Lesson for Young Brokers from David Blaine

For an hour on Tuesday night, I sat riveted watching David Blaine’s latest special on ABC. The opening shot of the special read:

David Blaine is a professional magician and endurance artist. His performances require substantial hours of training with expert personnel and that David be in top physical condition. Do not attempt to recreate any of these performances as they involve a significant risk of injury or death.

Sounds like brokerage.

David thrilled the likes of David Beckham, Johnny Depp, Drake, Steph Curry, Dave Chappelle, John Travolta, Patrick Stewart, Emma Stone and Arnold Schwarzenegger with card and mind tricks. That likely would have been enough for a successful special.

However, he wanted to push the limits. For the last ten years, he’s been studying Mac Norton, a magician who over 100 years ago used his body as a human aquarium. He would store animals in his stomach and bring them up on demand.

David wanted to replicate the trick. They key is learning to control the esophagus, so he brought in a sword shallower to teach him. Last week, on The Tonight Show, he brought up a few frogs and freaked out Jimmy Fallon and The Roots. He did the same thing on the special in front of Drake, Steph Curry and Dave Chappelle. He even sewed his lips shut when he did the trick for David Beckham.

Still, he wasn’t done there. He actually caught a bullet in his mouth from a rifle that he fired by pulling a string. I can’t make this stuff up. When discussing it, he asked a rhetorical question:

“Why doesn’t he do card tricks and get rich?”

To me, the answer is obvious.

David wants to push the limits of what he’s capable of. He isn’t interested in simply being rich, famous or even the best at his profession. He brought in experts to help him expand his skills. He challenged what his body was capable of and more important than anything else, he looked like he was having more fun than anyone else the entire time.

As I have written before, if you aren’t moving forward, you are moving backwards. The world is changing at a fast pace. New tech tools are being rolled out almost daily and our clients are demanding more from us. Maybe you don’t want to be the best. Maybe you are comfortable where you are. If that’s the case, you probably aren’t reading this.

However, if you are interested in seeing just how far one can go, watch the special. Watch how David uses a team to help him reach his goals. Notice how he brings in experts to help him get better at his craft. Be aware of his attention to detail. If he wasn’t precise, he’d be dead. And finally, look at his face when he amazes others.

As the disclaimer says, don’t try to recreate his performances. Instead, try to create your own magic using his blueprint.