My Failure

At the National Speakers Association Convention in Phoenix with Mimi Brown

I’ll Tell You about My Biggest Failure, But First Let Me Tell You My Story

I was asked to speak on a panel about “Failing Forward.”

I started listing all of my failures. Soon I had filled up 3 pages and then I had a revelation.

My Biggest Failure in Life Was Believing What Other People Said About Me

I’ve been told that

  • I’m not smart enough to start a business
  • I don’t deserve to be in a loving relationship
  • Nobody would want to read my book

 But the Biggest Lie Was that I Couldn’t Qualify for Corporate Sponsors

I’ve been told that I couldn’t get sponsors because

  • I didn’t have a big audience
  • I don’t have enough experience
  • My business was too small

Luckily, I didn’t believe the lie for very long. I had people who encouraged me and my first sponsors were Bank of America, Wal Mart and IBM. I haven’t stopped since.

Top 4 Revenue Sources from Events

Pop Art Version of Me in Chicago by My Friend Jared Silver of At a Glance Marketing

A Very Nice Lady Told Me that She Heard You Can’t Make Money from Events

This Made Me Feel Mad and Sad at the Same Time

Think of the popular events, Coachella, Comic-Con and South by Southwest. These events generate lots of revenue as well as benefits for their sponsors.

The Tragedy

There are other people who do great events. The attendees give them rave reviews and everyone walks away with an amazing experience.

But the person who put on the event lost money. This is a tragedy that never needs to happen. I’ve never lost money because my events have been sponsored.

Top 4 Revenue Sources from Events

Here are some ways that you can create life-changing and profitable events.

  1. Attendees

    This is the money or tuition that people pay to attend your event. If you do a free event, make sure you have a way of collecting the contact information and data of your attendees. This makes you more attractive to your sponsors.

  2. Exhibitors and Vendors

    Exhibitors and vendors are great for generating revenue because they sign up in advance and help you pay for your deposits and event expenses.

  3. Product Sales

    Product sales include merchandise as well as consulting and training packages. Some people do events to get new clients. These are also called back-end benefits.

  4. Sponsors

    Sponsorships and advertising are true win-win partnerships. They provide branding, exposure, marketing and goodwill for the sponsor and give you great resources and revenue.

Sponsor Vocabulary You Need to Know

While Speaking in Singapore, I took a Break to Visit the Supertree Grove at the Gardens by the Bay

To be successful with sponsors, you need to know how to talk their language

Using the right verbiage with sponsors lets them know you’re a professional and it helps you get the deals done.

Here are some sponsor terms and vocabulary that will help you talk to sponsors with aplomb.

Your property is the entity available for sponsorship. It’s also known as the sponsee or rightsholder. A property can an event, business, speaker, author, person, non-profit charity, sports team, show, magazine, blog, podcast or brand.

Cause Marketing
A sales or promotional partnership between a business and a non-profit for mutual benefit. Money spent on cause marketing is a business expense, not a donation, and is expected to show a return on investment and objectives. People like to buy from companies who give back and support great causes. By linking a cause to the sponsor’s brand, the sponsor gets a halo effect.


Information about the on the age, gender, income, education, life-cycle stage, occupation and family status of consumers. A demographic group is also referred to an an audience, community or target market. In sponsorship, demographics are destiny.

Speaking for Shy People

Speaking at the Sponsor Secrets Seminar in Los Angeles

Growing Up, I Was Painfully Shy


David Letterman, who just retired after 33 years, revealed that he took a speech class in high school. After he gave his first speech he said, “Wow. That was easy.”


In High School, I Would Have Never Taken a Speech Class

In fact, I would hide behind the big football player with enormous shoulders so the teacher wouldn’t see me. I never raised my hand and I was terrified of public speaking.


Then I Found Out How Fun Speaking Can Be
One of my best friends said to me, “Linda, you have gifts to share with the world. If you don’t speak, you can’t change people’s lives. It’s the ultimate form of selfishness.”

Now I love public speaking because I know that my message is helping lots of people. I’m even speaking at the upcoming National Speakers Association Conference to other professional speakers. It’s an amazing high.

Top 5 Reasons to Speak

A Standing Ovation Can Happen to You

1. To Grow Your Business 

Public speaking is one of the most powerful business-building tools that I know. It’s what I recommend to the new entrepreneurs that I mentor.


2. To Get Sponsors 

Sponsors are attracted to speakers because they have communication skills and fan bases. If you don’t have an audience yet, speaking is a great way to start building one.


3. To Achieve Celebrity and Expert Status 

Your customers want to do business with experts and the media want to give publicity to celebrities. As a public speaker, your perfect clients will seek you out.


4. To Have Great Adventures 

When I spoke in New York, they treated me like a rock star. I got access to phenomenal people, saw an amazing Broadway play called Kinky Boots, ate decadent New York Cheesecake and my hotel even had a view of the Chrysler Building.


5. To Change People’s Lives 

I get emails, texts and cards from people who have heard me speak. Some got an idea that skyrocketed their business, others got the courage (as I did) to leave a bad relationship, others got some great corporate sponsors. Empowering people to follow their dreams makes it all worthwhile for me.