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Dream Weaver

My dream job is helping other people find their dream jobs. So . . . how do I do it?

Q: I left a $100,000-a-year sales job to start a company with a partner. The partnership didn't work out, and I've spent all my savings and need an immediate income. I've wanted to be a public speaker since I was 14. Now at 40, I want to help people find their perfect work, but I need to know how to transition into that myself. Do you have any suggestions?
Name withheld

A: We always hate to hear about failed partnerships, but unfortunately, they're more common than divorces. The damage they can do to people's self-esteem and the obstacles they place between budding entrepreneurs and their dreams inspired us to write Teaming Up: The Small Business Guide to Collaborating With Others to Boost Your Earnings and Expand Your Horizons (JP Tarcher).

Consider coaching as you grow your speaking business. Coaching is a growing field and has a number of specialties, such as career, life-purpose and business coaching. These organizations offer training in coaching, though it's not a legal prerequisite:

(800) 897-8707, www.coachtraining.com;

(800) 48-COACH, www.coachu.com;

(619) 287-1186, www.coachforlife.com;

(858) 573-0888, workuluv@aol.com;

(415) 274-7551, www.thecoaches.com.

In the meantime, get out there and give all the speeches you can, even if they pay no or low fees. A good speech can spawn others. Consider participating in speaker showcases. And read Speak and Grow Rich (Prentice Hall Press) by Dottie and Lilly Walters, or visit their site at www.walters-intl.com.

Paul and Sarah Edwards' most recent book is Changing Directions Without Losing Your Way. You can send them your start-up questions at www.workingfromhome.com or through us at Entrepreneur.

Like this article? Get this issue right now on iPad, Nook or Kindle Fire.

This article was originally published in the August 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Dream Weaver.

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