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Professional speaking, for most people, conjures
up images of standing ovations, thunderous audience
applause, and huge paychecks just for getting
up and talking about something you're passionate
In other words, professional speaking conjures
up "rock star status" - sunglasses, autographs,
and throngs of adoring fans.
But professional speaking is work:
First of all, there's the grueling travel involved.
Have you been to an airport lately? Travel is
painful and not likely to get better anytime soon.
Hotel accommodations in the professional speaking
realm might mean you get a luxurious 5-star hotel
suite, but more often than not, you're in a hotel
room not much better than the local roach motel.
So much for rock star status, eh?
I don't want to discourage you from professional
speaking; it's just best if you know ahead of
time what you're getting yourself into.
A lot of people want to get into professional
speaking to escape the business-world, they figure
they'll parlay their experience and package it
into a saleable topic to speak about - not a bad
strategy, but here's an important newsflash:
Professional speaking will not get you out of
the business world, in fact it will plunge you
much more deeply into the business world as you
will have to be chief negotiator, accountant,
public relations manager, sales manager - not
to mention that if you're not already a savvy
marketer, you will need to become one!
Unless you've got a staff working for you, you'll
have to do all those things yourself. And I highly
recommend you do NOT have staff because that means
even more business headaches because employees
mean payroll, 1099's, worker compensation insurance,
and a host of other headaches.
Professional speaking can offer terrific rewards,
however: Schedule flexibility - no 9-5 (however,
you should set and keep a work schedule so you
don't succumb to laziness or distractions).
Professional speaking offers flexible income
too, but if you're used to making a regular paycheck,
it will likely be a huge adjustment to go from
predictable income to irregular, unpredictable
All in all, professional speaking is a great
career, but you will have to carve out your niche.
Be sure to "look before you leap" - and by that
I mean do your market research carefully, and
one of the most important things you should look
for is plenty of competition.
Why should you hope for competition?-simply because
if no one is doing professional speaking on the
topic or subject you want to speak about, then
there's probably not an existing market for that
Keep in mind it's very unlikely that you've "invented
the wheel" and discovered a niche no one else
has thought of. It's possible, just not very likely.
Professional speaking offers many rewards; just
make sure you've done your homework and market
research first and that you're fully apprised
and prepared for what you're getting yourself