Are You Floundering?

At the beginning of the year many of us created some big goals for 2010 and are now busy executing our plans, while others never created a plan and are floundering about hoping that everything is going to turn out all right.

I, for one, was very slow in committing to a plan of action. I knew what I wanted to do. I knew what I had to do, but I just couldn’t get myself to execute the plan.

After working sixteen-hour days throughout 2009, I felt like I needed a break. I took some time off, so I could truly appreciate all that I accomplished the year before.

I started working on the release of The Steel Ball Routine in January of 2009. By the end of March, the product hit the market and has been a runaway hit ever since. Shortly afterward I committed to finishing The Real Secrets of a Successful Close-Up Magician. “How I Broke the Six-Figure Barrier Performing Magic, and You Can Too!”, a complete system on building a successful business as a close-up magician. This product was released the last week of October 2009, and although sales have not lived up to my expectations, it has sold steadily every month.

This year I have two more products I hope to bring to market. All of this while I grow my business doing what I truly love… performing magic.

So today I thought I’d share with you a very simple four-step formula that I use to grow my business both as performer and as a marketer of products designed to enhance the business of other professional magicians.

  1. Vision. Before I can create a plan of action, I first have to create a vision for my life. I look at the big picture, and I ask myself, “What do I truly desire for myself? If I had the perfect life, what would it look like? How many hours would I work? Would I prefer to travel for work or would I prefer to stay close to home? Do I want to perform for children or adults? Would I rather perform at private events, corporate events, or both? How much money do I need to make to have the freedom to live the life I desire? What fills my life with passion? How can I share my passion with the world around me?”
  2. Goals. Once I’ve clearly defined the vision I have for my life, I create goals that are aligned with that vision.  I write down these goals as succinctly as possible and write down a date by which I am to accomplish the goal.
  3. Plan. With my goals written down, I then create a plan to achieve those goals. Every detail is spelled out including the people I need to contact to help me in the achievement of that goal. I clearly define my market, and focus all my marketing efforts to provide solutions for that market.
  4. Execute. The final step is to execute the plan. I have found that a little goes a long way. Instead of trying to accomplish a goal all at once, I work on it a little every day. In this way the work is much easier, less stressful, and much more enjoyable.

The above formula may seem overly simplistic, but living a life full of passion, happiness, and freedom does not require a degree in rocket science. All it takes is the commitment to do some very simple things on a consistent basis.

I welcome your comments.

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4 Responses to Are You Floundering?

  • Will Vasser says:

    Hi Lou – Great job! This was well written. The content is right on target for me as I’m made a decision to become a full time magician whose performance venues will be restaurants & corporate events. My background includes several successful years selling IT solutions. My passion is magic.

    I have accumulated a few corporate clients marketing myself part time and referrals. I feel that now it is time to jump in full. I’m considering investing in your sales plan. The article is great, well timed!

    Will Vasser
    636 795 2184

  • Lou Serrano says:

    Hi Will,

    Thanks for the input. If you’d like to hear me discuss any topic in particular on this blog, please send me an email, and I will do my best to address your concerns.

    Wishing you the best of luck as a full-time pro.

    Lou

  • Curtis says:

    Well, Lou, I suppose my answer to your question is “yes.”

    I have been a full-time magician for about the past year. I have been a semi-pro for about 25 years. I moved to a completely new market back in late 2004, and took my business full-time after a lay-off from my job last March.

    I’ll spare you many details, but I have been pretty successful in business before apart from magic. Where I live it seems like there is an abundance of children’s performers, very few are full-time. However, it seems like there is a lot of work in that market. I have secured some of it on a repeat basis, but it isn’t really what I love to do. I have been somewhat aggressively pursuing corporate entertainment, and getting results; but the results are slow. This month is very slow for me and I wake up each day feeling like I’m not getting enough done, and that in spite of my hard work, I’m missing opportunities.

    I’m still researching many of the corporations and events that take place around the state and city where I live, and of course this can take considerable time. Though I’ve never performed for a tradeshow, I have some corporate clients that have used me for other things and recently someone mentioned to me the opportunity to do a tradeshow for their company. I am eager and willing to put this together for them. I feel with my business experience that even though I’ve not performed at tradeshows, I know what a business needs to make it look good. When the booking is presented, I plan on grabbing it by the horns!

    I’ve said all of this to basically say that I feel like someone who has jumped on their horse and is attempting to ride off madly in ALL directions. I have a difficult time focusing completely because I feel the need to take any gig that presents itself, whether it is a child’s birthday party, a church show, strolling gig, restaurant, corporate party, outdoor festival, etc., but I know I’ll never be my best performing this way (though I am pretty versatile). There’s a struggle between the types of shows I WANT to do and the types of shows I AM doing, mainly out of necessity and survival.

    I suppose it is time to get back to basics…

  • Lou Serrano says:

    Hi Curtis,

    I understand the need for taking on all types of gigs when first starting out, especially in a tough economy. You hit the nail on the head when you said it’s time to get back to basics.

    By laying the foundation right now for the type of work you really want will put you ahead of the game when business finally picks up. Focus your marketing efforts to attract the types of business you truly desire.

    The four-step formula described in my post is an excellent place to start and will provide clarity, direction, and focus in getting to where you really want to be. With that being said, remember that life is not a destination, but a journey. Stay focused and enjoy the journey.

    Wishing you much success!

    Lou

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