Speaking and Coaching as a Source of Ikigai

Trav Bell reveals the pivotal role public speaking plays in his life, identifying it as one of his significant sources of ikigai. This journey has not only shaped his path but also paved the way for an incredible opportunity to be among the speakers at TED Talk Australia.

Influencing a wide range of people

Nick: I actually found you via search on Google. I was looking for Melbourne TEDx talks, because I thought, for me, personally, public speaking was the next step in my entrepreneurial journey, and I've done the book. And I was ready to step up.

And, yeah, I saw your TED talk. I thought, this guy is interesting, he's got a mohawk, and he's talking about having a bucket list. And then I searched you online, and discovered you have your own bucket list certification program. You’ve also written a book, you're a professional speaker.

And I thought, after watching that TED Talk and looking you up, this is the guy for me, this is the guy I need to reach out to and say, ‘Hey, I think you can help me.’ So that's what I did. And you've been helping me overcome some limitations and mindsets that I needed working on.

It's been a great process, and I've made some lots of progress. And I really do look forward to our weekly calls. And I've learned so much from you. So it's been a real joy to kind of work with someone who is inspiring and also kind of related to the version of your future self.

So I find coaching, both, you know, receiving it and offering it to others, very life affirming, it can be very life changing. We'll get back into the bucket list formula soon. But I think speaking and coaching are sources of ikigai for you. They give you a sense of purpose. They've obviously helped you grow. You've said to me, you feel you're in your element.

Trav: That's why I did it man. There are a number of different ways that an expert, a thought leader, a specialist in a certain area can get their message out there in the world. There are six kind of ways. There's speaking, authoring, mentoring, coaching, training, and also facilitation. But in my experience, there are six different income streams. And a lot of people say, like you and me, I just want to write the book. Cool.

That's a big bucket list tip for a lot of people: is it going to help you retire your old job and go into full time. Are you going to be Stephen King? That’s going to take a few books to get up to that level.

The three that really come together are the speaking, coaching, and authoring. Now you'll have a preference for one of those. For me, coming out of the blocks, I've been around a lot of speakers. And since I've scratched that itch with that first, you know, public speaking gig and I've done some speaking during my health days, my PT days.

But speaking about something different was full on scary. I've seen some speakers, there's one speaker by the name of Alan Weiss, who's a Brash New York Jew. I saw him speak down here in Melbourne, he's one of the top keynote speakers in the world. He had no tech, no whiteboard action, no nothing.

He had us laughing and crying all in the same minute over and over again—amazing storyteller. And for me who grew up shy, except if I got some alcohol in me, I grew up not shy in sport or anything like that. But certainly in school and public speaking, I shit myself. So for me doing speaking was actually my biggest fear.

But I thought, I saw him, and I if I could do that, I could do anything. Because that was my number one fear, I know it is for a lot of other people. And for me, that was the first domino that gave me the push to bust through that initial inertia, conquer that fear. And obviously, the momentum and motivation that follows is a crazy ripple effect.

And that gave me all the confidence in the world to do more and more. To start off with some of the stuff that we've done together, start off with small gigs, and get those runs on the board. And that just leads you to more and more confidence, bigger and bigger crowds.

The peak of that was actually doing that TED talk. That was about three minutes doing this one, I was super nervous. And that was in front of 2000 people here in Melbourne, the biggest Ted stage, I believe in Australia. That was a big thing on my bucket list.

Why be a speaker? Sure, there's a little bit of ego, but mostly, you can collapse timeframes in terms of how many people you can help, because speaking is basically coaching one to many, in a short amount of time. And it's extremely leveraged business model as well.

You know I've spoken on six, seven continents around the world. And it's pretty cool to show up, the rooms full, you didn't have to fill it, you get your speaker fee. And as a result, you're there for an hour, you probably get paid what most people get paid in a month, and you leave.

And for me, I've heard this speaking, public speaking, keynote speaking is the hardest way to make easy money. So it's a 10-year build up kind of thing, you don't get that coming out of the blocks, but it's a great way to see the world, it's a great way to influence a wide range of people in a small amount of time. Rather than going one on one.

But you're only there for an hour, maybe two, maybe you're running your own retreats, or whatever. It's pretty arrogant to think that you can change people's lives after an hour's talk. That's pretty presumptuous, it's all ego. But that's where the coaching thing comes in.

It's like, there'll be a portion that our audience, that whatever you've disrupted them with, whatever your thought leadership is, it's really resonated with them, they go, Nick’s the guy for me, or Travis’ the guy for me, I want him as a coach, I want his attention, I'm willing to pay for it.

And hence why you've got to have coaching programs or group coaching programs, the book that comes in and seals the deal as well, that is an expensive business card. It is a bit of a promo tool. But it's a great add on to both programs. So those three go hand in glove.

Nick: So do I. I guess I'm going through this stage of growth, and I forgot to share this with you. But I was on LinkedIn the other day, and I saw another keynote of someone presenting ikigai, again the Venn diagram, but this time was to several 1000 people.

And I thought another person's misappropriating the concept and as aspiring as that Venn diagram is it's factually wrong. I just thought, wow, here is someone speaking on mental health, and they're presenting factually incorrect information. And so it is an ambition of mine, or a bucket list of mine to to have that first paid speaking gig with a large audience.