It can be frightening leaving an employer to venture out on your own, especially if you’ve been with them for a long time. I always suggest to my Speakers who are thinking of stepping into the speaking arena full-time, to make sure they are financially stable with 12 months’ living expenses in the bank before totally stepping out on their own. IF you have concerns about supporting yourself or your family, desperation can set in and kill your budding business.
Your speaking business can be part-time until you are sure that you are ready to go “out on your own” with it. I would love to tell you just go for it, leave your employer, jump into a speaking career and you will be okay. However, like any business there is a period of planning and “getting ready”. This process does take some time when done well and thoroughly, but with focus and organization, you can set goals for yourself and take them on one at a time to keep the process moving forward. Be careful not to rush this process, though, as careful planning in launching your business can save many headaches and heartaches down the road.
What does being well prepared look like to a professional Speaker? Some of the key elements you will need to have in place are:
- Your niche will be well defined.
- Your key audience will be identified.
- You will have a strong platform built.
- You will have a solid marketing plan.
- You will have a well-visited online presence that is engaging followers and potential bookers.
- You will have some speaking experience under your belt.
- You will know what your resources for growth and business development are.
You can develop and grow your speaking business part time. Many Speakers use their evenings, weekends, days off and vacations. They grow successful and sustainable businesses this way, and then when they are ready, they go full-time. I know many, many people who have started part time while working and are now full time in their speaking business and living their dream and I know you can do it too!
Remember, any dream worth dreaming is still only a dream without planning and the execution of that plan. A long-term and lasting career as a professional Speaker starts with your message, grows through your planning and thrives through your working of you plan every day.