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4. Keep your day job (or business)

And if you already quit, then you need a hustle. You need something to make money.

You can make good money--and more importantly touch a gazillion lives--as a motivational speaker or as any other type of professional speaker. But in most instances, it doesn’t happen as fast as you would like it to.

Professional motivational speaking is an industry built primarily on branding and marketing. And 10% of speakers make 90% of the money. The numbers are pretty much the same for coaching. (No, those percentages aren’t exact, but you understand what I’m saying.) Building a great pro speaking business takes time, anywhere from 2-5 years, or more.

Except for the occasional last minute gig, most engagements are booked from 3-18 months in advance. So, if you don’t have your bills paid up for the next 6 months to a year, then like I said before, you need a hustle.

How long did it take me? It took two years before I could consistently pay my bills on time.

I got up at 5AM and went to bed at 1AM six (sometimes seven) days a week. I was studying the business as if my life depended on it and it did. I was working on my branding and marketing, practicing, developing programs/talks, networking, and starving.

I was as broke as could be. I quit my day job and I was dumb enough not to at least get a part time job. If I didn’t speak, I didn’t eat. Have you ever seen an anorexic black man? Not cool!

So, is all of that sacrifice and hard work what made me successful so quickly? No.

What helped me to be successful is that I was smart enough to follow the first three steps in this article.

5. Decide what target market your message and expertise fit the best.

You gotta dominate a niche. That's means you have a corner of the market where you are one of the top speakers.

How do you figure this out?

Speak about what you know the best, love the most, and something that somebody, other than you, is interested in. Seems simple enough, right? Be careful. Tons of speakers get this dead wrong. Here’s a hint:

Find an important want, need, or problem and show them how to fix it. People hate problems and they love simple solutions. Give them what they want, bring them proven solutions and they will love you.


And you MUST write a book in your niche.

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