What does it take to have a mindset to win

It is sometimes the case we think that men and women are born lucky or with a champion mindset. 

In my opinion however despite the fact that genetics might have a small role to play, finding out how to win is simply a mind set.

There exists a saying that you can’t stop a loser from losing and you can’t stop a winner from winning. I’d say it is fairly accurate. 

There are many people who I have delivered online coaching to that will listen, make notes, seek advice, participate in debates yet because of a quitting mindset, they fail to act on any of the information that’s delivered to them.

This is simply not at all unusual. If it were, there would not be a profession for keynote speakers. Again and again people come back to the same conventions and seminars to get somebody make them feel good when winning and succeeding has little to do with feeling good.

The individual that wants to feel good, the individual who has a champion mindset, will do so despite the pain, discomfort and feelings in the process. Going to the gym is a prime example for many people. If we were honest we would admit that we don’t like going to the gym. I know I personally dislike running. What I do like is the effects of running. The reality that I shed pounds, feel healthier and can run faster all lead me to want to continue running.

Life is no different and business is no different. We wish to succeed nevertheless in many instances we don’t wish to take the good with the bad.

I would absolutely propose that the bad is what makes the good – “good”. Flowers don’t grow in the desert where the sun shines but the rain never comes. We need the good days to provide contrast for the bad.

So what it take in my mind to win, is to have a commitment to a system. We need to remove the notion that success happens overnight, it does not. The most important step in success may in fact be the last one. The one when we have already climbed several false summits believing the next one is the real one. The step we take to speak to one more investor after several refusals. The one more time we get up to run again and rounding a corner to see the finish line. These are the steps that define success from failure. 

Today there is a proliferation of protectionism with our children. There is a strong desire to protect them from losing. The truth is if we never have the option to lose, we never experience the joy of succeeding. 

It is a cruel juxtaposition that we are in. The pain of knowing we might lose if we try compared to the relative comfort we have of never trying.

I think if we polled people who were on their final few weeks of life and asked what they would have wished more in their lives, it would have been to accomplish more, to try harder, to have lived more courageously. I don’t believe you would find a person with an adventurous spirit saying they wished they had spent more time in their LayZ Boy recliner watching TV.

If you want to develop a winning mindset, trying yourself not to quit.

Breaking in to the keynote speaker industry

Becoming a Keynote Speaker

The first step if you intend to be a motivational speaker will be to initially make a decision. Sounds simple right? The decision may be the easiest part of your journey as you start on a career as an entertainer, trainer or speaker. 

Keynote speakers are not born, they are made. A decision to become a speaker or trainer is very straightforward. In different ways it is liking saying you are contemplating doing the largest cliff jump in to the local lake. However until your feet have left the cliff, you aren’t committed.

The commitment to becoming a keynote speaker is imperative. Canadian speakers work typically in a smaller market than their cousins to the south and it is a competitive market. You must think about why would people pay you to talk to their organization? That answer may become the actual key to your success.

Making the final step count

Surely, if the 1st step is the decision, the final step comes after the decision not to quit the speaking industry. It is not uncommon for speakers to be focusing on the sidelines awaiting the career to take off and it takes many years to arrive at that point. If you knew it would take several years to build your career, might you stick it out? 

Frankly, if we knew the runway to success we may plan for it and stick it out. Usually we expect everything to happen quicker than it does and we quit in year five without knowing that we could have a very successful year if we had hung around for one more year. 

There are so many stories from keynote speakers of people who even had agency representation yet did not create a “career” in speaking for seven or eight years. There are also many stories of speakers making several hundred thousand dollars a years. Are you prepared to wait that long?

The steps to success

One of the first steps is to join your national speaking association which will have regional chapters that can provide a lot of help and support on your way to success. 

The networking you can do at these meetings with other successful keynote speakers is critical for your future direction. You will have the opportunity to hear what is working and of course, what is not. 

The speaking industry is often challenged with organizations who are looking for free speakers. While it may be tempting to drop your fee to court a potential client who really has no budget, you have to remember there is a big difference between a free speaker and a professional speaker. 

Once you have created industry ties and learned the ins and outs of a speaking career, it is time to promote yourself. While the digital side of things is very important and cost effective, nothing beats getting on the road and talking to clients directly. 

At the point where you have a few clients under your belt and have delivered some compelling talks, you can start talking to agents who may be willing to add you to their roster. 

The important point to remember with regard to agency representation is they will typically account for only a small percentage of your overall bookings. Be careful not to rely too much on agency representation and focus on carving out your own success.

In the end, the important take away is that there is no shortcut to success. Stick it out, learn and grow and don’t quit. That will become your story.


5 Best list of Keynote Speaking mistakes

Avoid These Costly Speaking Mistakes

If you are a motivational speaker, then you certainly prefer to avoid costly mistakes within the phase where you are aiming to secure a booking, but most importantly during the presentation.

The great news for aspiring speakers is that you have stories to share. The bad news is that many folks need coaching in order to share those stories.

Once you have found your inspirational speaking coach and invested time and money into finding out how to do a good presentation, you want to avoid the major pitfalls of being a speaker.

So in no particular order, listed below are the 5 key mistakes that you ought to avoid if you are getting in to a speaking career.

1.    Not researching your audience.
Either gearing up your talk for a well educated audience in your area of expertise or dumbing it down often times will be the real difference between success and failure. You should definitely know what is at stake before you get into the room. 

2.    An early connection is critical.
Frankly if you haven’t put the audience on the edge of their seat in the first minute they already responding to texts. Furthermore the organizer just left the room! 

3.    Lead them to water…. I do know we can’t make them drink. So you had a great point, and it may have worked in your daily life, but how does it help your audience – explain what and how it will make a difference in their lives. 

4.    Don’t use a lot of slides and don’t read slides. Lets face it, people came to hear you not look at you reciting lives of drivel on a slide. Most speakers may have at most a photo on a slide. Their point is to engage the audience with their talk not kill all of them with a slick power point presentation 

5.    Go out with a bang. You could have just delivered the best keynote an audience has ever seen, but if you do not close leaving them gasping for more, you killed the proverbial goose.  

Positive Motivational Speaking Tips

Many canadian speakers that I know have the process of creating a keynote down to a fine art in order that they easily coverthe above points. 

The important take away is the an ounce or prevention is worth a pound of cure if you don’t get it right…

For  me, I like to at least have a conference call with the even organizers to get a read on their expectations for the speaker. 

Secondly I will arrive early and meet the delegates and again take the opportunity to interview them and find out what makes the difference between a good speaker and a bad one from their perspective.

Finally, it is deemed an art to read the audience from the stage. You have to learn to think on your feet, figure out how to wake an audience up and be dynamic.

Don’t structure your keynote in such a way that you cannot pivot when needed.
One of my events was a booking for an automobile club. The drivers had been out all day racing their cars and by the end of the day they simply wanted to socialize and drink. 

I was scheduled to be on stage at 7pm. By 9:30pm after many apologies the organizer asked me to take the stage. I looked at my wife and said “There is no way I can do my keynote, they’re way too loud”. 

I took the stage and indicated I was simply going to share some stories of how I had nearly died 5 times on adventures. The guests immediately quietened and listened intently as I regaled some silly stories of mis-adventure. At the end of the night it was one of the better applause I have ever received!