Posts Tagged 'business'

Keys to Corporate Success

2009 pics book 008

Comedy magician and Minnesota Author Autographs books in St Paul’s Red Balloon Bookstore

Working as an author with Capstone Press taught me a lot about what is right in business and the corporate setting. My awesome editor Aaron made me look great. As did the photo artist and graphic designers.

There is a real top notch team at Capstone Press! They all strove for excellence and in the end, the four hard cover books, really look great.

I had the opportunity to observe their process from start to finish and was amazed at their efficiency and skill. Teamwork like this is an example of excellence to all businesses.

I observed several keys to corporate success.

The first Key is:  Clear communication.  The editor and I had many helpful discussions that made my writing go easier as it was clear what they were hoping for in a finished product.  This made everything smooth all work out for the good in the end.  They work with hundreds of authors and were very patient and kind to me. This encouraged my creative output.

Around 55 tricks were selected from the ones I developed for the books. Each one had to be written in a clear and readable style. Inventing some tricks was fun. Others were adaptations of old tricks doen with new props or storyline. Writing out the method for the magic tricks can be a challenge; we plotted out the photos and made sure it would be understandable so the readers could actually make the tricks work on their own.  Aaron, the Editor simply encouraged me to do my best. Thanks to him, I came out looking great.  I also saw clear communication between the departments and this kept the project moving along at a brisk pace. Communication should be clear and concise so no one’s time is wasted. Aaron was a gem. His kind suggestions and clear guidelines made the text and flow of each book come out in a superior way.

Each person that was involved in my books were also working on various stages of several other books at the same time and they went from one project to the next with excitement for their work and with cool confidence. Clear communication was a major key to this team’s success. They knew how to do their job and they did it well, and worked well with each other. This brings us to key #2.

Key #2 – Hire people who are experts and let them be free.  At Capstone press I saw extremely creative people working with excellence and style. The results of their work was artistic, and in many cases very stunning. I paged through many of their other books and the body of work was absolutely excellent.

The photo artist who took the pictures for the book was equally skilled and had a keen eye for the composition of the photos. She set me at ease and it was a relaxing and fun photo shoot. Setting the subject at ease goes a long way to the overall quality at the end of it all. There were hundreds of photos taken in one day and you can see in the books the playful way it all came together to teach the subject in a fun and clear way.

The key is to hire experts and let them do their thing… excellence will result.  A great team needs one more thing in their people. This characteristic is: to be just plain nice people.

Key #3 The key is to simply be kind and nice. This is simple yet can be difficult. These seem like obvious skills that we learn in kindergarten and from our parents, but without these attributes no business will last long. To keep a positive working environment is vital. If there is bickering or put downs in the office, creative people shut down and the negative effects can come across to the clients or customers.  A positive attitude and cheerful disposition can be cultivated in ourselves and spread to others. These are valuable traits that bring joy to the days work and contribute greatly to success.

Key #4  Set reasonable goals and achieve them.  This team knew what they were capable of and they set goals that were challenging yet, doable. They worked out the approximate time needed to achieve each goal.  In my case, there were four deadlines one for each book.  The deadlines were tight but within reason. When I got approval in each magic trick I would go forward and write the final draft.  Of course there were many changes and adaptations and it was fun to see the books evolve throughout the creative process.

bookbanner

These books are found across America and around the World. This is the original set I wrote a few years back.. I now have ten total titles with this wonderful publisher.  The first set sold over 100,000 copies making.

 

Magic shows bring live to company parties, team building meetings and family events.

MagicNorm.com is the spot for more information on making your next event a stand out success.

 

 

 

 

What Charlie Chaplin can Teach Business

One morning in Hollywood last week I strolled down a few blocks beyond Hollywood Boulevard with a few of my friends and we ended up at the

At the front door of the old Charlie Chaplin Studio in Hollywood old studios ran by Charlie Chaplin. The complex is currently owned by the Jim Henson Studios. They still shoot several Muppet programs there but these are mainly guest appearances and promotional shorts as the Muppet TV show is no longer in production.

On the front door of the studio is a simple and loving tribute to Charlie Chaplin. It is a life size painting of him on the door. Below in the still sturdy concrete are the imprints of the footsteps of Charlie and his autograph signed into the top step.  Chaplin has had a big impact on my life.  I enjoyed studying his hilarious comic style and his incredible gift of storytelling.  For many years Chaplin was the toast of Hollywood and he was loved across the world for his little tramp character.

The Chaplin character, on screen, faced many challenges and yet he stayed optimistic through the struggles. He inspired a nation and world that was faced with poverty and depression. Perhaps people who watched his movies found a spark of hope for a better life as they watched his feisty spirit race across the screen. His ingenious comic solutions to problems and adversity can motivate and inspire us too.

What can those who run a business learn from this legend of Hollywood?

1)  Perseverance. Chaplin on the screen never gave up. In a film about the 1849 Rush to Alaska titled, The Gold Rush, Little Charlie fought some big Goliaths, including a band of villains, a fierce bear, and a huge and very hungry man who at one point wanted to eat Charlie! This is the funny movie where Charlie  suggests that they eat their shoes, rather than each other, and the hilarious moment as the two are seen munching, like spaghetti, on shoelaces and attempt to chew a shoe sole that is as tougher than a $5.00 steak.  In other films he would inspire us as he helped a street orphan or rescue a distressed maiden. He even saved a country in his film about WWII entitled, The Great Dictator. In the end somehow Charlie persevered, found solutions and saved the day. That is inspirational.

Off screen Charlie Chaplin struggled with giants such as studio heads and others who would attempt to stifle his creativity.  After many disputes about creative outcomes of his films pressured by the studio heads on Chaplin’s artistic ability he finally created his own independent film company. He was instrumental in getting his friends Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford to join him in the creation of a new kind of film company – United Artists.  Its purpose was to put the artists and creators first in the creative business of film making.

2)  Vision. Chaplin was true to himself and his vision.  He had a clear vision for what he wanted to achieve and he did not vary from his mission.  If a film succeeded or failed artistically, he was where the buck stopped. He took the responsibility and along with that came great rewards.  In business we need to have a clear vision and take reasonable risks to achieve the goal. The outcome can result in the rewards that come with success.

3)  Optimism. Charlie Chaplin projected optimism in his films and this was encouraging to his audiences. Audiences were encouraged by this optimistic attitude. Everyone likes to be around those who are optimistic.  This attitude in us and our business will make us more appealing to our coworkers and customers.

4)  Excellence. Chaplin’s excellence in film making came from years of experience doing the sometimes difficult work of comedy in the comedy clubs of his day, the music halls. These variety shows were in theaters in the rough and tumble small and mid-sized villages as well as inner city factory areas across England.  This school of hard knocks taught him the skills needed to make an audience laugh. He instinctively knew what was funny.

Excellence comes from striving to do our best at all times.  We also need to continue to train and study to improve ourselves and our businesses.

I suggest that you might want to go and rent or purchase a Chaplin movie, laugh, and lift your spirits.  You may also consider ways to implement these ideas into your work.

A Full Year Ahead of Making Laughs and Teaching on Humor and Business

I look forward to 2010 and the many opportunities coming together for me to spread humor and teach on comedy techniques, humor in the workplace and my business ideas. There are conventions of entertainers that have invited me to perform and teach across the country including; Hollywood, California, Las Vegas, Nevada, and cities in Kentucky and Georgia.  We are also talking with groups in New York, Michigan and Jacksonville, FL.

I’m also very excited at the possibility of speaking at a convention in Australia.  The organizers have also invited me to speak to magicians and entertainers in 4 other cities after the convention so this would be a fantastic way to see the beautiful land of Australia. I like to spend extra time in the cities I visit so I am excited to see the wonderful opportunities that this art of Magic, Humor and Teaching has given me.

The furthest travel this year will take me to the fascinating and beautiful  land of Singapore to speak and teach. This will be a very fun trip as I will get to enjoy the company of several other speakers who I really admire. I am also excited to meet the trainers from Singapore and other countries who will be there. I am sure I will learn so much from the other trainers. It is fun to teach my methods, techniques and inventions, but what is really neat is to be able to absorb all the great ideas of the workshop teachers who are there.

New ideas keep us fresh and inspire the mind to generate innovations and solutions.

Keys to Corporate Success

Working as an author with Capstone Press taught me a lot about what is right in business and the corporate setting. My awesome editor Aaron made me look great. As did the photo artist and graphic designers.  A top notch team at Capstone Press! They all strove for excellence and in the end the four hard cover books really look great.

I had the opportunity to observe their process from start to finish and was amazed at their efficiency and skill. Teamwork like this is an example of excellence to all businesses.

I observed several keys to corporate success.

The First Key is:  Clear Communication. The editor and I had many helpful dialogs that made my writing go easier as it was clear what they were hoping for in a finished product.  This made everything smooth all work out for the good in the end.  They work with hundreds of authors and were very patient and kind to me. This encouraged my creative output.

Around 55 tricks were selected from the ones I developed for the books. Each one had to be written in a clear and readable style. Inventing some tricks was fun. Others were adaptations of old tricks doen with new props or storyline. Writing out the method for the magic tricks can be a challenge; we plotted out the photos and made sure it would be understandable so the readers could actually make the tricks work on their own.  Aaron, the Editor simply encouraged me to do my best. Thanks to him, I came out looking great.  I also saw clear communication between the departments and this kept the project moving along at a brisk pace. Communication should be clear and concise so no one’s time is wasted. Aaron was a gem. His kind suggestions and clear guidelines made the text and flow of each book come out in a superior way.

Each person that was involved in my books were also working on various stages of several other books at the same time and they went from one project to the next with excitement for their work and with cool confidence. Clear communication was a major key to this team’s success. They knew how to do their job and they did it well, and worked well with each other. This brings us to key #2.

Key #2 – Hire people who are experts and let them be free. At Capstone press I saw extremely creative people working with excellence and style. The results of their work was artistic, and in many cases very stunning. I paged through many of their other books and the body of work was absolutely excellent.

The photo artist who took the pictures for the book was equally skilled and had a keen eye for the composition of the photos. She set me at ease and it was a relaxing and fun photo shoot. Setting the subject at ease goes a long way to the overall quality at the end of it all. There were hundreds of photos taken in one day and you can see in the books the playful way it all came together to teach the subject in a fun and clear way.

The key is to hire experts and let them do their thing… excellence will result.  A great team needs one more thing in their people. This characteristic is: to be just plain nice people.

Key #3  The key is to simply be kind and nice. This is simple yet can be difficult. These seem like obvious skills that we learn in kindergarten and from our parents, but without these attributes no business will last long. To keep a positive working environment is vital. If there is bickering or putdowns in the office, creative people shut down and the negative effects can come across to the clients or customers.  A positive attitude and cheerful disposition can be cultivated in ourselves and spread to others. These are valuable traits that bring joy to the days work and contribute greatly to success.

Key #4 Set reasonable goals and achieve them. This team knew what they were capable of and they set goals that were challenging yet, doable. They worked out the approximate time needed to achieve each goal.  In my case, there were four deadlines one for each book.  The deadlines were tight but within reason. When I got approval in each magic trick I would go forward and write the final draft.  Of course there were many changes and adaptations and it was fun to see the books evolve throughout the creative process.