One of the number one questions I receive from people is: how did you become a speaker? Or usually it's framed up as how did you start speaking? Now that I've been able to look back and reflect on the past two years where I have "branded" myself as a speaker, author, and trainer, I can give you five basic things that I did in the beginning.
I'm not saying what I did was the path you must choose, if you decide to begin public speaking... After all, this blog post (and video below) very well could help you discern that speaking isn't what's best for you?
It was a very grassroots transition for me, if you will. I didn't have a huge network; I didn't have many resources; I just knew I wanted to encourage others and share my joy and excitement with them. What I learned in the process was that it's the start that stops most people. Eventually, I had to make a decision as to whether or not I was going to do this. Then, I had to manage that decision.
Here are the five basic things I did in the beginning that got the ball rolling for me:
1. I was already doing it - After several years of teaching and coaching, then transitioning into a network marketing career, I realized that I was already speaking to people and training others on a consistent basis. This helped me deal with the fear of doing something new by showing me that this really wasn't all that new. Also, it showed me that I was already doing something that I truly enjoyed.
2. I found a mentor - Most of us find many of our first mentors between the pages of great books. And with the digitized age we live in, you can learn from almost anyone at anytime, using the power of smartphone technology and the internet. I wanted to be able spend time with someone though who had been in the game, grew through some challenges, and were willing to answer a lot of questions for me.
3. I decided what I was going to share - As I reflected on what is most important to me, alongside what the people around me were looking for, I was able to make a decision as to what I wanted to share with others. And because I have grown tremendously since I began teaching, my message has adjusted as well. Ultimately what I chose to share came down to what I believe to be true and what I believe can serve others.
4. I established a speakers fee - This was very difficult for me, because I had a really hard time deciding what my time was worth. However, I learned quickly that if I didn't decide what my time was worth, someone else would gladly do it for me. I also learned that if you don't charge a respectable price for your time and value, people won't place value on what you bring to the table. My goal early on was to under promise and over deliver. I wanted clients to be able to say, "I would've paid much more for that!"
5. I continued networking - I continued to build relationships. I continued adding value to people. I continued asking myself daily: how may I serve? I continued offering my services to others. But, it really came down to this: I just had to decide to put in the WORK. I had to decide whether or not this was going to just be something I played around with or something I put my hand to plow with? Once I did that, people knew I was in business. And once I was in business, I formed a business center (LLC) for my business.
While there are so many more details I could share with you, I believe those five basic things helped me start moving in the direction of my goals and dreams. The video below adds a bit more dialogue on this question. Hopefully, it can help you process some information and sort through your decision making process, if you're considering becoming a speaker.
Love you guys. Let's grow.
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