The following story was submitted by Connor Starrs, a 2015 fellow of The Perfect Game Foundation.
TPGF got my career started. The Foundation helped sponsor me to attend the Pittsburgh Sports Sales Combine where I was able to train and meet with over a dozen sports teams and managers. It opened my eyes to endless opportunities. I was still in grad school and was able to accept a part-time offer from the combine. Since then, I have moved to Atlanta to work with The Aspire Group, another organization I interviewed with at the combine. I have grown my network tremendously from TPGF giving me the chance to attend the combine in Pittsburgh. We all know…it is who you know, who knows you, what you can do, and how well you can do it mixed with hard work and a high level of integrity. Currently, TPGF keeps in touch with me to see how I am doing. They offer endless help and I am blown away with how special they make me feel. I am so thankful to have been introduced to such a wonderful foundation and I am flattered they want to help me anyway they can.
The world in general is very small, especially the world of sport. Everyone is connected and everyone knows everyone. TPGF is a perfect example of paying it forward. They will give and give and give. What I have taken from my life experience as well as work experience is that you need to get to know people and build relationships with them. The more people you build a connection and relationship with, the more people will know what you do. They will lookout for you and refer you to others. This will open up endless opportunities. Jobs will come to you. Soon, you will be helping others get jobs and you will be providing the opportunities for them. Someone helped us, now we need to help those that follow. Also, make sure to work on your sales skills no matter what current job or position you hold. Life is all about sales…you must learn to sell yourself, your ideas, or your product.
"There is no substitute for Excellence – not even success. Success is tricky, perishable and often outside our control; the pursuit of success makes a poor cornerstone, especially for a whole personality. Excellence is dependable, lasting and largely an issue within our own control; pursuit of excellence, in and for itself, is the best of foundations,” The Heart of the Order, by Thomas Boswell (Doubleday, 1989).