Hugh Culver

Hugh Culver

EE049 – The Speaker’s Dilemma

July 10, 2015

Experts Enterprise Podcast
This is the podcast for speakers, consultants, coaches, and on-line marketers who want to grow their influence and income. Learn from experts like: Jay Baer, Guy Kawasaki, and John Lee Dumas. Get insights from author, entrepreneur, and speaker Hugh Culver about what works, what doesn't work, and what you definitely want to avoid as you grow your expertise, and enterprise.
EE-049- The Speaker's Dilemma
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: This podcast will be shut down after episode 50 (this is episode 49). Stay tuned for what I'm working on next.
In this episode I talk about how I got into the speaking business and how it evolved into, what Michael Gerber calls, a "real business".

A brief rundown of how I got started:

I got into this business after starting in an adventure business
After grad school, I started running weekend training programs at the University
After 10 years, it morphed into six-figure leadership training where I would go into a business, do an evaluation and develop a multi-day, custom program, followed by long-term coaching to help with implementation
It became a huge business with employees to manage and ensure there was enough work for. I was working to feed the monster
I also noticed the business went through feast (fall/spring) and famine (summer/winter) cycles that synced up with my own efficiency
I was very efficient in the feast, when I had to be because things were so busy, and inefficient when I wasn't so busy

Changing My Hourly Work Into A Real Business

I realized I needed a way to stop the feast/famine cycle and transform my hourly work into a real business, like Michael Gerber from the E-Myth says, "You may be an expert in an area but you're not necessarily a business owner"
In a real business you can make money when you're not "on stage" or even in the office
I began investing some of my time to build programs that could run without me

Three-Tier Model

Think of it like a pyramid. The top is tier 3 with the fewest purchasers and most high value items
Tier 3: high ticket items that makes the most money
Tier 2: routine and predictable revenue, you can sell more of for people who are ready to make a small investment
Tier 1: free products, used to attract new customers

1. Make a simple chart for yourself (4x4 squares) like this one:

2. Fill in the products that you are excited about creating, products that your customers would get real value from.
Great Quotes From This Episode
"I believe you can be a business person, it just requires a mind shift"
"Here's a quick test to know if you're running a "real business". How much money would you earn if you couldn’t work for the next month?"
"The Speaker's Dilemma: do I keep chasing only big ticket engagements or do I spend a percentage of my time building things that don’t require as much time/effort and get more me freedom? In order to get the latter, you have to let go of some of the former."
"To avoid the speaker's dilemma and build a real business, you need to have all three tiers, free content, small products, and high ticket items."

Let me know in the comments below what strategies you've used to grow your speaking business and what you think of these.

Download your free copy of my quick and dirty speech writing template (it’ll save you hours of work).

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