“All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.”
That’s my favorite quote by Sun Tzu from The Art Of War because in that quote, he reveals the secret to all of success in any field. If you can truly understand that quote then you will be able to build your speaking business a lot faster.
A lot of speakers want to know how to get booked. How do you speak on more stages? How do you find decision makers? How do you get $10,000 for a speaking gig? How do you do the marketing stuff?
I send emails out to a lot of speakers on this list and I’ll ask questions like what you need help with and I’ll just read all the emails. Almost all the emails say something very similar and at the heart of it all…the biggest problem speakers have is ‘how do I get paid speaking gigs?’
After I read the emails, I’ll make some videos answering the questions.
Then I’ll send out another email asking what the biggest problem is. And this is where things get interesting.
Just about every single time, everyone responds with the same problem… ‘how do I get paid speaking gigs?’
And no matter how many videos I upload, no matter what resources I give, no matter what, the same problem is always asked by every single speaker… ‘how do I get paid speaking gigs?’
This used to bother me because I would upload videos, audios, all kinds of stuff answering the questions of how to get gigs…whether it’s getting found on the internet, finding decision makers, increasing speaking fees, getting more clients, whatever it is…the same question is always ask… “How do I get paid speaking gigs?”
And that’s where the quote by Sun Tzu comes into play.
Sun Tzu was saying that no matter how many times you look at the tactics someone uses, the thing that makes the tactics work is the psychology of the man behind that tactic.
Look at Michael Jackson.
How many times have you seen someone try to copy his dance moves? Whether it’s the moon walk, poppin, whatever, the person who copies him never seems to do it as good as Michael Jackson. They might be good…but when you see Michael Jackson do it, there’s just something about it that makes it look better.
What happens is people try to copy the tactic. They get the technical parts of the moonwalk down or the other dance moves. So they can technically do it and they might technically do it better. But for some reason, nobody can do it as good as Michael Jackson himself.
The reason is because people copy the tactics but they don’t copy the psychology of Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson’s dance moves didn’t come from technique, it came from conviction. When he dances, he puts everything into it. It’s this insanely powerful conviction behind every tiny detail and although the technique might not be perfect, it’s the conviction behind it that makes it look so good.
Now think about this in terms of getting speaking gigs.
I realized that no matter how many times I tell speakers how to get speaking gigs, the reason they’re not getting booked is because they’re focusing on the wrong things. They’re focusing on the tactics, not the psychology it takes to make it happen.
Speakers want to go to conventions, read books, buy courses, that tell them how to use tactics to get booked but it’s like giving a knife to someone. If you give a knife to someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing then it actually makes them worse off. But if you give a knife to Bruce Lee then it makes him 100 times more dangerous.
No matter how many tactics you learn, if you’re not their psychologically then those tactics won’t matter to you.
I remember listening to someone talk about a book on social media by Gary Vaynerchuk called Jab Jab Jab Right Hook (which is a great book) and how they were going to use these techniques to get speaking gigs. Then I asked them how these techniques were working for them a month later and it didn’t get them a single gig.
But this same techniques in the book are the ones that Gary Vaynerchuck used to become a multi-millionaire.
I’m not saying that you don’t need techniques. Yes…you need techniques so you know what to do. But technique without the right psychology means nothing.
There’s so much information out there about how to get speaking gigs…things you can start doing today…but why aren’t you doing it? Why are you checking your Facebook all day instead of building your speaking business?
If you want the techniques then there are plenty of techniques in the PLATFORM program and in the Speaking Lifestyle Internet Course. I mean…the information is just right there…step by step… “here’s how you get gigs” type of stuff…especially in the Speaking Lifestyle Internet Course.
The information is literally a click away from speakers. But why do speakers still say, “How do I get paid speaking gigs.”
There’s so much information out there that it’s impossible for a speaker to even read .1% of it.
The problem isn’t the lack of information. It’s not that the speakers don’t know how to get paid speaking gigs…the problem is a lack of psychology.
If someone put a gun to your head and said, “If you don’t book a speaking gig by the end of today then I’m going to pull the trigger.” …Then how hard do you think you would work?
You would for damn sure find out how to get speaking gigs if you don’t know already, and then you would do it nonstop…all day.
The way you can book a speaking gig today isn’t to focus on the tactics…it’s to focus on your psychology.
If you need the tactics then you can just read the Speaking Lifestyle blog or join PLATFORM. But what’s going to book you speaking gigs today, tomorrow, and the next day is the psychology you have every second you’re awake.
And I’m not saying this to get you motivated…if you need external motivation to get you to change your life then nothing’s going to change. That motivation has to come from you. It’s not motivation you need, it’s a new perspective.
By perspective, I mean that you should be thinking about your speaking business all the time. When you’re out having lunch, all you can talk about is business because that’s the only thing that’s on your mind. You see a waiter spill a cup of water on someone and all you can think about is how you can use that as a story in your presentation.
Or you’re getting on an airplane and all you can think about is ‘who here looks like they would be a good person to network with’ while you’re waiting for your flight.
That’s what I’m talking about. That’s what perspective is. It’s when you look at something and all you see is what you focus on…and what you focus on is building your speaking business. When you get to that level, you naturally start to do the right things.
And here’s how you know that you need to change your perspective…
If you have the same problem today that you had a week ago, or a month ago, or a year ago…if your problem is “How do I get paid speaking gigs?” …Then that means you need to change your perspective and you need to change it fast.
There’s so much information out there it’s ridiculous.
And when you ask, “how to get paid speaking gigs” when you’re basically saying is that you don’t have the right information to help you get it. You’re basically asking, where’s the information that will tell me what to do…step by step…to get paid gigs?
But what you don’t realize is that you probably have enough information already.
Let me ask you this…and tell me if this is a tactic that’s brand new to you. And I mean completely brand new…something you NEVER heard of before when it comes to getting speaking gigs.
The tactic is this…
To get paid speaking gigs you have to make cold calls.
Now have you heard that before?
What about this…
To get paid speaking gigs, you need to have a great website.
Have you heard that before?
Well of course you heard those before. You know that you can make cold calls. You know that you need to have a great website. And how long have you known about it? You’ve probably known for years.
But how many calls do you make a day? How long has your website just been sitting there looking horrible?
Now I’m not saying this to make you feel bad…I’m saying this to give you a wake up call.
You can get paid speaking gigs today just by making cold calls. But you know what’s going to happen…most speakers aren’t going to do anything today. They’re going to check their emails, check Facebook, watch a TV show, then they’re going to go back to asking the same question… “How do I get paid speaking gigs?”
Don’t be one of those speakers. Don’t be the speaker who has the same problem today as he did a month ago.
Of course if you want to get really good at it then you have to know the details but most people don’t even get to that point because they’re so busy looking for the tactics that they don’t pay attention to the psychology.
A lot of times, the advice we need to hear and the advice we want to hear are two different things. The advice we want to hear very rarely improves us at any level. And the advice we need to hear is the stuff that hurts but it’s also the stuff that makes us better.
You have to decide whether you want to just want someone to be a ‘yes man’ for you or whether you actually want some advice that’s going to take you to a whole new level.
So how do you get speaking engagements today? You focus on your psychology because that’s what gets you on stages.