in a rut. For a brief moment, I even considered being an
organization’s vice president of training and development.
I lamented, “Being a speaker and trainer is hard. The economy is kicking my butt.”
I replaced two members. Dream team membership should be
sacred and valued. Consider having yearly one-on-ones to see
if members want to renew their membership (or to determine
if you want them to re-up). In addition, continue to build
meaningful and quality relationships with others. You never
know when they may need your help or vice versa.
• Ramp up customer service. I believe that people enjoy
being around energized, enthusiastic people, so I launched
into a campaign of robust
service, from putting the
JIMPACT (my company name)
smile back in my voice, to pro-
viding free consulting tips,
to renewing my approach to
ensuring each of my clients felt
like my most important client.
I was no longer pleading for
work. I also decided to become
a better listener, earning my Ph.D. in listening for the unsaid.
I rededicated myself to honing my craft. I read more, studied
more and developed new material and offerings.
• Step up positive thinking. This one is a no-brainer.
Nonetheless, when things go wrong, sometimes a positive
attitude goes with it. This is the time to renew your Positive
Perspective membership card.
• Strengthen your faith. Whatever your beliefs are in a
higher power, I credit my faith to helping me work on my
resolve and becoming more creative and resourceful.
On New Year’s Eve, I will sit down to write my goals
and be more specific than ever. With my business booming
in the current economy, I’m confident that my best is yet to
come in 2009.
Getting Back on Track
After one morning of meditation and prayer, I shifted my
mindset from being a “survivor” and “economy casualty” to
rejoicing in “It’s my time”
and “My best is yet to
come!” Shortly thereafter, My coach told me that
my book, From Average the more specific the
to Awesome: Lessons for
Living an Extraordinary goals are, the better. So,
Life, was released in June. I immediately became a
I spoke at two conferences and handed out blue goal-writing machine.
bracelets that read “My
best is yet to come!” which generated myriad leads.
I received coaching from my database manager, James
Davis, another entrepreneur who reminded me that tough
times don’t last, but tough people do. He advised me to chill
out, take one step at a time and to think in abundance rather
in worry. He offered shrewd financial advice in handling
creditors (see sidebar, “Coping with Creditors”) and also
encouraged me to read my own book because speakers and
trainers don’t always practice what they preach and teach
(just keeping it real here). With my mojo returning, I developed the following five-prong approach for bouncing back
and staying on top, regardless of the economy:
• Lower your fee, but maintain quality. Offer customer discounts for multiple sessions, consulting, training and speaking. For example: I invited a few hot, potential clients to
attend my Bootcamp Workshop for free, which resulted in a
number of training, consulting and speaking opportunities.
• Reevaluate your dream team (i.e., your personal and professional advisory board) to determine if everyone is adding value. In my keynotes, I often suggest that if you’re the
smartest person on your dream team, then it’s time for a new
team. While I didn’t make wholesale changes to the team,
Jim Smith, Jr., is a motivational speaker, trainer and
the author of Crash and Learn: 600+ Road-Tested
Tips to Keep Audiences Fired Up and Engaged and
From Average to Awesome: Lessons for Living an
Extraordinary Life. With over 20 years of corporate
experience, Jim has spoken to both national and international
audiences. For more information, visit www.jimpact.com.
Coping with Creditors
When times are lean and your calendar isn’t filled with speaking
engagements, your creditors still
expect to be paid. The following
tips—which are common sense,
but not common practice—will
help keep you on good terms with
them during a slump:
1Keep your creditors advised
regarding your upcoming keynotes
so they know you have a revenue stream
and can make payments on time.
2Prioritize your debts and pay what
needs to be paid.
3Distribute your funds among your
4Take control of conversations with
creditors, and refer to your current
financial situation as a temporary bump
in the road.
5Maintain a positive mindset. You will
instill confidence in your creditors
when your voice sounds upbeat. No one
wants to attend a “tension convention.”