Motivational Speakers Get By With a Little Help from Their Friends

Motivational speakers are supposed to have it all together. We’re expected to be whirling dervishes of big smile positiveness and veritable engines of high commerce. Here are the facts:

  • Most motivational speakers are small businesses.
  • The speaking business has been hit especially hard by the deep recession of the last three years.

So, if you’re struggling in the current brutal business environment, what’s my grandiose plan? Stuff your pride in a box and turn to your friends for help! That’s correct – the next time someone asks how your business is doing don’t simply say fine. Tell the truth. Even better, let them know how they can help you. Don’t miss that last step, ’cause otherwise you might just come across as an unimaginative whiner.

A while before the downturn hit, I was struggling. I was working hard, doing the all the things that I thought I should be doing to be successful. Still, something wasn’t clicking and I was about to go under. So, feeling nervous and a little foolish, I sucked up and turned to people I respected for help. They gave generously of their time, advice, and business resources and helped me turn my business around. To the people who helped – I can’t ever thank you enough. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, but it has proven to be one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Now, don’t let your business (and a big part of your life) go under for the third time without reaching out. Make those calls!



Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson:
Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

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  1. When I worked for motivational speaker Tom Hopkins years ago, he encouraged everyone when clients asked how business is going to say, “Unbelievable!” That way you would be honest, and still covered either way. As someone who encourages truth telling, I liked that. And I liked what you said, Kelly, because we also have to be honest with ourselves and reach out and ASK for the support we need to be successful.

  2. You mean I’m not the only one… that there are other motivational speakers who have found some great material these last few years?

    Flippancy aside, Kelly you’ve shone a light on two of our key strategies (i) be authentic and (ii) ask for help. These strategic imperatives have not only enabled our business to flourish but more importantly they’ve enabled me to move cleanly and freely with clients, colleagues, family and friends… be less uptight and to get more sleep..

    Interestingly (to me at any rate), the catalyst for getting me to more actively ask for help was a client who one day, at a round table, publicly thanked me for asking him for help. It turns out that when I stuffed my pride in a box and asked for his help, it actually made him feel pretty good that I trusted and respected him enough to ask as did his being able to agree to help. Then when he went about taking the actions he needed to in order to fulfill my request, doing so ended up helping him too. Win – win. Go figure!

  3. Ah, but Kelly, I have to say something here. I would image that most people would be really happy to help YOU, since you are one of the most giving people I know. Motivational speakers can be a pretty giving lot, but you are quite exceptional at it. Brilliant, actually. I would hope that anyone toying with the idea of asking for help from someone, would spend more time (when they don’t NEED help) simply asking themselves, “Who could I help here? Who might need my support, time, ideas, etc?” We all know people who seem to continually ask for help but don’t ever offer it.

    And I really do appreciate and love how giving you are, btw.

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