I love public speaking and am pretty good at it. While my other friends got scared at the thought of speaking in front of a group, I loved to lead and got involved in High School activities that gave me the chance to hone my leadership and public speaking skills. In college, I graduated with a degree in Communication, where my favorite classes were always when I had to give a presentations. After graduating, I was drawn to the field of College Student Affairs (jobs in Student Life, Residence Life, Student Centers, etc.) and got my Masters in Educational Leadership and 14 years later, still working in Higher Education. My passion for public speaking has always manifested itself in many ways: teaching non-credit bearing courses, conducting leadership trainings for college students and staff, and even keynoting at Professional Association and collegiate type conferences.
A funny thing happened along the way… people started paying me to conduct these trainings. It started out innocently enough: $50 here, $100 there… then I was offered even more money and more opportunities to speak, mostly at colleges and universities, since I was already working in that field, it was an easy transition for me… I knew what students responded to and was paid well to do so.
So, almost three years ago, I decided to form a business called LTE Consulting (“LTE” stood for “Leadership”, “Technology”, and “Etcera” (sort of a catch all) 🙂 ) Life was great! I was taking speaking/training gigs when they were offered and working on referrals and reputation. It has kept me busy enough (not that I would want to leave my day job) and enabled me to meet some amazing students and staff along the way. In January of 2008, I was approached by my friend and colleague, Hank Parkinson, and we have decided to partner up and work together on growing the company. He is an amazing speaker, trainer, and educator who has a Ed.D. in Leadership and brings a lot to our team. Currently, we have about 20 30 clients who use us regularly.
This week was big for our little company, as we have taken on two Marketing Specialists (update: down to just 1), Ashley and Sarah, both graduates from Bryant University in Rhode Island. Our hope is that Ashley and Sarah will help take our company to the next level and bring in more colleges who will use our services. After reading books like “The Whuffie Factor” by Tara Hunt and “The 4 Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferris, we know we can do more and are eager to push the company onward and upward. We’ve also created a Facebook Fan Page and a Twitter Page for to build more connections and we are in the process of re-tooling our website as well (it needs it!). All in all, we’re looking to make a quantum leap as Fall 2009 2011 approaches.
Who knows where this little company will go? Maybe it shouldn’t be “On the Side” anymore? Do you have any thoughts or advice to share?