Abracadabra. Poof, he’s gone. As children magicians would amaze us having coins and rabbits appear out of nowhere. People disappear and reappear halfway across the room and who can forget seeing someone sawn in half. Seeing the impossible done left us all with a sense of wonder. And then we grow up.
Deep down there are those people who have a desire to be brought back to those days when anything was possible. Others become cynical after discovering how the tricks are done. A small few actually decide to study magic, me being one of them.
I’ve spent over $10,000 and invested a few thousand hours learning from the best magicians out there; Juan Tamariz, Max Maven, Harry Lorayne, John Bannon, and Dani DaOrtiz as well as some up-and-coming stars such as Ben Blau and Tom Rose. I intended to go professional myself, but instead thought my talents were put to better use as a consultant.
However, what I learned from magic helped me immensely in crafting and teaching time management and productivity principles to businesses and the reason I feel that every entrepreneur should consider learning a few tricks. There are 7 things I feel magic can help people learn that can be especially helpful in business, regardless of what field you in.
#1 Crowd management
Presentations are a must for any entrepreneur. Magic teaches people the importance of managing people. Some tricks don’t work from some angles and require the magician to manipulate the audience so as to prevent the secret being discovered.
#2 Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Too often entrepreneurs fall in love with their product and, as a result, fail to see the changing tide. It’s important to remember that it’s not important whether we like the product or not, but whether the customers like and will actually purchase it. New Coke failed miserably due to result from test groups that they liked the taste better than the original flavor. The only problem with this is that people didn’t buy it.
Magic teaches us that it’s not important what we think of the trick, but what people’s reactions are. Sometimes the easiest tricks can have the most amazing reactions with laypeople (lingo for people not into magic), but are laughed at by other magicians for their simplicity.
#3 Overcome fear
According to the Chapman University Survey on American Fears public speaking is America’s biggest phobia. A whopping 25.3 percent say they fear speaking in front of a crowd. You can overcome this with magic as you have to be willing to talk to strangers and perform in front of an audience.
There is great joy in seeing people’s face light up. Magic gives you the power to bring happiness into other’s otherwise dull, monotonous lives. How many magicians do you know personally? Most people I talk to say zero. It’s important that marketing and message conveys a certain amount of amazement as well. It’s not enough to have a great product, but you must also be able to share that with your target audience. No company does this better than Apple with its iPhone and iPod commercials, vivid colors, powerful images.
It’s critical that entrepreneurs are able to walk a mile in the shoes of their clients. In essence, you have to change perspective. Magic is great at doing just that. We have to consider a number of different factors from entertainment-value, ease of use, size, speed and a whole variety of things to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck.
What’s life without a little challenge? It’s important to continually improve. Learning magic does take time, but slowly but surely you’ll improve and it’s something you can easily judge because you can practice it practically anywhere. On the train, whip out your cards and practice your sleights. Walking through the mall and you see someone just sitting there, ask them to pick a card.
At first, you might suck, but there are many tricks that can be learned in less than 20 minutes giving you plenty of time to go out and practice them. Challenging yourself to be better is something every entrepreneur should understand especially in today’s high-speed environment.
#7 Family and Friends
Want to put your friends and family to sleep, tell them about your job. Want to amaze them, show them a trick. While a healthy dose of adult conversation can center around business, having a variety of topics to talk about makes things interesting. Magic, is just one more thing you can add to the conversation.
Ever been in an uncomfortable situation? We all have. Magic tricks are an excellent way of breaking the ice. Moreover, good tricks are memorable.
Photo courtesy of the author