Old fashioned hard work and lots and lots of networking! To be honest, I had no idea where to start. I was a former athlete and had always loved sports. But I knew nothing about the sports industry or how to get started. So I started from scratch. I researched NFL teams and agents. I contacted anyone and everyone, trying to get advice and develop connections. Initially, very few people responded. But I refused to quit. Just after I found out I had passed the certification exam, I sent out letters to every NFL front office introducing myself and asking to set up a call or meeting. Only one response came in – from a lawyer working in the Tennessee Titans front office. He recommended I get in touch with one of their scouts, C.O. Brocato, who was going to be coming through Oklahoma on a scouting trip. I reached out to C.O., and luckily he was willing to meet with me the following week. C.O. was pushing 80 years old, but was sharp as a tack. We met for dinner (at 4:30 in the afternoon) at an Outback Steakhouse in Norman. I told C.O. about my aspirations and questioned him endlessly about the business. I will never forget the many, many lessons he shared that day. But the thing I remember most was him pointing at me and saying “You’re going to be one of the best in the business. I can already see it.” When someone else believes in you – and tells you they believe in you – it is a total game-changer. C.O. would later introduce me to dozens of scouts, coaches and other front office personnel at the NFL Combine. My advice to you? Be a constant student of the industry. Never stop learning and always look for opportunities to connect with others. Opportunities come through people; therefore, relationships will always be key to your success.