Unleashing Your Potential: Molly Fletcher at TEDxEmory (Full Transcript)

Well I got down to Atlanta and I woke up and one of my friends from high school was kind enough to let me live on the floor of her apartment for a couple weeks until I could find a place to live and get a job and sort of start tapping into my two grand which I didn’t want to tap into too quick.

So I get up that first morning and this is before cellphone, so I’m exposing my age a little bit. But I get up and I call from the landline there at the little apartment and I call this one Pro who my coach had given me the name of. And I said, “Hey listen, I played tennis at Michigan State. You know I want to teach tennis and I’m trying to kind of get into my space in Atlanta. I want to be in the sports marketing business but I’m thinking you know maybe you might have some nice people in Atlanta they’d be kind enough to give me some advice, because I really want to pursue my passion of sports.”

And he said, “Well, you know that’s interesting” and we got to chatting for a minute. He said, “You know you may not know this but in Atlanta you can teach tennis in exchange for your rent.”

And I said, “Wow! Man, I got to get one of those deals right, that sounds like a sweet situation.” I said what do you mean?

And he goes, “Well, people teach tennis at apartment complexes in exchange or for reduced rate on their rent.” And he said, “In fact, there’s this property great location in Atlanta where the Pro is actually leaving. He’s been teaching at the property for a long time but he’s actually leaving the property and I don’t even think he’s told the manager yet,”

And I said you got to be kidding me where is this place, right, I got to go over there.

So I get my car, I drive over to this place and I walk in and I said, “Hey how are you? I played tennis in college. You know I see of a court, I wondered if by any chance you know I could talk to you about teaching tennis to your residents.”

And she said, “Oh well, I appreciate you stopping by. You know we have a Pro and he’s amazing, he’s doing a great job. You know and we’ve had him forever and we’re good.”

And you know when you’re like 21, how you go to Kinko’s or wherever and you make your little business cards and they’re super bootleg right and they’re sort of paper-thin but you’re so pumped because you actually have a business card now. So I had my business card that I had made that had nothing on it but my name. And I walk in and I said, “Well, hey,” I said, “here’s my card, why don’t you keep this and if anything changes you know let me know and we can stay connected.”

She said, oh yeah I appreciate it but you know like I said he’s been here, he’s awesome.

I said great.

So I drive out. I drive across street and I see this little pizza place called Perro’s Pizza and I see this little place and I thought to myself, man, I wonder if that place sells a lot of pizza to that apartment complex, because boy they should, you know a bunch of folks 21 years old 22 whatever it is, they probably love a $15 dinner and it’s right across the street. So the best way to figure that out is just go over to this pizza place.

So I walk in and I said “Hi, is Mr. Perro there?”, thinking that was a pretty good guess, right. Mr. Perro was Mr. Perro here. And they said, “Oh, as a matter of fact he is.” She said, “Just a minute. Is everything okay?”

I said, you know I just had a quick question for him. So out walks this guy in all black, he’d been back there throwing dough making pizzas right and he comes walking out and I said hey, I said Mr. Perro? He said yes. I said, “Can I just ask you a quick question?” He said sure.

I said, “Do you sell lot of pizza to that apartment complex across the street because it feels like you should, I mean they’re right there man.”

And he goes, “You know that’s a great point.” He said, “You know we sell a little bit.” He’s sort of looking around at the folks in there kind of getting hot, you know like why don’t we sell a lot of pizza to that apartment complex?

And I said yeah, I mean it feels like you should. He said no question.

And I said, “Well, listen, what if we work something out where like you gave me 15, 20 free pizzas a month, and I gave them to the apartment complex to all the residents at the tennis clinic and we could maybe put a little coupon from Perro’s Pizza in the newsletter that the residents get at the first of every month. You know and you just give me the free pizzas.”

And he said, “Wow!” He said, “so 15, 20 free pizzas a month and you’ll put a little coupon in the newsletter that the residents get?”

I said exactly.

He goes, “Done, I love it.”

I said okay but listen, man, I don’t have the deal yet. But when I get it I’ll be back and we’ll work it out. And he goes, ‘Love it. Let me know.’

So I go back over to my friend’s apartment and I pick up the phone and I call my buddies at Wilson Sporting Goods. They gave me rackets when I played in college and I said “Hey, can I ask you a huge favor?” I said “Listen, would you help me up in like send me a box of like tennis rackets, you know, keychains, water bottle, t-shirts, I mean just anything good stuff; I’m trying to get this deal to teach tennis for a reduced rate on my rent.”

And he goes, “Wow! Molly”, he said, “yeah you know I’ll do that for you. I’d be happy to.”

And I said okay, great but like I need it tomorrow.

So he goes, ‘Done.’

So I get this box the next day and meanwhile I run over to Kinkos actually again and I print off these little articles that I’d written in this little paper in Lansing, you know, on how to hit a forehand and a backhand like little tennis steps. So I print that off, like 15 of them because I’m thinking this would be really cool to put in the newsletter to all the residents, right.

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