What Would You…

What would you write…

If your name never showed?
If you couldn’t be rated or reviewed?
If no one could comment?

What would you say…

If no one could respond?
If you didn’t fear rejection?
If you didn’t crave acceptance?

What would you do…

If money didn’t factor?
If time didn’t shackle?
If no one knew it was you?

Fear inhibits our writing, speaking, doing.

At times it should because there are things we shouldn’t write or say or do. But they are few.

There are other things, however, which need to be published, shouted and shared. But fear strangles. It breeds caution. It invents and imagines the reaction of the world. It whispers, “Amateur.” It slips into our minds, takes up residence, and consistently points out why it’s just better to stay quiet.

And then. With two small words, fear gives us hope. A way out. The right to remain silent.

Fear leans in, and right against our ear so we can feel it’s breath, it exhales, “For now.”

“Don’t write that… for now. You’ll be better one day. After years of writing in the dark you can step into the light.”

“Don’t say that… for now. You’re time will come when you have more credibility and more authority and more right to say something so bold.”

“Don’t do that… for now. Leadership is granted, not grabbed. Be content to follow until you are positioned by another.”

O fear. You’re so sly like that. Not killing the dream just telling us to wait. Assuring us that our patience will be rewarded. Hinting at the bright future.

Fear you liar you. You know we will always be insecure. We will always doubt. We will always feel we are not good enough.

Fear here’s where you messed up. You blew it.

You didn’t pay attention to the other voices.
The voices of encouragement. The ones who grew from the words we were scared to send out, but did anyway. The ones who thanked us after the knee knocking speech. The ones who shook our hands after taking a feeble stand.

Terrified, yet driven by passion, we released our imperfection and lives were touched. Support came to us in our weakness.

Our “time” may never come. And that’s ok. We won’t be content while we wait “for now.”

We will write… now.
We will speak… now
We will act… now.

Success is NOT an Accident!

Hey YOU! Superhero!

Welcome to Superhero Training Camp!!

Hello hero! Yes, I am talking to you. Yes, you with the secret identity.

What? You didn’t know you are a hero? Didn’t know you have superpowers.

Holy smack down Batman – let’s discover your inner awesomeness…

#1 Your Super Story

Every superhero has an origin story…

Kal-El (aka Clark Kent) landed on earth as a baby from the planet Krypton. Our yellow sun provides his powers. We call him Superman.

Bruce Wayne witnessed the murder of his parents by a thug. He vowed revenge. Intelligence, martial arts training and cool gadgets provide his powers.

David Banner, scientist, wanted to know the secret to the incredible strength that comes over us in stressed situations. (Like the grandma who lifts a car off her grandchild trapped underneath.) During a gamma radiation test gone wild he became The Hulk!

What have you experienced? What have you survived? What flames have you walked through?

Your “mundane, ordinary” life provides the catalyst for your powers.

The very things you fail to appreciate or the pain you’ve been through can rescue others.

Who better to help a child of divorce than another child of divorce?

Who better to guide a young marriage than one whose marriage is strong and happy?

Who better to rescue the hope of a cancer patient than one who had the same cancer?

Who better to train a new employee than a top-level employee?

Who better to lift the spirit of the depressed than one who has walked out of the same darkness?

Do you see how this works? Your life experiences are valuable… powerful. You can come along side others and lend a hand. But first you have to be familiar with everything that makes you strong.

This isn’t the time for false pride. And it’s not arrogant.

You don’t hear Superman saying, “Aw, shucks. I’m nothing special. Sure bullets bounce off me. I can leap tall buildings in a single bound. I am more powerful than a locomotive. I’m faster than a speeding bullet. But seriously, nothing special.”

That’s silly.

And it’s silly to think you don’t have powers.

2 Corinthians 1 puts it this way…

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

If you want to locate just ONE of your superpowers, think about the greatest tragedy or pain you’ve survived. That can be an incredible source of help to others who are going through something similar.

You have a responsibility to use that circumstance to help others.

#2 Your Super Strength – “Hulk Smash!!”

How did your circumstance make you stronger?

In my case, as many of you know, my wife Sherri passed away in my arms when our son was only 5 weeks old. The experience has given me superpowers.

Because I’m a speaker and writer, hundreds of thousands of people have been encouraged to live their mission. My superpowers include…

  • A heart for others who have lost a spouse at a young age.
  • A spirit to encourage others to live their best day everyday.
  • An ability to foster and generate a positive belief in the future both within myself and others.
  • A skill of communication that allows me to transfer what I feel to the audience as we laugh and learn together.

What superpowers came out of your origin story? Are you an encourager, a listening ear, a guide?

Think for a few moments. Who have you helped?

Have you helped the guy standing at the interception begging for food? Then perhaps your superpower is compassion.

Travel back in time mentally and recognize the moments when you came to the rescue of someone.

#3 Your Super Vision and Hearing


Whenever Lois Lane yelled, Superman heard her voice. He’s always tuned into the cry of distress.

We need to be that way too.

Sometimes the call comes clearly. For example, here’s a Facebook message I received…

We just had something happen here that has never happened in the 2 1/2 yrs we’ve been here. A young mother of a premmie had a seizure and passed away. While we were sitting with her husband at the ER I thought of you and thought you might could tell us what to say to her sweet husband. This was their 1st child and his heart is broken. Would you mind writing him a note if I give you his address? Thank you, Christy

What do you think? Should I say, “I’m nothing special. I can’t really help”? Or should I go to the rescue?

Obvious, right?

(As a note… going to the rescue does not mean perfection. It’s does not mean we have all the answers. It means we are available to help and we do what we can.)

On the other hand, we need to be looking and listening for distress. We shouldn’t just wait for the hotline to ring. We should be actively pursuing opportunities to help.


Scanning the Facebook news feed alone can give you several opportunities to help each day. Maybe someone is requesting prayer. Maybe someone else is facing something you’ve been through. Maybe another just needs an encouraging word.


What are friends, co-workers, family members mentioning in conversation that you can help with? Listen for tones of frustration, pain, hurt and then move in to lift the car off of them.

So let’s get to it! It’s a rough world out there. Villains are hatching evil schemes. Unleash your secret identity. You’re a superhero!

Live Your Mission,




Platinum Platform

The anchor of Live Your Mission is clearly communicating your message. Even though this was written for those who are part of my public speaking training, it makes sense to republish it here.

In this series of articles we’ll cover… The Platinum Platform: Discover, Develop, & Deploy Your Speaking Business.

If you’ve been in the speaking business a while or have taken a lot of professional speaker training some of the things in this series you will disagree with. I’ll be the first to admit that I did not go, nor will I go, the traditional speaker’s route.

My goal is to help you become an awesome speaker and to help you build a fun speaking business. Something you look forward to and enjoy. Something opposite of the average job. Something that makes folks say things like… “What?! You get paid how much just to talk?!!!!”

Don’t want to get paid to speak? That’s cool too. This series will help you get your voice to the masses. The more people hear you the more lives you impact.

One final note… use what you need from this series. Ignore what doesn’t fit you. Use the comment areas to ask questions or comment. Let’s roll…

Platinum Platform 01 :  M4 Plan

You ARE a public speaker. That’s a fact. Now leverage it.

This series of articles and videos will help you pinpoint/strengthen your message and monetize it if you choose.

However, this is not a “do ALL of this” series. While there will be a few elements that I’ll hit as essential, there will be options as well. You decide. Build the type of platform YOU will enjoy.

A platform stems from your core message and the ways you deliver it.

Martin Luther King, Jr’s platform was equality.

Zig Ziglar’s platform is human achievement.

John C Maxwell’s platform is leadership.

Each have a core message they deliver to the masses. What’s yours?

If that’s not firmly in place yet…

Your Platinum Platform Plan

There are four pieces of the Platinum Platform Plan… 1) Message. 2) Market. 3) Method. 4) Monetization

M1 : Message

Before you can become a keynote speaker (which is a dream for many communicators), you must know your message.

“Oh, I can speak on anything! A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G.”

Uh-huh. OK, let’s do a challenge round…. I need a 90-minute keynote on the latest pharmaceutical breakthrough for bipolar disorder. You’ve got an hour before you step on stage.

See… you can’t speak on anything. 😉

Now then, what can/should you speak on? Should it be a passion? Should you find out what people want and design your platform around that? Should it be something you’re interested in learning more about and you take your audiences on the journey with you?

All of those could work to some degree. However, if you want to become the best speaker you can be, this P.A.S.S.I.O.N. list will help…

1. Passion

What excites you? What energizes you? What can you not shut up about?

You’ve probably heard, “Follow your passion and the money will follow.”

Well, maybe. But you do tend to follow through more with passions. You speak with more conviction and confidence when you feel passionate. So, what’s your list of passionate topics? If you’re not sure, ask your friends what you talk about all the time.

2. Aptitude

What are your skills? What are your abilities? What are your talents?

Make a list of what you excel in.

“Paul, I’m not really good at anything.”

Bull. I’m sick of hearing people say that. You’re good at several things, but you probably think you’re average. You might think that it’s arrogant to say you’re good at something. Not true.

When speaking based on aptitudes you’re leaning on a strength – and strengths always make work feel light. Don’t be fooled by that. Make your “I’m really good at these things” list.

3. Spending

Where are you currently spending money on personal growth and education? Where have you spent money in the past?

If you were to look on my bookshelf you would notice hundreds of books on communication, marketing, business and faith. You would see firsthand the money I’ve spent educating myself and growing in those areas.

That doesn’t include money spent on other products, college or seminars in those areas. Yet, I would feel comfortable speaking on any topic on my bookshelf. I’ve invested and ingested heavily in those topics.

Make a list of your investment in education. Seminars you’ve attended. Dozens if not hundreds of books you’ve read on a topic.

4. Struggles

What problems have you faced? What challenges? What heartaches?

If you’ve watched my presentation from Boss, then you know my first wife passed away in my arms. Our son, Sam, was only five weeks old at the time.

I instantly became a single dad and suddenly faced life in a way I never imagined. However, that struggle has generated incredible income because of the way it has helped others.

Maybe you struggled with weight and lost over 100 pounds. That’s a powerful platform to deliver your message of hope to others.

Maybe you struggled at the hands of an abusive parent. That’s a solid platform to deliver your message of perseverance and inner strength.

Maybe you stuttered as a child and were teased relentlessly. That’s a strong platform to deliver your message of overcoming labels.

Write down the struggles in your life. Beside each one write down how you can use it to help others. What you can teach others.

5. Interests

What do you like to do? What do you enjoy?

I like golf. It used to be a passion. In fact, I used to play daily from 8-5. It was like a job. 🙂 I’m not as crazy about it anymore, so it’s moved to the interest category. I could still build a platform around it. I might not do keynotes related to golf, but I could build a blog, develop a podcast, hold webinars, etc.

What are your interests? What’s fun?

6. Obligation

What message do you HAVE to share? What message makes you feel like you would not be living your purpose if you failed to share it?

An obligation message is really a cause. It’s something you believe in so strongly that you almost feel forced to communicate it. Think about the organization MADD – Mother’s Against Drunk Driving. That’s an obligation platform.

From the MADD website…

Candy Lightner founded MADD in 1980 after her daughter, Cari, was killed by a repeat drunk driving offender. Cindy Lamb—whose daughter, Laura, became the nation’s youngest quadriplegic at the hands of a drunk driver—soon joined Candy in her crusade to save lives.

Did you notice a key word? Crusade. Is there a topic you feel that strongly about?

7. Niche

Where do you see a gap in the marketplace? Where do you notice silence for a particular subject?

Though I don’t recommend this approach often, it just may be for you: You may have no prior experience or education in this area. Yet you’re saying to yourself, “Why is no one talking about X?”

THEN you begin studying, researching, shaping your thoughts and launching your platform. You niche yourself with a specific message on a singular specific topic. Something that’s been overlooked or ignored.

There you go, seven ways to help you find your message. Next…

Put each word in P.A.S.S.I.O.N. at the top of a sheet of paper. Then fill in each sheet as much as possible with topics and ideas.

Go back through and eliminate every idea that does not excite you. Look over the rest of the words. Which can you write or speak about every day? Which do you feel you could launch a blog about and tweet about several times a week?

We’re building a platform, not a one-time speech. See yourself becoming known for your message. When people mention your name what subject do you want mentioned? And when you’re ready to share your message make sure you communicate with confidence and clarity. (If you’re not sure how to put together an on-point message, then be sure to get The Perfect Presentation Formula.)

M2 : Market

You direct your message to your market… your audience.

My core message at Platinum Presenter is “Speak with Passion or Just Leave Me a Note.”

The market includes authors, speakers, presenters, seminar leaders, and consultants.

Over at my personal website the message is “Live Your Mission.”

The market is businesses and human beings who want to make an impact with their lives. Yes, that’s much more broad than Platinum Presenter.

At my online business training site… Nicheology… the core message is “Find Your Niche. Build Your List. Launch Your Product.”

The market is people who want to start an online business and make money from home.

Every speaker needs an audience and your audience comes from your market. It’s the group you want to communicate and build community with.

Here are the top general markets…

  • Fitness
  • Diet & Nutrition
  • Personal Development
  • Relationships
  • Pets
  • Business
  • Travel
  • Food and Drink
  • Real Estate
  • Money
  • Health
  • Home and Family
  • Gardening

Each general market above can sub-niched even further.

Take Business for example…

  • Accounting
  • Advertising
  • Branding
  • Career Advice
  • Change Management
  • Consulting
  • Communication
  • Customer Service
  • Ethics
  • Fund Raising
  • Human Resources
  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Lead Generation
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Networking
  • Outsourcing
  • Productivity
  • Risk Management
  • Sales Training
  • Strategic Management
  • Team Building

Much more could be added to that list and each of those could be broken down even more than that.

You can build your platform in one specific, narrow area if you choose. My friend Jim Palmer built an incredibly successful platform around newsletters. What?! Yep, newsletters.

What market will you reach out and serve?

M3 : Method

How will you deliver your message to your market? That’s your method.

Here are the most common…

  • Keynotes
  • Training
  • Seminars
  • Webinars
  • Teleseminars
  • Podcasts
  • Books
  • Reports
  • CD/DVDs
  • Digital Audio/Video
  • Posts
  • Blogging
  • Website

I’d like for you to get away from the idea of being a “keynote speaker” or a “trainer” or a “blogger.” Even if you introduce yourself that way, think bigger than that. Keynoting, webinars or whatever is simply a delivery method for your message to you market.

Person: “What do you do?”

You: “I’m a keynote speaker.”

Person: “Really, what do you speak on?”

You: “Motivation and success.”

Congratulations, you sound like 90% of the speakers on the planet. No differentiation. Nothing fresh. Nothing memorable. Super generic.

How about…

Person: “What do you do?”

You: “I help people get in phenomenal shape. Basically, when I get done with you every person you know won’t stop asking you about your secret for looking so awesome.”

Person: “I like the sound of that. How do you do that? Are you a personal trainer?”

You: “Actually, I train entire companies. Keynotes and on-site, one-day bootcamps to anchor the fundamentals. Companies see an increase of productivity by 10% after using my program.”

Again, speaking is simply the delivery system for your message.

M4 : Monetization

Do you want to monetize your message? Do you want to make money speaking?

Warning… if you want to be a speaker just to make money then prepare yourself. This is a business. It’s not all bright lights, loud sound systems and cheering crowds. It’s not always easy to fill your calendar.

That’s why I stress making sure you anchor your core message. Speaking is the easy part. It’s the passion. And if you aren’t driven enough by your message you’ll fall by the wayside.

6 Ways to Make Money as a Speaker

Keynote Events

As a non-celebrity speaker my keynote fee is $15,000. That means I don’t have a string of books or even fame. I am usually introduced through my agent or through a referral. Most of the time someone hears me speak at an event and I get an invite to do another.

You can spend a lot of time, energy, effort and money just trying to get booked. Pick up a copy of Michael Port’s Book Yourself Solid if you’re serious about doing the hard work that makes speaking easy.

There are plenty of “average” speakers making $5,000 per keynote. No “name.” No book. Nothing more than a solid presentation that others want to hear and tell others about.

Pitch Events

These are my least favorite engagements. Other speakers love them. Basically, you speak for free and then sell a product or coaching at the end of your speech. In general the event host gets 25-50% of what you sell.

This type of speaking can be extremely lucrative if you’re good at selling. If you’re not, then use the events to build your audience and email list.

The reason this is not my favorite event is that I’ve noticed speakers giving less than their best material in hopes of making money. I don’t want to compromise my message for the sake of making a sale. I prefer to have a check written to me regardless, so I can step up and let it rip.


Training can take place at live events, companies, seminars, conferences, webinars or teleconferences. It can be much like a keynote in that you are controlling the information. However, with training, your audience usually learns and applies a skill on the spot.

A person could do a productivity keynote, but it would be more principle based. A productivity training event would be more pragmatic. The group will actually take steps toward planning and implementation during your time together.

You might think there’s not as much money in training as keynoting, but sometimes it can be more lucrative.

A friend of mine held 3 webinars for a company and charged $7,500. Each webinar was 60 minutes. I spoke at one of the events and guess how many people were on the line? Seven. That’s it. The total number of employees for the company is ten. So don’t think you have to get big events at big venues to make good money.

Each month I host a web-based training event that regularly brings in five-figures, and I never leave the house. One of my webinars brought in $83,000.


Obviously, The Perfect Presentation Formula is a product. I don’t have to be present for someone to buy, consume and apply. I created it once and can continue to sell it. But it’s still in the realm of speaking because that’s what had to be done to create the product.

Products allow people to grow from your value even if they never attend a live event where you keynote. The other big positive is that those who do hear you live will often go online and order all your products.

(Personally, I would create one or two products before booking keynotes. That way you can start selling now. You could literally have an audio product for sale online by this time tomorrow.)

Affiliate Products

You can’t know and teach on everything – even within your market. No one can. In that case you make recommendations for the products of others. Be sure to include your compliance statement. (Mine can be found here.)

If you look at the sidebar of my site, you’ll notice an “Ads” area. These are affiliate links. If you decide that you want to discover great keywords to use in your posts, then you might consider Market Samurai. You can see the image link in the sidebar. If you click the link and order, I will make a commission on that.

You should be doing the same thing at your site. You can even do this at speaking engagements. The key is to only recommend products you believe in and that your audience will be glad you recommended.

My rule is this… “Would I recommend this product even if I did not make a dime from it?” If the answer is no, then I won’t add it. The product has to be able to stand on it’s own – without incentive.


Most speakers do not think about sponsorships, but once you’re hitting large crowds – from the stage or your website – you can/should sell sponsorships.

A sponsor is a little different than a straight advertiser. A sponsor expects to be mentioned and often sends you their products to use and display. Oh… and they give you money to do that.

Advertising, on the other hand, is what you might expect. Someone pays you to put their ad on your site, newsletter, handouts, etc. If you are interested in selling ads from your site then consider using Buy Sell Ads.

Check out Michael Hyatt’s Advertising page for his site. Also, be sure to buy his book… Platform: A Step-by-Step Guide for Anyone with Something to Say or Sell.


Believe it or not, you can get paid just for showing up. This has NOT happened for me, though I do believe I was paid a couple of times not to show up. 😉

Honestly, if you’re getting paid to show up, you’re a sports star, celebrity or former President of the United States.

Whew! That concludes part 1 of Platinum Platform. Make sure you work through all 4 M’s.

In part 2 I’ll show you how to develop and design your speaker’s website.

Live Your Mission,


How to Turn the Mundane into a Mission

[D]oes today feel like déjà vu?

Do all your days seem to run together? Do you collapse at night knowing you’ve been “busy,” but you’re not sure what you accomplished?

Take these three initiatives to turn the mundane into a mission…

Initiative 1: Detail the To Do.

Most of us keep a mental list of what we have to do. But are you keeping a physical list? And if it is physical is it shorthand or long-hand? Put the details in your list.

“Listen to 30 minutes of Andy Stanley’s “Be Rich” on the way to work. Yesterday, Andy covered ________.”

That’s better than… “Listen to spiritual growth stuff.”

The more specific we are, the more important our minds label the task.

Maybe you’re picking up your son and 3 friends for a game. You might write down something like… “Carpool.”

Sure, that’s what you’re doing technically. But you can make it missional by focusing on the kids’ names and thinking a minute about their home life. Then talk with them with purpose along the way. That way you’re not just running an errand, you’re interacting & impacting.

“Pick up Zack, Steven, & Lincoln for soccer.” Could be the detail, here’s how to make it a mission…

Initiative 2: Define the Benefit

After detailing your to do, define the benefit. Write down at least one possible positive outcome for each task.

“Listen to 30 minutes of Andy Stanley’s “Be Rich” on the way to work. Learn new insights about money. Become be more conscious of the way I spend each dollar.”

“Pick up Zack, Steven, & Lincoln for soccer. Comment on the good grades I heard Zack got, check on Steven’s sister, ask about Lincoln’s family vacation. This will help me develop a caring attitude for others and be interested in what’s going on with them and build them up at the same time.”

Do either of those look like… spiritual growth stuff or carpooling? No.

Don’t both have more importance and weight? You know it.

Initiative 3: Describe the Value

At the end of each day or at the end of each week perform a detailed review.

Michael Hyatt schedules 2 hours on Sunday evenings for his weekly review and planning. (This is part of his Create Your Life Plan workbook.)

Does that sound like overkill? Yeah… IF you want to remain mundane.

When you review your week write down exactly how you grew and how you helped others. Again, be specific. You will be amazed at the amount of good you are doing that you’ve written of mentally. You’ll begin to recognize the impact you’re having that’s you’ve been ignoring. And you’ll never hit the pillow at night and wonder if you accomplished anything.

“I escaped a completely worthless purchase on Tuesday because of Andy’s teaching. That money can be put in Sharon’s college fund instead.”

“Zack smiled when I asked about his grades.”

These things might seem small, but they’re not. Each time we detail, define and describe our tasks we fill them with more meaning. We no longer have anything we do that’s mundane, instead it all becomes a mission.

Live Your Mission,