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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

When You’re Facing an Empty Calendar

 

Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are treating yourself tenderly in recovery week. Christmas is coming, but it’s ok to take a nap today if you need it. You have my permission! 🙂

I’m going to write a short-ish post today because I really need your help with some problem-solving. I hope we’ll pull together here in our community to share some ideas that will help us all. Please read and then share a comment–it won’t be the same if you don’t add to the conversation!

Here’s the problem I’m facing that I’m guessing you’ve faced from time to time too:

My speaking calendar is almost empty for 2017.

First of all, is it safe to confess to you that I felt a little shame typing out that statement? Eeeeekkkk! Here I am part of a national ministry with a huge platform of its own and a speaking coach, but nobody is currently asking me to speak. Seriously, y’all. It’s pretty much crickets.

Have you ever experience this kind of season?

I want to go ahead and call it a season because I’ve seen it before and have lived to tell about it. Before I launch into ideas about how to solve “the problem”, let me first acknowledge that it might not be a problem. It might be God’s grace.

For example, during the whirlwind year that I wrote, edited, launched and promoted my book, my coaching clients were almost non-existent. One day when I expressed my concerns to Barry that my speaker coaching seemed to be “dying”, he said, “Really, Amy? When would you have time to coach anybody? I think this is God’s grace for you.”

Sure enough! The book stuff has slowed way down, and the coaching has picked back up to record speeds this year. I’m thankful that God knows me better than I know myself, and He always provides my portion. Nothing more. Nothing less.

If your calendar is empty too, prayerfully consider this. God may know what’s coming in 2017 and know that we won’t be able to meet the expectations of a busier schedule. He may want us to pull away for a time of rest. Maybe He wants to do a work in us that He couldn’t accomplish if we were speaking.

But there’s another thing that might be happening. He might be waiting for us to take steps of obedience. My wise and experienced friend says it this way:

I’ll keep my eyes open for what God’s doing, but I’m feeling led to take some pro-active steps to build my speaking calendar. Here’s what’s on my list:

Create a new sample video— I had one produced last year, but I’ve got another message videoed that is begging to become a sample. I want it to look fresh and to be a second tool I can use on my website and social networks.

Have some outsiders look in— Based on some great advice my savvy friend Lisa Allen gave in a Compel training, I am going to schedule two people to look at my website and give me advice about how to highlight my speaking more effectively. One friend is the founder of Vend Raleigh, a networking group for mompreneurs, so she’s genius at connecting through social networks and media. She’s also an event planner, so she’ll be able to look at my site from that point of view. She does this professionally, so this coach will be paying for some coaching. My other friend is a speaker who has been taking some classes on building your blog. She’s innovative and will help me up my game, and she’s bartering her services for mine. (Just wanted to give you an idea on a budget but to also say that a monetary investment is sometimes needed.)

Contact event planners from my past events— I feel a deep connection to the event planners I’ve served, so I’d love to get to minister with them again. I’ve already built trust with them, so an update with an expressed desire to come back will (hopefully) be received well.

Now it’s your turn! What kinds of steps have you taken to fill your speaking calendar? Please share the good, the bad, and the ugly. We’d love to learn from what’s worked as well and to save time by knowing what hasn’t.

Amy

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