When Molly Fletcher began her journey as a Spartan communication student in ’89, she wasn’t sure of what she wanted to do. After years of working with some of the biggest names in the sports industry, she’s finally found her calling.
Fletcher spent 20 years as one of the world’s only female sports agents at CSE, a sports and entertainment agency, where she became president of client representation. She was hailed as the ‘female Jerry Maguire’ by CNN as she recruited and represented hundreds of sport’s biggest names, including Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz, PGA Tour golfer Matt Kuchar, broadcaster Erin Andrews and basketball championship coaches Tom Izzo and Doc Rivers. Though she loved her job, she knew she wanted something more.
“I realized that the connection between sports and business was one in which could help a lot of business people,” said Fletcher. “I really enjoyed teaching and sharing stories and experiences, whether it was in a keynote speech or workshops or online, and I realized the uniqueness of [my] platform.”
Enter, the Molly Fletcher Company. In 2010, Fletcher founded her own company in hopes of tying together sports and business through keynote speeches, workshops and online courses.
“As I got older, I became more clear on my purpose and wanting to align my purpose with my work,” said Fletcher. “I said to myself, is it all about another athlete or another contract? Or can I do more, give more, share more? To me, it was about an opportunity to change and impact lives in a positive way. I was certainly doing that as an agent, but I felt like I could do it at a bigger level and at a greater scale as a speaker, author and CEO.”
Fletcher just published her fourth book, Fearless at Work, and has been recognized with the Outstanding Alumni award. She notes that ComArtSci was especially helpful in figuring out her future.
Reflecting on ComArtSci
“Being a ComArtSci major was incredibly instrumental in my ability to learn how to build relationships,” said Fletcher. “With my business as a sports agent, and now as a speaker, building relationships and understanding how to connect, not just communicate, with people is key.”
Fletcher also points to ComArtSci professor Sandi Smith as being influential during her time at MSU.
“I had a wonderful relationship with Sandi and she spent a lot of extra time with me to help me along the way,” said Fletcher. “The truth is, I wasn’t completely sure what I wanted to do. I felt like this gave me an opportunity to hone in on what I knew I loved, which was truly human connection. To me, that’s so much of what ComArtSci is.”
So where did it all begin? After graduation, Fletcher moved to Atlanta to try to find a job in the sports base. She also played tennis at Michigan State, so she was determined to find a way to bring all of her passions together. Her first job was with the Super Bowl host committee, a position that Fletcher admits was certainly not her dream job, but a starting point for what her future would hold.
“It was not a fancy job,” said Fletcher. “It was a six-month gig, but it allowed me to figure out what I liked and what I didn’t like. It allowed me to connect with people who were involved in the Super Bowl in Atlanta, which was really powerful because I met all of these incredible executives that were with large fortune 500 companies. The job wasn’t something that I would want to do forever, but it was a chance to meet great people who I could connect to, who would then hopefully hire me or help me.”
In terms of advice, Fletcher acknowledges the fact that you might not know what you want to do. She knows that it’s a process, and it’s okay if you don’t have it figured out right off the bat.
“It’s about putting yourself in an environment where you can build great relationships and gain advice in a strategic way from people who you want to learn from,” said Fletcher. “One of my favorite lines is ‘when you ask for advice, you get a job, and when you ask for a job, you get advice.’ I spent a lot of time asking people for advice and I think the byproduct of that over time was a job.”
Fletcher’s success is awe-inspiring, and she’s certain that her fellow Spartans are more than capable of making their dreams come true.
“Be fearless. You have to stay curious, be anchored in your purpose and lean into what will be often times uncomfortable moments, so that you can really pursue what you love,” said Fletcher. “Recognize that failure is actually a chance to learn and to move forward. When you’re fearless, you’re going to fail, so stay resilient, but go for it. You work a lot in your life. Whatever it is that you choose to do, it’s a lot of time. So it’s imperative that you love it. My biggest piece of advice is to be and stay fearless.”
You heard it here first Spartans: be fearless, be curious, be resilient and you’re sure to find success.
By Katie Kochanny