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3 Lessons from 2020 to Help Build A More Resilient and Sustainable Speaking Business

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People writing about the misery of 2020 isn’t new, that’s for sure. I’ve seen a lot of memes about what a horrible year this has been. I recall Queen Elizabeth calling 1992 ‘annus horribilis’, which means the year of disaster or misfortune. That was the year the palace was rocked by scandal, divorce, and a fire.

This has been an annus horribilis.

If the coronavirus illness touched your life or family, no doubt you had some serious worry and cause for alarm. Some of you, literally, fought for your lives.

And many of us fought for our living.

As I write this with a few weeks left in the year, I am determined to finish 2020 strong. But I, like you, have been tested.

Here are 3 lessons I wanted to share with you to help build a more resilient and sustainable speaking business.

Lesson #1: Resilience is a Moving Target

I used to think of resilience like a bank account. You built up some credits and then you used them when needed. But this year, we’ve needed to constantly replenish our resilience.

Victor Frankel says, “when we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” I read his book “Man’s Search for Meaning” years ago and I’m tempted to dig it out again. 2020 has been bad, but reading about the Holocaust helps to put things into perspective.

Now we could certainly go down some political rabbit hole here, but please note my point – there is always someone who is suffering more.

Really note what Frankel is saying. We have to go inside and do the work at a time like this. And when the resilience runs out, we have to go and do some more work. The inside work, the self-mastery, the mindset shifting. It doesn’t stop. And we may need to continue training our resilience muscles for months and months to come.

Lesson #2: The Comfort Fund is King

It almost seems silly to talk about the comfort fund at this stage of the game. Some of you had a fund and it’s long gone. Some of you didn’t have one, to begin with. My goal for my fund is that it needs to be bigger. If Covid, or cancer, or a car accident took you out of commission for a year, what would you do?

We’ve heard it before, we need 6-12 months of living expenses in the fund. And I have to tell you, having a comfort fund offers you a level of peace of mind that is worth any amount of hardship that it takes to build it. It literally offers comfort just knowing that it’s there. It may be a goal for another time, but if you haven’t considered the comfort fund, now is the time to start one.

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I’d like my comfort fund to be bigger. For the next couple of clients I bring on, a portion of those will be going to the fund. I have a piece of exercise equipment in my basement that I’ve wanted to sell for a while now. Once we get it gone, that money is going straight into the fund. And if I remind myself of lines of credit and other things we could tap into in an emergency, it brings me peace. It brings me comfort and it lowers worry, which leads us brilliantly into our next lesson.

Lesson #3: Worry is a Wasted Emotion

I am a worrier.

And I worry about things that I have not one speck of control over. Things like politics in the US. I live in Canada so I don’t even get a vote… but yet I worried.

Like many of you, I became consumed with the outcome of the 2020 U.S. election and the circus it turned into. But the bottom line is that if I spend a lot of time worrying about it, there’s no advantage, no upside. There is no pay off.

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I’d be far better off channeling my emotions and anxiety into work. Getting focused on providing value to my clients – which is my plan. You see we have people inside our school, in our masterminds, and coaching programs who at this very time, are working hard to build the speaking business of their dreams. And it’s my job to show them the fastest and most successful way.

I don’t have time to sit and wallow about the state of the nation; I have work to do. And you have work to do serving your clients as well.

Where is their pain? Go find it and show them that you have the solution that they need.

Sure, 2020 will leave us all with battle scars. Some far worse than anything I can even imagine. But there are some lessons there for us to embrace and learn from that will serve us in 2021 and beyond.

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