The Magic of a Simple Business

Here’s something super cool about my life: Steve Martin and I are on the same career trajectory.
Sure, he’s 30 years ahead of me, but I’m close on his heels.
Little known fact about him is he got his start working at a magic shop in Disneyland in California.
One of my favorite weird jobs I’ve had over the years was selling magic at Universal Studios in Orlando.
There are other overlaps, but this is the one that matters today.
The one I worked at was an old-school magic shop, and we sold the hell out of floating cards, disappearing coins, magic playing cards, and all manner of gags.
This was before Harry Potter World, and all that jazz. No, we were telling people on a once in a lifetime vacation that they should wait to ride Jaws and come inside to see some magic, instead.
And they did.
We would pack them into our tiny demonstration room and then we’d start our spiel show. It was a well rehearsed, carefully choreographed 15 minute demonstration of magic tricks that were easy to do, but would amaze anyone.
Our small audience of soon-to-be buyers would “oohhhh” and “ahhhhhh.” They would think about all the ways they could finally impress that girl they’ve loved since 3rd grade.
We would perform miracle after miracle, all the while reassuring them that anyone (over 6 years old) could do what we were doing.
People had a hard time accepting that it really could be easy to do. “Because,” they thought, “if it were actually that easy to do, it would be that easy to figure it out.
We’d wrap up the demonstration and direct them to the counter where they could buy everything they saw us do (and more!).
They would fork over hundreds of dollars, and if it was a slow day we’d even teach them a trick or two.
We’d swear them to secrecy, take the trick out of the box, and then show them how it works.
They’d get a strange look on their face as their brain caught up to reality and then say:

But, that wouldn’t fool anybody!

How strange!
2 minutes earlier, they were completely baffled with no plausible explanation how such a miracle could even be possible. 2 minutes later they’ve seen the step-by-step process, and they’re convinced it would never work.
Why is that?
It was too simple
And that’s the biggest secret of all.
Success is simple. It really is.
We want it to be difficult. We want it to be a struggle. We want to convince ourselves that hard work is the only way to get ahead in life.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
You can get results that look completely impossible (to someone on the outside) with methods that are remarkably easy.
The trick is knowing how it all fits together.
When I do my consulting work with clients, I’m often reminded of those people in the magic shop who are adamant that “This will never work!”
I get it. It’s too simple. You want it to be a miracle. You want to impress the world with how clever you are. You want to be a champion!
Well, let your results do that. There are easier ways of getting through life than telling everyone it can’t be done.
Don’t interrupt those of us who are doing it.

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