We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael De Sane and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned throughout my career is that relationships matter. You should look to build genuine relationships with people in your field. No matter how much study and research you do, proper relationships will put you in better positions, open doors, and create more opportunities more than only doing research (which is important).
Second, is attention to detail. Double and triple check anything you work on, along with having another person review it. When putting out professional work you don’t want to have minor errors. The little things matter!
Third, don’t give up and give yourself at least 3-5 years. That’s generally how long it will take before you start to see substantial success. There will be roadblocks, there will be setbacks, there will be ups and downs but never give up after your first or second year. That’s the learning period, that’s the investment period, that’s the time to make mistakes and grow. You want to build tough skin and make it through the rough times, because one thing for sure is, if you quit you will never achieve what you set out to do. And, if you keep on going, you’re bound to grow if you’re putting in the effort.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
One of the things that’s truly unique about our business is that we have created values and beliefs that we stand on as our foundation. For a company to be successful and last long there must be a strong foundation, and if someone or a company doesn’t align with our values and beliefs then it’s not the right fit for us to work with them. That is one of the things that sets us apart from other companies.
Another is we go to bat for the players we work with. One of our clients that we represent Cameron Kinley was not allowed to play in the NFL from the Navy. They wanted him to commission first for potentially 5 years allow him to go pursue his dreams. We leveraged our relationships, and took all avenues from working with senators, NFL league office, NFLPA, CNN, ABC, FOX, to the Department of Defense, and White House cabinet to get an appeal which he won and was granted the opportunity to play in the NFL. That was a major accomplishment, and tough task and to my knowledge I’m not sure it has ever have been done before.
Getting to where I am today takes a lot of faith, when times were rough or when I wasn’t seeing any progress faith is what kept me motivated to move forward. Overtime as I gained small wins, that was a boost of confidence to keep on going. I’ve always had a business mindset from a kid selling candy in school, to watching my father go to work every day as a pharmaceutical salesman, to taking business classes in high school, and majoring in Business Marketing for my B.S. and Sports Administration for my M.S. to seeing my mother start and run her own Child Care company.
Nothing was easy about my journey to working in sports. I believe favor has happened, and I’ve been placed in great situations to build and learn about the sports industry. First from working in Professional Boxing for the New York State Athletic Commission as an event coordinator, to then becoming an NFL Sports Agent. Overcoming hurdles is not easy, you must constantly remember you don’t have all the answers and try not to take things personally, and to move on and be better the next day. Dwelling in the past on problems won’t help, becoming solution driven will. It will put you at a better place mental wise, which will translate in other areas of your life. These are some of the lesson’s I’ve learned along the way along with realizing I must put my pride aside, and never try to be bigger than the overall mission or company.
One thing about my story which is unique is that I stutter, and that can create some doubt or fear when being in a position to have to speak constantly to people from coaches to NFL executives, to parents, players and media. I made sure to NOT let that stop me with going after my goals or dreams, instead I looked for a solution where if I’m weak in an area to seek out help. Which in this case was to attend speech therapy to become better as a speaker which I have. So, no matter what somebody is getting into career wise, and no matter what obstacles may come their way, having faith will place favor on their lives, and with favor comes opportunity, with opportunity comes a chance to prove what you believe and know you can do.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m based out of NYC, so there are tons to do here. From rooftop restaurants to networking events, museums, plus more. There are endless things to do in NYC, I’m not sure how to pick one.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost, I thank God for everything that has come and will happen. He put the vision in my head of Divine Sports & Entertainment, to create a company that will provide elite representation to professional athletes. This is through mentorship, along with building up the people that we work for and with in multiple areas throughout their career and life. My mother, my father, my business partner Ryan Williams, friends, and family have been a major support system in Divine Sports and myself growing in the sports industry. Along with virtual mentors that are sports agents that I have studied from afar.
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