February, 2020 Interview: Triangle Spotlight with Suzanne Lynn on WQBQ 1410: The Voice of Lake County (FL). Interview starts at 25:00 minute mark.
I’ve been a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association since 1993. Decades later, I remain active because of the many friendships I formed and have with truly interesting and engaging people.
Think about it. To persist and excel as a professional speaker demands a deep inner motivation. Invariably, the gateway into the speaking business is a heartfelt desire to share the lessons and experiences of one’s failures, successes, and events so others can be better. Now surround yourself with a roomful of people like that, and you get a sense of why my membership matters to me.
For many years, Carolyn Quintin, the amazingly successful Dean of the NSA Central Florida Speakers Academy, has been booking me as the opening speaker for the Academy. It’s an honor.
Every NSACF Speaker Academy attendee walks away with a 2-word purpose statement thanks to using ONPURPOSE.me. To be present when people recognize who they are and why they’re here is pure delight. From the front of the room I see them lift their eyes from their smartphones as a refreshment of life comes washing over them.
Next, because we’re in the context of being paid professional speakers, they also write their Vision, Missions, and Values so their speaking career and accompanying business model are more deeply aligned with who they are and how they want to be an influence in the world. It is their first step toward being an on-purpose person in creation.
This is why I do what I do. Yes, speaking, training, coaching, and consulting engagements help me pay the bills and grow the business. In the end, however, there’s nothing like that feeling of seeing the light switch go on in the heart and mind of another person.
Every person that knows his or her 2-word purpose and begins the steps or commits to being on-purpose is a fulfillment of their highest calling and dignity as a human. They turn a disadvantage into an advantage.
And for me, I get to be on-purpose serving others as they are learning what it means to be on-purpose for them. We’re respectively increasing one another’s wealth by profiting our souls and each other. Bliss!
What happens when you gather with a room full of National Speakers Association Professional Members and host a panel of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) and Council of Peers Award for Excellence (CPAE) Hall of Fame Speakers?
Wow! The Central Florida Chapter of NSA (#nsacf) Distinguished Members provided sage advice, sound wisdom, and practical takeaways for all those in attendance. As the Chapter VP of Programs, I hold the honor of moderating this panel on the Spirit of Cavett (Robert) Day.
I asked the following questions:
- Describe your speaker business model: keynote speaker, trainer, coach, consultant. Is speaking your primary income or does speaking open the door to your primary income as a marketing method?
- What insight/event was the turning point for you when you realized speaking could be a profit-making part of your business model? In other words, when did you take speaking seriously enough to want to master the craft?
- From that turning point forward, how has membership in NSA/NSACF contributed to your business growth and development?
- If you were starting your business over today, what would you do differently to begin generating revenue sooner?
- What’s one piece of advice, idea, or improvement to your business that helped you grow your speaking business to the point where you qualified to become a CSP?
- Where do you see the future of the speaking business headed, and how are you meeting it more head-on within your business model?
What’s evident from my peer professional speakers is there are as many career path and business models as there are speakers. For all that diversity there was unity on the power of peer-relationship to accelerate their learning and business growth. It can be a lonely profession otherwise as a keynote speaker, trainer, coach, consultant, or seminar leader.
Saturday, August 17, 2019 • Sheraton Tampa Brandon Hotel • visitors are welcome to chapter meetings: register and pay online at www. nsacentralflorida.com
This On-Purpose Minute originally aired in November 2011, when the unemployment rate was over 10%. In the years since then, not much has changed really. Supposedly, the unemployment rate is currently around 4.9%, but that statistic fails to account for many who have simply dropped out of the job market due to discouragement. Some say the effective unemployment rate is as high as 1 in 6 persons.
I regularly talk with people who are underemployed, but at least they’re in the game. Opportunity tends to create more of itself. There’s learning happening and new relationships being made. This is currency that doesn’t spend, but it can pay.
Then there are those who are involuntarily unemployed. This is heart-breaking on many levels. The fear of rejection, let alone the rejection itself, can erode confidence. This reduces their chances for future employment even more.
Aside from the loss of income and financial struggles, what I often observe in their situation is a point of view that is detrimental to their state of being now and long-term. They’ll never get the job of their life. It is like the movie Dead Poets Society, where the one young man decides that a life of just pleasing others is worse than death and others learn the lesson. Despite Robin Williams’ tragic death in real life, he provided a source of inspiration through his body of work.
Many think that a job provides a sense of security and identity. This “3-2-1” pattern, however, is a frail basis upon which to build one’s life. Instead of growing a sense of self, the shifting “foundation” speeds the cycle of being in and out of dissatisfying jobs or workplaces.
Perhaps the money is too much to quit a miserable job. The pain of change appears worse than the suffering on the job. For a few dollars more, we’ll trade our life. What a waste! Yet, I fully understand and deeply appreciate the dilemma. Money is important to function in society, to eat, to be housed, etc.
Work on You
Don’t blame the job for your state of being. Instead, bring your state of being to the job! Here’s how:
- Don’t quit your day job just because I struck a nerve with you! These seemingly stalled or downward career spirals can be broken.
- Let my 1-2-3 approach in this OP Minute settle in your spirit. Even if you think it is impractical, do you find yourself wishing you could actually do this? Do you imagine what’s really possible if you pursued your passion?
- Take action. Be in circulation. Make appointments for visits over coffee, not lunch. Coffee is cheaper and you’ll not get fat.
- Develop a list of ten to twenty friends or business colleagues with whom you keep in regular contact. Describe in detail what you’re looking for. Gain their agreement to keep their eyes and ears open for you. Have them make warm introductions to your target companies.
Investing time to think, sort, and pray about who you are and how you can contribute to the well-being of an employer and company is smart thinking.
The job of your life is to live your life on-purpose — to be as fully YOU as God intended and designed you to be. It is the only job you can’t delegate so get to it now.
How Do I Find The Job of My Life?
The On-Purpose Person provides a simple and affordable roadmap for discerning who you are before you decide what to do.
Recently, I was speaking to a group of women who worked at a local college. Their Wellness Committee recognized the connection between purpose and health and booked me to speak the faculty and staff (not students). From the audience, two small groups formed who were systematically going through The On-Purpose Person. After completing the study, I was invited back on campus for their last “Gathering” to discuss the experience. One woman decided to make a job change and was starting a new higher paying, more rewarding job in 10 days. One decided she needs to start a job search. Others, however, reaffirmed that they were exactly where they were most suited to be. They saw the meaning of their lives and those they served with a fresh and positive point of view.
Not bad! Not bad at all. So the point is, use The On-Purpose Person to plan your life and then your work. Remember all work is neutral and that it is our job to bring meaning to it.
Peter Winick is one smart and capable guy whose message and work I’ve followed for years. He’s a thought leader for thought leaders.
Recently, Peter interviewed me about book publishing and how to articulate your message so your audience wants to read what you write … and you get to sell more books, too! Listen in to this episode of Leveraging Thought Leadership where Peter and I talk about being on-purpose, publishing, and what it means to be a thought leader.
Be sure to check out the free offer to download Kevin’s poem: A “Balanced” Life at the end of this post!
It seems that everyone wants more balance.
- A higher checking account balance
- A perfectly balanced body
- A balanced diet
So doesn’t it make sense that one would ask, How do I find balance in my life? A balanced life flows logically and seems so attuned with the natural order. Life coaches, executive coaches, self-help gurus, counselors, and therapists galore teach the overwhelming benefits of having your life in balance. Being well intended doesn’t replace being well thought out about such a central concept of personal and leadership development.
Work–life balance is in high demand.
But do you have a true definition or image in your mind’s eye for what constitutes a proper work–life balance definition? Experience tells me that most people love the idea of work–life balance, and they’re seeking and investing in tips and techniques all too regularly but not getting the results they want. Let me save you some time!
Do not seek balance in your life. It will misdirect, confuse, and frustrate you. It doesn’t work, period. Instead, integrate your life with your purpose being the point of integration.
“So why, Kevin,” you may ask, “are you such a contrarian?” No, I didn’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed. I’ve studied, observed, and thought about this concept of living a balanced life for decades.
Balance is a physical concept that cannot adequately grasp or reconcile with spiritual realities.
Balance falls far short, yet it remains the popular culture ideal of enlightened living. In fact, it is hogwash!
A life in balance is a myth.
It is one of those feel good, happy distractions that just doesn’t work. People who are busy balancing their lives often miss it because they’re so busy thinking they have to have their life together before they can go forward. Not true! Another myth!
Doing life is learning life. Sitting on the sidelines waiting for the perfect moment of balance and harmonious happiness is wishful thinking, at best, and wasteful thinking most of the time.
Others will claim to be so busy, overworked, and stressed that they believe more balance will finally bring them the peace, comfort, and security they’re working so hard to achieve. Wrong! Today’s On-Purpose Minute points out the folly of that line of thinking.
In another On-Purpose Minute titled “Do You Want A Balanced Life?” I invite you to really consider what you are seeking. Below, you’ll find a link to download my poem titled A “Balanced” Life.
My hope is that you’ll find that striving for balance is a frustrating folly not worth the effort.
I’ve played the “balance your life game” in the past. No more!
Today when someone says “I want more balance in my life,” I actually hear an absurd statement. You might as well say, “I’m hoping to walk to the edge of the earth one day and be able to look over it to see what’s there.” No Virginia, the world is not flat.
The concept of balance in your life is equally flawed thinking despite being so broadly accepted.
So allow me to release you from the relentless pursuit of a vaporous standard that’s impossible to grasp yet seems so easily within reach. Why live in the unhealthy definition of stress, which is what pursuing a life of balance creates?
Instead of wanting more balance in your life, seek to integrate your life around your purpose, then live into your purpose, i.e. being on-purpose. This isn’t semantics; this is a seismic truth that provides order, focus, and clarity—and, thankfully, a healthy dose of “being out of balance.” You’ll learn to live with the joyful intensity where being “off balance” doesn’t matter and being true to yourself and more on-purpose does matter.
Replace your tiring, old concept of balance in life.
Change your “ideal” and you’ll transform your life for the better as you integrate your life rather than balance it.
To download my poem A “Balanced” Life, go to our shopping cart to get your free copy.
The small business owner (aka solo owner, solopreneur, SOHO, or solo) is the unsung hero of modern society. Their pursuit of a dream is epic, daring, and brave. Small businesses dot the business landscape, and in the years to come more people will turn to starting a business for additional income or to replace a lost job or create one. Profit making is alive and we all benefit from the efforts of solopreneurs.
What does it mean to be in business? Being in business is a high and noble calling!
I love what the opportunity to start and run a business brings in terms of
- improved standards of living
- funding of worthy causes
People who start businesses have my respect. Regardless of whether they’re starting a home-based business, a family business, or a high-growth/high-potential venture, they’re pursuing a dream with boldness.
Small business people are heroes. Every business starts as a small business. Business owners are to the Knowledge Age what the farmers were at the turn of the 20th Century: men and women who are willing to lay the mantle of responsibility on their shoulders and pull the greater load in hopes of a greater gain.
Business owners risk much in hopes of gaining much and giving more.
Certainly, profits and a better lifestyle are part of the anticipated gain. But there’s more. The measured ability to create and control one’s life, schedule, and vocational pursuits is the height of healthy individualism.
Truth be told, if you want to mature and grow into a better person—start a business! Government doesn’t build businesses, people do.
Find a need and fill it! That is the mantra of the business owner.
Like ants scouring a picnic ground for food, entrepreneurs search the marketplace for a business opportunity or find gaps of need in the market through inventive initiative. All types of businesses are launched—service, retail, professional, manufacturing, industrial, and, the hot item today, an internet-based business. Opportunity abounds!
Business owners do more than employ people.
Business owners create jobs when they manage their businesses prudently. Most of the business owners I know are generous with those in their charge.
For many, employment is simply another form of ministry.
I’m not talking charity here. No, we’re talking about
- mentoring and development of others
- providing opportunities
- raising up leaders
- entrusting managers
- training the unskilled
Business owners see, find, and act on the good in others because it is simply good for business and, even better, for life.
Who’s typically volunteering? Look around and notice.
You’ll find small business owners serving on boards, volunteering for coaching, taking their lunch hours to serve the poor, being active in a church, driving Meals on Wheels, and more. These are the backbone of society. They’ve chosen a different path from their corporate counterparts who must manage vacation days, punch a clock, or otherwise account for their time to their employers in terms of ROI, not altruism.
So do this: Thank a business owner today for improving your community and life.
As you prepare to purchase gifts or engage services, make the special effort to support a local small business person. Investing your hard earned cash into a sale in their business recycles into your community in ways you may never fully grasp. Be thankful for them, for you know not their struggles and thhe hardships it takes to keep the doors open to be there for you when you need them.
Recommended Resource: CLARITY FOR SOLOS
My colleague and Winter Park neighbor, Adam Dudley, has written a book. I had a few sneak peeks along the way in the writing process and I really liked what I read. While our writing styles and perspectives are different, we share a heart for the plight of the solo owner.
Adam, a huge advocate of yoga, brings a rather chill, yet focused perspective to the realities of being a solo. He gets himself out of the way to care for your needs. Adam is a thoughtful coach who listens well, processes in your best interest, and then offers wise counsel. Below his peaceful nature, the wheels are spinning as he’s thinking about what you need to succeed.
CLARITY FOR SOLOS offers great advice for solo and small business owners who are confused, stuck, or unsure about what to do next. It’s available on Amazon.com. Click the image to preview it.
Do you feel like a failure? How are you choosing to frame “failure”?
Unemployment, slow business, foreclosures, and underemployment are just some of the struggles pressing into the hearts and minds of many today. As debt stares you in the face and the opportunities apparently diminish, the personal repercussions can cause us to lose hope and begin to see our lives as failing.
This situational depression can weigh on one’s spirit to the point of discouragement and negativity if we paint ourselves as failures.
What if your perspective, not your current circumstance, is the problem?
Today’s On-Purpose Minute invites us to stop looking outward and begin looking inward and upward for a fresh approach that holds the key to grasping the present situation and life beyond.
Thomas Alva Edison, the great inventor, saw “failure” as information. (See the video clip “I Haven’t Failed” by my actor friend, Frank Attwood, who portrays Edison.) How many times have you tried and “failed” only to discover you were one step closer to success?
Gene Kranz, NASA Flight Director, in the movie Apollo 13 is attributed with saying “Failure is not an option,” in the face of saving the crew in space. When failure isn’t an option, then what are the options?
Fresh and exciting options must open up!
When we play scared, we play not to win.
The best we can do is hold steady or lose ground. A shaky self-defeating cycle is set up that once it is in motion can gain momentum and overwhelm us.
Learning to play with reasoned abandon may sound like an oxymoron, but it isn’t. It means that we’re disconnected specifically to the end result, but we’re highly focused on the matters at hand. This frees us to play for the sheer joy and moment, yet aware that what we’re doing in the moment matters. Athletes call it being in “the zone.” It is preparation and hard work intersecting with opportunity.
Truthfully, you’re apt “to choke” the first few encounters, but in time you’ll grow through the experience and be on the way to success. That’s how failures become successes.