10 Steps to Recession-Proof Your Speaking Business

By Jane Atkinson

Okay, let’s face it, there’s chaos all around us. Meetings have been canceled or postponed.  The stock market is in free fall and we are heading into a recession. It sounds pretty bleak, doesn’t it? Let’s take a look at 10 steps you can take today to recession-proof your speaking business!

Like the flower that grows in the middle of a desert, there is good all around us.  We just have to look for it. It’s no different in your business when everything feels like it’s falling apart. Start with these 10 tips to help you weather the storm.

#1.  Balance Negative In with Positive In

It’s so easy to sit in front of the television and watch the news for hours on end. But when we do that, we have to make sure that we maintain some balance. For every hour of chaos and drama, make sure that you are listening to something positive or learning something new. Here’s a link to our Wealthy Speaker Meditation to help you offset the things that may be taking a toll on your confidence to get through this time.

#2.  Check-in With All of Your Clients

By reaching out to clients who you’ve spoken for over the past 5 years, just to say “hey, how are you doing?” with the intention of really finding out if they are okay, you’ll be in a good position to serve when they are in need.

recession-proof your speaking business - check in with clients

If you’ve got an engagement happening later in the year, don ‘t be afraid to check up on them to see what the plan is.  Maybe there is something they could use from you in the meantime.

#3. Be of Service

Yes, you’ve had a cancellation or postponement and that is hard to swallow. But if you shift it around and think about how they might be feeling having had to cancel and ask “how might I serve you?”, then I think you’ll be focused in a more positive, solution-oriented way.

For instance, many of my clients will do webinars while waiting for the postponed date to arrive.  And rather than waiting to get the dreaded call, they took a proactive approach and reached out to everyone to check-in. A simple call to say, “Hey, you doing okay?” goes a long way.

#4. Remote Learning

Check out Alan’s Steven’s Remote Learning Facebook group for ideas on how to find and deliver more remote learning while we wait for the dust to clear. Presenting webinars or live classes online is a viable option that will likely carry on long after 2020, but many clients are happy to have some valuable content during these tough times.

#5. Work on Your Mindset

Take time every day to work on your mindset. Review and visualize your 5-year plan.  Focus on what is going right in your life and what you are grateful for. Shore up your confidence daily. (These techniques can be found in The Wealthy Speaker Daily Success Planner and Journal).  Also, the don’t miss doing your daily meditation (see tip #1) – it’s more important now than ever before that you take charge of your mental fitness.

#6.  Be Productive

The world is on lockdown and there’s not much we can do about that, so how can we have a #ProductiveQuarantine? (I hope you’ll share this post and this idea!)

Maybe we get the outline of our book down on paper or map out that long overdue online course. Be intentional with your time. If your kids are at home, give yourself some grace and don’t create a long list that you simply won’t get to. That’s just another excuse to beat yourself up. Choose one thing that you think you can accomplish to keep the ball moving forward.

#7.  Look for Opportunities

If you speak on change, resilience or leadership in a time of chaos, guess what? Your clients need these topics now more than ever.  Keep asking, “how can I see opportunity?” rather than focusing on loss.  If you have money to invest, now’s the time to invest.  I’d suggest taking advantage of cheap flights, but that may not be prudent for April, but what about August?

Keep building relationships – there’s nothing more bonding than a worldwide crisis.  Smaller meetings might be the way of the future. Will you be top of mind when that happens? There may be some remote speaking opportunities that can help you serve your clients brilliantly.

#8. Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Have you done the exercise, The Perfect Day in Your Life 5 Years from Now?  It might feel like the world is crashing down on us, but when we look back 5 years from now, this (hopefully) will be a blip.  Keep your vision for the future front and center and look at it daily.  Focusing on what we want versus what we are afraid of can be helpful.

#9.  Focus on the Good Stuff

Practicing gratitude and finding things that are going right every day, in the middle of the chaos, can be very helpful. Take yourself outdoors, and look around at the beauty. The trees are starting to bloom, the flowers are coming up (for those of us in the north) and nature can help us get more grounded. It’s really interesting, when you sit down and start thinking about it, how many things you can come up with to feel grateful for. If you’re typing an email, be grateful for your fingers. If you’re Facetiming a friend, be grateful for technology.

#10.  Plan For Next Time

Okay, perhaps this one caught you off guard and you didn’t have your Comfort Fund in place.  The goal is that you sock away 6-12 months’ worth of expenses so that if the catastrophic happened, you’d be able to survive it financially.

During a recent podcast, Gerard Braud and I talked about how he survived a near-fatal illness and was unable to work for 6 months.  And he has since put a very strong “rainy day” plan in place. Gerard’s is more like 3 years worth of expenses and you can see why.

Be sure to download and print our 10 Steps Cheat Sheet and post it front and center so that you’ll stay positive throughout this crisis.

I’d love to tell you that everything’s coming up roses, but I’m not sure that would be of service.  No one really knows how long this will last. But I want you to be creative about how you approach these next few months.  After all, what’s the alternative?

See you soon Wealthy Speakers!