By Breeda Miller, Breeda Miller Speaking, NSA Michigan President

As entrepreneurs, often solopreneurs, professional speakers are required to possess many skills. Apart from delivering a great speech, the ability to market and sell yourself is critical to your success. With that comes the need to manage an office, write proposals, develop an online presence, build a website, manage finances, and many other tasks that make my head nearly explode trying to identify them all. Whew.

Plus, we have a non-business life filled with family, friends, pets, home maintenance, spirituality, hobbies, and the occasional adult beverage. It’s a lot to try to balance and it’s so easy to compare your life with other successful speakers. I have realized how important it is to consider that the demo reel is a snippet of our best – a few clips that show our skills and abilities in front of an appreciative audience. This snapshot does in no way share the hours of writing and rewriting, the daily outreach calls, the travel slog, the training, studying, and analyzing we are constantly doing in order to continuously improve.

One of my goals for 2019 is to develop a balance and a pace of work that allows me to be successful and to enjoy my life. I have come to realize that I have far too much “stuff” and that I need to take the time to reassess my collections and seriously declutter my world. For the past month, I have been without Ruth – I have been Ruthless in editing and purging my home office and several other spaces. While the process was tedious and time-consuming, the end result has been a wonderful sense of calm and peace. I found a local charity thrift shop and have donated many carloads of items. Things that were nearly new, but I never used. Things that made me feel guilty for the money spent and the lack of use. I could have sold them, but that would take even more time and I might not get around to actually doing it. This way, my house is feeling larger, my head is feeling clearer, and I feel really good about supporting a worthwhile local organization.

Sometimes balance comes from taking the time to determine what is worth keeping in your life and giving it the time and care to really appreciate it. I now have a large file box that is dedicated to NSA wisdom. It contains notes, handouts, and programs from guest speakers and conferences I have attended over the years. When I need to refresh and get some new ideas and inspiration I have one file box to go to and it is my new treasure box. I know what’s in it and I know where it is. I’m sparking joy all over the place.

All the best,

NSA Michigan Chapter President


About the Author

Breeda Miller is a published author, an award-winning storyteller, voice-over professional and successful businesswoman.  Of all her accomplishments she states that her most fulfilling role was caring for her frail mother at the end of her life. As a member of the Sandwich Generation, Breeda managed to run a household, manage a business and raise three teenagers (two with special needs) while providing ’round the clock care for her ailing mother.

The daughter of Irish immigrants, Breeda is a life-long Michigander who enjoys time on her screened porch, kayaking rivers and walking the Camino de Santiago with her husband.  Her passion is helping Caregivers Carry On as well as others who need encouragement and a bit of inspiration.