Saturday, July 3, 2021

Agent You: Show Up, Do the Work, and Succeed on Your Own Terms by Nicole Lynn (Book Review)


Agent Nicole Lynn

Hold on to your seats, people. I was fortunate enough to get my hands on an advanced copy of NFL agent Nicole Lynn's new book entitled, Agent You: Show Up, Do the Work, and Succeed On Your Own Terms (Harper Horizon, July 13, 2021). Now if you don't know who she is, then let me get you up to speed. 

Nicole is the first Black female sports agent to represent a first-round pick in the history of the NFL Draft. Her client was none other than Quinnen Williams (DL) of the New York Jets who was selected 3rd overall in the 2019 class. The way that story unfolded will tug at your heartstrings, but you will have to read the book for yourself. She also reps Houston's own Jalen Hurts (Alabama '18, OU '19), quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles (Yes, I am biased. H-Town represent!).

2019 NFL Draft

After graduating from the University of Oklahoma and a brief stint on Wall Street, Nicole returned to OU and earned a law degree. While working as a corporate lawyer, she got certified as an NFL agent. She worked both jobs full-time for years, found time to get married somewhere along the way to Coach Gabe Lynn (OU Alum and DB coach at Houston Baptist University), shot a pilot for a tv show about her life, won a few awards, and wrote this book. She recently took the reins as Director of Football Operations at Klutch Sports Group. Oh, yeah. She is busy-busy. Check out her bio here.

If you know me, then you know how I love a good self-help book. The best ones address all of the questions that need answers: Who? What? When? Where? How? And, most importantly: Why? In Agent You, Nicole teaches you how to do for yourself what she does for her clients everyday. She is a gatekeeper, financial advisor, life coach, relocation specialist, cheerleader, mentor, and advocate. Each chapter breaks down the 13 critical actions that we must all take to position ourselves for success--however, we define it.

I literally read this book from cover to cover in about 3.5 hours yesterday (Did I mention that Gabrielle Union wrote the foreword?). In the intro, you will learn Nicole's "why" and how to discover what your purpose is. She will then invite you on a journey through each chapter where she shares anecdotes from her life and the lessons she has learned along the way. My favorite parts of this book are the exercises at the end of each chapter. They make you think about what you read and then put it into action.

Here's an example: In chapter 2, Nicole talks about getting your dream job. Sometimes life happens and your dreams can be deferred. The good news is that you don't have to stand by waiting for an opportunity to present itself. The assignment is to compile a list of 10 small things that you may work towards in the interim. The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Be diligent. When you get to the bottom of your list, start a new one. When the opportunity does present itself, you will be ready.

The super-agent doesn't mince words either. She shares many cringe-worthy moments throughout the book that she turned into triumph. In chapter 3, she talks about being your authentic self. We hear that all the time though, right? But Nicole really spells out the perils of not having a "me statement," not knowing what you believe in, not having a true sense of what you stand for AND against, and not knowing what you want your legacy to be. Every decision that you make is rooted in the knowledge of self. Do the work in this chapter and you will be on your way to figuring all of this out.

There are some parts of Agent You that will stay with me forever. Nicole talks about why Black women should never "cover" and why we should take our "seat at the table" sooner (no pun intended) than later. She talks about the real definition of self-care and what to do when you lose. And the chapter about letting go and letting God? Whew!

I could go on and on, but I dare not stand in the way of your blessing. Get the book. Read it. Let me know what you think.

Agent You is available for pre-order on now. 

Remember: Keep your pen to the paper! Inspiration is everywhere.