Great Speaker to Paid Speaker with Rina Rovinelli

After spending many years surrounded by Professional Speakers, World Championship Speakers and Owners of Speaker Bureaus, Rina Rovinelli finally spills the beans on why it’s not enough to be a great speaker, if you want to become a paid speaker.

Rinas headshot.jpg

 

Rina Rovinelli is the Co-Founder of Speaker Slam – Canada’s Premier Inspirational Speaking Competition with over 200 attendees monthly and attracting a stellar lineup of speakers and professional judges. She is a Speaker Coach and creator of the Emerging Speaker Program. Most recently, Rina has connected forces to spearhead the Too Much Woman Movement – empowering women to create meaningful impact by celebrating their too muchness. Rina’s greatest passion and life’s mission is the pursuit of human connection which she blogs about at http://www.ttctales.com.

(If you prefer these tips in vide, click here)

Journey to Speaker Slam

With an eye for opportunity and extremely competitive spirit, Rina took Dan Shaikh’s offer to partner together in the speaking world. Initially, the idea was to create a debate club but as Rina recalls, “I couldn’t think of anything more boring.”

Fortunately, a few weeks later, Dan’s imagination was sparked again (or maybe for the first time ;)) and said, “let’s run a contest!” to which Rina replied, “OMG… Speaker Slam!”

Within weeks they were searching for venues, dreaming up themes and enrolling speakers and judges to make the first contest happen. Now, almost two years later, with over 200 attendees monthly, Rina and Dan have become the Largest Inspirational Speaking Competition in Canada.

I, adore Speaker Slam.

I love the people who attend monthly. I’m invigorated by the energy of the night. And most of all, I stand behind it’s purpose. As Rina says, “the most beautiful thing about Speaker Slam is that it’s real people sharing authentic stories. There’s no sales pitch. We’re all aligned for a night of transformation and to empower others and ourselves.”

Fortunately for many of you locals reading this blog, Rina was also willing to share her most important tip for winning Speaker Slam.

Focus On Your Message

Rina believes,”stories, are the great equalizer.” She and Dan have seen Professional Speakers and Public World Championship Speakers cross their stage. On the flip side, they’ve also had newbies and people who were competition for the first time up to the mic sharing their souls with hundreds of people.

Guess what?

Both types of competitors have taken home the title of Speaker Slam champion.

Should you be polished and ensure that you’re prepared to take the stage? Yes. You should give yourself the highest probability of success. But know that your story, your ability to resonate with the audience, your authenticity and your vulnerability will always been the greatest determining factor of Speaker Slam success. It’s not the person who’s most polished that will ultimately stand out, it’s the one who speaks to the heart and souls of the audience and judges.

Today, as Rina develops new businesses and products, she’s reflecting on the lessons gleaned from her journey to Speaker Slam for a few important insights on building a strong company.

  1. Find the right partner. Often people will fall into one of three categories, the artist, manager leader or the entrepreneur “In a partnership, Rina said, “it’s important to have two or more.” Rina sees herself more as an artist who has a big vision and loves planning, while Dan is more of the manager leader who can ensure the work starts today.
  2. Ready, Fire, Aim. As a result of thier successful partnership they were able to initiate action from day one. Together, they make a plan, execute the plan and then re-evaluate to determine if that is the best strategy or if it’s more appropriate to pivot. Rina feels blessed to have Dan as a partner because while she tends to dream big and spend a lot of time thinking while Dan ensure they’re executing the strategy by dramatically reducing their time to action.
  3. Build Community. Speaker Slam continues to grow and be one of the cities most exciting events because of it’s beautiful community. The second you walk into that space it’s filled with love, positivity and a collective mentality of support. As a fly on the wall watching what Rina and Dan have created over the last 2 years, I know without a shadow of a doubt that the secret sauce to their events success is the commitment to fostering this unique community. In time Businesses die but communities endure. If you want to build a great event, company or personal brand, ensure you’re building a community.

Now that Rina’s quit her full time job to dive again into the world of entrepreneurship, her latest business offering is called the Emerging Speaker. Within that business is a solution to the gap I see all to frequently in the public speaking community, great speakers that don’t know how to become paid speakers.

Hell, I personally feel that pain from time to time as a Professional Speaker. I get gigs make a decent living doing it. But all Speakers who’re serious about going pro want to get booked more frequently and for more cash.

Enter Rina.

While her program will tackle all of the angles that will help you go pro and get paid handsomely in the process, Rina was happy to extend the following non-negotiables:

  1. Use a Rifle Not a Shotgun. As a speaker, it’s critical we’re not delusional enough to believe our message is for everyone. Even Presidents of Nations are disagreed with or even hated by about 50% of the people. What makes you think your message is so special that everyone and anyone will resonate with your personal beliefs? As a result of this truth we need to stop using a shotgun in choosing the verticals and markets we’ll serve. Let’s instead begin to challenge ourselves to be specific about the industry, demographic, psychographic or type of group that will benefit most from our value proposition. Without that clarify around who you’ll serve best, you’ll end up fracturing your message like a shotgun rather than focusing it like a rifle.
  2. Market the Message. “I’ve met so many friends that run Speaker Bureaus and are paid Professional Speakers,” Rina said, “that to me, the clear difference between a great speaker and a paid speaker is the marketing of their message.” Not only do you need to be able to clearly articulate why you’re the right person to speak to a particular audience, you also need communicate why it should be you rather than someone else! To bridge the gap between being great and being paid, we need to immediately focus in on our key messaging, get clear on our unique value proposition and consistently and shamelessly convey that message to those who have the authority to pay us. As Grant Cardone would question, “who’s got my money?” And after asking that question, we need to proceed to create strategies of outreach to target those people.
  3.  Video Rules. Event organizers will not pay you, or in the least, pay you handsomely, if they can’t see you speak prior to bringing you into their event. We need to understand that they’re putting their reputation on the line every time they book a speaker. Consequently, they need to ensure you’ll be entertaining, educational and facilitate a memorable experience. Otherwise, you’re either not worth the money or they’ll simply look bad as the person who brought you in. That’s why Rina believes that creating a speaker reel or speaker video highlighting your strengths is an absolute non-negotiable for earning top dollar as a speaker.

Rina’s Do This Directives

  1. Be a Relationship Builder. Wether it’s to help support the growth of your business,  create credibility in your industry or for your own personal happiness, becoming a relationship builder will only enhance your life. Rina personally tries to meet 3-4 people for coffee every week to grow her network as well as deepen the connections she already has. “Nothing beats meeting in person, giving someone a hug and feeling their energy,” Rina commented. So although social media has made it easier to connect, she encourages us to never replace our face to face time as a relationship builder.
  2. Maintain Integrity. We live in what Rina calls the cancel culture. Where it’s okay to drop plans last minute or pursue something more interesting even though you’ve already made the commitment to another person. There’s nothing more detrimental to your reputation with someone than to cancel and bail on an agreed upon plan. Rather, as individuals who want to build strong relationships and hold ourselves to a higher personal standard, maintain your integrity and follow through on your word. It’ll go a long way in building trust. And in 2018, nothing replaces the power of trust.
  3. Get Your Butt to Speaker Slam. It’s the most inspirational event in the whole city! If you haven’t been, then come! If you’re thinking about sleeping on the next few upcoming events, don’t! You deserve to give yourself the gift of being enveloped by the energy and positivity that surrounds Speaker Slam. And more importantly, you have no idea what the connections and relationships you build in this room full of like minded individuals with forever change your life.

Audio Time Stamps

  • 00:00 Rina intro
  • 2:08 what is the connector
  • 3:00 Rina’s networking philosophy
  • 4:41 networking best practices
  • 545 Speaker Slam inspiration
  • 9:00 how to win speaker slam
  • 13:00 why come to speaker slam
  • 16:00 biggest gaps from great speaker to paid speaker
  • 20:00 do you need content?
  • 22:00 whats on Rina’s heart

Till next time stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “you cannot change the destination of your life overnight but you can change the direction.”

Jonathan Andrews

Out.

 

 

 

 

 

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Real Estate Mastery as a Young Investor

After 11 years of real estate investing, Kyle Guthro is now working alongside CEO Patrick Francey and COO Richard Dolan as global partner with the Real Estate Investment Network and Legacy. Since University he’s accumulated properties in Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Paris, Brantford, Toronto and Muskoka to become a leading influencer for young investors on how to strategically approach money management at a young age.  

Kyle Guthro Headshot

Together we identify for you the importance of treating your portfolio like a business, stocks vs real estate investing, and how public speaking has paved the way for better communication in his business, career and family life. 

From the bottom of my heart, this was the most valuable episode we’ve done so far and contains dozens of actionable insights.

 

(If you prefer these tips in video, please click here)

Getting Started in Real Estate Investing

Kyle took a great job right out of University and immediately started saving his hard earned money. Something funny happens when you’re frugal, don’t care about what other people think and don’t buy into the unconscious consumer mentality of the masses, you accumulate capital.

At the age of 22, in the midst of the 2008 recession, Kyle’s dad brought him his first real estate investment opportunity. Because of rational money management, he had the capital to jump on the opportunity when it came knocking on his door.

“That first property,” Kyle said, “was a fix and rent.” Purchasing an older home requires renovations, upkeep and constant maintenance. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your perspective), within the first 2 months, his tenants called in panic because of a leak in the basement. That leak, was the first test Kyle faced to see if he was cut out for the real estate business.

A cracked foundation and $8,000 later, he decided from then on to adjust his strategy and work with his family on purchasing new builds only. Since that first home, Kyle and his family have developed significant wealth and a portfolio that would impress even the most sophisticated investors. Here’s his top takeaways from the last 11 years.

Get Your Strategy Right

  1. Treat your investments like a business. Kyle believes this, above all else, will set us up for success, “The first fundamental mindset we need to develop as real estate investors is that this is a business. We need to treat our properties like the cash flowing assets they are and delight our tenants, aka clients, just like you would if you wanted to maintain a long-term customer in business.”
  2. Find high quality clients. Tenants pay off your mortgage. If you have no tenant, or their not paying the rent, you no longer have a business. Therefore we cannot afford to compromise on the quality of our clients, even if that means sacrificing a month or two of cashflow. Nothing will put you out of business faster than a bad tenant who destroys the property, doesn’t pay on time (or never) and adds new layers of unnecessary stress into your life. Instead, do your homework, get high quality clients and subsequently treat them with utmost respect and appreciation. Buy them Christmas gifts or surprise them with a bottle of wine. Do anything you can to delight them and ensure they will help pay off your mortgage for as long as possible.
  3. Appreciation is the icing on top of the cake, not the cake itself. Years ago investors were abandoning their winning buy and hold strategy and buying properties purely on speculation of asset appreciation. Because property value was rising at an unprecedented level, investors bought for the appreciation and not for cash flow. When the market softened they were left with investments they’d paid too much for and were cashflow negative. As seductive as the quick win of value appreciation may look, stick to the cardinal rules of buying for cashflow, filling the business with high quality tenants and playing the long term buy and hold game. It’s a tried and true strategy that will make you and your family wealthy in the long run.

Is Real Estate Investing Worth the Headaches?

I asked Kyle if it wouldn’t just be easier to invest your $100,000 in an index fund or dividend paying stock? A question I’ve been seriously considering as real estate, tenants, and property management comes with many inherent headaches. He believes, no.

In Kyle’s opinion, it’s important to diversify, but real estate has created the worlds most millionaires. In addition, Canada’s immigration is accelerating and guess what people need… A place to live! Someone will be renting out those properties, why not us? And lastly, unlike with investing in the stock market where we’re allowing others to be in control of our finances and investments, with real estate you’re in control. That level of hands on experience helps you cultivate resilience, creativity and the entrepreneurial mindset. While passive stocks may be simple and safe, they will not force you to grow out of your comfort zone. You’ll miss out on invaluable skills and the consistent upgrading of your mindset and operating system.

As I personally learn more about both industries, I’m more inclined today to seek diversification. I know I’ll likely have my hands in a combination of real estate, stocks, bonds and active businesses. All of these investments have their pros and cons and in a rapidly changing economy, I believe hedging our bets will be the most promising strategy for support long-term wealth development.

Kyle’s Do This directives

Although Kyle and I had a deeply enriching conversation that spanned many more topics (you can listen to the entire interview here), his essential and actionable insights are below:

  1. Move your body. Like virtually every high performer I know, Kyle moves his body early in the morning. Wether he’s on his bike or doing a group workout class at 7am, the routine, camaraderie of being surrounded by like minded achievers and discipline it creates is non negotiable. As I’ve come to know personally, Kyle believes that movement and exercise will help you express positive emotions like confidence, gratitude and joy and it’ll give you more energy to fuel your day.
  2. Make communication a conscious practice. Competent communication is more important today than ever. The floodgates of distribution have opened because of social media, while simultaneously our propensity for focus has diminished. Therefore to break through all that noise and limited concentration  we need to be able to tell compelling and provocative stories, succinctly. This will only come as a by-product of conscious practice and Kyle suggests a quick win would be to join a local toastmasters club near your home or workplace.
  3. Network intentionally. Finding quality mentors is the equivalent to fertilizing your garden at the beginning of the planting season with manure. The right fertilizer will feed your seeds and all the hard work your putting in with quality nutrients (ideas) and ultimately speed up and multiply your path to a bountiful harvest (the success you desire). Kyle says the biggest mistake young investors make is listening to the news, their broke neighbour and friends that have never invested before! If we find mentors that have already made mistakes and can guide us to learning our discipline or desired skillset at an accelerated rate, we’ll have a much higher chance of avoiding failure and a dramatically higher rate of reaping a healthy harvest.

Audio Show Time Stamps:

  • 00- who is Kyle Guthro
  • 1:40 being on the everyday millionaire podcast
  • 3:20 starting real estate at 22
  • 7:40 finding your investment style
  • 9:25 most important lessons for new investors
  • 11:40 is it all worth it?
  • 16:00 shift gears to public speaking and how Kyle got started
  • 19:00 biggest feedback he got from Toastmasters
  • 21:00 Richard Dolan
  • 24:30 daily routines
  • 30:00 Kyle sharing from the heart

Till next time stay on offence. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “you cannot change the destination of your life overnight but you can change the direction.”

Jonathan Andrews

Out.

Overcoming Depression and Becoming the Hero of Your Own Movie

Here’s a short list of seemingly unsurmountable challenges Kevin Rempel has struggled through:

  • During a hunting trip with Kevin, Gary, Kevin’s father, fell from a tree and became paralyzed
  • Years later in 2006, Kevin crashed hard in a Motocross accident and became an incomplete Paraplegic
  • It took 6 weeks for Kevin to wiggle his first toe, 10 months in a wheelchair before walking (Doctor’s said he’d never walk again) and a full year after his injury before Kevin rode his dirt bike again
  • In July of 2007, Kevin’s father took his own life after years of battling with depression and addiction
  • Carrying the personal burden of depression on multiple occasions, hitting him particularly hard after the 2014 Sochi Paralympics

With that background of suffering, you’d think Kevin would be a broken man. But in fact, that couldn’t be further from his reality.

Never Give Up Kevin RempelI call Kevin the resilience ninja as he blows me away time and time again with his ability to not only deal with, but absorb life’s challenges and turn them into fuel. Through his incredible journey to the Olympic podium, winning Bronze medal at the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi, Russia, Kevin now brings his powerful message of hope and resilience to audiences through his speaking and writing. His personal story inspires others that even when you have every reason to quit, you must keep moving forward. It’s up to you to rise above it all and become the hero of your own movie.

I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to share Kevin’s unique personal philosophies with you here.

If you prefer these tips in video, please click this link.

Kevin’s 3 Breakthroughs in Resilience

His first step is to take personal responsibility of your situation. When you’re in the mud and it feels like nothing is going your way, it’s so easy for us to point fingers and look for someone to blame. Kevin believes strongly that although we’re not always responsible for what happens to us, we are responsible for what we do about it. As one of my personal hero’s, retired Navy Seal Jocko Willink puts it, “You must own everything in your world. There is no one else to blame.”

Once we detach ourselves emotionally from our position,  taking responsibility allows us to focus forward. We can then, and only then, become pragmatic and realize potential paths out of the mud.

Now that we’ve taken personal responsibility, it’s time to take things one step at a time. Kevin says that,

“Ordinary actions taken consistently lead to extraordinary results long term.”

In his own life he tries to focus on the small things that make a big difference. For example, after the Sochi Paralympics in 2014, Kevin fell into a deep depression that was virtually unbearable. He stopped working out, was going out late and partying with the wrong circle, he had no goals and was spiralling downward. When he looks back at how he overcame those circumstances he recalls a single grocery trip where he chose a bag of apples over chips. 

He often needs to reminder himself not to overcomplicate resilience and happiness. Often, it’s as simple as the opposite of whatever got you knee deep in the mud in the first place. For Kevin, his glorious journey from depression to progression all started with a bag of damn apples. The same is true for us. It doesn’t need to be drastic or something profound. As Kevin says, take things one step at a time. Establish some new disciplines. Be the hero, pick your ass up and take the first step.

Finally, never give up. To Kevin, this was clearly never an option. Seeing his father take his own life was the only example he ever needed of what he wouldn’t tolerate for himself. That mentality has translated into his career as an athlete and now today as an entrepreneur. And he wants the same for you. Be the hero of your own movie. The ending of your story is yet to be written and every day is an opportunity to write a new chapter.

Because of my association with Kevin, I’ve changed my belief system around obstacles. I used to hate problems and found the roadblocks of life to be draining, painful and unfair. Now, I realize it’s the journey of going through the trenches and getting yourself to the other side where your resilience is built and your character is developed.

Practical Tips of Starting Your First Business

Kevin is a huge advocate for testing your market before diving in head first. Throughout my formal education in entrepreneurship we’d call this developing product market fit through a minimum viable product.

In the early stages of the Sledge Hockey Experience, Kevin tested his business model with a paying customer. He got great feedback, testimonials, and knew in his gut that he had something great. He went on to test the experience with two other events before going all in. It was only after three paying customers that he sold his own rental properties and Harley Davidson to infuse the company with cash and get it off the ground. 

He encourages budding entrepreneurs to test their markets and focus on delighting people. He’s created a product and service that provides more value than what you pay for. And because he loves what he does, he’s always willing to go the extra mile. His personal commitment to delighting customers reminds me of a Seth Godin quote,

There are two paths, really:

“I will serve just enough to make the maximum profit” or “I will profit just enough to provide the maximum service.”

The Sledge Hockey Experience is a shining example of profiting just enough to deliver the maximum level of service. A commitment to excellence worth striving for.

Kevin’s 2 Cents on Life Long Leaning

At the time of this interview Kevin was reading a book about Public Speaking to help him grow that segment of his business. Out of personal curiosity, knowing how many plates he’s spinning and how well he’s already doing, I asked Kevin why. Here’s his response,

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

He expressed that if he, or anyone else, wants to get to the point where we can double our speaking fee year over year, we need to take deliberate action, invest in ourselves and surround ourselves with quality mentors and coaches. He reads books to shed light on his blind sides or things he’s never thought about implementing in his businesses before. Getting from where you’re at to where you want to go is a process of growth through learning, the application of those new ideals, and iteration along the path to our goals.

You and I better be willing to work hard too, because whether we see it or not, there’s hustlers like Kevin Rempel out there putting in the reps, reading the books, and working hard behind closed doors.

Do this.

  1. Do the opposite of what got you in the mud in the first place and focus on the little steps that can point you in the right direction. For example, go buy a bag of damn apples and eat them!
  2. Test your assumptions before diving in head first. Kevin did 3 events before he went all in on the sledge hockey experience. Avoid throwing caution to the wind and look before you leap.
  3. Buy Still Standing. If you want to get to know Kevin Rempel in-depth and be inspired like never before, his book will speak to your heart and remind you of the beauty of this day. When I’m having a tough day and can’t keep my challenges in perspective I lean on Kevin’s story to never give up.

Audio show notes:

  • : 00 who is Kevin repel
  • 1:50 what is the sledge hockey experience
  • 3:30 how to give an elevator pitch
  • 5:50 Kevin’s personal story of overcoming obstacles
  • 8:20 being the hero of your own movie.
  • 8:55 Kevin 3 major tenants of resilience
  • 10:50 transparent reflection about leadership from team canada
  • 15:00 Self talk during dark times
  • 17:00 Blueprint to depression
  • 20:00 how to get the first couple sales as an entrepreneur
  • 22:00 document rather than create on social
  • 28 writing the book still standing
  • 31:30 lifelong learning

Till next time stay on offence. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You can’t change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change the direction.”

Jonathan Andrews

Out.