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How I Turned Magic into a Hobby That Makes Easy Money

How I Turned Magic into a Hobby That Makes Easy Money

I was 9 years old when I watched David Copperfield make a train disappear.

That was the moment I decided to become a magician.

While a performing magic is enjoyable in and of itself; leveraging a hobby you’re good at to make easy money is an awesome added benefit if you can make it happen. Getting extra income to pay bills from something you enjoy doing is a great feeling.

It took several years to achieve, but the following principles can be applied to any hobbyist entertainer looking to make easy money as extra income on the side.

Learning the Show

You have to master your craft.

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Mastering your craft involves endless hours of practice on two levels.

First, you need to practice to the point where the technical side is second nature.

I would practice magic until my knuckles bled and my hands would go through the motions while I slept. Without this level of muscle memory, everything either falls apart or your growth as a performer stagnates.

Second, you need to perform for people.

Performing for people is where you learn presentation and showmanship. Even the most technically skilled performer can bomb if they don’t learn how to deal with the irregularities of performing: different audiences, technical difficulties, unusual stage setups, etc. Get out there and perform for as many people as possible.

I cut my teeth at parties, family functions, open mic nights, charity events and just about any place willing to host a free magic show. This is when the real learning happens and I still do open-mic nights at bars when I’m testing new material.

To make the jump into turning those performances into paying gigs is a matter of learning the business side of entertainment.

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Learning the Business

Learn from those who have done it already.

While there is no shortcut for mastering your craft, you can speed up the business part by learning from established people in your field.

The city I’m living in has a great network of magicians, some of whom made magic their full-time business. I was fortunate to make friends with a magician/hypnotist who taught me the basics of booking a show and getting paid.

Your greatest asset to booking shows is referral business and it’s quite possible to make a sustained income on a strictly referral basis. Here’s how to get started:

Contact everyone you know and let them know about your services. I got my first few gigs this way and I continue to get bookings by telling everyone I meet about my magic.

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Deliver an amazing show as a way to market yourself to audiences. After your performance, thank your client and ask if they enjoyed your show. If they say yes, ask them to pass along your name to others who may want to book you. My record to date is getting 9 bookings as a direct result for one show I performed at a daycare.

Those were the only tools I used for the first few years and it gave some great side income as a student.

When I was ready to take it to the next level, I was put in contact with Elliott Smith, a full-time magician who wrote the book on how to make a living as an entertainer. He has a lot of wisdom to impart and I’m still making efforts to apply his lessons.

His message is simple: if you want the results, you need to put in the work because the world is not going to find you in your basement. Also, long-term success rarely happens overnight so be patient and keep working at it.

It’s Going to Take Effort

The road to achieving consistent side-income from a hobby you love is difficult and long, but rewarding.

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You will have many doubts and be tempted to quit along the way. However, once you break through those barriers, you won’t be able to imagine life any other way.

Now go master your craft and book your first show.

Featured photo credit: Magic pulling various international banknotes from hat via gettyimages

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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