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majhra
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The thread seems to have changed to be a focus on saturation.

Currently, where I spend most of my day, there is literally 8 Cafés within 30 seconds walk. (Yes, some are next door to one another). Several years ago, no one would have thought to open a similar business that close to another. The Café culture here in Australia has taken off, and is still growing.

Hypnosis shows have a long way before this level of saturation is reached.

Now before someone flames me to point out that selling a cappuccino and selling a stage show are different things, I'd better remind you that in terms of business they are exactly the same.

I have product X. It costs $Y for one patron to get product X. How do I do this so they tell all their friends about product X, buy product X again, and still go away satisfied every time, are the questions you should be asking. Not how easy / hard is it for me to make money. If you ask that question first, you will fail! (And yes, that was a hypnotic command).

Sure, be aware of what your neighbour and the industry is doing. Just because other business are not making as much money as they thought, or are closing, means only you are doing a better job than they are.

Any man and his dog can start performing a hypnosis stage show, training or not. Anyone can open a Café, training or not. What makes it successful is the way they run the business.

Enjoy,
M.
shrink
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I respectfully disagree with your comparison. Hypnosis relies on being popular with the public. Part of that popularity is the mystery, part is novelty. Over exposure will make it much less special therefore less in demand.

With the exception of a few most people will go and see a hypnotist once or twice then won't go back again.

Also with more hypnotists more problems arise that effect how it hypnosis is percieved.
Lee Darrow
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Well, there are good magicians and bad, good mentalists and bad, good hypnotists and bad.

Yes, the market has ups and downs and hypnosis has been likened to a streetwalker who rises from the depths of her lifestyle to respectability, only to fall back into her old habits.

Bottom line is that the good stage hypnotists wll keep working, regardless of a glut in the market by a group of johnny-come-lately, weekend wonders who are so bad that their own mothers wouldn't re-book them for a show.

It will just be a bit more difficult for the real pros, like Chris and Shrink to keep up the levels of work that they have enjoyed (myself included) because of such programs and those who believe that they now know it all from those classes.

Cynical? Possibly. I've been in the business since 1969 or thereabouts and I've seen feast and famine in the market.

Where one is going to really draw the line is on stage - and in the selling process.

A 2-day workshop simply can't teach that to anyone that lacks the talent, drive and skill to do the job well.

It also doesn't teach them the most important lesson - persistence! Without that quality, no one, no matter how talented, will really succeed.

Isn't it amazing what an all nighter with a migraine will do to my otherwise sunny disposition? Smile

;)

Happy holidays!

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
majhra
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I think you got my point across quite well, Lee (migraine notwithstanding).

You are correct Shrink. Part of the draw is the mystery and novelty. The mystery won't go away just because 'everyone' is doing it. The mystery only goes away, IMO if everyone in the audience can do the same thing, and in that case, the audience is there for different reasons. After all, why do Magicians go to see a Magician?

And if the novelty wears off, time to change your marketing angle.

Again I come back to my initial point. If you make your customers happy, so happy they want to come back and bring their friends, then it won't matter if they have a bunch of bad experiences with other performers. They will come back to see You. They know You make them feel good. They know You make them feel something they can't get elsewhere...

It is about customer service.

Regards,
M.
christopher carter
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Just to clarify, I am not expressing concern over where the market for hypnotists is going. I'm in and established, whatever will happen will have little bearing on me. What I meant to address was the perception I have that many who take up hypnosis will be taking it up for the wrong reasons. Those who are taking it up to compensate for their lack of success at marketing their magic will probably find the same lack of success with hypnosis. But I did try to make it clear that success is possible the old fashioned way, with hard work and dedication.

I feel that these short programs are often approached by the people who take them as a kind of "easy money" scheme, even when they're not marketed that way. I have every reason to believe that Mr. Ronning's course is a very good value, and if the student approaches it with the right frame of mind, I expect he will learn a lot.

--Chris
shrink
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Majhra,

Hypnosis shows are not like coffee shops! People do not keep coming back apart from the odd hardcore who will also eventually stop coming. Unless you are working in a holiday resort where people change every week. usually conditions for working in these places are pretty awful in european resorts.

Over here even when hypnosis was at its heights you would be lucky if clubs booked you twice in a year. You were a novelty act. While bands get booked every week of the year by the same clubs. Hypnosis was an occasional thing.

The only way to make real money was to find a theatre in the centre of a busy town. You needed to take a risk and do your homework and go ahead and market it like mad. My show also had a fresh approach that fitted into the market at that time. I modelled part of my performance on a number of alternative comedians who were popular at that time and then gradually had my own style.

Each town is different. I sold out nearly 1000 seats here in Edinburgh for about three years. The last big show I did was around 8-9 years ago.

However in Glasgow about 70 miles away a hypnotist still occasionally sells out a theatre in the city centre and had a TV show because of it. As far as I am aware there is no other cities in the whole of Scotland that could support either of the above for those time frames. The same hypnotist who still does business in Glasgow tried Edinburgh a few times but failed.

During that time I also did all the University circuits and Army barracks hotels and social clubs. But you couldn't make a good consistent living by these venues alone(even at the hieghts). Once you got into the theatre type venues you didn't want to! But either way they booked hypnotists on a once a year mainly basis. Then when the market was flooded and every second pub (never do pubs)had one working for peanuts the public got sick of it it very quickly.

Bookings died out within a few months! They went from working once every week to zero in 6 months. No one wanted hypnotists the trend was over. That is how it always has been in this country it is cyclic. It appears, rises then falls every decade or so. Like many business cycles.

Customer service? Its not the same as selling coffee no matter where you live. Its not as easy as you think. Only a few make it because of talent persistence and lucky breaks. You need all of these elements to succeed. Coming into the game late when there are lots of hypnos around when all the best key venues are gone is not gonna fufill your dreams. Your more likely to be the ones working in bad venues for bad money taking the crumbs left to you.

Of course who knows perhaps where you live that wave isn't over your head yet, and you can surf for a while.
majhra
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Shrink,

Thanks for your detailed and informative post. Unfortunately I think you misunderstood some of my earlier comments. I related coffee shops and hypnosis in terms of 'selling the business' only. I understand they are different things, and yet, how can someone sell a coffee for over $2 when you used to buy a never-ending cup for $1?

I will attempt a different metaphor. Years ago there were only a few gyms. Now there are many. Why is it (at least where I live) most people attempt to get to the gym 3 times a week? They are told to by their personal trainer. Yes, that's right, the person who works and is paid by the gym the more you come, is telling you that you have to come more. What a sales job that's been done to us all! Now even those that don't go to the gym think 3 times a week is the norm. (and before I get flamed for saying something I'm not - exercise is good, and required for health)

Now, my point. How did going to the gym, when previously only for the professional or hobby muscle builders went, become mainstream? How did it move from being a Novelty? Hell, I know in parts of China, a cappuccino is a novelty.

What I'm attempting to say is that maybe for you the wave is gone. Maybe it's Scotland where the wave is gone. Maybe there is no wave. If you think you can only make it because of a lucky break, then anyone who follows that idea will fail because most people think luck is outside themselves, and thus have no control over it. If you don't know how to sell yourself, run your own business, make your own luck, or several other skills other than hypnosis then you are going to have an uphill battle.

And while coming into the game late makes it a little more difficult in some areas of the business, it makes easier in others. You have to work harder to get into the good venues; you have to stand out from your peers; you have to do someone people will want to come back to. It’s no longer about just riding an easy ‘wave’ of other people success.

Imagine, just for the moment, that hypnosis had the popularity of a morning coffee. Everyone was 'unable' to concentrate till they had their 'hit'. There were five hypnotists in each shop just to cope with demand. Do you think you'd be still talking the end of the wave? Now I'm sure you're thinking I'm naive or just stupid. But so did the friends of the guy began selling the gym to the mainstream, or the guy who started charging more for coffee by the cup...

Enjoy,
M.
shrink
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Majhra:

I wish you the best of luck but I think you will be learning a few hard lessons soon. you still compare stage hypnosis with a daily consumable. It just isn't like that.

There is no such thing as riding an easy wave in any business, but one big ingredient of success is recognising the elements and taking advantage. Another is being different and fresh. that's why comparing coffee to hypnosis is an indication of your failure to grasp what I'm am trying to share with you. Ive been there Ive done it. Im actually doing it again now in a different way. Im taking advantage of another trend but doing it in a creative a fresh way. My daily rate is starting at £1000 a day for someone who is not known in this field personal development( I expect to double it within 6 months). When I started in Stage Hypnosis I was twice as expensive as local hypnotists. I can command this at an early stage because I know how to position myself in a market. I was the first in my area with a specific kind of show.

What you don't realise is good venues only book a hypnotist now and again. The really good venues such as theatres that sell out for years are few and far between. And you will find they involve financial risk and are already inhabited by a seasoned pro with a name.

Hypnosis is like many businesses it comes and goes in popularity. The more in the market the less you can charge for your shows. (supply and demand).The more in the market the less novel and mysterious.

I don't know what the market is like in your area. But if hypnotists are common place then you will be working hard just to get a few bookings a month at a low rate. And these will most likely be in bad performing conditions.

But that's all I can tell you...Let us know how you get on..
majhra
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Shrink,

You seem like a smart guy, I'm offering franchise opportunities in the "Hypno-joint" hypnosis lounges if you want one. ;-)

I do actually grasp what you are attempting to share. I also grasp that you've been there and done it and are now cynical. The fact that you are now doing something creative in a fresh way is an indicator to me that you are doing exactly what I expressed to others with my metaphor of coffee. You do understand you have to do something different (charging twice as much as everyone else is an example of that). You do understand that following the trend will both help and hinder you.

One of the other ways to do this (which started this thread) is 'graduating' to a teaching position. For whatever reason Ronning, McGill and a whole bunch of others decided to change how they made money from the market.

Regardless of what business you are in, there will always be 'fly by night' operators. They will undercut you, bad mouth you, claim the world is ending, or whatever they think it takes. Yes they are a drain on your resources, yes they can damage your name and the name of the industry. However I think everyone reading this understands that if you want to make more than a passing, one time income, you have to separate yourself from these people by offering something these people can't...

Regards,
M.
shrink
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Majhra:

Following a trend will hinder you. The mere fact your following suggests your behind it. Seeing a trend develop and riding it while creating part of it is entirely different. You are virtually aligning yourself with a mainstream flow of money.(or a wave)Successful entrepenuers know this, they know when to get into a trend and when to get out.

Separating yourself from the rest in a saturated market is near impossible. However combining markets to create a unique product is something different again. that's what I am doing now. Its early days but feedback is very good. There is no one in the market I'm entering now offering a product or programme quite like mine that I'm aware off. So it should be easy to kill off most of the competition.(well nothing is ever easy perhaps I'm being optimistic)

I suspect like many here in the UK they turned to teaching because the big money was no longer there performing shows. And apparently it is always easier to earn big money teaching others how to. that's why there is all these courses around teaching you how to make money.

Hypnosis is facinating theres no doubt about it. If that's what you want to do go ahead. I wish you luck

Smile
Ray Thompson
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I am sure most of you realize there is truth in what each of you are saying. I do tend to agree with Lee Darrow and with Bob Cassidy points about it being important to know hypnosis and how to entertain. The 3 day courses can be very good for an experienced entertainer who has a basic knowledge of hypnosis. Just be careful in believing everything in an advertisement for training, whether it is hypnosis, magic, or playing a violin.
My usual recommendation is to take a basic hypnosis certification course: it teaches you a lot and the certificate can be helpful in marketing yourself; take any and all stage classes, but from people who can prove they have been out there performing; then, if at all possible, apprentice shourself with a successful performer who can work with you on an on going basis as you develop and improve your show.
P.S. Thanks to each of the contributors here for their thoughts, and their courteous approach.
Ray Thompson, the Mind Wizard
www.hypnosisandmore.com
Dr Omni
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A whole series of really excellent and informed comments on this thread. One other point I'd like to add is this. Ask yourself: what other things have I done in my life which can contribute to my stage hypnosis show? Surely virually everybody interested in the field has already learned things which can be applied to creating a unqiue show. When I was a lot younger, I always wanted to be a film director, made a lot of amateur films and videos from script to final edit, and was - and still to some extent am - a film buff, seeking out obscure old films from around the world and reading about all aspects of film production and theory. (Working professionally in the TV inbdustry was a lot less fun than being an amateur, but that's another story.)

I think this interest - and applying knowledge from it - has assisted my stage hypnosis act. I learned (I hope) something about acting, dramatic timing, showmanship, the importance of sound and music, and how to keep the audience entertained, rather than bored. In a sense, a stage hypnotist *is* a director, directing both the subject's acting performance and the "movies" playing in the subjects' head.

If the budding stage hypnotist searching his own life and interests - past and present - he will almost certainly find something analogous where he already has knowledge and insights that he can apply to building his act.
Hypnotist and mentalist.
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hypnosis101
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I couldn't help but notice folks were talking about Geoffery Ronning's course here. I am a hypnosis instructor and one of my former students took Geoff's course. I asked this student what he thought of the course and his answer sheds some light on some of the subjects being debated here. He is an experienced performer but adds his opinion on how the course would be if you weren't experienced with hypnosis. Here is the email he sent in return to my question.
Keith Livingston


----- Original Message -----
From: "Hypnosis 101" <snipped>
To: "Leo" <snipped>
Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2003 7:31 AM
Subject: Geoff's course



> Hi Leo,
> How are you doing?
> Listen, I wonder if you could take a minute and let me know what you
> thought of Geoff's stage hypnosis course.
> Keith
>
> http://www.hypnosis101.com
> 206.721.8751 or
> 1.877.624.3475
> >
>
>
>

Hey Keith!

Hope all is well. I must say that the course was worth every penny. I had
already been to a few stage hypnosis courses in the past and left feeling
ripped off and still not completely confident in my self. But I think anyone
who didn't have any type of training in Hypnosis would walk away knowing
allot and able to perform a good show with out a doubt..


He is also a very good teacher, as you are in keeping things rolling and not
side tracking. His Induction the EKG (Erickson Kein, Geoff) is great. I
think it is perfect for the Stage Hypnotist.


Oh also He had this extra day that was taught by Ron Stubbs. I found that to
be a plus. It would definitely fit in with your training as an extra added
bonus day. It was about how you can make extra income teaching hypnosis as
community colleges. It was good.


So in a nut shell I was thoroughly satisfied by his program. I think that
going to yours first then his made a huge difference also. I left yours
feeling so confident in my knowledge of hypnosis that I was able to
understand and learn quicker at his. So I thank you also for putting on a
great program as well.


Well, that's it for now. I'm off to Florida for the holidays.
I hope you have a great holiday and hope to speak to you soon.


Leo

Take care!
Bill Palmer
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I took a similar course from Scott McFall in 1998. Scott has plenty of certification and a couple of decades of experience both as a stage hypnotist and as a hypnotherapist. About half of the people in the class were Medical Doctors who were interested in expanding their horizons. The other half were magicians.

Scott recommended that all of us take some kind of certification. In fact, he recommended a hypnosis institute that would give is the kind of training the NGH does.

I went into the course with a strong background in hypnosis as well as some college psychology training. There were two points that I needed to have answers on before I would accept him as an experienced hypnotist. He answered both points to my satisfaction.

I learned enough from what he taught at the course that I could have gone out and done a hypnosis show -- a good one within a month or so of the training. But I already knew enough about the dangers of it that I decided it would be a bad move on my part.

Maybe sometime down the road I'll take the additional training to become NGH certified. But it's not what I want to do right now, and I don't see putting myself in that position.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Lee Darrow
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I think Chris was right on the money with his post about the easy money attitude some people have when they go into one of these courses.

Any course can present someone with information that they can use - the real test of the quality of a course is the quality of the people who come out of the course!

Do they present a good, entertaining show? Did their existing show, if any, improve noticeably as a result OF the class? Have they improved their re-booking rates (getting brought back to the same venue over and over again)? Have they been booking more shows, with better results because of the material they learned in the class.

This, IMPO, is the acid test for any course.

Of course, there are always those who will take a class and walk on stage and embarrass the daylights out of themselves. I had that happen to the act that was on before me at NGH 2000. And it shouldn't have happened as this person's instructor was in attendance at the convention!

Just goes to show that one gets out of a course what one puts into it, in many ways.

Happy holidays,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
christopher carter
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I've recently had an opportunity to correspond with Geoff and to visit his site, and I have to say I'm very impressed. I had heard good things about the course previously, and what I've learned from his site and from talking with him has confirmed in my mind that this is probably a very good training program.

--Chris
Doink
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I attended Geoffrey and Wendy's seminar. I know it seems impossible to be able to perform a professional stage hypnosis show after just 3 days of training, but I did, and still do. I am glad I didn't read this site before I attended or you very well might have talked me out of attending his course.

All I can tell you is that after attending his seminar, I very quickly put together a professional and safe program that I am extremely proud of. Starting out in a field like this does have it's risks, but Geoffrey's course prevented me from experiencing dangerous situations more effectively than any book, vhs course or other hypnosis seminar that I attended. That is one of the things I am most grateful for, was his approach to prevent the fire before it starts, and he explains how to do this in depth, over and over again.

Is it a good idea to be a hypnotherapist before doing a stage show? Wouldn't hurt. I know that I was with a private practice for 10 years. But I was doing some pretty pathetic shows back then too. If you want to learn how to do a safe, entertaining, professional program, don't fool around. I know for a fact that Geoffrey and Wendy don't need to do this seminar to pay the bills, and there is no guarantee that they are going to do another seminar in the future.

Sure you can get his taped course, and I'm sure it's great, but if you want to get a show going fast, there's nothing better than having Geoffrey right there to correct your mistakes and get you on track right away.

As far as a saturated market goes, maybe I'm blessed. But in my area, very few Corporations and hardly any schools have ever used a stage hypnotist. I spend most my time educating them on the benefits of a Hypno Show, and when I get in, the re-bookings are great. It's great to be in the good old Mid-West.

I also do magic professionally-and now you're talking a saturated market!

Michael Thomas Cht.
MagicalPirate
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Hope all the Hyp Act And Mentalism Buffs had a Great Christmas. Hope 2004 is the most prosperous year ever for all of your careers.

Martin
Martin Blakley, CSH, DASH, CMSA
http://www.thehypnoguy.com/HYPNORESOURCES
http://www.docgrayson.com/
How To Sell Anything Online
http://tub.bz/?r=1z
Copyright to my own words retained 100%.
Lee Darrow
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Michael, your post actually supported my comments on the short form training programs.

You stated that you had "been with a practice for 10 years, " and my comments were to the effect that such a class could significantly help someone with a basic understanding of hypnosis that also knows how to entertain.

I intend no sleight on Mr. Ronning or his program. If he's teaming with Wendi Freisen, one of my favorite people, the bonus material on marketing that she brings to the table is worth the price alone.

I'm glad you got something good out of the training, but can you honestly say that someone with no knowledge of hypnosis would have benefitted as much?

Honest question, not a troll or flame.

Happy New Year!

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
GeoffreyRonning
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Hi All,

A couple of my students told me to come in and clear up some misconceptions regarding our Stage Hypnosis Course, so here I am.

First, let me thank everyone who made any posts regarding this topic. I think they were all valuable and that you are all sincere.

Many of you, like me, have a great love of this craft. I consider hypnosis not only the most powerful tool on earth, but also the most entertaining form of variety entertainment. I love hypnosis.

That is what drove us to offering our course and mentoring people. I was seeing far to many poor hypnosis shows. It was killing me. My goal was (and still is) to eradicate the garbage shows. I do not want to just repair the state of the stage hypnosis industry, but improve it.

It is with great honor that I read the positive comments of people like Bob Cassidy, Blair Robertson, Christopher Carter, Joe Libby, Martin Blakley, Bill Anderson, Dr. Omni, Michael Thomas, Leo Salgado, etc.

It is also nice that people who have attended our course are so positive; this is of course, what we strive for. It is still nice to read things like, in less than two months Bill Anderson made back his total $$$ investment.

In a day and age when customer satisfaction seems to be lower than ever, it is truly rewarding to know our customers are satisfied with what we are delivering.

For those of you that don’t know, I’m a Certified Instructor with the National Guild of Hypnotists. There was a question of Certification with whom and for what. If you read my course description before posting there would be no questions.

The description is here:
http://www.stagehypnosiscenter.com/hypreport.html

It spells out specifically that upon successful completion you are certified with the Stage Hypnosis Center. This course has nothing to do with the NGH (National Guild of Hypnotists) course or conferring the CH designation from the NGH.
If you read the course description that would be obvious.

Lee Darrow, regarding the NGH Certification, that is a 100 hour certification course, not 150 as you posted, unless they changed the number of hours without letting their Certified Instructors know. Which is doubtful because I just got an email from Dr. Richard Harte (on a CI list) a couple of days ago that said nothing about them increasing the length of the course and he wrote it.

But again, that is not relevant to this conversation regarding our stage hypnosis course, because that is a totally different course. If you reviewed our course description, that would have been obvious.

Regarding continual education. Of course you should continue to study. As Joe Libby pointed out, that is something I continually harp on and on about in both live trainings and our products.

In fact, in my course description I make that point very clear and also directly attribute any success I have a Stage Hypnotist, to the fact that I continually invest significantly in live trainings and educational products for both hypnosis and business. Anyone that read the course description would see that.

Regarding the market for stage hypnosis: Christopher Carter said it better than I ever could. This is not a get rich quick scheme, and is not offered as one.

However, I will tell you that the people I know who have a good show and have good business skills, find it very profitable.

It sounds as if some people on this forum cannot get any work with stage hypnosis. I’m certain they are correct; they cannot get any work. But personally, I have been very busy and have many friends that are as well. In fact another friend of mine who I talked to over last weekend, just had three shows (over this same last weekend). He is very busy as well.

And of course, Bill Anderson who just started offering stage hypnosis shows has already earned back his investment, so people are booking him as well. Of course we are all in the US, but then I got this email a couple of days ago from one of my students who trained with me a couple of years ago, he resides in Canada:

>>>>>>>
I pulled in $2000 for the show, $3600 for the % cut based on number of
tickets sold and $1100 in BOR. $6700 for one show...I know that is only
about $100US but is the best I have done on this journey to date....oh yah,
and I got booked for 2 more next year.

>>>>>>>>>

He is in Canada so that is why the joke about the US exchange rate.

He had no prior experience in show business and is doing great. I agree with him, $6700.00 for one show is not bad, even if it is Canadian.

In addition, I know Blair Robertson in Canada is SUPER successful as well.

So, while I’m certain there are many stage hypnotists who cannot find work, I’m also certain that there is another group of us, who have more work than we can possibly service.

Why is this so? It is hard to say, there are a thousand possible reasons. It could be show quality, rapport skills, hygiene, marketing strategy, geography, venues, commitment, perseverance, education, self-limiting beliefs, etc., etc.

That is always the way it will be, particularly if you are offering a replaceable “commodity” such as a “hypnosis show” instead of a valuable service, that can only be delivered by “YOU.”

But of course that is true in all business. That does not matter one bit if you are selling a hypnosis show, magic show, cup of coffee or park bench.

If you are offering a commodity, then it will always come down to price, and that is a very dangerous place to be if a profitable business is your goal.

BTW, the bulk of my income is from performing stage hypnosis, NOT teaching it. I only teach a couple days of the year. That is all the students can put up with.

I think that should clear up the major misconceptions regarding our course.

I wish you all continued success and a wonderful 2004,

Geoffrey Ronning, CH, CI

http://www.stagehypnosiscenter.com/hypreport.html


PS. Lee Darrow, I’m not sure why you think I’m teaming with Wendi Friesen, I looked over this entire thread and saw nothing that stated that, and that is not stated anywhere on my site or Wendi’s.

Perhaps you jumped to that conclusion because someone mentioned “Wendy” my wife? It does not matter, at any rate, rather than speculating about things, perhaps it is best to do a little investigating before posting online.

I mean no disrespect to you or Wendi, I have great respect for you both, I would just hate to have incorrect information disseminated for as long as people frequent this site…

PSS. My sincere appreciation once again for all comments, and in particular for those of you who have had personal experience with Wendy (my wife) and me through our products and training. You really made our night with all the nice comments and, of course, are the only ones that can truly judge our service…..
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » You are getting sleepy...very sleepy... » » Geoffery Ronning and hypnosis (0 Likes)
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