Q. What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
A. I am learning all the time. I read widely on all types of topics. I also attend seminars and workshops periodically to sharpen my skills. "It's what you learn after you think you know it all that really counts."
Q. Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here.
A. THUMBTACK SPECIAL: Since you are within driving distance, I do not have to travel on another plane and do not have to stay in another hotel. To someone who has traveled to 50+ countries around the world, that is music to my ears. International travel is not as alluring as it once was when I was younger. This is why I am available here at Thumbtack for your event. I hope this makes sense to you.
Let me be frank. The reason I did not list my fee for your event is because I have an agent in Nashville and I am rather embarrassed by what he charges for my services. I can guarantee that it is far more than what's in your budget. I have a clause in my agreement with him that permits me to deal directly with you...and not have to send you to my agent.
But for Thumbtack, I am making myself available to organizations who normally would not be able to afford my services. I am a trusting soul. Tell me about the purpose of your organization, the "take-aways" you want from your event, your budget and your objectives.
I leverage my talents to help with my Foundation. Whatever funds you provide will be put toward projects I am passionate about through my Foundation. That makes my agent happy and also allows me to say, "The more you are able to pay, the happier it makes me."
Q. How did you get started doing this type of work?
A. I served as mentor/chaplain for the NBA Washington Bullets/Wizards for 20 seasons. Schools, companies, government agencies, churches, and community-based organizations all started calling me to come and speak. That's what launched my company. As organizations requested different topics, I was forced to become a student of each topic. The rest is history...
Q. What types of customers have you worked with?
A. Keynote. Breakout sessions during a conference. Lecture. Motivational. Helping them develop a Code of Conduct. Executive coaching. Critical Incident Debriefing. Helping them develop a Diversity initiative. Helping them develop a mentoring program.
ARENAS OF EXPERTISE: Staff Development. Leadership. Diversity. Teamwork. Entrepreneurial Creativity. Brainstorming. Change Management. Black History. Executive Coaching. Stress Management. Emotional Intelligence. Anger Management. Sales. Cross-Cultural Competence. Conference Keynote Addresses...
Q. Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
A. Here is what one of my recent Thumbtack clients said: "Joel did a great job and delivered just what our staff needed. He taylored his presentation with personal information about our company/program which resonated with the staff. Staff members stated they would like to see him provide additional training for us in the future...."
Q. What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
A. "Chemistry, timing and fit are all needed to create a win/win/win result." I agree with this statement made by George Fraser.
Video clips, bio, references and conversations over the phone all help to provide the kind of picture you need to determine if there is the right chemistry and the right fit.
I will need to know why you are calling for my services at this time.
Is your call a proactive move or is it in reaction to something crazy that has happened within your organization? It does not matter which it is, but knowing what has sponsored your request for my services at this time will help me better serve your organizations real needs.
Q. What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
A. Clients tend to focus on the time for the event and tend to think that's all they are paying for. Little do most clients understand is that I am giving up an entire day to do a 1-2 hour event for them.
CUSTOMIZATION: I refuse to pull something off the shelf for an event. I always seek to customize each event to each audience. That takes extra time and energy. Couple that with time spent in preparation, drive time (to and from the event), gas, tolls, wear and tear on the automobile...it's far more than what meets the eye. Not complaining. Merely educating. I LOVE what I do and it shows...