1064
8 min 55 sec

Librarian Turns In Card for Booking Speaking Gigs

A Canadian librarian uses her experience in conducting trainings to coach others in creating powerful presentations.
Coaching Power of Observation Transition Story

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What It's About

A librarian books gigs as a presentation skills coach.

Business Model
Coaching
Skills Required
Presentation & Marketing
Complexity
Low
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

Don't forget the importance of pricing when it comes to your service or product. Keep adjusting as needed to find what works best to attract your target audience.

Fun Fact

Up Front Communication is not the first side hustle Lauren has had. She is also a semi-professional belly dancer and has danced in restaurants around her city for years.

Notes from Chris

Episode 1064
For many years, Lauren Sergy worked as a Librarian at a Library Consortium in Canada. In her role, she coordinated conferences, organized slide decks for the CEO, and ran training programs. During these programs, she’d often be asked to give presentations to a variety of audiences. While training presentations can often put their listeners to sleep faster than reading the dictionary, Lauren’s presentations were different.

People would approach her after she spoke and ask her to present at their conferences. But they didn’t want to hear her speak about library databases, they wanted her to teach them how to present.

With a background in acting and radio announcing, it’s not surprising Lauren excelled at speaking to a crowd. And she was happy to share her knowledge and support others in improving their skills. However, the more requests she got, the more she realized that she could add to her financial bookshelf by offering her knowledge to others in exchange for a fee.

To start, she made a free posting on Kijiji—Canada’s version of Craigslist. She positioned herself as a speaking and presentation skills coach, and within two weeks she had received her first paid client. From there, the requests slowly started rolling in.

Gaining clients and being compensated for sharing her knowledge helped Lauren to boost her confidence. She began to wonder, “What if I could get paid for giving presentations on how to give presentations?” Based on the number of requests she’d received, she suspected there was a real demand—so she decided to give the idea a try.

She created a website under her name, Lauren Sergy, (her only real startup cost), and positioned herself as a professional speaker who specialized in presentations. From there, she started reaching out to all the Rotary Clubs in her city to build up her experience. She also told every single person she knew about her new business. Her hard work paid off, and her first speaking gigs came from word-of-mouth recommendations.

It’s not just her number of clients that has increased—the number in her bank account has also gone up. Within the first couple of years, she had earned $10,000 from coaching and paid speaking opportunities, and that number seemed poised to rise. However, she was still working as a librarian, as well as raising children at home, and was starting to feel burned out.

Looking back, Lauren is grateful that she saved her side hustle income so she could smoothly transition after her job loss occurred. Having a side hustle also supported her during two maternity leaves with little change to her family’s lifestyle, and has allowed her husband to become a stay-at-home dad.

She recommends that anyone starting a side hustle remain flexible. By leaving herself open to work with different types of clients, she’s been able to custom tailor her services based on their input. She’s also determined to keep things simple, and not worry too much about getting everything perfect.

Those qualities have allowed Lauren to now bring in a steady yearly income. Looking forward, her goal is to improve her systems to become more efficient.

 
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Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Resources

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Quote of the Day
"Don’t be afraid to test different prices or services. Put something out there and gather feedback and adjust as necessary. As you gain more experience you can increase your prices to reflect your expertise."
—Lauren Sergy #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau