What limits your speaking business succcess? It’s all Vilfredo’s Fault!


by Burt Dubin on January 12, 2011

What limits your speaking business success?  It’s all Vilfredo’s Fault!

Darn Vilfredo!  He did it to us.

1. Why?

This fames Italian economist and socialiologist  (1848-1923), just plain knew too much.   He messed us all up, especially speakers.  Vilfredo Pareto did it on purpose.  He did it with his principle. You know the one.

It’s now known as the Pareto Principle, the 80-20 principle, universally applicable.  80% of all problems are caused by 20% of people.  80% of all sales are closed by 20% of salespeople.

80% of X is caused by 20% of Y. Ad nauseam.

The problem is he’s right.

2. The low road or the high road

It’s safe to say that 80%, probably more, of any population stays on the low road.  For life.  They stay firmly self-tethered in the mire of mediocrity.  And 20%, probably fewer, of any population makes it into the pantheon of high achievers. We speakers are not immune from this reality.

Which is it to be for you?  Top billing in the Big Room or low billing in a breakout room.   The concierge level demi-suite and the white tablecloth restaurant—or the no-frills sleeping room and the greasy spoon around the corner?

Which is it to be for you?  The light you hold high, illuminating others . . . or the feeble candle lighting only musty corners and these not too well?

Which is it to be for you?  A life that is a shining example of what a speaker’s life can be, a glowing influence for all who see you, a life modeling the possible human, a life of grace, charm and spiritual abundance . . . or a life of getting by, keeping the bills barely paid, presenting the least desired programs in second sting conferences?

Did you decide?  Was your decision a wishy-washy, froth-laden, half-hearted hope?  Or was it rooted in incorrigible resolve, clear commitment, and bulldog blood!

What does it take to move your speaking career into overdrive? To rocket you into higher orbit?  What does it take for you to fly first-class at least some of the time?

What does it take for you to earn the recognition, the respect, and the gratitude reserved for the best?  For you to join those who think big, dream grand dreams of the possible . . . and then work earnestly to make this possibility a throbbing reality?

3. As I see it, it takes 7 aspects of self:

3.1 It takes your iron resolve, your resolute persistence backed by passion, energy, and endless effort.

3.2 It takes your street-smarts.  It takes studying the speaking business until you know it inside out, upside down, backward and forward.

3.3 It takes your going the extra mile and then some.  Your thorough preparation for each program.

3.4 It takes your staying on the leading edge of your specialty.

Make that being the leading edge! Not just keeping up.  That’s what ordinary speakers do.  Your endless research in obscure corners.

Brilliant AHAS emerge out of linking disparate findings into new insights.  Then your publishing your findings and thereby building your name and your marquee value.  Reaching out.  Risking.

3.5 It takes integrity.  Integrity that knows no degrees.  Integrity that is absolute, predictable and as dependable as the phases of the moon.

3.6 It takes loyalty to your 3 constituencies.  (The decision-maker who hires you, the client who pays you, and the audience you address.)  It takes your serving each wisely with due regard for their respective interests.

3.7 Finally, it takes fidelity.  Fidelity to your special trust.  The trust of audiences that look up to you.   Audiences that look up to you as one who knows.  And fidelity to the trust of your Creator whose omnipotent presence governs your every attitude, thought, word, and action.


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