I became a speaker who landed $13,000 of new income with two talks

by John J. Fenton

I started my company JFHealthyLiving after taking early retirement from the firm I had worked for over the previous 30+ years.

Since that time, I tried different things including managing and teaching yoga and tai chi, and coaching individuals. I also delivered presentations on health, energy, yoga and tai chi methods and meditation.

For over six years prior to my early retirement, I had studied extensively the principles of energy, tai chi and self-mastery, had earned the title of master, and earned a black belt in tai chi.

My experiences of training in places like Sedona, AZ, the foothills of the Colorado Rockies and meditation on a mountain in the Far East helped me immensely while I was the managing partner of the Atlanta, Georgia office of one of the world’s largest CPA firms.

I was asked to manage a small yoga and tai chi center and bring stability and harmony to it. I succeeded and ran it successfully for 18 months. I decided to not pursue owning a yoga and tai chi center as I had once planned and turned over management of the center.

I wasn’t really sure what I would do next.

I continued to teach tai chi once a week and did some one-on-one coaching, but had no clear direction, nor was I making any money. However, I had a desire to do something more. I have always felt there was something big I was meant to do in this world to help others.

I decided I would write and began to write a weekly blog on my website, JFHealthyLiving. Then one day, the idea came to me that I could write a book.

I came across an online book writing course offered by Steve Harrison and Jack Canfield. Something about the way they shared about the program piqued my curiosity and got my attention, and I signed up.

Later, the opportunity to join Quantum Leap came. It seemed to make sense for me and I signed on.

How Steve, his coaches, and programs helped me clarify my message and expand my mission

I received coaching from Geoffrey Berwind to craft my story. 

At Geoffrey’s suggestion, I began going to Toastmasters again (I had been a competent TM about 20 years before) and began offering my services as a speaker to local Rotary Clubs and Chambers of Commerce. I spoke to three groups as a result of my efforts.

I also received some coaching about my website with Brian, and I worked with Tamra on the start of a speaker’s one-sheet.

I did not feel the messaging was where I wanted to direct my efforts and I knew my website needed a professional’s touch. I wanted the messaging to be clear and consistent and it just didn’t feel right at the time. Much of the messaging was around health and stress, areas I became knowledgeable about through my previous training and as a result of my own health issues in leading the Atlanta practice. But I felt that to deliver a message meaningful to my target market of CEOs, executives and professionals, I needed something more.

I decided to double down and signed up for a private client Power Day with Steve Harrison, and the Jack Canfield/Steve Harrison Mastermind Retreat.

  • During my Power Day, Steve and I worked on the framework for a workshop. I came away with a clear direction of how the workshop will look and I have the confidence to deliver an excellent program.

  • I used this framework and combined it with other information to create a mini- seminar that I can deliver in about two hours’ time. After the first two mini-seminars I delivered, 100% of the attendees agreed to meet with me for their free 30-minute coaching assessments.

  • Thanks to the Mastermind Retreat, I came away with greater self-confidence about my message and my why, my purpose for what I do. I learned I could be authentic and deliver value to others.

  • And as a result of the feedback I received from Jack Canfield and others, I enhanced my marketing materials, had new professional photographs taken, created a new logo as part of rebranding myself, and asked for and received endorsements from former colleagues, the U.S. managing partner of my former firm, and my former collegiate head coach.
  • Spending my best efforts to become a public speaker

    From working with Steve and Geoffrey, I decided my best efforts were spent in creating paid speaking engagements. This seemed to be the best way to generate cash flow from my efforts. Early on, I listened to Steve’s recorded session, “Give, Give, Invite,” and I have used these concepts in each of my speeches and presentations.

    The results? After delivering a 30-minute presentation to a Rotary Club, and a three-minute talk to the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Atlanta, I now had five new clients, consisting of four private clients and one organization. These two speeches directly resulted in $13,000 of new income.

    Additionally, as a result of the leadership coaching I delivered to the organization, I was asked to meet with the senior executive team of another larger and well-known nonprofit organization in Atlanta. After a three-hour brainstorming session with them, I was asked to deliver a proposal for executive team coaching for the seven executives and a proposal to provide private coaching for one of the senior executives.

    Now I know I'm offering a gift to others

    I have learned many things from Steve and the coaches.

    As I look back, probably the biggest difference is my confidence level, which has enabled me to deliver my message with greater impact. I’m living my life authentically and living from my best self.

    I feel the biggest growth for me has been a change in my thoughts about self-promotion. As Steve will tell you, I had not been big on self-promotion. My preconception about it was it was egotistical and self-centered.

    But I have learned to accept that by promoting myself, I am offering a gift to others. The gift is my sharing of my experiences, the knowledge and wisdom I have gained and the new and enlightened perspectives I have learned.

    Steve challenged me at dinner at the end of our Power Day to be the authority and to own that I am an expert. I have taken his words to heart.

    From my time with Steve in the Power Day and with Jack and Steve at the Master Mind Retreat, I have a renewed sense of confidence. That confidence has enabled me to earn income as a result of the value that I have been able to deliver.

    My quantum leap has been to believe in myself, trust my instincts and be the expert who is positively impacting and inspiring others to be at their best, just like me.

    This post is adapted from an essay John wrote as his entry in our "How I Made My Quantum Leap" contest, in which Quantum Leap members wrote about the difference the program made for them and their careers.