Rebel Uprising Podcast

Setting Goals for Your Speaking Business in 2017 & Beyond

Speaking more isn't a goal. It's a hope.

When I hear somebody tell me, “Oh, I want to be speaking more in 2017,” I know one thing: if they're going to make that goal of speaking happen, they have to define their vision and get a lot more specific about that goal.

Research shows that the more specific you are when setting a goal, the more likely you will accomplish that goal.

I'm going to take you through my two-part system that I use with my clients to define their speaking vision and set their goals for speaking in 2017 and beyond.

Prefer to listen?

I highly recommend before you read on to download the workbook that goes along with this post, so that you can answer these questions and set your vision and set your goals.

Goal Setting the Rebel Way

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Define Your Speaking Vision

The first part of this is defining your vision by asking two questions. These two questions came from one of my clients, Missy Shopshire.

I ask these questions not only about speaking but about all aspects of my business and life because they are two powerful questions to help you define your vision and where you want to go.

Question number one: on a scale of one to 10, with one being incredibly craptacular and 10 being beyond your wildest dreams, how would you rate your current satisfaction with your speaking business?                     

That takes us to question number two. Now imagine that I wave a magic wand and your speaking business is at a level 10 of satisfaction. It's exactly what you wanted and more. I want you to describe in detail what that speaking business looks like.

  • Where are you speaking?
  • Who are speaking to?
  • How much are you getting paid?
  • How often are you speaking?
  • What does it look like?
  • Where are you traveling?
  • What does it smell like?
  • What does it sound like?

Take 15 minutes and in your workbook, you can describe your detailed vision of your speaking business.

This vision, this is where you are headed. Once we know where we're headed, we can start setting goals that will help us get to that vision step by step, piece by piece.                          

Setting Goals for Your Speaking Business

Now that you have your vision, let's set the goals.

In order to do that, I always like to reflect on what has happened in the past year, or if you're a 12-week year person you might be thinking what happened in the past three months.

Now, answer these two questions about what happened in the past year or the past quarter.

Question number one: how many speaking gigs did you have last year?

This should be pretty easy for you to pull from your calendar or even your memory but tapping into how many speaking gigs did you have last year?  

Once you have that number, question number two is what percentage of your revenue came from your speaking?

Now, this question's a little bit trickier. You'll probably have to go into your accounting software and pull your profit and loss statement, or ask your bookkeeper, or get out the good old Excel spreadsheet and add up your total amount of revenue, and then figure out what percentage you made from speaking.                      

Now when you have these two numbers, I don't want you to judge them. Maybe you're at zero for both, or maybe you're like, “Wow, I wish I would have made more money from speaking.” It's all good because it's all in the past, and we can use this as a baseline.

When I set goals, I like to set good, better, best goals and add a level that my friend and mentor, Amber McCue, has. She calls it the dance-on-the-roof-naked goal, the goal that's the level 10 vision of your speaking business.               

Good Goals

Let's talk about these three levels. The good goal for your 2017 should feel obtainable. I like to think of it as the low hanging fruit. It's the easiest, simplest goal to achieve.

For instance, when I was doing this with a client, she realized she did about four speaking gigs last year, and that made up about 5% of her revenue. She has a pretty big goal of where she wants her revenue to go.

So her good goal was simply was doubling your speaking fee, and you did the same number of gigs? That would take you from 5% of revenue to 10%. Then that's her good goal.

She's not doing any more work. She doesn't have to get more speaking gigs. We're simply doubling her price, so we double the percentage of revenue. So the good goal is your easy goal.

Maybe you didn't have any paid speaking gigs last year, so your good goal could be land one paid speaking gig in the first six months of 2017. So that's a good goal.   



A better goal is the mid-ground where, once you accomplish this good goal, you're going to have some momentum, and the better goal feels like a bit of a stretch.

You're going to have to do things differently if you want to achieve that goal.

Maybe it's a higher percentage of revenue, going after more speaking gigs, but set something that's not out of the realm of question to accomplish but still is a bit of a stretch.                        


The best goal is definitely a stretch goal, and it is the goal you would be thrilled to get to by the end of 2017. So make it bigger than you feel comfortable with because this is a best goal.

If you're thinking, “Okay, my good goal is I'm just going to double my fee and get to 10% revenue,” your best goal could be like, “Okay, I'm going to try to get to 20% of my total revenue next year from speaking.” That is a goal that you should feel excited about.

Then, of course, there's the dance-on-the-roof-naked goal. This goal is a major, major stretch, and it's related to that vision that you defined before. What would that goal be if you were at a level 10 of satisfaction in your speaking business?                       

What I love about setting good, better, and best goals is that they allow us to feel like we are making progress while still challenging us to go further.

Action Plan

Now that you've got specific goals, your final step in this process is to create an action plan.

The first thing I want you to do is assume that there will be bumps along the way to achieving these goals. You want to have a plan for dealing with those bumps.

One of the most common bumps is you're going to get rejected for a speaking gig that you really wanted.

That sucks.

But I want you to be proud of the fact that you got rejected. I tell my clients that if they get a rejection, then they have to send another pitch out. If a rejection comes in, another pitch goes out. That is their system for dealing with the bumps along the way.                      

So have a way to deal with those bumps and then work backwards to formulate your action plan. How many places do you need to pitch in the next three months, let's say? Then break that down. How many places should I pitch this week? And start scheduling the time to pitch for those speaking gigs.

Maybe there are other action items you have to do in order to reach your goal. That's fine. Just work them into the plan. So take a moment and build out actionable steps to help you get to your goal.

If you're feeling stuck, you can always apply for a Speak for Impact Strategy Session with me and together we will create a plan for you to reach your goals in 2017 and beyond. Apply for a strategy session to talk about the goals you've set and how you can get there and how I can help, go to

Finally, look at what you wrote down once a week to remind yourself of what you're trying to achieve and what steps you want to make. That is going to be the key to building a successful speaking business in 2017 and beyond.

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