may be able to increase online sales through online
marketing. At the time of my illness, products and a
shopping cart were still undone on my to-do list.
Create teleseminars, podcasts or write a book to
generate additional revenue streams while you’re convalescing. In my case, I was too weak to climb the
stairs to my office for five months.
If your Web status generates a good income, your
next move should be to develop affiliate sales and perhaps build sites that sell myriad products.
Develop products or training programs that can be
licensed. Many sales trainers charge an annual fee for
clients to use their training tools. I’m developing a strategy for my business, which would allow me to
have annual income if I’m sick again and perhaps
create a revenue stream that will still be coming
in long after I’ve died.
in some cases, unscrupulous
competitors will use
a speaker’s illness as an
opportunity to steal business.
Discretion Is Critical
If you are out of commission for some time, carefully
choose who you will tell
about your business interruption. Many speakers’ businesses have suffered because
they announced a serious illness to all of their clients.
Many prospective clients wrote them off forever.
In some cases, unscrupulous competitors will use a
speaker’s illness as an opportunity to steal business or
clients. When I fell ill, I simply eliminated all marketing
efforts, and then I restarted them when recovery was in
sight. Only my closest family and friends were aware of
my illness, along with members of my NSA chapter.
Make a will to take the guesswork out of your
wishes upon your death. Carefully consider how you
will divide your property and assets among your survivors. If you have children who will receive large
sums of money, do you want to parent from beyond
the grave by dictating at what intervals and sums the
money should be dispersed? A will might also advise
your survivors about any business assets or products
that can be sold.
Consider what philanthropic gifts you would like
to place in your will, remembering perhaps your
church, schools you attended and other noteworthy
institutions and organizations. The NSA Professional
Speakers Benefit Fund is one of four philan-
thropic beneficiaries named in my will.
You also should make your desired funeral
arrangements in advance,
including selection of a funeral
home, preference for burial or
cremation, and your desired
final resting place. This will
take the guesswork out of
stressful decision making for
your survivors, who will be
mourning your loss.
Get Your Ducks in a Row
Building a business that can sustain you through life-threatening illness or catastrophe is not easy, nor is
it done quickly. For the past four years, I have been
working on putting each of the above recommendations in place. As one who runs an enterprise, setting
goals to achieve these outlined tasks should be paramount as part of your strategic planning.
Where There’s a Will …
Write a living will or advanced health care directive, dictating your care while you are hospitalized in
the event you cannot make decisions on your own.
Such documents grant power of attorney and dictate
whether you want life support and pain medication
during illness or a coma.
Gerard Braud (Jared Bro), a recognized expert in crisis
communications and media relations, has practiced his
craft on four continents. A past president of NSA New
Orleans, he currently serves as an NSA Chapter Leadership
Consultant (CLC). For more information, visit www.
NSA PROFESSIONAL SPEAKERS BENEFIT FUND
in May 2004, the Nsa professional the professional speakers Benefit a monthly or annual gift to this fund
Speakers Benefit Fund issued a Fund is intended for NSA members through the NSA Foundation is a
check to me for $5,000. As a result and their families, who may be indi- gratifying way to help colleagues
of my illness, i did not have any gent; face catastrophic health emer- you may or may never know. You
income for six months. this under- gencies; suffer catastrophic losses may even find yourself as I did, sud-scores the necessity for being pre- due to fire, earthquake, tornado, etc.; denly in need of financial support
pared for the worst. or who outlive their assets. Making until you can get back on your feet.