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What do business owners and circus performers have in common? This may seem like a really silly question, but I had the unique experience participating in Circus for Entrepreneurs, a leadership training created by my friend Stacey Murphy. I spent a day at the San Diego Circus Center, practicing real circus acts with real circus professionals while reflecting on my business.
What’s in a name?
At the beginning of the day, we were asked to create a power word. This power word we would wear on our shirt, and it would be our name for the rest of the day. The challenge behind this word was to identify a word or phrase that embodied who you wanted to be. I chose: Risk-Taker. Some might say I take risks but it’s truly relative to what you’re comparing to. For me, I feel like I really value comfort and tend to play it safe and stay comfortable in my business and I would like to take more risks. So “Risk-Taker” became my name of the day, and it really impacted my thoughts and how I approached each activity.
Let’s Get Down to Circus
The day revolved around three stations, the silks, the clown, and the trampoline. As we worked through each station, I was really inside my head. For the silks and the trampoline, I had these ideas of grandeur. I love to perform, I love all eyes on me and I really saw myself performing like a circus professional and everyone is so amazed. This was not the case. I really learned that as I compared myself to others, it really affected what I was actually able to do. Comparing myself in business has become a habit, and this has made me more aware of these comparisons. They are not fair, to me and to the other people. We have different skill sets and that is great.
Working with the clown was a really interesting experience. I may be the only one, but I have always wondered what clowns look like under all the makeup and costumes. Turns out, they might be cute. In this lesson in body language from a plain-clothes clown, I learned my face truly shows my judgment and curiosities. This is something I never expected to get from working with a clown.
Business Reflection with a Twist
After each station, we had the opportunity to reflect, journal, and discuss the connections we made. They had some really great questions that I think would be great for anyone in business to provide a fresh perspective.
- How do you make visible your power word?
- What do you tell yourself when you nail it and when you don’t?
- What are you doing to amuse and delight your clients?
- How can I have more fun in my marketing and sales?
- What happens when you get really high?
- What stories do you tell yourself about how easy or hard you are working?
- Where is the hang time in your business? That space where one action has the greatest leverage?
This training was so interesting and unique, I can’t wait to try their next one! If you’d like to learn more you can check out Circus for Entrepreneurs online and sign up for more information and notifications on their next training.
- My experience at a unique training course, Circus for Entrepreneurs.
- Questions for reflection on your business from the perspective of a circus performer.
- Expectations rarely match reality, and that’s okay.
- How comparison can really hurt your potential.
- What can business owners or entrepreneurs learn from the circus?
Mentioned in this Episode:
Circus for Entrepreneurs
Our Dreamville Label — Akash Winery
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