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I only hang out with badass women who ask tough questions about the status quo.

Earlier this week, I talked to Katie Augsburger. Based in Portland, she is a hands-on HR professional with demonstrated success in leadership and employee development, organizational design, change management, strategic planning, compensation and creating performance management programs. Katie is an effective communicator and manager, with a passion for employee engagement and creating a learning environment.

She’s been on my podcast!

Katie wants to increase her keynote speaking opportunities in 2019 but hates the limited mindset that’s found on the conference circuit.

– Why is public speaking so competitive?
– Why is event planning so hard to deconstruct?
– Why is public speaking such a blood sport?

Katie asks great questions because she has an abundance mindset. The term “abundance mindset” was coined by Steven Covey. It’s a concept where a person believes there are enough resources and successes to share with others. A rising tide lifts all boats. Let’s come together and share opportunities, not fight amongst one another.

Unfortunately, public speaking is based on the scarcity mindset.

The scarcity mindset is the belief that there will never be enough — money, food, emotions, sex, or keynote speaking opportunities — and as a result, your actions and thought are aggressive because you fear the lack of future opportunities.

So, there’s tension for speakers like Katie who embrace abundance but want to hustle in a system built on scarcity. How do you operate according to your values but, also, compete and succeed?

Well, I’ve been thinking about Katie’s particular challenges all week. If you believe in abundance, you have to model it. She’ll need to pass on speaking gigs and refer others like crazy and hope that karma pays off.

Additionally, Katie should seek out event organizers who pay all speakers — not just keynoters — and spread the wealth among all workers who contribute to the show’s success.

Finally, if the system is broken, you need a new system. Katie could create her platform and give a voice to others. Test a new model for delivering big ideas where the attendee experience exceeds a traditional conference because it’s a new and different approach to sharing ideas.

In short, Katie has her work cut out for her. I know she’ll figure it out.

In the meantime, I have a recommendation if you’re an event planner or conference organizer: Katie is your woman if you want a badass speaker who has an extensive background in HR and applies systems-thinking to the status quo topic of diversity & inclusion.

What I love about Katie — and women like her — is she can compete with the best of the best while being supportive of her colleagues and peers. What event planner doesn’t want someone like that at their conference?