Hiring a motivational speaker is a big investment. It pays to be thoughtful and deliberate about your choice. After all, the success or failure of your event will be determined by the efficacy of the motivational speaker you choose.
Speakers are, by nature, warm, charismatic, and convincing. Don’t rely on the speaker’s ability to sell you on his services. Instead, use these four criteria to provide your audience with a speaker who is truly capable of serving them.
Criteria #1: Do the motivational speaker’s methods and key topic takeaways match both the event and the audience?
Ask yourself who will be listening to the speech. Where are they in their lives and careers?
Author and entrepreneur Michael L.F. Slavin’s One Million in the Bank speech is aimed at:
- Ordinary people with an ordinary income
- People who have yet to start a business, but who want to
- People who have had trouble thinking of themselves as potential millionaires, but who need a boost in the right direction
- People who have been holding back on starting a business because they believe they have to come up with some new, world-changing, innovative idea in order to be successful
While highly effective for its intended target audience, this speech would likely not be the best fit for veteran entrepreneurs who need ideas on how to increase their profit margins. Find out if the speaker of your choice is able to address a variety of topics for a flexible audience. Most speakers have lists of their most common topics available on their websites. Good, ethical speakers will also tell you if the event isn’t a good fit for their focus area.
Criteria #2: The Motivational Speaker Should be Ready and Willing to Customize His Presentation
A Forbes public speaking expert named Nick Morgan suggested that every speaking event is really a collaboration between the organizers, the speaker, and the audience.
Obviously, there can be very little collaboration if the speaker is only able to deliver a rigid list of pre-created topics. While every good speaker should have a solid list of “go-to” topics to work from, it’s always better to work with one who will get invested in the success of your event, even if that means tweaking a speech to better relate to the audience.
Criteria #3: Has the speaker accomplished anything that’s relevant or noteworthy?
This goes back to ensuring the speaker has the experience and credentials to address the topics and issues your audience needs to hear about.
Motivational speaking is an unregulated profession. Anyone can hang out their shingle and call themselves a “leadership expert” if they want to. It’s up to you to do your due diligence. Where and when has your candidate exercised true leadership? What kinds of accomplishments has he achieved for the organizations he’s worked for? If he’s launched businesses, did they thrive? Has he written any books or won any awards? If you brought this leader on to a project at your own company would you feel reasonably confident that the project would be successful?
Don’t just take the motivational speaker’s word for it. Read his recommendations on LinkedIn. Do a bit of research on Google.
Criteria #4: Will the speaker focus on practical solutions?
Too many motivational speakers focus on rah-rah rehashes of The Secret. It’s all about “vision boards” and the “power of positive thinking.”
In fact, getting too focused on positive thinking can actually increase stress and decrease productivity. Psychologists have found people get overly focused on fixing their thoughts instead of focusing on fixing the real, physical problem that’s before them. And thoughts aren’t easy to change (have you ever tried not thinking about a thing)?
Sure, it’s hard to solve problems from a position of negativity. However, “positive thinking” on its own is utterly incapable of solving problems. Sooner or later the thinker is going to have to stop daydreaming, affirming, and visualizing in favor of taking some concrete steps toward his or her goal.
Sometimes, in fact, you really just need to know what to do. A nail doesn’t really care if you are happy or sad, so long as you drive it home with the proper hammer and do so in the right place and in the right way. A motivational speaker that arms an audience with practical know-how empowers those audience members to move forward.
Besides, increasing a person’s understanding and competence by making the right actions appear accessible will naturally increase a person’s positive outlook by showing them that real solutions are within our grasp. We tend to feel negative when we feel helpless. A great motivational speaker becomes the enemy of helplessness by drawing good road maps to destinations audience members need and want to visit. Look for someone who can do that while meeting all of the other criteria, and your next event is sure to be an incredible success.
Choosing the best entrepreneur books is something of a challenge for people who are just getting started. It’s tough to evaluate which books are going to provide valuable insights and which ones will ultimately waste your time and money.
While we could tell you that One Million in the Bank has won awards, you’ve probably read several award-winning books in the past that ultimately did not help you achieve your dreams. Here are 10 reasons why One Million in the Bank is going to provide you with a different experience.
1. One Million in the Bank creates realistic expectations
The glitz and glam story that many entrepreneur books promote says that the millionaire lifestyle is achieved primarily when one designs some great, new, innovative app that revolutionizes existing ways of doing things. Let’s face it, this misperception even leads people to conclude they can’t become millionaires, as most of us don’t know the first thing about programming. Alternatively, many entrepreneur books may tell you that launching an “Internet marketing” business is the way to become rich and famous.
But the truth is, 80% of most millionaires are self-employed business owners who have put their efforts into a tried-and-true business like the ones you interact with every single day. Millionaires open roofing businesses, retail stores, and even laundromats. One Million in the Bank focuses on those kinds of businesses. Author Michael L.F. Slavin will even tell you why you should focus on selling real people real goods, instead of attempting to start a 100% “online” business or waiting to leap onto the next technology craze.
2. One Million in the Bank shows you how to find investors without going on Shark Tank
Most traditional businesses will never be that interesting to big-wig venture capitalists, and that’s great news. Venture capitalists really are looking for the next big idea. They’re also looking for a business they can make “go public” in a very short period of time so that they can skyrocket the value. Then, they want to turn around and sell it. Often, the actual entrepreneur is forced out of the process along the way.
Meanwhile, there are quiet investors in your own neighborhood who just want to help their local economies while making an outstanding return on their investment. This book will show you how and where to find them. You receive a step-by-step method for uncovering them and an actual script for approaching them.
3. Less motivation, more action
There’s a place for inspirational, “you can do it,” speech and, yes, One Million in the Bank incorporates some motivational words. However, most of the book focuses on the practical steps you can take to get yourself closer to business ownership and a million in the bank. You could essentially write yourself a to-do list blueprint just by reading the book.
4. Real people, real stories
When One Million in the Bank does focus on inspiration, it does so by sharing the stories of real life millionaires who started from the bottom and made it work. These are people just like you: people who got up every morning hating their cubicle job, and middle class or even lower class people who were barely scraping by.
Nobody suddenly inherited a million dollars. They didn’t do it by writing books and selling seminars about making millions of dollars (you know, the ones that make it sound like everyone on earth should quit their job). So many entrepreneur books focus only on the author’s successes. While Michal L.F. Slavin does take the time to establish his credentials, he also focuses far more of his attention on other people. He also shows there are a variety of ways to make it to the top, which is great news for those of us who hate to write and are afraid of public speaking.
5. You will change your thoughts…but not the way you expect
The occasional dive into “the power of positive thinking” seems to be the norm for just about any entrepreneur book. We all know the drill. “Change your thoughts, change your life.” “Believe it, receive it.” “Visualize it, and it can be yours.” Sadly, positive thinking alone will not make you a millionaire.
One Million in the Bank addresses your thoughts without repeating and rehashing any of these tired old statements. Instead, you’ll learn that yes, you do have to change your thoughts, but eliminating cognitive biases that prevent you from seeing opportunities is the way to get it done. He’ll show you exactly how to do that so you don’t miss the next big opportunity that comes your way.
6. You’ll learn where to focus your efforts next
One Million in the Bank won’t do everything for you. You’ll still have to seek out as much information as you can and learn from as many reputable sources as possible.
But when you’re done reading it, you’ll understand that your next book purchases should be books about how to write a really good business plan, books about how to sell, books about how to effectively market your business, and books about improving both your leadership and your management skills. You’ll have a great foundation for understanding the material in all those subsequent books because author Michael L.F. Slavin already gave you a foundation.
Ultimately, of course, the goal will be to stop reading and to start doing. After you finish One Million in the Bank you will feel absolutely no “analysis paralysis.” You’ll take concrete steps toward building the business that will support your dreams, even as you look for new ways to educate yourself in how to be successful.
Reading great entrepreneur books is one of the best ways you can get started on the path to business ownership. Most would-be entrepreneurs should plan on reading at least 3-10 of these books before attempting to launch their ventures, as this process of self-education creates a foundation for future success.
Of course, it’s not really enough to read just any books. You have to read the right books. Otherwise, you may waste a lot of time and follow a lot of bad advice. You may even become discouraged!
So here is some simple advice you can follow to find the best entrepreneur books.
Check Awards Lists
Awards lists are a great start. Most non-fiction book awards have rigorous selection criteria and a dedicated team of readers who are serious about selecting and curating high-quality options for their own followers. Here are a few great award sites to check out.
The Feathered Quill – Alhough The Feathered Quill Book Awards don’t have a “Best Business Category,” you can find some outstanding options by checking out their “Best Self-Help” and “Best Informational Book” categories. The lack of “one category for every type of book” is actually a good sign, as it prevents them from having to hand out an award to every single author who comes along.
Nonfiction Book Awards – This site publishes awards on its blog. Take a few moments to scroll through and see what’s out there. You’ll find great business books (and a host of other great reads as well). If you’re crunched for time, stick to entrepreneurial books that have received the “Gold Medal” rating.
Small Business Book Awards – This site focuses exclusively on books about small businesses and entrepreneurship, so you’re sure to find some real gems here.
Make sure the book contains actionable insights
What you really need is a road map—a way to get you from where you are now to where you want to be. Too many books are filled with “positive thinking” fluff. If positive thinking were all that it took to launch and run a business, every optimist in the world would have one!
How can you tell without buying the book? First, look for reviews. Check for words and phrases like, “actionable,” “practical,” and “easy to follow.” If you get the sense that reviewers came away from the book knowing exactly what to do, you probably have a winner.
You might even try to preview the book by flipping through it at your local bookstore or reading an excerpt online.
Once you’ve found a good book, read it with a notebook and pen in hand. You’ll get the most value out of any entrepreneurial book if you use these actionable insights to develop your own plan. Creating a running to-do list and idea list is a great way to put the book to best use. If you find you’re not getting anything down on paper after three or four chapters, give yourself permission to move on and find another book…the one that you’re reading might not live up to its hype, and you don’t have time for anything that’s not going to get you closer to your goals.
Read the author’s story
It’s never a good sign when an author cloaks him- or herself in a veil of anonymity. The best entrepreneur books come from authors who are open about their stories. They are happy to share where they are coming from and what they’ve accomplished.
They are also transparent about their failures—especially their failures, in fact, as there is no road to success that does not include some hard times and tough lessons!
As you read the author’s bio, ask yourself a few questions. Has he or she been where you are? Does the author’s story inspire you? You should get this feeling of, “If he or she can do it, so can I!” If you’re trying to escape your low-end cubical job that barely pays a living wage you don’t want to try to take advice from an author who inherited all of his or her wealth. That author’s reality just isn’t in synch with yours.
Of course, the author’s accomplishments should also impress you. Why follow someone’s road map if you aren’t interested in reaching the destinations they’ve reached?
Look for people who have used the author’s advice
It’s wise to research entrepreneurs you admire. Find out what they are reading lately—it’s a great way to start emulating their success. However, you also want to make sure the advice is accessible to someone in your current life circumstances.
In One Million in the Bank, author Michael L.F. Slavin shares dozens of stories of real people who have made his plan work. It’s easy to see his advice is accessible to anyone at any time. These are the kinds of results you’re looking for, since you can be certain the steps that he outlines will produce results for you, too. Isn’t that just the sort of thing you’d want out of an entrepreneur book?
Remember, this is an investment in yourself
While you may feel like your current lifestyle doesn’t leave you a lot of time for reading, any entrepreneur will tell you that you can only develop your business as you develop yourself. This means taking the time to grow your knowledge and understanding.
Of course, reading alone isn’t going to get you where you need to go. Eventually you have to get out there and start enacting the advice you’ve encountered. After you find and read the best entrepreneurial books, it’s time to commit the actions that will help you change your life!
If you want to help members of your club, networking group, students or congregation on the path to becoming successful and wealthy, consider bringing Michael L.F. Slavin to speak at your next event. Slavin is the author of One Million in the Bank, and he teaches ordinary people a step-by-step process they can use to launch and grow their own business in order to be able to save $1,000,000 or more in 3-7 years.
Millions of dollars
Slavin’s strategy can work for people from all walks of life, from disillusioned entry-level employees to executives hoping to break out of the hated cubicle. Participants in Slavin’s seminars learn they do not have to be the next Mark Zuckerberg to achieve success beyond their wildest dreams. Some of his most important lessons are outlined, in brief, below.
Focus on the tried-and-true
Tech companies come and go, but every day ordinary individuals are putting one million dollars in the bank by launching or acquiring businesses you see every day: nurseries, car washes, roofing companies, retail stores, and more. It doesn’t take a big idea or a huge innovation to get rich. It just takes a commitment to serving customers, some sales, a little scaling, marketing, and numbers know-how anyone can learn.
Slavin shares real stories of real people who have made this formula work for them. While Slavin has also successfully applied the formula to his own life, he enjoys showcasing others who have made their own journeys in order to demonstrate that anyone can succeed with this time-honored, wealth-building method.
Slavin teaches that having no money is no obstacle. Neither is having no credit, you do not need to qualify for a bank loan to get the money you need. Instead, he outlines a step-by-step process for locating (and impressing) the everyday investors who are just waiting to be found all over town: at the doctor’s office, at church, even at the local coffee shop.
Mentors are out there
Slavin will teach listeners how to take advantage of resources like SCORE and the SBA. The volunteers at both organizations assist with building a business plan and impart vital skills for success. Slavin also teaches how to receive the maximum benefit from these free resources.
Which business types to avoid, and why
Slavin gives solid guidance to listeners on why launching an “online business” isn’t always the best idea, why franchises are tricky, and why MLMs are an absolute no-no. He will also help the audience discover what kinds of companies budding entrepreneurs should aim for, and will give guidance on finding the business that is right for them.
Slavin teaches the basics of sales, marketing, and financial management. He does this in a clear, simple, precise way that helps the audience build a firm foundation for improving these skills in the future. He also teaches one of the most important lessons of all: the difference between leadership and management, and how to excel at both.
Achieving the Right Mindset
Slavin teaches aspiring millionaires how their minds might get in the way of success, and what to do about it. He shows his audience how to spot and defeat cognitive bias. He’ll also talk about habits and how to change them while imparting concrete advice about setting goals that really work.
Creating an Action Plan
Slavin’s audience walks away with action steps they will be able to apply right away. Lives will change. Your community will grow stronger as new businesses and new job opportunities are born. At the end of Slavin’s seminar, listeners will leave the room knowing they have the power to do more than they ever thought they could.
Learning the Difference Between Income and Wealth
In order to truly build the life of their dreams, audience members must learn to change their relationship with money. Slavin enhances his presentation by sharing tips from Jacob Lund Fisker, author of Early Retirement Extreme: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Financial Independence, and a guest chapter author in Slavin’s own book. Fisker’s tips teach the audience how to understand the difference between income and wealth—a vital, bedrock principle entrepreneurs must understand to make the most of their business journey.
Schedule Other Presentations
Slavin is no one-hit wonder. While he is passionate about opening the eyes of ordinary people so they can see the possibilities ahead, he also offers motivational, managerial, and leadership seminars to people who are at all stages of their business ownership journey. Every presentation can be customized to meet your organization’s goals and needs. From the principles of emotionally intelligent leadership to the nitty-gritty of propelling growth through teamwork, Slavin has a great deal of practical, inspiring advice to share.
About Michael F. Slavin
Slavin is the former founder and owner of U.S. Emerald Energy, a successful oil investment firm in Houston, TX. His book One Million in the Bank recently received a Gold Award by the Nonfiction Authors Association. Slavin is available for speaking engagements. His book can be purchased on Amazon.com.
Ready to get started? Click here to book Michael F. L. Slavin as a speaker today. Reserve your spot early!
I still want you to have $1,000,000.
I have not made a blog post since August 5th, 2015, but I have been busy, to include winning four awards for One Million in the Bank. I plan to get my blog postings back on track. Don’t forget the main message:
- You do not need a new innovative idea; there are many everyday businesses that make their owners millionaires every day.
- You do not need your own money; I was bankrupt when I started my company. I raised $203,000 in 1week from 4 people who were not friends or family.
- There is tons of help, free or cheap classes and free mentors to get you into and grow your business.
I am not saying it is easy, but almost anyone can do this and have $1,000,000 in your own bank account in 3-7 years on the average. By now many people have read my bestselling book, One Million in the Bank: How To Make $1,000,000 With Your Own Business, Even If You Have No Money or Experience. But you must take action, sign up for your local SCORE and the SBDC. When you do you will start getting emails about all kinds of things useful to start and grow your business. You will be sent articles, told about webinars and upcoming classes. Start attending the cases that might help you. Start your business plan, as soon as you have just a little momentum, go and see an SBDC counselor or a SCORE mentor. Then keep moving and learning until you can start that business. If you do all the research you can and get yourself ready you will most likely not fail. The people who fail go off halfcocked.
Getting Started to Your $1,000,000-Now
If you are employed or unemployed and you want to own your own business and make $1,000,000, then start thinking about it as much as you can. Start doing tangible things to move you closer. The millionaire ladies boutique owner started planning 1 year in advance, while she still held her human resources job. She researched everything she could; she made her contacts she would need. She even sold women’s clothes in the evening and weekend to get the experience and see what women liked. After cutting their own living expenses as much as her and her husband could, and having her financing in place and her plan ready, she quit. One year after all the planning and research she left her $100,000 a year job and opened her first ladies boutique. There years later and three stores she has been offered many millions of dollars for her business. But she has been advised if she grows it just a little bigger, she can get a premium for her business. Get started planning today.
$1,000,000 is Not The Real Goal
The real goal is to have some freedom and security. For most people $1,000,000 is a goal that would provide some freedom and security. You may not need as much or you may blast past $1,000,000. But you will also get a tremendous sense of accomplishment and know you have provided for those you love and given you and your family more options in life.
Get a copy now for you or a friend:
One Million in the Bank: How To Make $1,000,000 With Your Own Business, Even If You Have No Money or Experience, if this book is not for you because you already have your millions, I guarantee you know someone who needs this book. Get it at Amazon, in Kindle, paperback, or audible. It is also available as an e-book at most places to include i-books.
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