Slideshow

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Barry Maher - American Speaker, Author on Leadership, Communication, Management & Sales

Q1. How did your career journey start? Or Who/What inspired you to start this business/ entrepreneurship?

I started out to be a novelist. But my novels quickly hit worst-seller status. One even made the UPI’s Ten Most Underrated List for that year, along with a Meryl Streep movie about a dingo that ate a baby.

I was supporting myself with a business career while waiting to achieve best seller status (along of course with wealth, fame and beautiful lovers). Then, about 20 years ago, my agent suggested I write a business book. Which I did. I quickly found myself in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and literally hundreds of other publications. One day the phone rang and the voice on the other end asked me if I’d speak at their convention. For a one hour keynote, she offered a fee that was over a third of the advance I’d gotten on the book. Did it. Loved it.

Q2. Kindly share some information about your Business, products and services here.

I’m a speaker and a trainer with an expertise in communication, leadership, management and sales. I do everything from keynote presentations to workshops and seminars to extensive trainings. Each session is thoroughly and completely tailored and customized for the individual group, and is as content-rich yet as entertaining and motivational as I can possibly make it.

Q3. What kind of challenges did you face while starting/doing business?

Operating on shoestring (and a broken one at that), I originally had to do everything myself. The thrift that made it possible for me to survive and then thrive in the beginning, quickly became a hindrance when I delayed hiring people who could do any number of specific tasks easier, cheaper and far better than I could.

Q4. Do share with our readers about your discovery period when you were facing difficulties in your business?

Quite simply I was getting overwhelmed. I knew that I couldn’t afford to lower the quality of my presentations or my business would quickly stop growing or even start to retreat. So I was working 7 days a week as many as 16 hours a day. And, as a speaker, I was doing all that traveling as well. Though I’ve always loved what I do, it certainly became much harder to enjoy it during this period. I knew I had to get help but I also knew that I didn’t really have time to train them and still get everything done that needed to be done.

Fortunately, I took the time to find just the right person and my first hire turned out to be one of my very best ever. I won’t say he trained himself but he was so self-directed and so smart, that he came about as close as anyone could to training himself.

Q5. Share with our readers about your experiment period after the discovery period?

As a speaker, I’ve had to work out just what topics my market needed. Then each topic has to be developed then honed over the years to deliver just what our client needs. We never stop perfecting them. Since each session is so thoroughly customized for the particular group, we’re constantly adding new material that may ultimately work for other clients down the line as well.

Beyond that, we’re constantly working to improve our systems as well. So in a sense, my experiment period has never ended and hopefully it never will

Q6. What are your future plans? Or now what is your vision for next five years?

The company has been very successful but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to continue to improve. Adding more client and making sure that each and every presentation delivers exactly what the client needs, and more.

Q7. How would you advice/suggest new entrepreneurs who want to start & sustain in business?

Having been involved in a number of start-ups as everything from a founder to a consultant, there here are some of the biggest mistakes I've made and seen, and what I learned from them.

1) Overpaying for office space or luxurious appointments that have absolutely no impact on customers. I've watched companies whose customers never see their offices waste hundreds of thousands of precious capital remodeling old warehouses and buying the latest and coolest office furniture, when they should have been developing their business in a garage someplace.

2) Eating your seed corn. This year's profit isn't all profit, much of it should be plowed back into the business. And make sure you have a cash reserve for when times get tough again, which they will sooner or later.

3) Overpay for "expert" leadership. When you decide to bring in help to run the business don't be overly impressed by big name experience and huge salaries listed on their resume. First check them out every way you can to make sure the person is everything they claim to be (and, if so, why did their last employer let such a wonder escape). And even if they are, will that expertise translate to your business: a successful executive at Boeing at may crash and burn disastrously working in a start-up without the kind of resource that were used to previously.

Q8. LinkedIn profile URL link: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=8256170

Q9. Facebook profile URL link https://www.facebook.com/barry.maher.98

Q10 Twitter profile URL link https://twitter.com/barrymaher

Q11. Personal blog URL link http://www.barrymaher.com

Q12. Company website & Company blog URL link http://www.barrymaher.com

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