Jason Hartman interviews Josh Shipp, host of the TV show Jump Shipp and author of “The Teens Guide to World Domination,” regarding encouraging everyone to overcome struggles and live life to the fullest. Listen in at http://SpeakingofWealth.com/category/podcast/. Josh has established an international reputation as an inspiring youth motivational speaker, whose mission is to help teens “get it” and help those who care about teens “get through” to them. He has a simple and entertaining, yet challenging message.

Josh has spoken at Harvard University, Stanford, UCLA, M.I.T., and to over 1.5 million teenagers live. He is a recognized teen expert for such media outlets as MTV, CNN, and FOX. He is known as a teen communication expert who can get through to any teen. Josh offers a healthy dose of advice that he calls “in your face, but on your side.” He counsels teenagers on everything they care about and it’s all done in a youth-friendly, humorous tone that is more hilarious survival guide than preachy sermon.

Josh certainly knows a thing or two about survival. Abandoned and abused as a child, he was able to triumph over the tragedy. He attributes his personal growth to the support of great foster family, dynamic teachers, and enriching school programs that opened his eyes to his true potential. After serving as State DECA President and on the School-to-Work student advisory committee, Josh decided to commit his life to helping teens. Josh lives in sunny California, is a spokesperson for National Foster Care Month, and a guitar hero.

Introduction: Speakers, publishers, consultants, coaches and info marketers unite. The Speaking of Wealth show is your road map to success and significance. Learn the latest tools, technologies and tactics to get more bookings, sell more products and attract more clients. If you are looking to increase your direct response sales, create a big time personal brand and become the go to Guru, the Speaking of Wealth show is for you. Here is your host, Jason Hartman.

Jason Hartman: Welcome to the Speaking of Wealth Show. This is your host Jason Hartman, where we discuss profit strategies for speakers, publishers, authors, consultants, coaches, info marketers and just go over a whole bunch of exciting things that you can use to increase your business to make your business more successful and more and more passive and more and more automated and more and more scalable. So we will be back with a great interview, be sure to visit us at speakingofwealth.com. You can take advantage of our blog, subscribe to the RSS feed and many other resources for free at speakingofwealth.com and we will be back with a great interview for you in less than 60 seconds.

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Jason Hartman: My pleasure to welcome Josh Shipp to the show. He has an incredible success story, starting out at age 17 and now at age 29 published author, Inc Magazine recognized him as the 30 Under 30 earning over $2 million a year in the youth speaker market. And I think today you will really learn a lot of great things about going deep into a niche market and creating a big success out of that. Josh, welcome.

Josh: Jason, thank you so much for having me, sir.

Jason Hartman: Good, good. You have got an amazing story. Why don't you give the listeners a little bit of your background?

Josh: Yeah, so I was basically a kid that I grew up not knowing my parents, I grew up in the Foster Care system, I lived in around a dozen different foster homes by the time I was 14, fast forward to high school the way I sort of dealt with that wrecked childhood was by being a class clown, nine out of 10 teachers were annoyed by that understandably, but there is one teacher said to me one day, she said, “Josh, you know when you make your friends laugh, you have their attention and when you have their attention you have a responsibility to say something of value.” And so, that's what had got me thinking, you know, I ran for this student organization President, won that, became state president of that organization. And then sort of found myself in a situation where I was through the duty of my leadership positions sort of forced to do public speaking and you know, you hear of a lot of people getting into public speaking for that, they have to go and give some sort of presentation or you know, something exposes them to that and you know, either they like it a little bit or someone would come up and comment afterwards. And so that is sort of how I got started is I had this wrecked childhood and then became a class clown and then through that someone sort of said to me, “You know, there is something here, there is something about your wanting to make people laugh and your personality and the things you have gone to and more importantly the things you would learn from that that you could use and share with an audience.”

Jason Hartman: Fantastic. And so, what was really your first step then, Josh?

Josh: Well, really my first step to making this a serious career was to, I mean, as simple as it sounds, was to take it serious instead of just, you know, waiting for speaking engagements to come to me that I decided, this was something that I wanted to – and that I was going to have a plan and I knew that if I asked about 100 people if they would have me speak at their school or at their student organization or something that I would get about 99 “Nos” but I would get one “Yes” and I knew that, you know, even though those 99 can sort of hurt your ego, I knew that that one “Yes” was worth it. I mean, I think we have to be careful to do things for our business and not for our ego and sometimes when you are starting out it can be difficult, but ultimately in the long run it is totally worth it.

Jason Hartman: And so, were you doing those as free speaking engagements in the beginning?

Josh: Yeah, frankly when I first started, I mean, I would go anywhere for any amount of money simply because #1 I needed the stage time. You can buy good marketing materials, you know, I can pay someone a ton of money and they can build me an amazing website, but the only way you can have an amazing speech is by earning it. Getting up on the stage, doing a decent job, tweaking it next time doing a little bit better jobs, tweaking it and again and again, you know, I believe it takes 10 years to become an overnight success. So, you know, I needed the stage time, I needed to be earning a little bit of money regardless of what it was so I could put that back into my business. And even more importantly I needed word of mouth, I needed testimonials, I needed all that footage and all those credibility pieces that go into building the speaking career.

Jason Hartman: Why did you think, Josh that your topic area or your speaking style resonated so well with audiences? I mean, just give me an example maybe first before you answer that question, how many engagements a year are you doing?

Josh: There was a time I was doing about a 100 a year, sometimes even more. Now, I have significantly jacked up my fee and I am doing about 36 a year.

Jason Hartman: 36 per year and may I ask what your fee is?

Josh: Yes, at this point it's anywhere from 75 to $15,000 and again that's in the youth market, the schools.

Jason Hartman: That's amazing. So, you are charging anywhere from 15,000 on up to 75,000.

Josh: No, I am sorry, 7500 to 15,000.

Jason Hartman: Oh, okay, yeah, because I know you said that in kind of a reverse order, so I wasn't sure, because quite empowers like the 75 Grand [laughter]…

Josh: Right, right, right, yes.

Jason Hartman: Number, so you are not quite there yet, but you are doing quite well.

Josh: No, I am not, yeah, and you better watch it down coming after.

Jason Hartman: All right. [laughter] And Josh, so what was it about your style or your message that resonated so well with these audiences?

Josh: You know, I think because there are a few things that were interesting. Getting started at age 17, being young it was interesting because I knew my audience, I knew exactly how to relate to them, I knew what would make them laugh, I knew what they were worried about, I knew what they were frustrated about et cetera.

Jason Hartman: You were one of them.

Josh: A challenge – exactly and that gave me a huge advantage. Now, the disadvantage I had was that I was really young. My age was one of my greatest assets and also a big hindrance in that some of event planners who are not 17 years old, you know, they were in their 40s and they are administrators or principals or every things at schools, they needed to know that, you know, this 17 year old, essentially a peer can get up on stage and captivate and deliver a solid message. And so, I think a lot of times speakers get started in their own industry because exactly like you said, “You are one of them” and I think that's a great place for anyone to get started.

Jason Hartman: So you would recommend that speakers listen or aspiring speakers listening really go after a market that is authentic to them, that is something that they are personally engaged in, right?

Josh: Absolutely. I think that even more so I would say non-negotiable that is where you must start. Could you eventually go and work in other markets? Absolutely. But that's where you should start because it is going to be the easiest thing for you to naturally talk about, you are going to have experience in that, you are going to know the ins and outs of it, the corks, the frustrations, the highs, the lows, all that thing, so you can have a lot more credibility. And secondly, you know, these first couple of speaking engagements that you need to get so you can film a demo videos, you can get some recommendations going, all those assets you need to have to convince other people that hire you, you can often get that just through a relationship that you may have with someone or someone maybe holding a sales meeting and you happen to know them or worked with them and you say, “Look, I am getting things started, I would love to come and speak at that event for you at a discounted rate or for free because I want to get this going and I am going to film it and I am going to have things wind up to do that with.” I mean that the video was such a huge piece. Any aspiring speaker, I would say, that's one of your top priorities. Outside of what do I want to speak about and who do I want to speak to, I would say your #3 priority is getting a demo video because the speaker with a no demo video, it's like a wedding photographer with no photo portfolio.

Jason Hartman: [Laughter] Sure, absolutely, absolutely.

Josh: I mean, it's just – it's absurd defect that you can get hired with without that piece of material because I mean, you are not the product, and your speech is. That's what I am paying for. That's, you know, I want to see a preview of that.

Jason Hartman: So, they are gathering just to understand logistics a little bit, you are getting hired by high schools and they are creating an assembly and you are doing a keynote, are there other speakers typically in your format, is it like a whole day of speakers or is it a one thing and then what is your speech called?

Josh: Sure. So, there are several different venues that I speak at. I speak at high schools or middle schools or colleges and these tend to be in assembly formats where they bring, you know, all of the students from the school in to the auditorium and I speak to them. Another thing would be student leadership organizations. I mean, first of all, there are 64,000 schools in the US. I mean, that is – I think the youth market is one of the biggest kept secrets. You know, I talk about this in the class I teach at Youth Speaker University that it is just, I mean, this is undiscovered market, there are 64,000 schools and the wild thing is that this audience turns over every four years, you know, unlike corporate market…

Jason Hartman: [Laughter] Good point, yeah.

Josh: Where, you know, the same person could be there, you know, five years later and it is unlikely they are going to have you back to the same message, but I can go to the same school every four years, give the exact same message and have a completely new audience. So, schools are one part of it. There are also 24,000 student leadership organizations in the U.S. so this would be organizations like DECA, FBLA, FFA, and Student Council. There is all these little niche student organizations that covers some aspect of student life and you know, some are business focused, some are leadership focused, some are community service focused and they tend to have a few leadership conferences each year where they bring in speakers from all over the region or excuse me, they bring in students from all over the region or all over the state or from all over the country and will have a few speakers at those events as well.

Jason Hartman: You know I was at the show DECA judge once so I am familiar with DECA. That's interesting. So, I think a lot of people maybe, Josh, and tell me if this – if you think this perception is correct, but it is my perception is probably a lot of the speakers listening have a similar perception. They think that the schools don't really have good budgets like the corporate world. The corporate world, when a large financial services firm or real-estate firm or pharmaceutical firm, they have the big budgets and the speakers want to work with companies obviously that have nice big budgets because then they can afford to pay your fee. Do you think that is one of the perceptions that are keeping speakers out of this market?

Josh: Absolutely, you know, I think there has been a lot of unknown about the youth market and just to sort of a lot of the assumptions made, it is only in the last couple of years when we have been in these tough economic times, my demand has gone up to speakers that I work with and coach, their demand has gone up. I mean, I – it raised my fee, I thought I am turning down 10 full fee speaking engagements per week because the demand is so high in this market and I have friends that are corporate speakers and I am not trying to be dramatic here, I am not saying the corporate market is going down. I am saying their demand has slightly gone down whereas in the youth market, I have seen it completely and steadily increased. And the thing that is different I think especially for an aspiring speaker, a beginning speaker or someone that just wants to get started, if I think that youth market is frankly a easier place to get started because there is less competition, there is a ton of demand, like I said 64,000 schools, 24,000 student organizations, 4,000 colleges, 450,000 churches and all have the youth as a part of their church if that's part of your background. And the thing is that they are not looking for famous people. They are not. They are, you know, they are not looking for former NFL coaches; they are not looking for people that have climbed Mount Everest. If you have done those things very well, but they are not looking for people like that. They are looking for everyday ordinary people that have some interesting background, some wisdom that they can share from that and that are just going to be real and stand up and deliver a good message to the students. So, I think it's an enormously overlooked market and there is more than enough demand. And I mean, I can tell you as a speaker myself I am not – I don't want the clutch of this market because you know, I don't want to share this market or something. I think the more the merrier, because the students deserve to hear from a diverse group of speakers all with different backgrounds and experiences.

Jason Hartman: Well, that was actually a great point that you just brought up, Josh, because I was going to say, doesn't this whole discussion beg the question, why would Josh should be creating his own competitors? [laughter]

Josh: Yeah, I mean, [laughter] well because you know, I probably wasn't that mature enough to do that in the beginning. I thought, you know, I thought I did have to be greedy or try to hold on to my secrets and things that I was doing, but I can tell you, you know, it sounds wise to me to try to talk like some wise grandfather at their right age of 29, but having done this for 12 years now, you know, you get to a place where you realize there is way more audiences than I can ever serve and frankly some audiences need to hear from you, not from me. You know, I am not the best fit for that audience. I don't get what they are going through that background or the situation they are in, but they do need to hear from you a message. So, for me, you know, I can essentially as you put it create competitors because there is way more demand than there are speakers and, you know, frankly as long as you are someone that has a right attention and wants to share a good message, I wish you nothing but the enormous success.

Jason Hartman: Josh, I think it also reckons back to that old concept or adage in advertising and marketing and that is that the best thing that ever happen to Coke is Pepsi because…

Josh: Yeah.

Jason Hartman: When good quality competitors come into a market, number one, it makes us all better. It raises the bar, it raises the tide and that rising tide sort of [unintelligible 14:59] because one of the great things about capitalism is that you have out of necessity, necessity is the mother of invention, everybody just gets better at their trade and ideas inspire. Ideas and competitors, believe it or not, they do share ideas either intentionally or unintentionally and also it expands the category for that service. So, when soft drinks were first coming out, there was not as large a category in the beginning.

Josh: Yeah.

Jason Hartman: Coke could have never created that market as when you let competitors in; they create a larger market and a larger awareness of the category.

Josh: I totally agree that. I like your Coke and Pepsi now that I am going to use that from time to time. I also thought that way about Starbucks, you know, some people maybe sometimes down on Starbucks are taking out the Mom 'n' Pop Coffee Shops and frankly to me I think Starbucks, this juggernaut had sort of introduced coffee drinking culture more so in our society and as long as you are a solid independent coffee shop, I think you are going to have more customers that are now drinking coffee on a daily basis so.

Jason Hartman: I think so too. So, Josh, give us one little idea if you would for your content, your actual content? What are you telling the students in your audiences? I mean is it about keeping the faith and overcoming the odds, overcoming adversity, is it about entrepreneurship or are there multiple areas which you cover?

Josh: Sure. Great question. So, there are three main categories that schools will hire speakers on and it is this. It is leadership, motivation and prevention. Now, within that you can get as fancy and creative as you wish to, you know, so bullying, alcohol and drug, this would fall under the prevention category. Motivation, that's probably more so where my talk falls into, because it is about overcoming obstacles and growing up as a foster kid and then putting that back on the audience and how that relates to them. But those are the main three categories, because the interesting thing is imagine yourself as a high school principal, I am going to pull 2,000 students out of class, show up them in the auditorium and that is going to not just getting them all in there, so your message needs to be relevant to all 2,000 of my students. So, you need to understand those three categories if you are interested in this market, because you have to make it worth that school's time. My message is, you are right, a lot about overcoming obstacles, but I do it in an entertaining way. In the beginning it is funny, because I believe with teenagers you have to hook them, you have to earn the right to be heard and so in the beginning it is funny to grab their attention. And then I sort of lead them through the story of the challenges that I have had and sort of overcoming obstacles, but most importantly from time to time pause and say how this relates to them, you know, my goal is not to get up there and give my sob story that is, you know, that could be just on stage therapy, which is awkward and not helpful, but rather to share it for the point of from time to time pausing and saying, “You know, maybe you are left at the hospital, but let's be honest, there has been times in your life where you felt alone and where you felt abandoned and here is what you can do about that.”

Jason Hartman: First of all, you mentioned time and taking the students out of class and how the administrators or the principals need to evaluate that decision as to how it needs to be worth it for them. How much time are you taking them out of class for?

Josh: Well, it's typically an hour, so typically my speech in assemblies are, you know, 45 minutes to an hour so very similar to a keynote presentation in other markets, so it's about that length of time.

Jason Hartman: And what's the average size of your audience?

Josh: I would say the average audience is probably 1500 students, I mean, I have spoken at things much larger than some where I keynoted the national FFA convention in Indianapolis and now well it is I believe 55,000 students…

Jason Hartman: Wow.

Josh: From across the U.S. So, I would say in the youth market, the average audience is somewhere between 500 and 2500 students.

Jason Hartman: So, when you are talking about 500 students, it could be a single high school, even 1500, but those are fairly large schools, aren't they?

Josh: Yeah, sure. And you know, sometimes schools will join together to bring you in and they will bring over one set of students from another high school, you know, sometimes maybe do the program back to back if the school is really big and the auditorium seats 2000 and they have 4000 students. And so, I mean, again this is where it gets interesting and how I have been able to create such a successful empire in this overlooked market is that you have a lot of students that you are getting in front of and you have the opportunity to not only share your message there and collect the paycheck as for the speaking engagement, but also beyond that books and curriculum and all these other things that schools need and that they have money set aside to pay for.

Jason Hartman: Let me take a brief pause. We will be back in just a minute.

Female: Jason offers an inner circle coaching program. This includes two 30-minute coaching sessions for only $247 a month. For more details, go to jasonhartman.com.

Jason Hartman: And that's what I was going to ask you, Josh, about your follow on products because just doing the math there with the number of engagements you have mentioned and your keynote fee, obviously that does not multiply up to $2 million.

Josh: Right.

Jason Hartman: So, what are your follow-ons? I would think you would have a big opportunity for that in this market. However, it would seem like it would need to be less of these sort of info-preneur information guru style product which every speaker is accustomed to and it needs to be more academic for them to buy it. I mean, are you selling at the back of the room, and are you selling to the schools or what is the business model there?

Josh: Both. Good question, so here is the interesting thing. Number one, when you are working in the youth market, you have an interesting challenge in that who hires you and who you speak to are two different people. So the person that hires me is like I said typically in their 40s, the person that I speak to is typically 17 year old skeptical teenagers that doesn't really like speakers. So, you have that challenge, but also then the benefit from that is that you have two different groups of individuals that you sell to. So, yes, I obviously do the back of the room thing. Now the trick with selling to students is that you have to sell them what they want, not what they actually need. So, let me give you an example. What I really want students to do is to take my book and go home and read it, because I know that will help them even more than a one hour speech can do because it is ongoing education, we all get that. But what they are going to buy is some sort of funny inside joke that I put on a T-shirt. So, what I do to attempt to kill two birds in one stone if you will is that I packaged the T-shirt and the book together, because I know if I just offer the book it's not going to move as well but the T-shirt that is something that works specifically in this market. When I spoke at the FFA convention this summer, I sold $75,000 worth of merchandise in a couple hours after my speech. And so, again this is a place where lot of people think, “Well, students are going to sign it for my $2000 info-preneur, awesomeness coaching program”, yeah, that's true; it's more of a numbers game. Now, the other side of it is the schools, the educators. This is where you have the opportunity to have your higher value, higher priced items. So, for me I have a school curriculum where it's a series of DVDs, there is a work book that the students go through, there is a teacher guide and these sells from anywhere from $200 to a $1000. And then I also have a couple other ongoing programs that are anywhere from a $1000 to $3000. And this is also a great way for those schools that maybe can't afford to have you in; you can offer them one of these other programs as an alternative.

Jason Hartman: So, you do have back end programs than not just products then?

Josh: Exactly. So, for me the goal is not to go back to that school next semester, possibly the next year and give another speech because that is not scalable. My goal here is to get the school – each classroom to buy a set of the curriculum, because again like I said that's scalable. And the interesting thing is, you know, you look at the book industry, for example, if a mother of a teenager is going to go into a bookstore and buy my book, they are going to buy one whereas if a school district buys your book, they buy 5000 or if a school district buys your curriculum, you know, they buy a 1000 copies of it and disseminate it into all sorts of different classrooms. So, again you can get really creative with what you are doing and this is where the opportunity is for more niche topics. It's probably unlikely that I can convince a principal that I want to do a school assembly for one hour on a niche topic such as money management. Now, is money management important? Absolutely. Should teenagers be learning about it? Are you kidding me? Absolutely they should. Is it going to be relevant to those 2000 kids? Are they likely to justify that hour out of classroom? Some, but probably not, because it doesn't necessarily fit leadership motivation prevention, but in these other programs this is where you can go into your niche topics.

Jason Hartman: And I am just curious, Josh, when you mentioned bundling your products, which I thought was a great idea and the funny T-shirt, it kind of made me think of Abercrombie and Fitch and their funny T-shirts that were controversial and so forth. What is the inside joke on the T-shirt [laughter]?

Josh: Yes, well, [laughter] it isn't the same thing. This is And a Goat and so I – it is just basically the silly thing that I made it one day on stage on the spot that I thought was totally going to flop and kids thought it was hilarious. I basically said, you know, we are going to have this inside joke, twice a day and do one of your random sentences with the phrase And a Goat and kids just loved it, they thought it was funny, they liked it, it was sort of an inside joke only between us and so yeah, the T-shirt just says And a Goat on it and like I said I sold $75,000 [laughter] of them at one gig, so apparently they like it.

Jason Hartman: Are they cool looking shirts?

Josh: They are totally cool looking shirts and that is one of the things in the youth market is a kid just had the phrase on it and he used to look cool and he used to be something that they would actually want to wear and the way that I found out what that, you know, what I should put on my shirt is that I have a Facebook page obviously because of my audience and you know, they are on Facebook all the time and I kept noticing the kids would leave a comment and say, “Hey, you came to my school today, your speech was awesome, and a goat.” “Hey that was really inspiring, you really helped me think about some things, and a goat.” And so they were essentially saying, “Please for the love of God would you print And a Goat shirts.”

Jason Hartman: Right, right. [Laughter] So the audience really asked you for that.

Josh: Exactly. Yeah, I mean, it is always smart in some way or another to find out what your audience wants to buy and then sell it to them as opposed to, “Well, I hope this is what they want to buy.”

Jason Hartman: Fantastic. So, Josh, what else should the listeners know about speaking to the youth audience?

Josh: Yeah, well, you know, those are few things. Like I said in the mentorship program that I had with the Youth Speaker University, it's interesting because we held these seminars and students come and they pay good money to come and it is interesting to see a year later where those aspiring speakers are, you know, they all have been given the same information, the same tools, game plan, blueprint et cetera. But what differentiates those that a year later is succeeding and booking high paid gigs to those that aren't and I sort of narrow this down to a few things that I noticed. And one of them is that – and this seems obvious is that they are not good speakers. They don't focus enough on the craft of speaking. Now, there are lots of marketing tricks and smart marketing techniques that I can teach someone, that your podcast can teach someone, but frankly if once they buy it, it is not a good product, it is not going to work, you know, I think we have all at some point bought some product, you know, seen on television or something that seemed like the world's greatest thing and then once you get it maybe it sort of disappointed you. So, I don't say that to be discouraging. I say that to say that you must realize that as a speaker your speech is a product, you are the product, you know, you can buy great marketing, but you have to earn a great speech, so don't ever underestimate that. The best way to get hired is word of mouth and the only thing that creates word of mouth is once you get there, you just hit a home run. Probably the second thing that I see is that, I think aspiring speakers give up too soon, you know, they think that unfortunately that this is going to happen really quick or that this should happen overnight and if I get 99 “Nos” that means I am not good out for this or that this isn't what I should be doing, which to me I just think it is absurd because as a speaker as we stand up on stage and we say things like, “Don't give up, don't quit”, these sorts of things, but then we give up and we quit and that's something that I see a lot of the aspiring speakers do is that they give up too soon, you know, this is really a game of perseverance. When I first started, I was not that good of the speaker, I wasn't quite sure what I was doing, but year after year you will learn more, you get better, you know your message, you know your niche and then ultimately you are going to succeed in a fantastic way if you stick to it and you have the right intentions.

Jason Hartman: Couldn't agree more and I think takes the place of persistence. [laughter] No question about that.

Josh: Yeah, absolutely.

Jason Hartman: Yeah, fantastic.

Josh: And then the third thing which sort of couples with the first is that, I see a lot of aspiring speakers that are horrible in marketing. They are horrible in marketing. I mean, the truth is that you can have the world's greatest message and if no one knows about that message, it is helpful to no one. I mean, you can have the world's finest message, the world's most motivating message that is going to motivate no one because no one is buying it, no one is asking you to stand on the stage and give it. I read this quote by Clement Stone. He says, “It is no longer true that you build the best mouse trap and a path will be beaten to your door.” Today the best idea services and products must be sold, you know, and I feel like that applies to us as speakers for sure, I mean, even if you are a great speaker and you have a phenomenal message and the right mindset, if nobody knows about you, you lose.

Jason Hartman: Of course, of course, absolutely. Very good advice. Well, Josh, one more question for you on the sort of logistical and technical details of your business…

Josh: Yes.

Jason Hartman: Which, by the way, you have done a fantastic job, congratulations. Do you have employees, do you have an office, are you a home-based sort of solo-preneur, I mean, that is the great thing about this business wherein you really don't need a big staff and a big plant although some speakers go that route and I find that they are all very different, what is your business model there?

Josh: Yes, so for sure, I mean, I will tell you how it works for me, I am not saying this is what everyone should do like you said, you know, each one, each person can sort of do their own thing, but I think there are best practices. So, for me I don't necessarily have employees, but I do have a large team that I work with and everyone that I work with has a percentage of my business, so meaning handling my speaking business, for example, I am exclusive with a speakers agency. So I give them a percentage of every single speaking gig that they book for me, but because of that literally all I have to do is get on an airplane, show up, give the speech, go home. That's it. I don't handle contracts, I don't have to talk on the phone, I don't have to sell myself, I don't have to invoice, I don't have to follow up, I don't have to book travel, any of that. What am I good at? I am good at getting up on a stage and giving that one hour speech. Am I good at returning e-mails and doing invoices? Not so much. That's not my thing. So, for me I would always have rather partnered with an expert, someone who is phenomenal at it and give them a percentage of my business rather hire someone, pay him, you know, 60 Grand a year or 100 Grand a year whatever and try to train them to be one of the best when frankly someone that's been doing it for a long time, it is going to be the best at it anyway. It is the same reason why people should hire professional speakers, not someone who just sort of likes to talk.

Jason Hartman: Very good point.

Josh: And then, you know, I have other things going on. Television thing, I am represented by United Tel agency. They take a percentage and does handle everything involved there. On the product creation side I have someone that I partner with and they take a percentage and handle details and product creation and media creation and such. And so I just look at a different things that I want to get involved in and then I partner with someone who I think is really good at it and give him a percentage. But I should say, none of the other things I'm involved in television, books, now training other speakers, any of that, none of that would be possible without this speaking business, without having first said, “I am going to build the speaking business and out of that grew credibility to get a book deal, out of that credibility grew the ability to go out and sell a television show, all of these things. So, speaking is an awesome business and gives you an amazing platform you can do on literally unlimited number of things with.

Jason Hartman: That is fantastic. Well, Josh Shipp, thank you so much for joining us today. And thank you for your candor and your openness and just really sharing with the listeners. That was really great. Some of my interviews are somewhat guarded about their secrets and so forth, but you were not, you were just very open about it and that would be forever appreciated by anybody listening and of course by me as well. So, thank you very much for joining us today. Any just quick tips or advice in closing?

Josh: I would say this. I would say that particularly I want to talk to anyone that is listening that is an aspiring speaker. This industry as a speaker is all about inspiring others, but if you are going to do this, the first person you must inspire is yourself. You are probably listening to this podcast because you have been thinking about speaking for a long time. I would encourage you to stop thinking about it and take that first step. I am not saying that you have to quit your job tomorrow. I am saying, what is that first step that you can take so three months later you are three steps down the road and then eventually it is going to be too late to turn back in a good way. So, you can do this, but only if you will.

Jason Hartman: Excellent. Well, Josh, give us your website and tell people where they can learn more.

Josh: Sure. So, website is joshshipp.com. And then also for anyone interested in entering the youth market, you can just Google Youth Speaker University and you will find some great free info that we didn't have time to cover up today about how to get started in that industry.

Jason Hartman: Excellent. Josh Shipp, thank you so much for joining us today and keep up the good work out there. You are a true inspiration to the industry.

Josh: My pleasure, sir. Thanks a lot.

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The Speaking of Wealth Team


Transcribed by: Renee’ Naphier