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?
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, firstname.lastname@example.org;
(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.