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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Do you suffer from "The Streetlight Effect"? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
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It is a classic story and goes like this.

"A police officer sees a drunken man intently searching the ground near a lamppost and asks him the goal of his quest. The inebriate replies that he is looking for his car keys, and the officer helps for a few minutes without success then he asks whether the man is certain that he dropped the keys near the lamppost.

“No,” is the reply, “I lost the keys somewhere across the street.” “Why look here?” asks the surprised and irritated officer. “The light is much better here,” the intoxicated man responds with aplomb."

That is the 1924 version and the earliest incarnation of the story I can find.

My question is in running your business do you suffer from this bias? (Not only in marketing but in the entire business model.) SO many people want to find what others are doing and apply it to what they do whether they know the business model or not.

SO many keep looking by the streetlight because the light is better there while all the time their keys are nowhere near the streetlight.

My first year in business for real a gentleman pointed this effect out to me and it was enlightening! It starts with being able to have the courage to admit toy might be guilty of it. I WAS. Then it becomes about taking action.

Specifically if you want to take your business to another level looking for how to do so in the familiar light of the streetlight is never going to work.

Si my question is so you suffer from this?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
charliecheckers
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Great story and analogy. Along the same lines, how many of those who promote marketing and business assistance are essentially saying “Hey, come over here because I have bright lights”, when they have no idea where you lost your keys.

Honestly, for those of us still building who we are, it is challenging not to get drawn in by the bright lights and stay focused on what we are looking for and where it can be found. We develop long, mid and short term goals to help stay the true course and weekly have a consultative discussion with Mindpro to avoid the streetlight effect as much as possible.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Jan 11, 2019, Dannydoyle wrote:
My question is in running your business do you suffer from this bias? (Not only in marketing but in the entire business model.) SO many people want to find what others are doing and apply it to what they do whether they know the business model or not.

SO many keep looking by the streetlight because the light is better there while all the time their keys are nowhere near the streetlight.



I think many suffer from this. I see this on a weekly basis, and not just from beginners but from performers that have been doing this for years, even decades.

Checkers wrote: Along the same lines, how many of those who promote marketing and business assistance are essentially saying “Hey, come over here because I have bright lights”, when they have no idea where you lost your keys.

I think this is a big part of the problem, except in these cases the performer is not drunk, bit simply being influenced by the bright shiny objects within the bright lights.

Like so many things today, its the quick, easy way - SO many people want to find what others are doing and apply it to what they do whether they know the business model or not."

Truth be told, as simplistic of a business component as it is, most performers don't truly have a business model. If anything it is what I have referred to as a default business model.

I can't tell you how many guys come to me with the question or statement of "I just don't know how some of these performers say they are making $1,000 or $5,000 per gig." Or the similar "I just don't believe these performers that claim they are making $1,000 to $5,000 per booking - I think they're all full of *@&t."

The problem is they are all looking at it through their own eyes and business model (if they even have one) and don't realize that there are different business models that lead to much different results. The only performers where it is only understood and discussed is with DJs and comedians. Primarily because this is quickly taught and learned from their very earliest days. No so with magicians.

I still have guys tell me it is impossible to earn $1,500, $2,500, $5,000 or even $10,000 for doing a school show, yet it happens regularly (of course they truly do not know the school market - they think they do, but in reality, they haven't a clue). They don't realize it is simply a different business model that allows this.

The problem I have, and I guess I'm just weird, is this is the exciting part of performing - learning, understanding, and knowing the business science behind the art. I remember some of my mentors being amazed at my eagerness to want to learn this as it made them want to assist me. Art Linkletter, in particular, knew so much about the industry and in many ways was a pioneer, would be so thrilled that I "got it" that he would literally share everything with me. I remember being a young guy with the knowledge of a seasoned veteran. That impressed him even more. The point is we as performers wanted to learn this. Today it is dreaded, viewed as a "have to learn" situation or with a mentality of "I will learn the minimal I need to know."

I get the appeal and attractions of the bright lights but like many of the stages we perform on, when the lights go dark, you look around and realize the curtain is tattered and being held together with clips and wires, the boards are weak, cracked or even missing, lights are burnt out, there is "that" smell and the reality presented is entirely different than you first thought when the bright lights grabbed you.

As I tell many of these people at least get the right and proper foundational aspects understood and in place. Many things then start to become clearer, many falling right into place. But what can happen is once they do they start to see the light and WANT to then continue to learn more about the business side of our art. Business too is an art, a performance. Once realized it can change many things in our mindsets, approach, and perspectives.
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