Kozzi-vector_image_of_a_business_woman_climbing_ladder_by_dollar_sign-370x350-300x282That is the question isn’t it? At what point if ever, do we start charging for a talent or service we frequently give to others?

Women often uniquely struggle with the idea of putting a dollar value on their skills. Shouldn’t I be generous and giving? Why not lend to all and just trust God or the goodwill of others to compensate me appropriately?

I still recall the season when I started asking for funding for speaking events outside of my day job. It felt awkward, and even selfish, but after gathering wise counsel and input from other speakers I trusted, the time had come so I began.

In the early years my pricing was typically lower than market rates for comparable services, since getting the experience was not only essential, but valuable beyond the pay.

As years went on I continued to evaluate comparable speakers, and always (as I still do) took into account the organization itself. Were they a large corporation with significant budget, or a smaller church or non-profit with less ability to pay?

One event at a time, my experience and pricing grew, so did abilities and confidence. While something inside my heart still wishes I could speak everywhere for free, and many times I do, this IS my vocation worth a fair price comparable to value exchange.

So how can you know if it is your turn to get paid, and if so, how do you pull together all the specifics?

First, do your research online for comparable services and pricing. You’ll be amazed how much information is out there when you do a little digging.

Then talk to others who charge for, and those who hire for similar services, to get a sense of what the market is commanding.

Finally, put a stake in the ground and just GO! Act confident before you feel confident, and don’t apologize for charging for your talent, time, and services.

You may still feel a bit reluctant or awkward, but you’ll also feel GREAT knowing you delivered value and received value, all the way to the bank.

 

 

 

 


In this article I’m focusing on tools for anyone who wants to be an author.  Many ask me how to get started so here a few simple ways to begin. I personally believe everyone has a story to tell, minimally your own life story.  You have a story and someone out there needs your story.

Tool #1   Who’s Your Reader?

Who are you writing to?  Imagine that person sitting down, reading your words.  How are they moved?  What takes place in their heart as they hear your stories?  Do you want them to DO something in response, i.e. change their mind, try something different, look at the world with new perspectives?

Answering these questions helps you aim your words and take the focus off of you, putting it on your reader.  Writing for the reader is a crucial exercise, and it IS an exercise, something you practice and over time, get better at doing.

The publisher told me when I wrote my first book, “Climbing the Ladder in Stilettos,” to “write the book you wish someone had given you while starting your career.”  It helped me picture my target woman and what her needs might be.  I imagined the two of us sitting on my front porch, sharing a glass of iced tea, talking about life, struggles, career challenges.  What would I tell her?  Those were the words I wrote.

It’s a real joy when a reader writes to me now, saying, “I felt like you were telling MY story,” since that’s exactly what I was aiming to do!

Being an author is less about the author and more about the reader, moving them, compelling their ideas and heart toward a desired end.

Once you know your target reader, study that demographic.  What else are they reading? What are their pain points, struggles, needs, desires, preferences?  What other books are reaching them and how can yours fill a void or target a niche?

As you get to know your reader while writing, later when it’s time to market your book to that same audience, you’ll be better prepared to aim there with confidence.

 TOOL #2    WRITE AND DON’T STOP 

Ever heard of “writer’s block?”  It’s that paralysis-inducing-voice that shouts, “Be quiet, you have nothing to say.”

I’ve battled this voice countless times writing my first book (and many times since, including writing my blogs) But now I know the voice well enough to ignore it and write anyway.

My good friend, Alice Rhee, an Emmy Award-winning producer for NBC news in New York, offered some excellent advice.  She shared about a class she had in the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, where students write without lifting their pen off the paper for 30 straight minutes. It’s an exercise in writing their stream of consciousness, without editing themselves.

I gave this technique a try and boy was it liberating!  Beyond the thrill of the drill, what a treat to read how good some of my unedited stuff really was.  I practice this exercise (via laptop) regularly now, and it always seems to unlock the flow.

Speaking of flow, the more you write, the more you’ll have to write.  It’s like opening up new tributaries in a river.  Writing literally PULLS from what’s inside.  Conversely, keeping it all locked up somewhere in your mind or on a few random journals, won’t get you going.

A boat in motion is easier to steer, so get in motion.  Every author knows that what you start out writing is seldom what you end up publishing anyway, so get in the flow and let the rush of the river take you where you’re meant to go, NOW, not “Someday when I start writing.”

All of us deal with self-doubt, especially when embarking on something as personal as writing.  When you’re pulling from inner experiences, viewpoints, and stories in order to share them with the world, you’ll be forced to overcome self-doubt, time and again.

But consider this….if you never offer it, or in this case write it, how can your reader be helped, make a change, laugh, feel hope, or follow your lead in sharing their own gift with the world?

One day on my front porch trying desperately to meet a deadline with my editor, I was exasperated, feeling zero flow.  I started praying…”I feel so inadequate. It’s all been said before. I’m no former CEO or big-name executive. Who really wants to hear what I have to say?”

Then, in that familiar Voice I’ve grown to love and cherish, I heard….”Lynette, when a new voice sings an old familiar song, people will pay money to hear it.  I’ve called you to be a voice…SING!”

Wow!  Sing, share my song, belt it out, get on the stage and let ‘er rip. What a novel concept!  It freed me from the need to be uniquely different, extra-skilled, or supremely qualified.  Just one more voice in a choir of many, but responsible to SING.

You have a song too, and someone needs your story.  So write and don’t stop. Your Conductor, among others, is waiting.

TOOL #3    PUBLISH CREATIVELY

Publishing as an industry has changed so dramatically in the last few years, which is good news for writers.

My number one suggestion for emerging writers is to publish your work online first.  It’s a great way to test your voice, learn to know your audience, find those who resonate with your writings, and perhaps attract a publisher in the process.

Blogs are a great way to actually write a book online. Many bloggers have turned their popular blog content into books, or have attracted a publishing deal for new material.

Decorating mom/daughter duo Suzanne and Lauren McGrath’s book, Good Bones Great Pieces (and their blog of the same name) are an example.  Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond turned her popular blog into several book deals and a Food Network TV show. Heather Clawson’s recent book, “Creativity at Work,” is another example, I’ve followed her blog Habitually Chic for several years.

A website called Publetariat — People Who Publish, has a good article on how to publish to eReaders.

You might consider offering your book entirely for free.  Best-selling author, Seth Godin, in the  documentary PressPausePlay, describes making more money releasing his book for free.

Something known as “hybrid publishing” offers a mix of traditional publishing where their sales team markets your books into stores, and self-publishing when you put the money up front and own more of the process.

My point here is you don’t need a traditional publishing deal or formal stamp of approval to validate your book’s worthiness or viability.  In fact, under-the-radar methods can be a whole lot more fun and rewarding, without the pressure of finding a publisher (which usually requires a literary agent), then pleasing the publisher.

Plus, every author knows that publishers publish books and leave most of the marketing (if not all of it) up to the author who must do all they can to sell the books through their own established platforms.  My next tool is about building a platform, but in short, the above-mentioned ideas are proving effective for many new writers.

Be an innovator when it comes to getting your book published.  Do your research, read about those who have successfully done it via new methods.  Copy and steal every marketing idea you can find (credit anyone who deserves it) and put your story out there.  The timeline has shortened and opportunities are opening up for a broader demographic of authors, more than ever before.

Go for it!

 TOOL #4    BUILD YOUR PLATFORM

Many authors share a similar experience the first time out of the writing gate.  You’re so excited about your book, the one you’ve poured blood, sweat, tears, and hope into, then you find out…the publisher expects YOU to sell it.

Granted, their sales team is selling too, but typically only for one sales cycle, maybe two if it’s released later in paperback.

Most days it’s you, the author, doing the marketing, selling, and promotion of your book.  Which is why you need a platform, and why most literary agents and publishers will not invest in a first-time author if they don’t already have one.

What is a platform?  It’s your position of influence, your reach.  Your platform represents audiences you can get in front of and market to, potential buyers.  Your platform positions you to influence others, and in this case influence them to purchase your book.

Everyone has a platform and can grow it.  I use platform shoes to illustrate this when I speak at various Saks Fifth Avenue stores.  I’ll take a shoe with a small platform, one with a medium, and then a really high one, explaining how to build a platform, one incremental stage at a time.

These few suggestions may be useful…

Speaking is perhaps the best way to grow a platform.  You may speak once, but lots of ears hear you and subsequently you’ve added new friends and followers.

Reaching out to associations and established networks can prove fruitful, since local chapters in various regions can recommend you and your book to others.  The Network of Executive Women has been a great example of this for me, and attendees represent a vast array of companies who in turn become potential clients.

Proactively follow experts on social media platforms and invite them to be part of your online efforts. This can link your platform to theirs and vice versa.

Don’t be shy about experimenting, try a video blog, give away one chapter of your book for free, interview someone with a large platform via a webinar, hold your own conference or a seminar at your church or civic organization. Be bold and try a variety of strategies.

Women can sometimes feel reluctant about self-promotion efforts.  We don’t want to be seen as arrogant, too forward, or aggressive.  Still, if our voice is to be heard via writing, we have to let it be heard.

One way I’ve overcome “promotion reluctance” is to view it as stewardship vs. promotion.  If I don’t steward the message I’ve written, who will?  Holding back is cheating others out of the gift I’m entrusted to give.  This viewpoint helps me feel responsible and compelled, vs. reluctant and apologetic.

Michael Hyatt, who was Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers when they published my first book, is one of my favorite experts to follow on all things platform-related.  His book,“Platform — Get Noticed in a Noisy World” is truly a must-read.

Put your name out there, enlist the help of influencers, and watch your platform grow!

These tools can help jump-start your writing and get you in motion, which is really the largest hurdle to overcome. You’ll never have the time, energy, gumption, or confidence to overcome every resistance, so just get in motion and DO IT.  I for one, am cheering you on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I’m frequently asked for tips on how to delve into the world of public speaking.  Here are a few ideas for those interested…

First and foremost, know yourself, know your voice, know your audience. Answering the following questions should help:

  • Knowing your unique message is key.  What do you talk about?  What is your unique expertise?
  • Who else is speaking on this? Look at their stuff and see how you fit and what makes you different among the current voices.
  • Who needs your voice?  Knowing your target audience is vital in order to go after them. Be specific here i.e. target not just “teenagers” but “teens looking for work.”

Getting Invited — The key to growing a speaking career is receiving more and more invitations.  Sounds obvious right? But how do you go about doing this? Word of mouth advocacy is always supreme. Are there any key contacts of influence that can recommend you to others? Associations are great springboards too, because speaking for one locale opens up doors for other regions.  What associations align best with your topics and expertise?

Meeting and Event Planners Associations can lead you to professionals in your area who book speakers. Do some research online and find out who plans meetings in places where you have relationships and can make a call or two to connect with those looking for speakers.

Your Website — You’ll need a simple website with clips of yourself speaking.  This is vital, or at least a landing page where interested people can go and watch you in action, even a page that links to YouTube videos can work.  You don’t need this right off the bat, but sooner rather than later it will bring legitimacy to who you are as a speaker.  A few lines of endorsement from influencers on this same page are also ideal.  Include a few (less is more) titles of messages with brief descriptions on each.  Mention what the takeaways are, what the audience will learn and how they’ll benefit by listening to you. No time to be bashful or humble here, tell it like it is and convince someone whose inquiring that you are indeed the speaker for them.

Pricing — You don’t need to have a pricing list published, especially early-on since just booking the events is key. I typically ask an organization, “What is your speaker’s budget for this event?” that way I can decide if I want to share my typical charge or work with them on a range that fits their needs.  Over time you can hold stronger to your pricing, but again, in the beginning you want any and all experience you can get, paid or unpaid.

The best education in all of this comes from trial and error, while also looking all over the web to see who is already successful in the niche you want. Look at other speaker’s websites, their materials, how much they charge and how they articulate their requirements. Review the list of their clients or places they’ve spoken.  I’m constantly learning myself, adding tools and techniques to grow in this area.

Some of my most valuable mentoring has come from spontaneous conversations in the moment, or watching TED Talks, or hearing about a speaker who just spoke somewhere, then finding out more about who they are and how they got that invitation.  Keep in mind that while a conversation with an expert helps, it’s really self-directed learning and inquiry online that makes for the best education about how to venture into the arenas of speaking (literally)!

Lastly, nothing trumps for speaking content more than experience, along with real-life stories you can share with your audience.  Learn your own stories well, telling them in a way that focuses on others.  The sky’s the limit on ways to do this (blogging, writing, practicing in front of the mirror) and those who are best, work continuously on becoming more excellent.  Sometimes you hit it and other times you don’t, but regardless, getting this dream in motion is a great place to start.  At the same time be patient, because speaking as a paid career happens over time.

Someone in this world needs your voice.  So muster up your confidence and start speaking!


For a corporate consultant New York is perhaps one of the most marketable places in the world. Wherever you turn, you will find businesses of all sizes that are in need of help. Whether the issue is how to improve corporate morale, how one can effectively market their business, or how one can strengthen the image of the company through positive public relations, there are a number of opportunities for those willing to lend their expertise. A corporate management consultant New York specialist, for instance, may be able to help companies in Manhattan, Long Island and other parts of the city to better serve the corporate culture and create a positive environment no matter what changes come along. Corporate culture is a very important part of retention and getting the most out of your employees. How individuals react to change within the business environment will ultimately determine how successful those changes will be.

According to the experienced corporate consultant New York is a breeding ground for change because it is a melting pot of Americans from all walks of life, who must learn to work together in spite of differences in race, creed, and background. For the corporate management consultant New York businesses present a number of challenges that must be worked through in order to achieve success. When employees are fed constant change with no direction, it is easy for negative morale to develop, yet not enough businesses pay heed to these changes. Most decisions come from the top down and it can really create an “us versus them” mentality that is unnecessary and completely avoidable. A consultant helps businesses to make their employees feel like part of the solution rather than a simple cog in the machine.

For the corporate strategy consultant New York businesses must know how to communicate and enact change. They must make it a process in which employees are included and not a one-time event that leaves more questions than answers. If you are a business in need of help or a consultant wondering where to start, strengthening the corporate culture is always a good place.


For so long the business world was dominated by men, while women missed out on educational and employment opportunities. But as the 20th Century progressed, women took more of a hold on the job market. Their earnings started going up, and businesses everywhere discovered that their female employees were every bit as capable as their male counterparts in a variety of roles from the top to the bottom. While there has yet to be a woman President, there have been great strides forward, and it is only a matter of time before America gives its fairer sex an opportunity at the highest post in the land. With all that women have accomplished in the last 100 years, it only stands to reason that your business consider a woman motivational speaker to address your employees, giving hope to female associates within your company while also blurring the barrier that divides the different genders within the workplace. A woman motivational speaker can bring a unique perspective to those she addresses, and can appeal to everyone at your company regardless of gender.

With a woman speaker your employees can relate to the potential obstacles that they face based simply on who they are as people. Women had to overcome a lot of stereotypes and misconceptions in order to get to where they are within the workplace. Lynette Lewis, a popular woman speaker, routinely speaks with workers on this very topic. As a PR professional, marketing expert and former senior leader of marketing for the National Women’s Initiative at Deloitte & Touche, Lewis possesses extensive knowledge in what it takes to get ahead regardless of gender. The two things that she encourages men and women to have are vision and purpose. Tapping in to these two interrelated items can help an employee or an individual set goals for themselves and achieve, both at work and at home.

Women’s leadership speakers with the background and the experience to reach out to your employees and provide them with a message of hope can greatly improve morale and quality of life for all.


Motivation can take on many forms in the life of the individual employee and the business as a whole. Some people may be strictly motivated by the threat of losing their jobs. Others may find promotion and climbing the ladder of opportunity to be all they need in the corporate world. And businesses as a whole look to quarterly and annual goals as a form of motivation for growth and expansion. Motivation is one of the most powerful intangibles in the world, and though you cannot see it, it is definitely there, making peoples’ lives happen and the world go round one workday at a time. A motivational keynote speaker can do much good for your business by helping your employees to find their places within the company as a whole. Instead of being made to feel like a statistic, a motivational keynote speaker can use illustrations and proven psychological principles in helping employees to find their worth and embrace it.

The workplace motivation speaker can not only help your employees in how they deal with change, but they can help business leaders, too. More often than not, when changes are made at a company, it upsets the balance as a whole because employees are not provided with the transitional support they need to see the changes as anything but adversarial. Typically, the only communication established between the top and the bottom is a company wide meeting or a blanket email sent out to the entire office. This method of change enactment leaves more questions than answers in the lives of your employees, and when that happens, the rumor mill starts to churn. A workplace motivation speaker can give you the tools to handle communication between leadership and employees, and it can provide valuable principles to enrich the lives of both long after she is through speaking.

For the quality motivational speaker New York businesses provide a number of opportunities. If you are a business in need of a pick me up, consider how one of these professionals can help communication between you and the people that make your company successful day in and out.


Inspirational speakers can be an enormous boost to your church or business, but before you go off hiring just anyone to do the job, there are some qualities that you should look for in the person you choose to open up your forum to. For starters, an inspirational keynote speaker should have something unique and tangible to say that employees or church members can grab on to and process in their own lives. In order for this to be the case, you should choose someone whose experiences are similar to the audience’s. You wouldn’t ask someone who’s never demonstrated any ambition or success in their own life to inspire your employees, just like you probably wouldn’t want someone opposed to your faith to stand before your church congregation for 45 minutes of uninterrupted God-bashing.

Inspirational speakers, such as Lynette Lewis (author of the inspirational book for women “Climbing the Ladder in Stilettos”), recommend that you vet the people that you have speak to your group by visiting their websites and reading over press clippings. Do not stay entirely on their page, but see what you can find on the search engines from third party people or organizations. If this should leave you with any questions and concerns, then do not hesitate to address them with the inspirational keynote speaker before reaching a final decision. You may also wish to contact the organizers of past speaking engagements to see what their experience was like working with the individual.

The communications that you share with your employees or your church congregation should be committed to positive energy and designed to lift up the audience. The signals that you send to your organization are important because they demonstrate your own vision and commitment to leadership. Before you decide on your next inspirational speaker, make sure that there is something inspiring your people can take from the engagement. Because, to paraphrase the Biblical concept, once words leave the tongue, they cannot be retracted.


A Christian speaker is someone, who can help prepare you for the challenges of life, no matter where those may exist. Perhaps you are falling behind at work, or there has been talk of cuts and you are afraid that for whatever reason, you may be next on the chopping block. This situation is a very relatable one in today’s economy, but it can still feel as if you are the only person in the world experiencing it. When you lose your job, it can make you feel like you have failed yourself and the people that you love in some way, even though you may be a simple victim of economics. Likewise, when one makes personal mistakes, it is easy to feel as if you are on a prison island serving a life sentence. Fortunately, there is a God, who helps you weather the tough times and forgives you for your mistakes. A Christian speaker can help you to see this through personal life experience and a knowledge of Scripture and how it is still relevant in today’s world.

The Christian woman speaker Lynette Lewis, a graduate from Oral Roberts University, encourages men and women both to seek God’s help in finding the vision and the purpose for their lives. With vision, you can see what God’s plans for you on the road ahead. Purpose is the fuel that drives you toward that vision and allows you to walk the pathway that God has prepared for you to travel in life. Lewis has made a career as a  Christian woman speaker  showing businesses, employees and individuals, a God-focused path for their goals and ambitions. In her motivational book for women, Lewis details 19 inspirational stories of women, who have reached their goals while also staying rooted in their particular faith. Faith is important in being able to meet the goals that you have for yourself—whether that faith is in yourself or your God. For Lewis and others, it is just a lot easier and more certain when you let Him be your pilot.