By Dave Kelly
I spent 20 years in the mortgage business. During ten of those years, I had my own company. Nine of those years were with a business partner. He and I eventually broke up over a business disagreement:
He was stealing from me and I didn’t want him to.
About a year before we split up, he made a comment to me saying he felt he’d had a good career in the mortgage business. I distinctly remember replying, “This isn’t my career, this is just what I do to make money. A career is what defines you.”
And then I realized, “I’m a mortgage guy!” How did this happen? I had always envisioned myself in front of audiences, speaking, training, inspiring. What could I do to change the course of my career?
I decided to seek out the very people who were doing what I wanted to do: professional speakers! I was fortunate to find a number of speaking professionals who were willing to share with me. Some of them became mentors whom I still consult with even now. They knew what I would have to go through to get started, they gave me advice on how to prioritize my efforts, and outlined the steps I would have to take to market myself as a speaker.
A number of people advised me not to give up my successful career as a mortgage broker, that there would not be enough financial benefit to a speaking career, and no one would ever want to hire me anyway. I am go glad that I did not listen to them and instead found people who would support my dreams.
In anything you dream of, find someone who is successfully doing what you want to do and learn all you can from them. Then, do what they do, adapting for your personality, niche, and circumstances, and go forward with clarity and enthusiasm. Be prepared to treat your new venture/career change in a business-like fashion and nurture your enthusiasm so you can make the realization of your dreams a great success!
Dave Kelly is a professional speaker and host of the website Gonzospeaks.com, and a contributing writer here on OutOfYourRut.com. His career story is also a feature here at Professional Speaking—Turning a Hobby Into a Career. Dave is available for speaking engagements either through his website or by emailing Kevin at OutOfYourRut