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WDavis
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Danny,

Firstly, I'm not some kid with only 2 years of experience. Nor is it only 2 years of magic experience. That was your labeling of my current return to magic performing as my entire experience. I have been performing magic for over 10 years and as a key driver for income 5 years.


Now we can add into my aggregate work experience I have over 15 years in investment banking and management consulting. Through my capacity I've worked with and for some of the largest and smartest of companies and have advised some of the smallest of startups that have grown into top 1000 companies. I've been directly involved in various industries including entertainment on the financial and business side. To your credit, you've admitted your lack of financial acumen. Hence you hired someone to do it for you.

Could it be you just not understand the purpose here and are applying your own misconception? I think so, because knowing your business numbers doesn't take a lot of time and helps focus your efforts. As Ken pointed out, it helped show him what he instinctively knew but couldn't accept. The key takeaway in his post was he knew it but only after seeing it was he ready to make the choice to stop wasting resources. Facts are friends and they help show us the reality sometimes we don't want to admit.

You keep incorrectly claiming my years of experience and use that to justify a lack of sufficient data to substantiate what I am proposing. Again like your mistake with my years of experience, I have many years of these frameworks being used across industries, professionals, and performers.

Furthermore, as a business owner you have to make decisions on where to put your time and money. I am showing a systematic, applicable, and actionable methodology to do so at the cost of 20minutes to an hour. If someone is spending all their time writing Facebook marketing campaigns and generating lots of interest but little results, it will be hard for them to stop doing it. But if they are faced with the facts that their greatest source of business was instead Craigslist postings, and they aren't actively pursuing that option because their focus was on Facebook, this framework will show them that fact. And if they are serious about being a business they will cut their loss on Facebook and focus efforts on Craigslist. That's what this framework does it highlights where you are wasting your time and money. You say that in it of itself is a waste of time.

How is it a waste of time? While some consider it on the bottom of their business list. Lets clarify some points on when I'm saying this helps those who are treading water.
1. you already are in business have a product and other basic foundational components to running a business and are still struggling to make it work.

Now under this scenario, people have already created their product based on what they believe is wanted, at a price it would be wanted, to a customer they believe wants it

The first thing someone who isn't making enough money in a service based business is look at their expenses. And cut the fat. After expenses to look at revenues. Again identify where the loss in money is. Is it a volume or a price matter? Now if it's a volume issue then we look at why is it because of competition, customer don't respond to the product, or is it a customer doesn't know it's there. You do the same for pricing...

My point is simple, this is basic business analysis that magicians/mentalists are naive about. You say it's a waste of time, Ken says it's low on the list. I disagree with both of you. If you are having problems making your business sustainable then you need to know where your financial weakness is and why it's going on. If someone doesn't want to address where there problem is and why they have a problem, doing other activities that they think is more important is the very problem I said in the beginning shooting then aiming. Doctors identify the problems before treatment, mechanics do the same, anyone in a service based business does this? You have to assess before tackle it. To not do so is the same as throwing everything against the wall and seeing what works. And that's a waste of time!

Fiinalky, you are the one who keeps calling me a guru...see my previously listed point about labels and my vested interest in selling products to magicians.
Dannydoyle
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Great 5 years as a "key driver" so what? That is barely enough to learn what your numbers are. Sorry but your magic career of 5 years as a "key driver" of income isn't that impressive. In magic performance you are indeed quite new with a lot to learn.

And no this is not about MY misconceptions, it is about as Tim put it before you trying to position yourself as a guru. You may not use that word but he is right it is EXACTLY what you are doing, no matter what skirt you put on the hula dancer.

And talk about a misconception it is not a LACK of financial acumen. I never admitted to that. The company got to where we produce over 1,500 shows in 4 countries, and I am doing 200 myself with another project. So it is not a lack of ANYTHING that I hired a guy, it is simply growth so I could do what I loved to do. I made a company SO SUCCESSFUL that I didn't get to do what I love to do. Perform. Facts are friends. I have been not only directly involved in but BUILT this for the past 10 years. Started it with producing 4 shows a week. Built every aspect of the company from nothing. Don't give me any "key driver" crap, it is ALL we do for 10 years. We are partners with 2 different BILLION dollar companies. For 20 years before that all I have done to eat is perform. So please spare me the attempt to downplay what I do. I don't sit here and brag about it and sell courses and all that crap no. I don't write books or try to sell anything to anyone. Not my style. But don't confuse me with a guy who doesn't understand. THAT is a misconception, and a really big one. Just how many shows did you do last year? Don't use words like "key driver" or anything of the sort just flat out how many shows did your theories result in last year?

Now if I could ask Robert Smith and with unerring accuracy he could tell us all this information in 2 seconds. At any point WITHOUT doing the work you suggest. Why? BECAUSE IT IS PART OF RUNNING A BUSINESS, that is why. It is part of why he charges what he charges. He would know down to the dollar what to charge what fair in what county in order to make what profit. It is how you do things. Why? Because he knows how to run his business and has been doing it. Not as a "key driver" but as his income. I would make the same bet on Keith Raygor. (Neither of whom sell anything, but share EVERYTHING.)

Your suggestion of doing it after the fact is silly on the face of it. You wait to see the money coming in, then you see if you made a profit. How dumb. It is like taking a trip and setting out without knowing if you have enough gas to get there.

It is called budgeting. It is an ongoing concern in business. It is what causes us to charge what we charge. What about what you propose will cause more money to mystically appear? NOTHING. What about what you propose is not just done AUTOMATICALLY with a properly executed Exel sheet? NOTHING and the Exel is done in real time. So what you propose is an absolute waste of time to anyone actually running a business.

ALL the work you are proposing should have been done already. Anyone who is just putting out a price based on what they think they want or what they think one will pay with no thought to what it costs is not in business.

Now if you are Wal-Mart and have huge gigantic numbers of employees and such or a financial institution that needs to do whatever to make numbers work and you have so many places to cut fat then good this makes sense. Where do you think a guy doing 5-8 kids shows a week is going to cut the fat exactly? He has to drive to the place, he has to do the show with whatever consumables and move on. Then it is what it takes to get the show. Most don't have much of a budget they just track where the show comes from and then keep doing what works best.

Why the insistence on making things more difficult than they have to be? One product and sell it for what makes the profit.

SALES is where it is at sorry. In the end all your nonsense and sales is what drives a business.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
WDavis
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Ok Danny,

I understand that you don't see how this helps even with sales. I've tried explaining but I'm at a loss to do so.
I'm leaving it at that.
Dannydoyle
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Interesting that you seem to run from the how many shows have you done question. Why is that such a tough one to answer?

You seem to want to preach and not discuss.

I'm just looking for context like you asked for before. I gave you what I do in the year why not just answer?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
WDavis
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I'm not running, I don't see the point. I've not his my background and experience. Plus I've only been offering sound actionable business advise in the business section of the forum. Not platitudes or general statements. Everything I've posted I use personally, while you think 5 years experience running a magic business is trivial, you don't seem to take into account my business experience as a banker and consultant. It's that experience and knowledge which has provided the foundation and success in all my other ventures and this one as well.

I'm discussing and have tried to keep the topic on the framework. But since your twisting it to assault me and my intentions thru innuendo and taking things out of context to further your own aim, I will readdress some points:
1. I'm not a guru
2. I'm not selling products to magicians
3. My request for context was designed to explain the vantage point one comes from or highlight a problem people are having when asking for help.

I've stated multiple times my background, target market, and point of view. So calling me out to "measure up" under the premise of context in this thread is maligned. Plus, I know you like to use the "how many shows" as your yardstick to undermine someone's credibility. In the end, while I will give you my numbers I don't see the point other than to show off.

I pulled in $300,000 net last year with 32 shows all in the SoCal region. From my mentalism business. Im currently on track to pull in 450k this year. I'm not going to get into my other businesses here as it's neither relevant nor necessary.

And if you want to bring this back to the topic at hand, great, lets discuss the framework and its applicability to performers.

All I ask is you stop calling me a guru with some covert intention to position myself as an expert so I can sell some product to magicians.
TomBoleware
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Danny said, “ALL the work you are proposing should have been DONE already.”

Seems to me that is exactly what Walter said in the beginning, only he was kind enough to tell us how to do it.

Thanks for sharing Walter.

Tom
Take care and by all means, stay inspired.

https://boleware.blogspot.com


The Daycare Magician Book

https://thedaycaremagician.blogspot.com/
Dannydoyle
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Congrats on netting 10 grand per show.

Thanks for the perspective.

Guys on the Walking Dead only get about 30 grand for a personal appearance fee. You really have some secret.

And with all due respect Mentaltech seems to be selling stuff.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
WDavis
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Danny,

I took down all my products earlier this year back in march. I was contemplating selling, but opted against doing so. Now I'm sitting on a website that I'm not sure what I will use it for.

My methodology isn't some secret, it's a process I've applied to mentalism from working in management consulting. Actually, I'll make another thread on my results by applying 1 key differentiating factor. How I contract. While I know it's not cannon it works well for me.
Dannydoyle
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Hey get 10 grand per show without having to travel good for you. Must really be magic.

Wait more than 10 grand as that is net.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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#@$%! I just spent 90 minutes offering my thoughts on this entire thread and it all just accidentally got deleted.
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Interesting perspectives here. I agree with Walter that any business must know its numbers. If you are performing, part-time or full, and accepting anyone’s money for your performing services, you are operating as a business and you should know many things about operating as such and knowing your figures is one of the most important.

We must also remember what Walter speaks of is corporate business where the professionals that do this have chosen to be in the corporate business world and typically have education and skills in operating in this manner at this level. That is not the case for most performers.

Most performers, and especially magicians, get into performing as a casual interest, then perhaps become enthusiasts, then hobbyists, and then maybe actually performing for pay. The point is a casual interest as it starts may lead to performing professionally for some, yet to many it never gets to that point. They do it for themselves, not for the business. Most become interested initially for the creative or artistic attraction and interest, rarely for the business aspects. As a matter of fact most performers (I know I am one of the exceptions here) literally dread, despise and try to avoid the business aspects at all costs. They definitely did not get into this for the business aspects and do not have the desire, skills or even interest to do so.

I also agree with Danny that most here are not at the levels to utilize or consider Walter’s full approach and insights. Many don’t or won’t do even basic level business operations and are not at levels to consider what Walter is presenting. Most do not have a proper business plan, marketing plan, business model or business operational system in place. Unfortunately, most tend to fly by the seat of their pants. They may look at year-end numbers of how many shows they did, how much they made from performing, and compare it to the previous year or two, but not much more.

Most don’t even properly track to utilize write-offs as they should. So to many of these performers, some of the analytics and processes Walter has presented is overkill.

Most here are consumer-level performers and likely feel they don’t need all of this. Most are not national performers and operate only locally. I know many here that would not like to travel an hour for a booking, let alone getting into regional, national or international performing and business.

Now I do agree, even if you are a consumer-level or even a newer or beginning performer that Walter’s advice and insights can still be valuable as most performers still operate on the “default business model” and even learning about what Walter presents can be both informative and interesting to learn about other possible business models that they be able to utilize in full or in part. It is educational to try to understand what Walter is presenting then to determine what if anything could or many apply to you and your business.

I like that he has demonstrated one of the things that I have always tried to point out when addressing the Consumer vs. Professional markets topic and that is that business happens and operates differently in different markets and different levels of markets.

This has always been one of my struggles here at the Café as well. I love to get into advance concepts, approaches and strategies that are rarely discussed and not as common or accessible, but often it is simply beyond where most here are at or operate. Nothing wrong with this as again, most here serve the consumer markets (as do several of my own businesses). Yet I do get some that want to get into more advance topics and areas such as touring, residency shows, 2/4 walls, fundraising, establishing a full-service agency in their area and business operations (more than just “marketing”). It is because of this realization long ago that I came out with two separate lines of resources, services and coaching - one for newer, beginner and local consumer market performers, and the other for advanced performers and professional market content.

When I was revising my original Getting Started In Entertainment Business course from years ago, many here said they would rather me get into more advanced topics because they felt much was available for newer, beginning or part-time performers. In my mind both are equally important. However performers, at least as far as business goes, tend to only think of it as it pertains to them and their current level. Unfortunately once many performers here get to advanced levels they disappear and no longer stick around here.

I agree knowing numbers, learning as much as possible about your business, our industry, your market, and a target client profile are important regardless of the level you are at. These are business basics at all levels.

As I have long stated here, and mentioned by Danny, entertainment business is different than conventional business. Walter’s approach is more of a corporate conventional business approach. I can see why this is preferred by him and it aligns with the level and markets of which he targets and operates and with his previous experience in the corporate world.

Entertainment is not like conventional business. Operations are different, the way prospects think, view, perceive, consider, shop and book entertainment is different than conventional business. Entertainment business has a different set of rules than conventional business. Sure Walter and others can enjoy a level of results by operating as a conventional business (square peg) and trying to adapt it to these rules and differences of entertainment businesses (round hole) as many likely do. Do I believe it is the most optimal and efficient for most in our industry? No, not at all. But again, most performers operate from their personal perspective (right or wrong) not from the industry perspective, which always surprises me, as it is much more direct and specific to what we are trying to achieve.

I do believe that as single person businesses as most performers here are, time and effort needs to be maximized and most efficient. If you are only doing 17 bookings a year and desire to do more, I am not sure getting into some of these processes and analytics are what they need most. I agree it needn’t take long and are worth having, but a single person operation simply can not operate on a level that corporate team of professionals do.

For most, time and efforts are best spent in maintaining their current business model, which for most is always needing to get more bookings and all this entails. This is their priority and if their time is limited, for many it is all they can do to do that (and often still come up short of what they’d like or expect.)

I believe that their time is likely best spent in learning, understanding and properly perceiving entertainment business and entertainment sales.

I’ve heard from some that are put off by this thread and wanted my thoughts. I think it should try to be understood as Walter presents some operational aspects that are likely new to many here, yet I also agree with many of Danny’s sentiments as it applies to most here. Still, good, interesting thoughts.
WDavis
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Thank you for the balanced post Mindpro, it wasn't my intention to offend people. If I have I'm sorry.
You've brought up an interesting thought. If people lack the business education/background and are offended by what I am showing. Could it be the way I'm explaining it? Would analogies work better? I've been trying to stay neutral and avoid using examples. So as to not position it as "it only works in this case."
TomBoleware
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Walter, thanks for sharing that and just to be clear. You don’t get paid high fees to do magic/mentalism for entertainment purposes only; they mainly want the sales training and talks. I guess you could say your experience in the business world. Right?

And if this is the case, wouldn’t you agree with me that your experience outside of the magic industry is just as important as the magic experience? I would say it is Much More Important since that is the main reason they are hiring you.

My point is, we shouldn’t always judge other magicians based on the number of years they have been performing magic full time. Years of experience are not always what it is propped up to be and for some it means very little. Oh sure you need magic knowledge, but most can use much of the knowledge from their past experience when it was only a serious hobby. And this is why I keep saying over and over, that business experience counts too. That one shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to those outside of magic for opinions/help. Weight all the options because the magic alone is only going to take you so far. Business is business, and don't let anybody tell you that basic business knowledge can't be applied to whatever business your in.

I too have always been a big fan of numbers and I agree it doesn't take long to have a system in place to see everything at a glance.
One shouldn't depend on memory alone when it comes to remembering a list of numbers.

Tom
Take care and by all means, stay inspired.

https://boleware.blogspot.com


The Daycare Magician Book

https://thedaycaremagician.blogspot.com/
Mindpro
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I don't think anyone (that I'm aware of) was offended, but rather as I said overwhelmed or perplexed by the content offered.

The one thing I have found here and in my years as a coach, and I wish it wasn't this way, is performers tend to only want to think of things as they apply directly to themselves. This changed the way I have presented things both here and in in my work with others. Even in examples, if they don't feel the example directly applies to them or is relatable, they'll let it pass right by them. Not all, but in the 90% majority Danny has mentioned here. It's hard to offer one size fits all advice. This is one of the reasons it takes me so long to craft a post or proper response to someone here.

I also think many principles have to be "worked up to" for others to get the full effect. Talking about analytics, P/L sheets, and other such tools and approaches makes no sense to someone that has little or no business experience or current operations. In just your first post, when you speak of...

"I'd like to give an approach for many of you on how to identify your business problems, that keep you from making money. I take a fact based problem isolation approach,because I find using this with the Pareto principle is great for getting the biggest return with the least effort."

"Magicians will rarely have to deal with the company vertical because your not using structural components."

"There are a lot more questions that go into the 3C's and a P but this will give you a good start on identifying the "why" of your problems."

"Your right most work nationally. Danny, the frameworks I've provided work for everyone regardless of size, if you go to a SCORE event or ask SBDC to help you (both are for small business owners) they will be using the same techniques."

You've lost the majority of the forum. A few will try to figure it out and try to keep up with you, but it goes "whoosh!" for most. You are also making many assumptions - that many are trying to identify their problems, that there is an understanding of what an "isolation approach" and "Parteo principle" is, that everyone understands what "dealing with the company vertical" means, what you exactly mean by "structural components", "frameworks:, the "3C's and a P", SCORE, SBDC, etc. ...and that was just in your first post!

When many don't truly have a sound basis for establishing their pricing, don't truly know their profitability or true cost of doing a booking, don't really know their customer acquisition cost, may not have actual established pricing, and heck, many don't even claim their earnings as part of their income or taxes. So attempting to get into corporate and professional market processes and stategies then becomes unrelatable for most.

(as an example) It's like the whole Consumer vs. Professional Market topic. While serious performers are very interested and seem to have many questions about this, realizing that quite often this is the single-most missing piece or link to the struggles they may be having, as you can see here others have only received this as a "bashing of consumer market performers" or "an elitist or bragging, status-boasting "perception". A couple here in their narrow-mindedness have even thought it was something I just made up or made up to degrade consumer-level performers! Rather than graciously accepting probably one of the most important things to understand about entertainment business operations, they instead twisted this into something that was insulting, non-productive and truly doesn't exist. They take it from long-time industry fact or self-created misperception. The actual beneficial message is completely missed. Then there is the mentality of "well that doesn't apply to me" or "I'm only a part-time performer" and such. These are wrong sentiments, because it directly applies to every single performer in many ways once the true content is understood. Some would rather defend their misperception or ignorance, than put in the time and effort to understand the actual content or message.

I feel that might be at play with your posts as well, rather than actually being offended.

Now I will say, I am always amazed that such topics don't trigger more "what," "why" and "how" questions from members and posters here that may not understand or fully understand the content being presented. I would think performers here would want to learn, grow and know such stuff that could help them in their business operations, provide for their families, create a better understanding of the all aspects of the business behind their performance and truly increase their profitability. There are literally so many great topics about entertainment business operations that we could go on for years with vital, vibrant and beneficial topics and details. Only a handful care to ask such questions. It amazes me that all business is based 100% on Sales, and yet no one ever wants to discuss such a significant topic, learn or become educated on this (specifically as it pertains to entertainment sales and business), yet many complain "they need more bookings" or "nothing (marketing) seems to work!"

That is truthfully one of the reasons I offer coaching, consulting and trainings, is because it identifies those serious and willing to invest in their knowledge, skill set and progress, who truly acknowledge what we do as an actual business, and prefer to think about profitability, growth and the future. It also eliminates the noise that is so distracting so it can be so much more productive and beneficial to the performer. No getting derailed or snide remarks from armchair wannabees, but the real meat and potatoes as it applies directly to them and their specific business or areas of interest.
WDavis
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I see your point, mindpro. I said offended because that's how I understand put off not as perplexed or overwhelmed.

It's funny, we become so used to speaking a certain way with people who also speak in a way, that we forget others may not understand. It's a good reminder for all of us.

I'll clarify many of therms below for those interested.

the Pareto principle is commonly called the 80/20 rule.

3c's and a P is just being lazy in saying the 4 broad categories that affect all businesses: customers, company, competition, and product.
The company vertical is just the company section of the 3's and a P. Structural components are your legal entity and any agreements with 3rd parties that directly influence your financial situation. Those are for the most managers.

Score and sbdc are: they are nonprofit, business advising provided by business owners and the US small business administration (SBA)

Guys if I say something or use a term you don't understand and don't want to say it publicly PM me, I don't bite and I'll explain it differently.
WDavis
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Tom,

Yes and no, my main drivers are sales trainings and mentalism/readings. Keynote talks are not one of my big revenue sources. The experience in the business world has helped me incredibly in understanding their needs, habits, hangouts, and how to pitch my services, but I wouldn't consider it the main reason, a big one yes but not the main one.

I also agree, magic experience has a limited value in the business side of it. Because for most when referring to magic, the experience is how long they have been involved and not necessarily how long they have been in business as a magician. When it comes to business advise, I believe that all business advise is directly relatable BUT it may need to be tailored to fit some the specific industry. For example, every business has profit/loss revenue and expenses, how they combine them together or report them will be different depending on their industry and how they operate. The easiest example to highlight this case is actually a bank, the way they have to record is much different than any other business because their income comes from borrowing everyone else's money. So while the components are the same the application of them are different. The same can be for magic, much of the standard business practices will work, but many times thy will need to modify them to fit the specifics of the industry and market. Mindpro did hit it well that it may not be the most efficient to start, we can always refine and improve our business processes as we work. It's better to start something then to not even bother or worse try to make it perfect from the start and then never start.
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