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Why does everyone want to be a speaker or coach? The harshest and perhaps meanest post I have ever written. By Douglas Vermeeren, The Speaking Business Multiplier

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Why is it that everyone wants to be a speaker or a coach? Do they think they really have something to teach or are they thinking its an easy ride? And if they have something to teach today are they really committed to step up and put in the effort to make themselves valuable long term. In my more than a decade as a professional and profitable speaker I’ve seen lots of successes and miserable failures from people that felt they wanted to be speakers. One of the biggest challenges that the failures all had is they thought they were ready to teach and were not. Or they became inspired by someone else and tried to duplicate that person in terms of personality or teaching. A common example of this has been seen by all (you’ve seen it too) where someone read the secret and thought they knew enough to teach it or where someone felt the power of Tony Robbins and then tried to imitate Tony. 15-motivational-quotes-from-tony-robbins-620x355A feeling of inspiration is not necessarily an invitation to duplicate. If you are going to be successful in this business the first thing you need to realize is that your success will be found only as you find your individual and unique voice. Impersonators, imitators and plagiarists never rise higher than the pioneer. You have got to be an original.

Having said that the other important thing about being an original means being valuable. You need to solve real problems and have real solutions. You also need to add to the conversation. In order to add to the conversation you need to know the conversation and understand it well. It’s not enough to read one or two books or what a movie or youtube video and think you are an expert. I recommend to my students that they need to study their subject matter at least one hour per day. No Holidays.  I know of top professional speakers that are spending far more than that. If you want to be an expert you’ve got to know what everyone is saying and develop your own unique points of view on the subject. This is a full time job people. Yesterday I spoke with a husband and wife couple and the husband wants to be a speaker or coach. He has achieved no real great success in his life but feels he has something to teach others. In addition, he has spent lots of the family money pursuing other interests and trying a variety of business that have all reached minimal levels of either success or failure. If you are int he same position and considering that you want to be a speaker or leader to others. The first thing I am going to say is reconsider. You really aren’t ready. But if you must persist before you spend the money and effort to come and play with us let’s see if you can actually consistently put in an hour into your subject each day for a month. If you can’t do it – we don’t want you to come and share the stage with those of us that do this for a living. You are not committed enough and you’re getting in our way. You are also doing a disservice to your audience. They deserve better than someone who is there from an ego point of view or to make a quick buck.

Maybe this is the harshest rant I’ve ever published but it is not uncommon for this industry to attract people who feel that speaking is just a matter of talking and sharing personal stories. People expect more and there’s no need for you to waste everyones time. I recently read an article on how trust levels for speakers, coaches and gurus are losing a lot of ground in the marketplace when it comes to credibility and trust. I believe the reason why is that there are too many people out there who don’t really have any value. If you are considering this as a career take a careful look at what you really offer. And if you find yourself lacking either own it and fix it or find something else to do.

Recently I was at an event where a lady approached me after I spoke and told me of her aspirations to be a life coach. It didn’t take long to understand that her personal life was a mess, her financial life was on the verge of collapse, her relationships were very messy and she had substance abuse challenges. I don’t understand where people like this can even consider life coaching. the role of coach must be very misunderstood. Your responsibility is to lead people to higher ground. It would seem that anyone she would encounter as potential coaching clients would generally be in a better position that she would be. Unreal.

I want to dispel the rumours that this is an easy job. Like anything else there highs and lows. There are moments that are easy and days where the woe is hard. You can’t just have the happy moments you have got to be willing to put in the efforts as well. If you ultimately choice to be a speaker (And I haven’t discouraged you) then by all means do it – but get committed to being the best you can be. Don’t settle to just do the job. Become an expert and a source people can trust and have confidence in. And strive everyday to become better. If you teach personal development or self improvement practice it damn it.

End rant.

douglas-vermeeren-600Are you ready to level up your speaking business? You’ve come to the right place. Douglas Vermeeren is The Speaking Business Multipier. He is considered by many to be the modern day Napoleon Hill for his extensive research into the lives and psychology of more than 400 of the world’s top achievers. 

Vermeeren is the author of 3 books in the Guerrilla marketing series and one in the Dummies book series. He is also the creator of the personal development films The Opus, The Gratitude Experiment and The Treasure Map. He is a regular featured expert on FOX, FOX Business, CNN, ABC, NBC, CTV, CBC and others.

As a speaker he earned more than 1.3 Million dollars in his first six months as a speaker. He currently teaches speakers how to duplicate his level of success in a top rated program called High Profit Speaker.

http://www.DouglasVermeeren.com

 

 

Want to be a leader? How do you start your day? by The Speaking Business Multiplier

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the_speaking_business_multiplier_logo02Want to be a leader? How do you start your day?

by Douglas Vermeeren, The Speaking Business Multiplier

There are lots of ideas out there on how to grow a speaking business but one that I don’t hear repeated very often centers around how you start your day. As a speaker, coach or trainer how you start your day will have a direct impact on how you can influence the day of someone else. Think about this for a minute: What makes you a speaker worth listening to? The answer is simple. It’s the value you add to the lives of others. If you are able to share powerful strategies, insights and concepts you will have the power to lift others to higher levels. And if you are not willing to push higher and go deeper than your students you will eventually have none. Why? Because if you can not add high value those students will look elsewhere.

sunriseSo on to the point of this article. How are you starting your day? I have had the chance to surround myself with many of the top thought leaders in the world. Many of them are my close friends and I have spent many private moments with them off stage that has revealed how they are in reality. The most important common attribute I have found is how they start their day.

How you start your day often dictates the rest of the activities you engage in through out the rest of the day. In other words if you start in control of your day you keep it. If you start chaotic that’s the trend that continues.

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Recently I was listening to a Navy Seal talk about the idea of starting the day right. Your first victory is getting out of bed. If you can conquer the pillow it sets the pace for the rest of the day. I also liked the idea he talked about of starting early. When you start early you have the control of the moment. You are not competing with others for what you want. If everyone else is asleep you can decide everything according to your priorities. Those of you with children understand what I mean. If you wait to get up until they are up – they set the pace and make the rules.

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John and I working on The Treasure Map movie.

One of my close friends is John Demartini. You may know John from The Secret or my films The Opus, The Gratitude Experiment or The Treasure Map. John is a deep well of information and if you’ve ever heard him speak you will most likely be amazed at how much information he retains.  He can with little effort go into incredibly deep principles on human behavior, quantum physics and ancient philosophy that baffles most people. He can easily quote hundreds of sources on all of these subjects and present the references and additional insights without much effort at all. He truly makes it look easy. Once I was chatting with him about how he is able to retain so much in depth information and how he is able to have it at his fingertips. His answer was that each day he spent several hours reading and researching what he teaches. He has done this now every day consistently for decades. If you want to have a similar command of your subject matter it is essential you give it the same kind of attention.

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John and I at the filming for The Gratitude Experiment

One of the other side effects that I have seen first hand with John has really inspired me. The first time I saw it was at one of our movie premieres. After the film we opened the floor to questions and answers from the audience. One of our audience members I really think was out to stump John. He was a philosophy major at the local university and he really knew his stuff. The audience was a bit weirded out with the deep questions he asked and it was almost as if this audience member was looking to debate or have a contest where he wanted to prove that he was the smartest guy in the room. But because John knew his stuff not only was he able to turn it into a valuable experience for all, he was actually able to win the “heckler” into siding with him. (Yes, we do get hecklers in this business too.)

(As a side note people often ask me how I get to work with so many of the top speakers in the personal development and self improvement industry. Or how I am able to get so many TV appearances and radio interviews? Or any other thing I am doing that brings my business more visibility and success. My answer always comes back to preparation and making sure I know my content. This may sound simple but the more value you can provide the more opportunities will appear for you.)

I am firm believer the reason that coaches and speakers sometimes get a bad rep out there as  less than powerful essentials for business is that many who claim to be leaders are actually cutting corners. Whenever I hear someone say “I don’t need a coach” or “I’ve already heard enough motivational speakers.” I know that they have run across someone who has not pushed themselves to be valuable to their audience.

The beginning of the day should be dedicated to expand their mind. Experts begin the day by studying their subject matter. I know I have talked about the importance of developing content before but this is such an important subject. If you want to be considered an expert in your field you cannot be comfortable with what you already know. Those who are satisfied to feel comfortable (in any field) never move from where they are to where they could be. Think about it. Getting up out of a comfortable chair to rise to a new location doesn’t happen unless you are really committed. It applies on a lazy Sunday afternoon as much as it does to life. If you want to become better your will power has to be more powerful than your desire to stay comfortable.

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Often as I conduct my seminars for speakers I ask them to get uncomfortable. Sometimes this means thinking about your business in new ways. That can be very uncomfortable. As I ask people to do this many people simply shrug and say ‘well, I like things the way they are.’ If that’s the case you’ll always stay with what you have. But in the same breath they will say they want better results. If you want better results you must level up the activities that created those outcomes.

So here’s the challenge for this article. Dedicate at least an hour each day to expanding your mind in regards to your speaking business. The three areas I would invite you to focus on would be 1) You personally – What do you need to master so that you can become more effective, motivated and happy. 2)The Content you teach. What can you find to help your students. What is out there now? How can you teach it better? How can you make it unique to your voice? How can you turn it into an exercise or activity?  3)Your speaking, coaching, training business? What is really going on now? What is missing? What could be improved?

Set some goals. Take some action. Most of this stuff you may teach already. Make sure you are applying it too.  A lifeguard can’t save others until they know how to swim themselves.  Set a goal to give your best to others and soon they will give their best to you in the form of compensation, word of mouth and recommendation.

douglas-vermeeren-600Douglas Vermeeren is the Speaking Business Multiplier. His clients include beginning speakers all the way to celebrities, athletes, top business leaders and more. His focus is on helping them to develop high profit speaking, coaching and training businesses. He is the author of three books in the guerrilla marketing series and filmmaker behind 3 of the most popular personal development films of all time. http://www.DouglasVermeeren.com

Douglas Vermeeren – Are you working on the right stuff?

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Most people work on the experiences and the results they get and they neglect the roots of what made those things happen. In other words they focus on the effects and experiences rather than the cause. As a result many of the things they want to create, like lasting change or new habits for example, never happen. They may experience a sense of excitement as they experience a temporary change or small reward but the real lasting results elude them. It’s almost as if they have cut off a few branches on a tree yet the roots continue to grow the same things over and over again.

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In some ways its like the doctor who treats your condition based on what you tell him about rather than conduct an examination of the symptoms and the situation. The reason this occurs is that the human mind is impatient. It wants to solve a problem and move forward. The easiest stuff to deal with is surface stuff.  Anything deeper takes time.

But it is the deeper stuff where the real problems get solved and lasting change is created. Our thoughts, beliefs, feelings and expectations create our actions and habits and since those things occur below the surface the only way to get things happening in to go deep.

Before we can have any real and lasting results in our life we need to go deeper than just our surface actions. We must investigate why we create what we tend to create and what we feel, expect and believe that have engineered those results.

As we realize where we have begun and make changes the very essence of who we are begins to take shape. And as we are aware of who we are and recognize where we want to be we will arrive closer to our desired outcomes.

 

Douglas Vermeeren – Focus on What you can DO and the results will surprise you.

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When we focus on what we can do we are proactive. When we focus on things we can’t do or the things we can’t change we are reactive. A reactive state or individual gives the power of choice away. It places the ability to make a situation better outside themselves. By giving this power away the individual becomes dependant on outside influences to determine their destiny.

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When we focus on the things we can change none of our energy is wasted. We begin to take back our power and even the situations which we thought we had no control over will begin to change. As we start working with what we have its almost as though a magical universal power steps in to bring us what we need to get our desire met – even if those things our outside of our influence.

Recently I had an experience that illustrated this. I had a challenge to solve in my business. Much of the challenge was beyond anything I could control. I decided I would do everything in power with everything that I could within my power. A very short time later I received a phone call from someone I hadn’t talked to in months. They had an opportunity to present to me that brought solutions to several of the elements of this challenge beyond my control. It was incredible. I had not reached out to this individual or made them aware of my challenge. The Universe knew and put this person in my path with help.

Start with what you can do and the momentum and commitment of that will bring you the other pieces you need.

In addition often when we begin to confront what the elements we have control over we begin to recognize elements that we may have initially thought were out of our control that actually are in our ability to do something with. Its almost as if we can’t shine a light on these elements until we have started to work with the elements that evident and immediately before us.

In the Movie The Opus, I said “There are no such thin as problems. Everything is a puzzle and there are solutions to puzzles.” If we begin to look at problems and challenges as puzzles they become much more easy to solve.

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July 20, 2016 at 10:00 pm

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Douglas Vermeeren – Personal Accountability

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One of the quickest ways to get awesome in your life – BAM #3

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I-Am-Awesome-Close-Up-e1346147344621One of the quickest ways to get awesome in your life…
By Douglas Vermeeren

An Awesome life is living your life by decision. You are where you want to be, doing the things that excite you, inspire you and bring out the best in you and in those around you.

But this kind of life doesn’t come easy. Lots of people want it, but most people aren’t prepared to let go of the things that are in the way. Surprisingly one of the biggest obstacles to living your life on your terms is not the most obvious.

Are you ready for it? Ego. Your ego is one of the biggest things that keeps you from being awesome. Without getting into too much detail you probably already get where I am going with this. If you look at the most inspiring moments from your life you will quickly see that they were not connected to moments where you pushed yourself to the front, manipulated circumstances to get your own way or made someone else feel bad to “make yourself look better.”

Now I’m not suggesting that all definitions of ego are bad. That could lead to a massive debate about what is healthy ego and so on. I don’t want to go there. I believe you can’t be awesome without a proper level of self -esteem. What I am talking about is the level of ego that pushes others down in an attempt to lift you up. That kind of ego and awesomeness cannot co-exist.

True greatness requires that you recognize and respect the greatness in others too.

And if you look at those around you carefully those that are truly awesome never have to tell anyone about it. Goodness doesn’t need a promoter. It always gets found out on its own. (Which is kind of ironic to say considering the image I used at the beginning of this article.)

As I started thinking about, and more importantly trying to practice this principle of awesomeness, I found that I was also more calm and still. I was no longer as competitive to make my points known or demonstrate that I was someone special or smart. I stepped back and started trying o become a better listener, learner and support for others.

The result immediately I began to have more awesome (Look back at the definition above) experiences. I also found that immediately the way others treated me back came more awesome. It may sound kind of strange but as I put myself second I began to experience things in a more inspiring way. The reward was I was feeling further ahead than when I tried to push ahead. Weird isn’t it?

Anyways, that’s my challenge to you if you want more awesome in your life. Put your self interests and selfish ideas second, slow down that ego and let others go first. It’s that simple.

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How Batman Versus Superman could have been an Awesome Movie

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batman-vs-superman

How Batman Versus Superman could have been an awesome movie
By Douglas Vermeeren

It’s not very often that I voice my opinions about other peoples films, but with Batman versus Superman I’m afraid I can’t help it. These are two of my favourite heroes and it was more than disappointing to experience what was done with them in this film. As a screenwriter myself, I can understand that there is a significant temptation to search for an original point of view on any subject matter that has been covered before. But that raises the question where should the line be drawn?

I think one of the things that really bothers me about the direction that Superman especially is headed is how dark he’s become. He is supposed to stand for Truth, Justice and the American way – but he has become an alien that seems to have bad luck in relating to humans no matter where he goes. DC seems to have lost the spark of fun that Superman had back in the Richard Donner era. Marvel has it and look at what they’ve been able to create because elf it. Dark heroes just don’t work. Especially Superman.

The story of the film was also unnecessarily dark. And let’s be honest a bit too long and lacking. Did we really need to visit General Zod again to introduce Batman?

The appearance of Wonder Woman and cameos from those to come was completely unnecessary. Additional characters to cloud the plot really. Since the days of Michael Shumacher’s Batman days it seems that there has been a bit of a contest to see how many characters can fit in one movie. (Naturally its all about the toy sales.) But it doesn’t work and characterization and memorable stories are lost in the process. I don’t mind putting in multiple characters but give them a stronger purpose within the script.

One of my big problems with Wonder Woman is that she had no real charisma. When Captain America shows up in a room people notice. Even Black Widow stands out as a hero. Wonder Woman was just flat. Sorry Gal. I love ya, and blame the writing. (It’s kind of like George Lucas in the prequels – Cast great actors but gave them nothing to do.)

I suppose sometime should also be spent talking about Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. Normally I like Jesse. He’s fun to watch and adds an interesting component to many films he’s in. However in this case I felt like I was watching Jesse play Lex Luthor as the Joker. The character was too zany to be Lex and the calculating intelligence that Lex is was lacking.

As we left the theatre disappointed my friends and I started chatting about what caused problems for us with the film. It was then that I shared my version of what I would have done wight he film. Unanimously my friends agreed and one even said he would wash Batman Versus Superman from his memories and replace it with my version. You may like mine better or maybe not, but share your comments below.

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This is what I would have done:

Superman is the American hero that we remember him to be. He is a saviour and everyone loves him. He is shiny and bright and can do no wrong.

At the time that Superman is saving everyone and anything in sight the military is sent a request for help to deal with an uncontrollable vigilante in Gotham City. He goes by the name of the Batman.

No one knows his motives or his affiliations. However he is bringing several to justice, but his methods are not always within the law.

Superman is called in to catch the Batman.

Superman finds Batman and the first fight begins. Round one goes to Superman. Batman never saw him coming and was unprepared.

In custody, Superman delivers Batman to Arkham Asylum of all places. In a cell next to the very people he put there (Joker, Riddler, Harley Quinn, Bane and others) Batman must stay alive and figure out a way to escape.

All the while outside Superman continues his heroic efforts. (You know saving cats from trees, bank robbers, the regular stuff.)

Batman figures out a way to escape but in the process accidentally releases some of his strongest past foes. He knows that he cannot stop them on his own. Chaos in Gotham begins.

Batman realizes he has one hope. He needs to persuade Superman to help him to stop these baddies. He studies Superman and discovers the element of Kryptonite. Constructs a weapon and then goes hunting.

Superman and Batman have a second confrontation. This time Batman is prepared. Through the fight Batman attempts to share his mission to enlist Superman’s help. But Superman is too busy trying to get the upper hand in the fight that he will not listen. That is until Batman strikes him down. Now Superman has no choice. He must hear what the Bat-costumed mortal has to say.

Superman now understands Batman’s motives and also recognizes what dangers lurk ahead with these villains on the loose. He agrees to help Batman and they prepare to clean up the town.

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That’s where you end the movie and you are set up for the next one. Maybe this is even where they recruit some help and the next movie becomes the justice league.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on what should have been done. Again feel free to agree or disagree, but at least share your comments below.

b&s

P.S. – One day I would love to write and direct one of these.