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Why You’ve Gotta Have a Team If You Want to Scale Your Speaking Business

scale your speaking business

Where would I be without my team? I would be frustrated, overworked and ready to pack it in to try something else.

In fact, that is exactly where I was eight years ago, at the height of the most exhausting and trying time in my business.

I was a successful coach, gave lots of speeches which drove that business, sold a good amount of product, and I was doing okay financially. But I knew I could be doing much better.

I was not happy. I was burnt out. I was handling all of the day-to-day business tasks myself. Website changes, database and CRM management, bookkeeping, email marketing… there were so many learning curves that I felt like a student of all but a master of none.

Sure, I was checking the box, and lots of things were getting done, but none of them were getting done well.

Because I was wearing all of the hats in my business, I had very little time to spend on my core competencies… the things that I was good at and passionate about. My three core competencies are writing, coaching, and selling. When I realized how much time I was spending working outside of my CC’s (core competencies), I started to recognize that this was what was driving my dissatisfaction.

So, I took action. I did not have a ton of money at the time, but I decided to invest in a virtual assistant. That was the beginning of a team; a fabulous team actually, some of whom have been with me for 7-8 years.

build a team to scale your business

Some of my clients balk at the idea of hiring someone to help them. They typically claim one, or all, of the following:

  1. I cannot afford to hire someone
  2. Why hire when I can do it myself?
  3. I tried once, and it did not go well

So, let me address this one by one.

1. I Can’t Afford to Hire Someone

If you intend to grow your business by getting higher fees, it is very difficult to get there without the help of a team. Scaling requires that you concentrate on, and operate in, your CC’s (core competencies) most of the time.

can't afford to hire team members

Start small with your hiring. Budget $200-$300/month and go from there. You will slowly start to feel the clouds lifting as you hire out more and more of the $30/hour jobs. Your new found freedom will give you time to spend on strategy and thinking up new ideas for scaling your business, and that is worth every penny!

Bottom line: If you want to scale your business, you can’t afford not to hire.

2. Why Hire When I Can Do It Myself?

Imagine if the general contractor you hired to build your house was working late at night doing your plumbing. He is not going to do the best job possible; you want a plumbing expert for that.

why hire when you can do it yourself

The same applies to website changes, posting your blogs, editing your books, uploading your podcasts. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should. Most of these are $50/hour jobs or less; you should be doing the $500/hour jobs.

Bottom line: Just because you could do it, doesn’t mean you should do it.

3. I Tried Hiring Once and It Didn’t Go Well

The art of hiring is indeed an art. There are so many things to take into consideration:

  • Does the team member share the same values as you?
  • Do they hold the level of expertise that you seek?
  • Do they deal with problems head-on?

Have I had hiring failures? Of course! However, I get back on the horse and try again because I know that having key players in the right jobs is the only way to scale my business.

hiring team members to scale your business

Here’s a great article that provides 25 tips on how to build your small business team – many of which you can use immediately to find someone for your team and make sure it’s successful!

Bottom line: It might take some time to get the right people in place, but once you do the sky is the limit!

Here’s how speaking superstar Jeffrey Hayzlett views team:

jeffrey hayzlettSports rise and fall as teams, but businesses also succeed or fail at an ever-bigger scale based on the strength or weakness of a team.  I judge my success based on how I get my team to perform.  I know I can go only as fast as my slowest or weakest team member.  Getting my team moving together is my biggest priority.


Many of my clients have hired successfully (including Ryan Estis and Kindra Hall) and will be attending Accelerate LIVE 2017: How to Build a Million Dollar Speaking Business, November 17-19 in Minneapolis, along with their team leaders. My team leader Carolyn Crummey will be there as well, and we will be sharing some key insights on what you should be outsourcing and how to find the right team members.

See you soon, Wealthy Speakers!

Jane Atkinson




PS: Need help finding resources to build your team? Check out our new Biz Boutique page! 

speaker launcher biz boutique

It has links to some of the best resources I know that can help you build your business!

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