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Don't Make Yourself Comfortable

Remember your pals in high school--the ones who wrote "Don't ever change!" in your yearbook? For your business' sake, forget them.

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This story appears in the July 2001 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

When Peter Carlisle first started representing athletes in his sports law practice back in 1995, things were fairly straightforward. With a focus on sports like baseball and soccer, the Portland, Maine, entrepreneur and attorney just didn't give much thought to anything nontraditional. But when droves of Gen Y kids around the country started trading in their bats and cleats for snowboards and skateboards, Carlisle couldn't ignore the opportunity: "I figured that within a relatively short period of time, I could establish a pretty secure position within this new and burgeoning industry."

Indeed, a little research on Carlisle's part revealed that Gen Y's spending power and influence on music and sports-and the potential for growth within those sectors-was far greater than he could have imagined. And with the door wide open for those entrepreneurs representing extreme athletes, Carlisle took the lead: In 1997 (a year after snowboarding became an official Olympic sport), he abandoned his law practice in favor of sports management and began recruiting extreme athletes, and Carlisle Sports Management emerged.

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