Can You Wait Long Enough To Get What You Asked For?

There is a gestation period for everything on the face of the earth. Everything comes out of the unseen to the visible, but the process in almost every case takes some amount of time. Einstein is quoted as saying “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” If we had no time between our thoughts or ideas and their manifestations, most of us would be in great trouble. That is considering the fact that most our thoughts have a negative orientation. woman waiting

I remember I was once in a restaurant with my friend Dani and a lady came to ask us (begging) for money. She had an almost newborn baby on her left shoulder and was holding a sign that read something to the effect of “I need money for baby’s food.” I was urged to give her something, and I had a few dollar bills in my pockets.

However, before reaching out to give her the money, I decided to help her change her mood by engaging in a conversation. I asked her the question: “What’s your story? Where is the child’s father?” She went on to tell me something I cannot remember. Following that, in an attempt to make her laugh, I said something that was supposed to be funny. It probably was, because she laughed.

However, because she has asked for money and I was doing everything but showing her that she was going to get it, she disengaged. She interrupted something I was saying with a “Thank You!” and left. If only she had held on a little longer, she would have had what she had asked for. After she was gone, I told Dani: She was not patient enough, I was going to give her money.

There are three steps to get anything you want: 1) Decide 2) Ask 3) Wait.

Waiting is usually the hardest part, especially when what you asked for is bigger and better than what you currently have. In order to make the waiting easier it is important to do the following three things:

  • Remain Faithful

You decided to have that which you want because it is possible you can have it. You asked for it because you started believing it could be yours. You wait because you know it will be yours.

Remaining faithful is about keeping the fire burning. It is about knowing that you no matter how dark the stairs might look, taking the next step will definitely lead you to what you want.

  • Remain Active

Nothing good comes to a Man who has his arms or mind crossed. Imagine for example a husband who decides to be a father. Once he has asked his wife and she has accepted, he has to get and keep busy. There have not anyone else born from the holy ghost’s since Jesus’ birth.

A farmer who has sown all the rights seeds on his farm cannot just fold his harm and wait for a plentiful harvest. He must remain active, working to remove all the weeds and protecting the growing plants from natural threats.

  • Remain Positive

Sometimes what you asked for will show up in a form that you don’t recognize because you did not expect it that way. If you adopt a negative attitude, you will miss it. It is important as you wait for the manifestation of your desires to be positive and always see the good.

The best way to develop a positive attitude is to practice gratefulness. Be grateful for the little things, so much so that the big things are attracted to you.

Next time you have to wait for something you decided to have and asked for, remember to remain faithful, active, and positive.

Professional Speaker Startup Toolkit

Over the past two years I have ready almost every book on public speaking I could lay my hands on, and I have library cards of 3 different cities in Orange County. Some of them like “World Class Speaking: The Ultimate Guide to Presenting, Marketing and Profiting Like a Champion” by Craig Valentine and Mitch Meyerson  or  “The Message of You” by Judy Carter are keepers. gumroad-cover

I very frequently come across people who have incredible stories, good speaking skills, all the credentials one could desire, and yet, they are not leveraging all that to generate an additional stream of income as Professional Speakers. If you don’t care about generating an additional income stream because you don’t need it, do it and donate all the proceeds to your favorite charity.

What is a Professional Speaker?

Allan Weiss in his book “Money Talks: How to Make a Million As A Speaker” defines a professional speaker as someone who makes his or her livelihood from presentations made in front of live audiences. That definition has evolved to include those who make get compensated to create value for live audiences through sharing of their knowledge, experiences, stories and messages.

If you have already been paid at least once for a speaking opportunity, you could technically consider yourself as a professional speaker. However, if you don’t seek and get more paid speaking opportunities, you will be classified as a used-to-be professional speaker. You get it! It is about staying in the game, and relevant!

What is this Professional Speaker Startup Toolkit?

If you want to generate some income through public speaking opportunities, I created a simple toolkit to help you get started. This toolkit  is designed for those who:

  • Have overcome their fear of speaking in public
  • Have valuable life experiences or knowledge they enjoy sharing with audiences
  • Need help getting started in the professional speaking industry

Who is the Professional Speaker Startup Toolkit For?

If there are three levels in the professional speaking industry, (1 = Starter, 2 = Pro, 3 = Veteran), this manual will best serve those on level 1. Its aim is to provide you with a step by step process for packaging yourself and your message.

It will serve those who have a desire to monetize their speaking opportunities, but might not have the credentials or sales experience to earn themselves a piece of the speaking industry pie. This guide was kept short to keep it simple and non-intimidating. It is my experience that big manuals seldom get opened in this age of ADD, ADHD, and overbearing noise.

What Does the Tookit Contain?

The toolkit contains a series of explained steps with action exercises. You can complete all the exercises within an hour or two. That is a small investment of your time considering the potential rewards. Repeat the process periodically or when you want to market to new niches.

You can get a copy of the toolkit for only $5 on Gumroad.com. Here is the link: https://gum.co/rlxZK

Professional Speaker Startup Kit

Get a copy here: https://gum.co/rlxZK

 

7 Action Steps to Grow Your Speaking Business in 2015

public speaking business

2015 is just around the corner. By this time of the year, most corporations have already set their budgets for the new year and scheduled their meetings, conferences and events. One of my passions is speaking and I have been progressively learning how to get rewarded financially for sharing valuable information and knowledge to audiences, as a professional speaker.

If you are involved in the speaking business or want to get involved but need some guidance, you will get from this article seven action steps you can take to start or make your business grow next year.

  • Review or Revamp Your Personal Brand

Seth Godin defined branding best as “the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” You already have a personal brand. To keep it simple, your action step here is to take a 3 x 5 card and write down 3 keywords that you want to be associated with you when clients and prospects refer to you.

There is no right or wrong here. Brands that sell are brands that are authentic and stay true to themselves. Take any professional speaker you know or have heard of. Chances are the 3 keywords you will mention when speaking about them would be very close to how they intentionally decided to be perceived.

personal-brand

Action Step 1: Write your 3 personal brand keywords, and remain aware of them when you interact with clients and prospects.

  • Schedule and Host Your Own Seminars and Workshops

Staying ahead of your game requires attending training programs in the form of seminars and workshops, among other things. Like Brendon Buchard explains, speaking is only one aspect of a speaking business. My friend Michael Brandt of DriveTrafficMedia.com has a meetup group and as part of his Social Media Marketing business, he host regular seminars and workshops during which he offers valuable information to attendees. He has generated a lot of business for himself through hosting his own workshops.

You can host your own seminars or workshops at local libraries or schools at virtually no cost to you. Plus, you get to promote your event at those venue where you will host your programs.

Workshop

Action Step 2: Set dates for at least two of your own seminars or workshops to be hosted next year. You can even decide to make it a conference and invite other speakers to draw from their networks.

  • Attend 2 Paid Seminars or Workshops

You can attend as many free workshops or seminars as you can, but usually when you pay for them you get more value out of the experience. Attend one in your subject of expertise, and one in the area of speaker training or seminar hosting for speakers. There are lots of professional speakers who host their own speaker training workshops. For example: Big Money Speaker Bootcamp, Hell Yeah! Star, Sean Stevenson 10k Speaker Training.

In addition to providing you with great value, programs you pay to attend usually give you VIP treatment and golden networking opportunities. If possible for your annual budget, why not even consider attending a TED conference.

ted-conference

Action Step 3: Search for and signup for two paid seminars or workshops in 2014.

  • Create a Social Media Strategy

Oxford Dictionaries define strategy as “a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.” Facebook as the leading social media networking site has 1.4 billion users worldwide. It is one of the cheapest forms of outreach available on the Internet, when used properly. As you work on growing your speaking business in 2015, you cannot afford to ignore social media sites.

However, you do not have to have a presence on ALL social media sites, just focus on two or three depending on your subject of expertise. I recommend to people to choose Facebook and Twitter, and focus all efforts there. Also have a blog with your own domain name. You can get a free blog setup and ready for your posts in a few minutes at www.wordpress.com. With a few dozen dollars a year, you get your own domain name and a no ads. Typepad (used by Seth Godin mentioned above) is also a good option for creating a blog.

Your social media strategy must include the following 3 elements? What two or three platforms will you focus? What type of content will you publish and at what frequency? Ultimately, social media can help you position yourself as an expert and grow a fan and followers base. Two questions you must ask yourself before publishing on social media are these: 1) How is this post relevant to my audience? 2) Is this post valuable to my audience?

social-media-strategy

Action Step 4: Create a weekly calendar for your social media strategy execution. 

  • Create New Signature Speeches

Speakers usually tend to speak on a lot of different subjects within their area of expertise. As you grow as a speaker and refine your skills and message, you want to create a new signature speeches. A signature speech is between 20 minutes to 90 minutes long and is usually very focused and rehearsed. Your new signature speeches should ideally focus on processes, so that you can find ways to make them relevant and customized for different industries or groups.

For example, if you are positioned as an expert on Relationships, you can have a signature speech that addresses: “Dealing with Difficult People.” The process that it takes to successfully deal with difficult people might be the same process leaders can use to incite people to change, thus you might be able to develop a new signature speech that addresses: “Leading Those Who Don’t Want to Follow.”

signature-speech

Action Step 5: Look at the signatures speeches you already have and use them to create a few more signature speeches.

  • Create a Content Creation Strategy

Gary Vaynerchuck of Vaynerchuk Media says in his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook that “Content is king and context is god.” Throughout 2015, how many books, eBooks, audio CD, Video CD with your original content or curated content will you produce. If you don’t have an audience and you don’t know what you can do to create one that you eventually market and sell to, start by focusing on creating quality content.

William Lee was able to start and is building a successful speaking business based on his first book which he completed in only 4 months. You can read a transcript of my interview with William Lee here: http://www.yamentou.com/interview-with-william-lee-author-speaker/

If you only write 200 words every day, in 60 days you will end up with 12,000 words of content you can package into any form, and distribute to your audience. If you face a lot of resistance when it is time to create content, I recommend the book: “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.

content-strategy

Action Step 6: Commit to a daily or weekly content creation activity. You might decide to go with audio (podcasts), video (youtube), or text (blogging.) Map it out on a calendar.

  • Get a New Website or Revamp Your Existing Website

There is no valid reason for someone not to have a basic website today. If you don’t have a website because you either don’t have money or time to invest in one, get a free web page here: www.about.me and customize it with your own picture and information about you and your area of expertise. You can get 250 free business cards from VistaPrint.com with your website address. If you already have a website, get feedback on it from other speakers to make sure it is serving your interests more than otherwise. A bad looking website can turn away prospective buyers from you.

Your website should 1) Be at the center of your content creation strategy, 2) Provide you with email capture forms to build your list of followers. 3) Serve as the center of your content distribution hub.

new_website

Action Step 7: Contact a media agency and find out what it takes to get yourself a good or improved website. Then give yourself a deadline to make it happen.

What other action steps can you add to the list from your personal experience?

Three Lessons From My Journey Out of Obesity – Part 1

One out of every three people you meet every day is obese. Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems (Wikipedia.org). In June this year I spent a few weeks living close to the White House, in Washington, DC. My stay there was as a result of The Road Tripping Toastmasters project I had embarked on.

Lionnel-with-Cindy

When I looked at this picture and saw my belly, I decided do intensify my workout. Which one of your pictures can you use to motivate yourself?

During my stay in Washington, DC, I found a Higi Station at a Giant store and out of sheer curiosity, I used it. The Higi Station checks vitals like your blood pressure, heart rate, weight, and calculates your BMI (Body Mass Index). My BMI was 36.47. According to the World Health Organization, a BMI  of 30 or above indicates obesity. It does not necessarily equate to health issues, but that must make you ring the alarm.

In my case, with a blood pressure at 149/91 mmHg (normal is 120/80 mmHg), I knew I had to take some action in order to get in better shape. So I did. I specifically took three steps:

  1. Created a support group. I informed my family members about those facts and enlisted them in a support group to help me make a positive change.
  2. Educated myself. I had always been aware that the food we eat has a lot to do with the quality of life we lead. However, I had somehow believed that because I was not “sick”, the food I was eating was good.  Wrong! The greatest talk about food on YouTube is this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjPFKW_MYtM
  3. Recommitted to my daily exercise routine. I used to walk 1 to 2 miles every day, but not always assiduously. I decided to add more intensity to my exercise, and never skip a day (easier said than done).

That was in June. We are now in November and I got new stats from the Higi Station. Here are the relevant info:

  1. Reduced my weight by 5 Pounds (2.26 Kg)
  2. Reduced my blood pressure to 131/85mmHg
  3. Reduced my BMI to …35.61

It might not be impressive, and could have definitely been better. However, the important thing for me is that I have a much better understanding of my health, and how what goes through my mouth impacts my body. Life is a big experiment and more often than not, you and I are being experimented on without our permission or awareness. I think we should individually be running our own experiments to identify that is best for us, rather than letting other people and corporations tell us.

If you feel or look overweight, you probably are. If you know your height and age, here is a tool to quickly calculate your ideal weight:  http://www.calculator.net/ideal-weight-calculator.html. If your current weight exceeds your ideal weight, welcome to the “people who realized they are obese” club. If you want to join the “people on a journey out of obesity club,” keep reading.

What are the three lessons I have for you, you ask? Here they are:

  • Don’t try to normalize your weight without having a good motive for doing so. Otherwise you will feel bad about yourself when your will is not strong enough to maintain the discipline required. My motivation to normalize my weight is the decision I made to reach my 90th birthday in great health. We cannot stop the aging process, but we can slow it down a great deal.
  • Start small and give yourself at least 6 to 12 months before looking for significant changes. It is true that with workout programs like T25 and P90x, or Insanity, you can get amazing results in a very short period of time. However, if you intend to normalize your weight and keep it that way, you have to develop a new set of habits that help you maintain that discipline. If you don’t have any exercise routine, start with a daily 1 mile walk (about 17 minutes for me) and progressively increase it as the days go by.
  • Make a commitment to someone you respect, and be accountable. It might be your spouse, your boss, your business partner, or even your coach (if you have one.)  Being accountable helps keep you on your toes. When you know you have a report to submit and no excuse is acceptable, you get the report done (even if done poorly). Until you learn to do it well, anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series in a few months.

Till then, here are a few links to help you or someone you know tackle his or her obesity situation: