This is something you already know, but many new speakers ignore. Doing the hard work of getting good on the platform isn’t always fun and it’s certainly not sexy. Long hours of building your speech, editing your material and endless hours of rehearsal when no one is listening takes discipline. The truth is it takes years to build a million dollar speaking career unless you’re a celebrity getting paid to appear and sign autographs. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If they’re trying to convince you this business is easy, they are profiting from you believing it. Bill Gove, the father of professional speaking and the most successful speaker trainer in history, always told his students they would have to pay the price. He was from the old school and an era where coaches served the best interests of their students whether it was profitable or not. He lived in the days where a handshake was a binding contract, and doing the right thing was what counted most. When I hear speaker coaches telling students how easy the professional speaking business is it reminds me of the character in the movie Rocky 5, George Washington Duke, who was a characature of boxing promoter Don King. Rocky warned his star pupil about listening to this flashy promoter promising huge money and easy times. Rocky pleaded with his pupil to pay the price and do the work, and one day his opportunity would come. If you saw the movie you know what happened: Rocky’s pupil, Tommy Gun, falls prey to the empty promises of the slick promoter and ends up ill-prepared when he enters the ring. It’s only a movie, but unfortunately, I see it happening every day in the speaking business. New speakers are so hungry to get on the platform and get paid that they ignore their instincts and follow people who promise to make them instant speaking stars. And when the flashy, P.T. Barnum, Wizard of Oz, phony marketing scheme lands them on a world class convention, the speaker bombs and is instantly branded in the business as an amateur. Meanwhile, the speaker marketer has made his money and moves on to the next unsuspecting speaker. PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS POST…and then follow your gut instinct that tells you nothing good comes easy. The speaking business needs you and your message, but it needs THE BEST OF YOU.  Steve Siebold  (5:57)