If passion is driven by excellence, then it is also true that excellence is driven by passion. At least we know that to be the case with this month’s client hero Rob Fry.
It doesn’t seem to matter what he does (from sports to music to having a unique career) he is all in – all the time. He is a natural born leader who speaks the language of relationship, and is always intensely focused on being the best. These characteristics have set him up perfectly for his career as a Professional Football Agent. We wanted an inside view of what it’s like to be a Professional Football Agent (because the 3 of us would secretly like to be one) and if you feel the same way, well then please read on…
What was one of the biggest challenges in becoming a Professional Football Agent?
One of the biggest challenges for me was establishing credibility with both front office staff and scouts throughout the league, as well as potential clients. When you’re young and inexperienced in any profession it is challenging to earn initial trust and credibility. Establishing myself as an agent meant I had to do great work for the first few clients that were willing to take a chance on signing with me.
If you could give other young aspiring football agents any advice what would it be?
I would emphasize the importance of developing a clear identity and personal understanding for why you want to be an agent. If this internal motivation and set of core values isn’t established, it will be difficult to overcome the challenges of entering this competitive industry. Aspiring agents need to embrace stepping outside of their comfort zones. We can come across some uncomfortable situations that bring about initial fears on both sides of the table. In those moments the only way to achieve success is to be open to all opportunities and act based on your internal beliefs and values.
Who is your role model and why?
My role model is Gil Scott, president and founder of Gil Scott Sports Management. Gil is one of the most successful sports agents in Canadian history. He has been representing NFL, CFL, and NHL players, coaches and management staff for the past 35 years. Gil has set an incredible standard for the way clients should be represented in professional sports. He is a man that has stayed true to his values throughout his career – putting his faith, family, and his clients first. While media and Hollywood have created a stigma of sports agents lacking integrity and being heavily focused on their own best interests, Gil has always put others first. It’s motivating for me to see the positive impact agents have in so many peoples’ lives when a genuine, selfless way of doing business is the corporate DNA.
What are some of the financial challenges that the clients you represent face?
Most of my clients are young men coming right out of university that generally aren’t used to having a disposable income. It is a new challenge for them to be managing a significantly greater amount of money than they are used to. My clients make all of their earnings throughout the 6-month football season so managing their money is key. And they need a clear financial strategy and budget to not only ensure that their income lasts the entire year, but to also begin saving and investing into their future.
What is one thing that has surprised you about the sports management industry?
I think from the outside, professional sports is often perceived as an “old boys club” full of big egos. My own perception of the industry has changed dramatically. I’ve found the sports management industry to be made up of genuine, approachable men and women who all share a common passion for sport. Honestly, can it get any better than that? (Didn’t we tell you it would be motivating?)
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I love a good romantic comedy.
What is your top money frustration?
The worth of my money when I travel to the United States!
Money and I get along like:
R Kelly & Jay Z
My proudest money moment:
Raising a lot of money for the Concussion Legacy Foundation at our agency’s annual Grey Cup party.
Financial security to me means…
There’s no excuse not to give to less fortunate.
What was your latest splurge?
The registration fee ($4,500) to write the NFLPA Agent Exam.
If you could ask a financial planner any question, what would it be?
At what point should one consider dipping into their RRSP’s in lieu of incurring a growing credit card or line of credit debt?
TCM: We have been teammates with Rob for many years and when the clock is ticking and the game’s on the line – we’d still pass him the ball. And be totally confident that he’ll run with it. Next blog we are running with his question around when dipping into your RRSPs is a good idea.