From Cafeteria Speeches to Million Dollar Business with Scott Stratten

The path to a successful speaking business isn’t always the same for everyone. Let’s use Scott Stratten as an example. Scott was 12 years old when he realized he wanted to become a professional speaker. It came after watching a Les Brown motivational talk on PBS. After seeing that special and realizing you can get paid to stand on a stage and yell at people, a dream was born, and a path was set.

Today, Scott is living that dream. He is the president of Un-Marketing and is one of the leading speakers/authors in the world when it comes to helping audiences embrace the age of disruption. He has written four best-selling business books and was formerly a music industry marketer, national sales training manager and a Professor at the Sheridan College School of Business.

Scott also spent close to a decade running one of the most successful viral video agencies in the world before solely focusing on speaking at events for companies like PepsiCo, Adobe, IBM, and Microsoft when they need help navigating their way through the landscape of business disruption. He now spends all of his time doing what he loves… keynoting.

Scott joined me on this podcast to share his journey, which started in HR and then as a national sales trainer. But he realized early on that he was a horrible employee. So he made the leap to go out on his own and start the journey of entrepreneurship. He booked his first gig with HRDC (Human Resources Development of Canada) and in his mind, he pictured himself as Les Brown up on the stage with a crowd of 6000. When he showed up – his stage was a riser in the food court of the local mall. There weren’t 6000 people as he imagined – just a few folks in the mall and a couple of hecklers from New York Fries. But Scott was there to knock it out of the park… so he did.

This is one of the most inspiring, and funny, podcasts I’ve done in a while and Scott’s story is impressive to hear. But it’s not just his journey; it’s how he approaches what he does and how he approaches the business. There are lessons in there for everyone!

Listen to the full podcast below:



Podcast Resources:

Want to learn more about Scott? You can visit his website Unmarketing HERE.

You can follow Scott on Twitter and Facebook.

You can check out Scott’s books HERE.

Find out more about the Wealthy Speaker Daily Success Planner and Journal.


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Want to hear more episodes of the Wealthy Speaker podcast or subscribe so you never miss an interview? Check out the podcast episode archive, HERE or subscribe on either iTunes or Stitcher below.

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  • Mary Carlson Byers

    Hi Jane!

    I’d love to hear your definition of a “million-dollar speaker.” Is this someone with revenues over a million a year or someone who has hit a million over a lifetime of speaking?

    If it’s the former, it would be great to delve into the question of sustainability and overall quality of life at some point.

    • Hi Mary,

      It’s a million dollars per year. 60 talks per year. I’ve done that many per year for the past seven years. My quality life is just fine 🙂

      • Mary Carlson Byers

        Thanks for the quick response! I certainly didn’t mean to question your quality of life! 🙂 60 is manageable. When I first started in the business it wasn’t unusual to hear speakers talk about doing 150-200 “dates” a year and that didn’t even seem desirable to me.

        • Nor to me! 60 is my sweet spot. Allows me to be at home 200+ days a year but also stay on stage and create momentum.

    • speakerlauncher

      And for me as well Mary, the definition is $1M/year. Figuring out the best way to do that while keeping your family/life in tact is a huge part of what we talk about over here, what’s the point if your lifestyle is in the toilet, right?