A couple years ago, I was having a phone conversation with an agent who’s a longtime friend and supporter of ITL. We often talk generally about the business (he’s an avid reader of this blog, too). In our discussion, he asked me how many of the almost 800 agents in the business I thought were making more than $100,000.

I guessed high and said 100. He laughed and said it was a fraction of that, maybe 20. I’ve often gone back and thought about that. If it were possible to track such things, who was right? My friend or me?

I thought about this when I tripped across this link while browsing the web earlier today. I knew the big movie stars were making a killing and the big directors and producers, too, but it was interesting to learn what agents make. Now, I must caution you that I don’t know anything about how the agent business works in entertainment, or how many agents make this kind of dough, or how long it takes to build to that level. Still, it was interesting stuff.

A couple weeks ago, I texted a young woman who had expressed interest in representing athletes in the past. I wanted to know if she had taken the NFLPA exam this summer, and her response was interesting. “I’m still deciding if I want to be (a sports) agent” she texted. “Our entertainment side has grown so much and is more lucrative.”

She went on to say that her agency was considering “(divesting) wholly of the sports side. 1% with 40+ hours a week is probably not the best business decision for us right now. It’s a bummer because we love it, but the opportunity cost is rough to ignore.”

I subsequently sent her a text on Nov. 2 asking if she’d gone through with the NFLPA exam, and she never responded. I guess that answers my question.

I know I strike a negative tone at times in this space, and I don’t mean to be discouraging. However, I do want everyone considering this business to know the risks, to give themselves time to prepare for this business, and to understand that it takes a special kind of passion to make this career work.