One of the coolest parts of being an active member in the National Speakers Association is all the "speaker friends" you make along the way. Being a professional speaker, and often on the road, can be a lonely business.
When I find myself in other cities I meet up with my NSA pals. We either connect for a meal, drink, or a business brain-storming session (or all three). When some of them are in Austin they often call me to get together. I usually take them to the Salt Lick for dinner (that has become a tradition, visit Thom, eat lots of BBQ) or to another Austin favorite (today I took Beth to Casa de Luz and Delish Cupcakes). Choosing to make time for people is how relationships are forged.
Being part of a trade / industry association is a great way to develop contacts. I would not be in business if it was not for the NSA and the things I have learned from the people I have met. My participation in a few other associations also bring me to more understanding of the meetings world. Participation can lead to more inspiration than most ever imagine.
Many who want to be professional speakers miss the value in having meaningful relationships with other speakers. Some see their fellow speakers as competition, others are just "too busy" (or too scared, too cool, too something) to invest in friendships. But the speaking business is tricky, and from the outside it appears different from the reality. Navigating a career as a speaker is made much easier when you have your "speaker buddies".
Regardless of your industry, it is important to have friends in your business who have your back. Do not push away the people who could help you uncover the path to more success. The sharing of best-practices and the mastermind meetings are paramount to discover fresh perspectives. If you sit alone and believe you cannot catch a break, examine your relationships with your peers. Nobody is an island and those who have peer groups always seem to uncover more opportunities.
It was fun to see Beth, but she also inspired me by how she connects to her clients. She is doing great things with her speaking career, and that is cool.
***Speaking of "Cool".... Beth Ziesenis is also the current interview on the "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" Podcast. Log onto iTunes and download the episode. Oh, and leave a 5-star review (it helps the show get found).
Have A Great Day