advice that you could give to anybody trying to break into the business of maybe being an agent or being an entrepreneur, what would you tell them?
4 (37m 57s):
Wow. I mean, I think I would say, you know, one is, is just be incredibly curious. You know, one of the things that I, in my podcast, like you, I get to interview different people and learn from them. And one of the things that I consistently hear from great leaders, great athletes, great authors, et cetera, is, is they're, they're very curious people. And when I say curious, I mean, curious about, you know, the opportunities that exist out there, but also that, you know, they're curious about their own gaps. So as an entrepreneur, you know, I try to be really aware of my blind spots and, and I try to create an environment with my team. That's really, really safe them to speak to those, to close those for me, and to help me see my own gaps so that I can become a better leader and, and, and create an environment where it's really safe for them to give me really difficult feedback.
4 (38m 48s):
And for all of us to give each other tough feedback, you know, to me, a lot of times, I think people think in teams that, you know, these difficult conversations should be avoided. I think you've got to lean into those. I mean, that's when we grow, that's when we get better. So, you know, the team component, the leadership component, I mean, I read leadership books, team books constantly so that I can show up and serve the people that I, my small team, you know, hopefully that the very best I can. And I think for all of us, when we do that, you know, we, we, we show up better.
3 (39m 19s):
Okay. Before we go take us into Starbucks and help us take us through how you get the lady or the man there to give us that extra shot of flavor in the coffee for free. What, what do you do?
4 (39m 35s):
Oh man. Well, you know, I mean, some of these stories I probably shouldn't admit to, right. But some of them are just for fun and we're talking about 25 cents. That's something, I think Howard Schultz and Starbucks are doing fine, but you know, you to let you place your order, right. And you pay for your order. And then you get over to the barista side and these guys care a little bit last. And so you get your car now, Starbucks is a pretty easy one too, by the way, right? Like they're, they're pretty chill, right? Like they make a wrong copy. They just dump it out and make him move one. No problem. But you lean over to the barista, you know, with a little bit of a smile and you just sort of, Hey, man, I forgot to ask, but do you mind, if you can just throw a little pump on there for me, that'd be awesome. And you know, they kind of look at you and they sorta, sometimes they'll say, well, normally we're supposed to charge 25 bucks, but for today, no problem.
4 (40m 18s):
You know, and I'm like, dude, for today, I've done this 25 times. So there's been 25 for two days. But thank you. So I, you know, but I, I should probably not admit those. My favorite negotiation story though. I'll tell you that the sort of more real life that, that, you know, I went to the daughters, it is to get, to get their braces and, and, and parents that are listening to this, right? Like, so now it's a racket, you know, you get first phase of braces and then three years later, you get to do it all over again for the same pile of money. And so I go in and, and they, they say, you know, of course they do the exam on all three of my girls. Cause we had three kids in 12 months, which is another story.
4 (40m 59s):
But so, you know, they're six, six and seven. And we go in there and they're, you know, miles and Blake landmines. And of course the, you know, the, the, or yeah, well, they all need braces. I'm like, yeah, that's shocking. Right. I would have never guessed. You would have said that. And so then she, you know, he says, go back and talk to our manager, Renee, and she'll walk you through kind of how this works. And so we sit down and she's like, well, look, here's the deal. You know, you do phase one and they'll stay on for a year or two. And then you do pick a little break and then we do phase two and then they get the retainer and all this stuff. And I'm thinking to myself, man, I didn't do this. My brothers did do this. This is new. Yeah. And she goes, so it's three grand for each girl and you can do payments over time. And over this two year time, and then, you know, we take a break and then you can do whatever.
4 (41m 43s):
And I go go, and it was in a great location, this orthodontist office, and it was packed, the waiting room was packed. I mean, it was full. And, and I thought, man, I said, so like, you, you do this for everybody. Like you have, you know, you invoice all these people every month. And she goes, yeah. I go like, does everybody always pay on time? And she goes, Oh, and I go, that's gotta be a kind of a nightmare. She goes, Oh, it's exhausting. So we have those people together. It's not, I go, it's not like you can just rip their braces off if they don't pay. And she goes, Oh yeah, it's, you know, and I said, man, and, and she just, and what, yeah, you just invoiced him. And I just looked right at her and I go, well, what if we do that? So what if I just write you a check right now for six grand, kind of a buy two, get one free kind of deal.
4 (42m 23s):
Right. And, and, you know, we can be done with this and you don't have to invoice me. And I don't have to closet rack ligament. And she just sort of looked at me and goes what I said. Yeah. I'll just write you a check for six grand. We can be done. You don't have to invoice me. We can get the re you know, and she goes, well, I gotta go ask the docs if we can do that. You know? And she walks back and comes back like two minutes later, I had the buy two, get one free model. So love it. I always say, you know, people think that, you know, you're not supposed to maybe negotiate in moments like that. But like I said earlier, I think it's everywhere. If we can meet them,
3 (42m 57s):
You are an incredible influencer to me. And I know, you know that, cause I've told you that before we go, how can people buy your book, the energy clock? Where can they find a way to bring you to their stage to speak?
4 (43m 12s):
They're sweet Craig. So all my books are on Amazon, under Molly Fletcher course. And wherever books are sold, obviously in physical bookstores too. And then Molly fletcher.com is where kind of all my stuff is. And you can navigate to the gamechanger negotiation training workshops from there as well. So thanks for having me on Craig. It's, it's great to always hear your voice.
3 (43m 32s):
Appreciate it very much. I am calling the orthodontist that did my three kids now that we're done and I'm venturing off to Starbucks, have a wonderful day. I really appreciate you being on with me. Take care. It's a pleasure
2 (43m 55s):
In our conversation. Molly shared stories about managing energy and prioritizing what's important, which leads me to my one last thing. If you want to be an influencer, be your own agent, focus your time on things that help you get where you want to go. Not things that really serve no purpose or leave you stuck in the place that leads to nowhere. Learn to negotiate on your own behalf. Standing proud for the value you bring to the table and the way it will help others be accountable to your own brand. Treat yourself like a CEO and focus on Y O you would thoughts about who you can impact, how you'll do it and where it can all take you do that.
2 (44m 40s):
Your tracks to success become a whole lot easier. If you have an inspiring guest who belongs on tracks to success, go ahead and message me on Twitter using at tracks to success until next time I'm Craig can.
5 (44m 58s):
Thanks for listening.
1 (45m 1s):
You've been listening to tracks to success, brought to you by presentation partners, visual storytellers, passionate about connecting presenters with their audience. Don't forget to subscribe to the show for more great interviews and thoughts on reaching your highest personal and professional summit. You can follow Craig on Twitter and Instagram using the handle at Craig can and for exclusive tracks to success, content and news about our upcoming guests, you can find tracks to success on Twitter. It's at tracks to success.