When I first learned about the possibilities of being a full-time paid Motivational Speaker , I thought, wow, now that's an easy gig!... deliver 65 or so one hour presentations around the country each year and get paid pretty penny to do so. Ask Eric what he thinks about this, and he will tell you a whole different story. He would say that with all the organization, negotiating, writing, preparing and following-up with clients for these 65 or so presentations, he is oftentimes working 60+ hours a week. All of a sudden, it doesn't sound as appealing.
On top of this, he has all of the other administrative tasks that comes with running a small business. If clients have never heard of him or don't know how to find him, they are not going to hire him and he will be out of business.
Before this week, I never realized how much work it actually is. I must say, I have a new found appreciation.
In the past 43 weeks I have had the opportunity to work with many people who own their own business. Most of them say they wish they had done it sooner, that they would never again work for someone else, and that they love the freedom. I can appreciate that, though, my one observation is I found most of these people work crazy hours each week and don't have much time to take for themselves. Yes, you do make your own schedule, leave when you want, and work when you want, yet, when you are aware that the extent of your input is directly related to your bottom line, it appears challenging to ever stop thinking about work. I imagine it can be difficult to simply relax, take a vacation, enjoy a movie or a good book, because there is always something that could be done.
I think it would take a lot of discipline to say, "Well, that's it, I am done for the day" and to make sure you budget enough time to do the other things you love doing. Or more importantly, the things that you may not like doing though have to get done anyways. This must become even more difficult when you actually love your job.
Growing up I often heard that life has a lot to do with balance. I think it's a difficult idea for many in my generation to deal with - sometimes you simply have to do what you don't want to do in order to allow time for what you do want to do. I have certainly never been a fan of that, though as I get older and supposedly more mature, I begin to realize there just might be some truth to that.
I really enjoyed my week with Eric. We had many interesting talks about life, careers, my generation, and he was able to provide a lot of great insights causing myself to ask some very important questions. On my last day Eric received an email from a client who is interested in having both Eric and I speak at a presentation in the summer in Dallas. Could be fun!