I recently discovered Tim Farris on the Jay Mohr podcast. I haven't read any of his books yet, but he was very interesting. Two of the things I came away with from the podcast were; the 80/20 principle and asking "what’s the worst that could happen?" The 80/20 principle is that 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions. I tried to relate this to juggling shows. In the last year, Darren has spent some time doing online advertising, and I have spent a bunch of time designing this website and our brochures. However, I would guess that 80% of our show offers come from people who have heard about us through Jesse Rothaker (thanks again Jesse). This involved almost no work on our part. We met him after a show at the Intercourse Heritage Festival, and since then he has told tons of the people he has performed for about us. NOTE: Darren disputes the 80% figure for Jesse, but agreed that most of our shows came from some sort of referral. If we really want to do more shows, that is what we should try to duplicate.
I guess what I am talking about is networking. I have always had a negative association with the idea of networking. It always seemed like it meant pretending to be friends with someone, so they would help you out. Obviously, I could remove the word pretending from that definition and it wouldn't sound as bad, but it still seems like networking is kind of like using people. I am going to experiment with it for a month to see if it is really that bad. What’s the worst that could happen? I could turn into a calculating jerk, but I am sure someone will tell me if that happens. Plus, I feel like that by writing about it as I do it at the very least I am being honest about everything. Maybe I will irritate people who could have otherwise helped us, but that's not really any worse than them not knowing who we are at all.
I've barely started and I have already decided that the idea of networking for a month was too ambitious. I was making a list of possible people to learn about and try to meet, but I could already feel that it was too much to think about. Instead I am going to limit this experiment to two goals.
Ok, it is time to check in on my goals. I don't know if I have been much friendlier: I was going to try and e-mail some of the other performers I meet at our last show, but I can't remember their last names. I stopped by the Lancaster Juggling Club on Tuesday and one of Jesse Rothaker's shows. I didn't really make any new contacts, but it was nice to see people again and stay a little more connected.
On to Goal 2, I sent Steve Courtney an e-mail asking some questions. He replied super fast and was extremely friendly and helpful. I am planning to meet with him to discuss our show early next month. This second goal was really easy to accomplish, I basically just had to ask.
In summary, I enjoyed hanging out with performers after our show, attending the Reptile show, and going to the juggling club. I am also excited to meet Steven Courtney. However, thinking about networking still feels weird. Instead of thinking about networking, I am just going to try to be more willing to go out and do things when they come up. This doesn't feel like that interesting of a conclusion, but hey it was worth a try.
The K in the DKers