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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 November 5, 2020

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. A rut can manifest as a productivity vacuum and be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. Is it possible to learn how to get out of a rut?

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, or a student, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on Small Tasks

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks that have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate positive momentum, which I bring forward to my work.

If you have a large long-term goal you can’t wait to get started on, break it down into smaller objectives first. This will help each piece feel manageable and help you feel like you’re moving closer to your goal.

You can learn more about goals vs objectives here.

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2. Take a Break From Your Work Desk

When you want to learn how to get out of a rut, get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the bathroom, walk around the office, or go out and get a snack. According to research, your productivity is best when you work for 50 minutes to an hour and then take a 15-20 minute break[1].

Your mind may be too bogged down and will need some airing. By walking away from your computer, you may create extra space for new ideas that were hiding behind high stress levels.

3. Upgrade Yourself

Take the down time to upgrade your knowledge and skills. Go to a seminar, read up on a subject of interest, or start learning a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college[2]. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a Friend

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while. Relying on a support system is a great way to work on self-care when you’re learning how to get out of a rut.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget About Trying to Be Perfect

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies. Perfectionism can lead you to fear failure, which can ultimate hinder you even more if you’re trying to find motivation to work on something new.

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If you allow your perfectionism to fade, soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come, and then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

Learn more about How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up.

6. Paint a Vision to Work Towards

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the ultimate goal or vision you have for your life?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action. You can use the power of visualization or even create a vision board if you like to have something to physically remind you of your goals.

7. Read a Book (or Blog)

The things we read are like food for our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great material.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. You can also stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs and follow writers who inspire and motivate you. Find something that interests you and start reading.

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8. Have a Quick Nap

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep[3].

Try a nap if you want to get out of a rut

    One Harvard study found that “whether they took long naps or short naps, participants showed significant improvement on three of the four tests in the study’s cognitive-assessment battery”[4].

    9. Remember Why You Are Doing This

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall your inspiration, and perhaps even journal about it to make it feel more tangible.

    10. Find Some Competition

    When we are learning how to get out of a rut, there’s nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, and networking conventions can all inspire you to get a move on. However, don’t let this throw you back into your perfectionist tendencies or low self-esteem.

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    11. Go Exercise

    Since you are not making headway at work, you might as well spend the time getting into shape and increasing dopamine levels. Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, or whatever type of exercise helps you start to feel better.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

    If you need ideas for a quick workout, check out the video below:

    12. Take a Few Vacation Days

    If you are stuck in a rut, it’s usually a sign that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange one or two days to take off from work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax, do your favorite activities, and spend time with family members. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest.

    More Tips to Help You Get out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Ashkan Forouzani via unsplash.com

    Reference

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