Magician

You’ll Never Become Bigger Than Yourself If You Insist On Working Alone

You'll never become bigger than yourself if you insist on working alone.
You'll never become bigger than yourself if you insist on working alone.

As speakers, entertainers, artists, coaches, and consultants, we go into business because we love what we do. We have a passion and we want to share it with the world. We don’t have a boss. We set our own hours. We tell the world we are entrepreneurs, when in reality we are freelancers.

Seth Godin has gone into detail describing the difference between a freelancer and an entrepreneur. I’ll give a brief description here. A freelancer gets paid for doing a job. An entrepreneur builds something bigger than himself.

In reality, a freelancer has many bosses. Each one paying when the job, service, or product is delivered or completed. An entrepreneur on the other hand builds a business and can get others to run it. Once the machine is created, it can keep running without the active participation of the entrepreneur. He has built something bigger than himself.

One is not better than the other, but it’s a good idea to make the distinction. It helps clarify what it is that we’re doing.

As a speaker, author, coach, and professional magician, I’m a freelancer. I get paid when I do a job. I get paid when I speak, sell a product, or perform a magic show. If I don’t do the job, I don’t get paid. And for the most part, if I stop working, my business will wither away and die.

Like most freelancers, I wear many hats. I’m the marketing department, booking agent, project creator, and the star entertainment. Unlike most freelancers, I enjoy wearing all these hats.

The problem is there is only so much one person can do. We can become so busy running the business that we don’t have time to really enjoy the thing we set out to do. We become the bottleneck on activities and ideas that can propel our business forward.

So what can we do? We can build a team of people who are willing to work with us. This team can consist of other freelancers, but each team member has their own area of responsibility. As the team leaders, we set the goals for the business, but we have to be willing to let go of the reins and empower our team members to shine.

In the past year, I’ve developed a team of people who work with me. Sometimes they stumble, but they always pick themselves up and learn from the experience. By drawing on the talents and skills of my team, they’ve allowed me to reach greater levels of success than if I had tried to do it all on my own.

Build a team of people whom you can trust, delegate some of the responsibilities to your team members with clearly defined goals and areas of responsibility, be a leader, get out of the way, and watch your business grow.

Lou Serrano

A Challenge To Create Breakthrough Results

success challenge Recently, I’ve been working with a good friend and fellow magician on a show that we plan on showcasing in the near future. It ’s a self-produced show where we’ll be renting a theater and publicizing it to the general public.

My initial plan was to weave in my existing show into his show, and create a show that would combine both of our talents. My fellow performer had the idea to create something truly special, and has been working on completely new routines and effects. After seeing his initial efforts, I was blown away by the magic he had created. His routines truly looked like magic, and were far better than I had initially thought he would produce.

It was a wake up call for me. It’s forcing me to look at my own show, and step up my game. It’s forcing me to look at my tried-and-true routines that I’ve been performing for years, and explore how I can improve them.

Surrounding myself with a very creative magician who is taking action on creating new and wonderful magic has inspired me to work even harder to create even more powerful moments in the magic that I already do.

The same concept can apply to all areas of our lives. It’s easy to become complacent when thinking of our own goals and dreams. After all, most people live a life of default instead of a life by design. They spend their days reacting to what’s before them instead of creating the circumstances they desire.

Surrounding ourselves with people who are go-getters, who are making things happen, who have big dreams and taking action to achieve those dreams will inspire us to do the same.

In the last couple of weeks I made a concerted effort to reach out to people who have achieved great success in business. It’s pushing me to take action and create results in areas that are important to me, but for one reason or another have neglected (it might be because I’ve been reacting to circumstances instead of creating them).

So here’s a challenge, which if you decide to accept may produce breakthrough results. Over the next week, seek out and associate with people who are doing great things, and see how it affects your mindset, actions, and outcomes. I think you may be surprised by the results.

As always, I welcome your comments.

To your success!

Lou Serrano

Los Angeles Magician, Corporate Entertainment Specialist, Keynote Business Speaker

Expand Your Business With Video Marketing

Using video in your marketing is one of the most powerful ways to generate attention, leads, and income to your business. It can also generate attention to your cause or mission, and it can create a presence for you online. There benefits to using video marketing are many. I believe it can help any business regardless of the business that you're in. In this video I share several ways to use video marketing to in your own business.

Lou Serrano

Los Angeles Magician, Corporate Entertainment Specialist, Keynote Business Speaker

Do Something Different - Stand Out and Be Noticed

I recorded this before the start of my first show of the week in the Close-Up Gallery at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. There is one question I ask myself before the start of every week of performances. "Why should anyone come in to see my show?" With so many magicians performing on the same night, how am I going to get noticed?

Here are three ideas to think about when putting together a presentation of any kind. They may help in your journey in differentiating yourself from your competition.

As always, I welcome your comments, and if you haven't already, please subscribe to my blog by leaving your name and email address in the sign up box.

Wishing you all continued success!

Lou Serrano

Los Angeles Magician, Corporate Entertainment Specialist, and Business Keynote Speaker

Your Magic Show - The Most Effective Marketing Tool

Your show is the most effective marketing tool at your disposal. The better your show, the easier it is to book gigs, get referrals, and get clients to hire you again and again. In this video, I share some ideas on how to develop a show that stands out from the competition.

To your success!

Lou Serrano

Los Angeles Magician, Corporate Entertainment Specialist, Keynote Business Speaker

Public Speaking - One Key Idea That Will Set You On The Right Path

Every business is designed to do one thing; solve the problems of other people. If you aren’t solving problems for others, you won’t be in business for very long. For example, if I have a leaking faucet, I’ll call a plumber who can fix it. Problem solved. If I need to sell my home, I’ll hire a realtor who can list my home, find a buyer, walk me through all the paperwork, and make sure everything gets filed correctly. Problem solved. If I’m having a party and I want to make sure my guests don’t get bored, I’ll hire entertainment such as a magician, comedian, band, or caricature artist. My guests are entertained, and my problem is solved. If you think your business is different, and you’re not there to solve a problem, you’re either fooling yourself, or you don’t have a viable business. The key to maximizing your marketing is to clearly identify the problem, and then convey your solution. This blog is designed to solve a problem. If you’re looking to grow your business, gain more clients, and increase your income, my posts are designed to give you information to do exactly that, but here’s something to think about. Everyone is at a different stage in their career, so unless we were doing a one-on-one consultation, it’s incredibly difficult to give you exactly what YOU need at this particular moment to grow YOUR specific business, so if there’s some aspect of growing your business you’d like me to address, please let me know by leaving a comment below. As they say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, so if you want to be heard, make some noise by leaving a comment.

Last week’s video received a really good response, and there was one person who asked about booking speaking engagements, so over the next few weeks I’ll be addressing several different aspects of the speaking business.

Regardless of the industry you’re in, I believe that public speaking is one of the best and fastest ways to grow your business. There are two main reasons. First, you’ll draw attention to your business. There’s no benefit in being your industry’s best kept secret. Second, you’ll be able to position yourself as the expert or authority on your topic. When people seek the solution to their problem, they’ll seek out the expert, YOU.

The number one question most speakers have is, “How do I book more gigs?” It’s an excellent question, but before I can answer that, I have to ask YOU a few questions. Do YOU have something to say? Are you passionate about your topic, and are you so passionate that you’re willing to put in the hard work it’s going to take to book those gigs? Booking gigs isn’t necessarily easy, but if you’re passionate about getting your message out there, then the hard work of getting gigs won’t matter. Your passion will motivate you to do whatever it takes to get the business.

Assuming you have the passion, have you honed your presentation to the point where other people will want to invest their time and resources into bringing you in to speak to their group? If not, then you’ve got some work ahead of you.

The only way to get good at public speaking is to get out there and do it. You can practice all you want in your living room, but practice won’t take the place of real world experience. If you’re new to public speaking, speak as often as you can. Offer to speak for free to service groups such as Rotary Clubs or other charitable associations. Join a local Toastmasters group so you can learn and practice in front of a group of very supportive people who want to help you succeed. Sign up to a lead listing service such as SpeakerMatch.com. For a reasonable fee you’ll get leads for both free and paid speaking gigs. The more you speak, the better you’ll get, and the better you’ll be when you get hired to speak at that high profile gig.

Not only do you have to provide content that people want to hear, you have to deliver it in a way that inspires your audience to take action on your ideas. Anything less is a complete waste of time. It’s a waste of time for you, the speaker, and more importantly, it’s a waste of time for your audience.

I think of a speech as a performance, and a great performance has an attention getting opening, a solid middle where you deliver most of your content, and a closing that people will talk about long after you’re gone.

Really give some thought to your presentation. I’ve seen way too many people get in front of a group and just wing it, and winging it just doesn’t cut it. Show respect to your audience by preparing a presentation that is worthy of their attention, and there lies the most important step. Prepare a presentation worthy of your audience’s attention by never giving a presentation you wouldn’t want to sit through yourself. If you wouldn’t want to sit through it, why would your audience want to sit through it? If you start with this one idea in mind, you’ll be on the right path to succeeding in this business.

Until next week, go out, share your message, and make a difference in the world.

Lou Serrano

Corporate Entertainment Specialist, Business Speaker, Los Angeles Magician

In Support Of Building Relationships

I recently posted a video called The Million Dollar Secret, and although I received overwhelming support for the idea I shared, I still had a few people who were concerned with some perceived underlying negative issues. One issue that was brought to my attention was the idea that I was "using" people to gain something from a relationship. Let me state right here that I don't believe in "using" anyone for anything. Instead, I believe in building relationships. When you build "meaningful" relationships with others, all parties gain something from the relationship.

The most meaningful relationships are based on mutual trust, respect, shared values, passions, and sense of purpose. This applies to all relationships whether it's with your friends, spouse, business partner, or mentor. Basing relationships on the idea that you can "use" them for certain purposes is a formula destined for failure.

One thing you should know about me is that I LOVE people! It's one of the reasons I do what I do. From performing magic and speaking to consulting and writing. I do all these things, because I love people. I try to see the good in everyone I meet, and I have a genuine interest in learning from them and sharing my own specialized knowledge.

Seek out people who you admire, and start building relationships based on trust, respect, values, passions, and sense of purpose.

To your success!

Lou Serrano Los Angeles Magician, Corporate Entertainment Specialist, and Business Speaker

To Be.. You Must Do

Who am I being? A question I must ask myself every morning when I wake up. I'm a magician, a business speaker, internet marketer, and business consultant. But if I really am all these things, then what am I doing? It isn't enough to just SAY I am these things. In order to BE, I must DO. It's an illness that plagues us all. Not being who we say we are. A painting doesn't paint itself. An artist must sit and put paint to canvas. Brushstroke after brushstroke until the painting is complete. An artist can't just begin painting after painting without ever completing one and still call himself an artist. To call oneself an artist, a person must create art.

For me to be a magician, I must create magic in the minds of my audience. Without an audience, there is no magic. To be a business speaker, I must get in front of a group of people and speak. To be an internet marketer, I must create all the necessary components of business and sell, and to be a business consultant I must consult with business owners and share information to help them grow their businesses. In order to BE these things, I must DO, and it's important to do these things every single day.

So who are YOU being today? In order to be, you must do. If you aren't doing, you aren't being.

Lou Serrano

Los Angeles Magician Business Speaker Corporate Entertainment Specialist

The Magic Castle Lecture

Sunday, January 15, 2012 I'll be lecturing at the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA. This will be held in the Parlour of Prestidigitation starting at 3:30 P.M.

This lecture will be on The REAL Secrets. how to build your business faster, easier, and more effectively without spending a fortune. If you want to make 2012 drastically better than 20111, financially speaking, than you owe it to yourself to be here.

This is for Magic Castle members only.

Los Angeles Magician, lou Serrano

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Magician Profile from James Kim on Vimeo.

James Kim, a photojournalist at USC, created an audio slide show of my performance last Friday night at Mo's Bar & Grill in Burbank, CA. He followed me around for two hours and interviewed me between sets. The slide show above is the end result of his project.

Anybody that has followed my blog for any length of time knows that I'm a huge proponent of using video to tell your story. Whether it's the story of who you are and what you do, or the story of information that you want to impart on others, video can be much more compelling than reading text alone. In the past I've also said that video is more compelling than photos. James only shot photos for this project. By integrating audio and presenting it within the context of a slide show, I believe he was able to tell his story in a way that is, in some ways, even more artistic and more compelling than video.

I had no input whatsoever on James' project, except for letting him shadow my steps at the restaurant and answer his questions. The end result is a photojournalistic piece that captured the true essence of what it is that I do on a typical Friday night. Sharing the experience of magic and bringing smiles to the faces of complete strangers is a joy that is difficult to describe. This audio slide show does a great job of capturing some of those moments.

Sometimes we have to step out of our box and view the world through the lens of another human being. By letting another person share his vision of what he sees in your story, you are able to tell your own story in a way that can be much more compelling.

To your success!

Los Angeles Magician and Corporate Speaker, Lou Serrano

P.S. (Shameless Plug) You can see me at Mo's Bar & Grill every Friday night from 7 to 9 p.m. and Sunday Brunch from 11:30 A.M. to 1:30 P.M. If you're in the area, I'd love to see you there.