Day 9: Show Me The Money!

Joe Buonadonna 2018

Today’s Speaker was one of those individuals where, when you sit back and reflect, all you can think in the back of your head is … “Wow.” Here you are, 20 years old, thinking you finally “have life by the balls” (for lack of a better term), currently enduring your most productive summer ever. Yet, if there is one thing you can take away (out of the countless number of things) from Jason Belzer and his story, it’s this: you can always do more. There is a podcast I like to listen to when I work out, and Jason’s story resonates in my head as I go back and listen to it. A few lines stick out to me so much in particular that I feel the need to share them below:

“Each day I go through the program, I either add or hone a tool to my professional skillset that I am positive I will be forever grateful for.”

“There is another person inside of you. No matter how hard you work, there is somebody inside of you who works even harder. No matter how dedicated you are, there is someone inside of you that is more dedicated. No matter how committed you are, there is someone inside of you that is more committed than you are … you must push yourself to a point that you have never been to before.” – “Leave a Legacy” by Eric Thomas.

This is something that Jason and his story preach. What was Jason doing at 20 years old? He was cold-calling every newly drafted MLB player and their families and casually signed 17 of them. Now that is dedication. No, actually that isn’t dedication – that’s fighting resistance, as Jason would call it. It’s fighting that constant voice in the back of your head that says you can’t do something. It’s this idea of defying all those unwritten rules and limitations that society has created for young professionals in today’s day and age. The idea that you have to intern and get your college degree, and that you need a secondary degree before you can even dream about entering the real world and gaining practical experience. But then again, who is stopping you from doing otherwise and going off the unbeaten path to achieve your goals? Probably no one but yourself. It is that inner voice saying, “I can’t because I’m still too young,” or, “I still don’t have enough experience yet,” that stops most people. But guess what? That same inner voice is the one that stops you from getting out of bed to go and work out out in the morning. The fact is, this resistance is in your head 24/7 with every life scenario, and there is a reason why it is one of Jason Belzer’s three rules for success.

  1. Act as if.
  2. Understand the concept of value and relationship building.
  3. Acknowledge the resistance and move on.

I truly believe these are rules I will live by for the rest of my life as I give it everything I’ve got on my journey to becoming even half the agent that Jason has. I could talk about each rule, his story, and his tips and wisdom on being a successful sports business leader for hours. I think he got the idea of where my interests lie as I bombarded him with questions at the end of the session (I could have easily asked about a trillion more as well). But in a nutshell, Jason advocates playing the part (act as if even if you aren’t yet), putting forth your value (what do you provide that makes you worth another person’s time?), betting on yourself (put yourself in a position where, by bettering someone else, you’re also in turn bettering yourself), and lastly developing meaningful connections – all of which transform into a recipe for success. From now on, I will take Jason’s advice and act as if I am an agent today. I will bet on myself always. And lastly, I will never eat alone. Because that is what Jason taught me, and that is why I am so blessed to be a part of such a prestigious program like MSBA. Show me another program that can get you better exposure to guys like Jason, and I will show you a liar. Each day I go through the program, I either add or hone a tool to my professional skillset that I am positive I will be forever grateful for. I can’t thank MSBA enough, as well as Jason for taking the time to provide his insights with us. The MSBA Class of 2018 can guarantee it’ll all be put to good use.

Jason’s Tricks to Negotiating:

  • Realize that everything is negotiable.
  • Keep in mind your goal is to control someone else’s behavior.
  • Don’t make it a zero-sum game.
  • Allow people to see your frame and enable them to accept it. (make reasonable terms)
  • Don’t reveal too much too soon.
  • Awkward silence is a tool; use it to your advantage.
  • Always remember less is more.
  • Identify each sides wants/needs.
  • Consider all interests (mutual, complementary, conflicting)
  • Little bluffs are appropriate where need be (as long as it can’t come back to you)
  • Most important skill in negotiation: BATNA
    • BATNA: Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement
  • Improve your BATNA and take control of your negotiations