How To Make A Scary Business Decision

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Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, author, and comedian who teaches you how to harness the power of your story to connect, engage, and get results. In this blog, Kelly focuses on the business of professional speaking. Kelly’s post day is Friday. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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How to Make the Tough Calls In the Business of Motivational Speakers

Speaking in public on a stage can be a scary thing. But so is the BUSINESS of speaking. We have to make decisions with little to go on, and sometimes those decisions can be costly. We don’t have a rule book to tell us the right path. Looking back, some of my decisions were brilliant, and more of them were stupid.  If you are facing a big decision in your speaking business, here are some words of advice and wisdom and questions to help you feel not so alone and give you things to think about.

  • You can take your time deciding. Don’t feel pressured to rush to a hasty decision. If it’s right today, it will probably be right next year.
  • Trust your gut. It knows some stuff you don’t.
  • Does this decision align with your goals and your dreams?
  • Is this a “hell yes”?  Let go of the “not so sure” and hold out for the “hell yes.”
  • How much money is this going to cost you? Your business should be able to pay for it instead of your family.
  • How much time will this take away from your business and your life and your family?
  • How will this affect your family?  Did they have a say in this?
  • How will this affect your brand? Does it have the ability to affect your brand in a negative way?
  • Is it something you know you will LOVE doing?
  • Does it make sense?
  • Is this somebody enticing you to spend money because they are making grand claims of what they can do for your business?  Be careful that you aren’t letting vanity ride above common sense. Too good to be true usually isn’t.
  • Are there others who have done this? Can you go to them for their opinion on whether it was a wise move?
  • What if this doesn’t work? What will happen as a result? Can you handle the worst case scenario?
  • Do you have people you respect, who love you, who can help you make this decision?
  • If you don’t do this, will it affect your business in a negative way?
  • Think back on all the big decisions you did or didn’t make in the past ten years – especially those that were similar to this one – how did those turn out?
  • Remember that we rarely get proof something is going to work. The best we can do is make an educated guess and an informed decision. There are no guarantees in life. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith.
  • Looking ahead ten years……will this really matter?  Will you regret not taking the chance, or never even remember that it came along?