You know—just like I did in sports.”
I didn’t know if I needed a three-day
weekend, 10 days or longer to get back
to my roots of excellence. But I knew
the key to my athletic success was my
An “off-season” is designed to give
you an edge in your career and in
your personal life by isolating areas
for continuous improvement. It is
not a vacation, nor a sabbatical. It is
an annual break dedicated to retool,
regroup, refresh and refocus for
optimal performance improvement.
Positives changes followed. I got
my swagger back, and I felt that
competitive edge just as I did in
sports. I was refreshed, refocused,
regrouped and retooled. If it worked
in sports, it has to work in business,
Now, our business is as strong as
ever, despite a recession. Recently,
a financial services organization
booked us for 15 events. How is
that for a productive off-season?
Plan of Action
My speaking calendar between
Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day was
light because most of my clients were
in holiday mode and didn’t hold many
meetings. I determined that this would
be the ideal time to schedule my first off-season. During this period, we evaluated
every aspect of our speaking business,
including content, products, Web site,
bureau relationships, opening, closing,
fee(s), branding, office processes, holds,
releases, follow-ups, keynotes, workshops and PowerPoint presentations. We
also sifted through a few NSA convention bags full of information that we
collected at the annual event. We took
our business apart from top to bottom
and put it back together with new ideas
and strategies for the New Year.
In my basketball career, I would
evaluate what I did well during the
season, and then determine what I
needed to work on to be the team’s
most improved player the next year.
I couldn’t wait for a new season to
begin, because I worked hard during
the off-season. I expected success and
always achieved it.
Now, I was excited about the new
year in our speaking business. A new
season represented unlimited possibilities, and I knew that I could
reach the next level based on how I
managed my off-season.
Schedule Your Off-Season
What would happen to your speaking
career, training company, consulting
business, personal life and/or professional career if you incorporated
what professional athletes have practiced for decades? They bag tons of
cash and do not even compete for the
What if professional speakers
adopted their own off-season to ramp
up their speaking? If you have been
looking for something that can take
your overall life to the next level, schedule your first off-season now.
How Walter Got
Evaluate and grade every
His Groove Back
aspect of your business.
Be hard on yourself
Save the Dates!
Start your off-season by attending
the 2009 Fall Conference in Phoenix,
November 20-22, or the 2010 Winter
Conference in Nashville, Tenn.,
February 12-14, where Bond will
present at the opening session. Register
today at NSAFallConference.org or
Improve your products, and
discontinue products that no
longer reflect you.
round table groups with
other NSA speakers.
Walter Bond, CSP, grew up in Chicago’s inner city and always dreamed of playing in the NBA. Bond’s eight-year professional career landed him
as a player with the Dallas Mavericks, Utah
Jazz and Detroit Pistons. Bond also was a
broadcast analyst for the Minnesota
Timberwolves. For more information, visit
Evaluate your brand. Do
you need a makeover?
Set financial goals for next year.
Quantify your success.