If you are a professional speaker who wants to move your fee up the ladder quickly, you need to ensure that your inventory (dates on your calendar) are protected. To do this, you need to start exercising your ‘NO’ muscle.
When we agree to every engagement that comes in, regardless of price, we are undermining our long-term goal of getting paid what we are worth. To avoid this, you need to get very choosy about which gigs you take and which ones you walk away from. This means you’ll need to find the confidence to start saying ‘NO.’
Exercising Your ‘NO’ Muscle
Here’s what I know about saying “no.”
It Takes Courage to Say No
You have bills to pay. I get it. I also understand that it is tough to balance paying the bills today with where you want to go tomorrow.
Starting to say “NO” for smaller things will help exercise your no muscle and get you headed in the right direction.
Perhaps you practice on something small like a PTA commitment that you’ve wanted to step away from for a while. Exercising the muscle in any form will help you head in the right direction.
It Takes Focus to Say No
Have you ever driven to pick up your kids from school or go grocery shopping and you can’t remember the actual drive you think “how did I get here?” This happens because we often shift into autopilot when performing repetitive tasks.
The same can occur in our business. We get comfortable with certain things, and we go on autopilot. We fail to stay focused and advance our goals, especially when it comes to fees.
To avoid this, keep your new fee posted right in front of you so that you don’t go on autopilot when negotiating.
It Takes Confidence to Say No
I always say that clarity builds confidence. The more you know and believe in what you are selling, the more confidence you have. So, brush up on the powerful outcomes that your speaking provides right before you go into a sales call to boost your confidence and get in the ‘selling’ zone.
Here’s an exercise that will also help you to build your confidence so you can continue to exercise your no muscle:
Write down a list of what gives you confidence. Your list might contain things like:
1. I’m smart.
2. I know my material.
3. I help people.
4. I’ve written books
Keep your confidence list handy and during the moments when you need to boost your confidence enough to say “no,” pull it out.
Just like the other muscles in your body, exercising your “NO” muscle is extremely important for the health of your business. If you never use it, it will go flabby, and you’ll get stuck.
So, start today to get that ‘NO’ muscle in shape and firmed up so that when you are moving full steam into your next fee level, you will have no problem freeing up your calendar for those terrific paychecks!
As your business builds, and your calendar gets busier, being able to turn down low fee engagements becomes more and more essential. And you need to do this fearlessly. Will you tell us about a time that you said “no” and it worked out well? Please share in the blog comments below.
See you soon Wealthy Speakers!