I'll be here on the fourth Thursday of every month to chat with you about the ins and outs of developing a speaking platform. Please feel free to ask questions along the way.
First, please allow me give you a little background on how I got started as a speaker. God built my platform out of the ashes of my pain. When I was a young mom battling a vicious disease (and the financial hardships that followed), I wondered if God had lost my address. My prayers seemed to bounce off the ceiling and God seemed especially silent. Then one day a woman from my church called and said the most amazing thing to me:
"Susie, I've heard about all of the hardships you and your family are going through and I took those concerns to God in prayer. The Lord showed me a picture of a platform that He's building with your pain. Lean in and learn during everything you can during this time, then you'll have something to say when you get to the other side of painful journey."
That's all I needed to hear. God was up to something. In spite of the fear, fatigue, and despair that swirled around me, I leaned in. I listened. I took lots of notes. And I trusted God.
One day, out of the blue, I received a call from the leader of a MOPS group. Somehow she had heard about me and wanted me to share my story with her women. I was a weak, scared, and wounded little bird, but God used me in my weakness. And thus began - from very small beginnings - my speaking ministry.
For me, every new stage of growth in this ministry has always been preceded by a deep (and somewhat painful) character cleansing time. I now know to lean in and learn during those refining times so that I can stand strong in the next place He has for me.
That blessed phone call came about 17 years ago and in His wisdom, God has established my platform in pace with the ages of my kids and with the state of my health. Now that my kids are grown and I have the time, I'm running to keep up with it all. I'm represented by a wonderful national agency (Ambassador Speaker's Bureau) and my platform is steadily growing. I say no to more events than I say yes to, but I have to in order to keep up with my writing and the occasional radio work that I do. It took a while, but now I've got some great momentum and to tell you the truth, I'm hanging on to the Vine for dear life!
I tell you all of this to encourage you. If you have a heart to speak...lean in - right where you are - and learn everything you can from your current season of life. Take lots of notes. Notice how God is working all around you. Be a student of God's Word and a helper of the human condition. Be faithful right where you stand. Be fruitful with what you have. And believe Him for open doors and new opportunities.
God wants to use you more than you want to be used by Him!
Next month my blog topic will be: Hone Your Craft and Humble Yourself.
Be blessed, my friend.