There is the saying that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. And that couldn’t be more true in the modern landscape where content, information, and hype move so quickly. Often times we forget that talent alone is not enough to carry us to the finish line, there has to be more, you have to put yourself out there. You also may have heard the saying that your network is your networth.. and THAT has been a fact for decades. Today we want to focus on networking and putting yourself in a position to open doors, be found, and make a lasting impression.
President and CEO of Gridiron University, Darry “Gator” Alton, recalled a story regarding networking. “There was one year I met Larry King. He wanted to have a conversation about his son that wanted to play in an upcoming game, in person, father to father. I remember I went to the airport one morning, this was back when it was on the hill in St. George, if you are from the area then you remember those times. Anyway.. I grabbed a flight out to LA and once I landed it felt like 15 minutes later I was pulling up to a house in Beverly Hills. It was a surreal moment in time for me like.. this is Larry King’s home?! When I knocked on the door he opened it with a “Gator hello” and for me I was in a daze.. like.. having a conversation with Larry being this easy felt unreal. We spoke about his son, watched highlights, talked stats, and he was just a great guy to have a conversation with. I thought about that experience and others like it over the years and realized that Larry King or not, he wanted to meet with me to have that in person conversation.. to get to know each other personally and the impact that carries in the long term. No matter how quick technology gets there is no replacement for face to face interaction.”
Football is a small world. The coaches, players, and executives all know or know of one another. When you are part of that world it is about meeting someone who likely knows someone to establish the connections. You have to be social in this landscape, shake the hands.. take the photos.. put yourself in the inboxes of those you wish to be in front of. Sometimes that means taking a humble approach and realizing talent or not, you have to actively put yourself out there.