Magic Money Matters

Steve Wickenton on Going Pro: Magic Money Matters

My Story—Going Pro in Kids Entertainment Part 4

In my last article, I talked about how you can keep yourself motivated in pursuing your love for kids entertaining. Now I’ll go into something more… for lack of a better term, financial. And let me start with an announcement.

It’s official. I now consistently make more money from my magic business than I do from my day job.  (Hurray!) I have cut back my hours at my day job to 21 hours a week and I now spend around  50 hours a week working on my magic.

So why haven’t I quit my day job yet?

Well, the reason is partly loyalty to my job. Right now is the busiest season at work and I feel the need to see it through one more time.

The other reason? Money.

Money is a big motivator for most working people. If you take away the money, then the reason for going to work quickly becomes lost or at least obscured—even if you love your job.

But in my magic business, I try not to focus on money as motivation.  I have heard too many stories about children entertainers who are obviously chasing the money. They try to upsell way beyond their clients’ needs or even mislead them just for the sake of a higher profit.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love the money I make from doing magic shows, but I don’t want it to drive my sales.

Of course with all that said, my main goal is to become a full-time children’s magician and make enough money to be able to quit my day job.

When I first started getting paid for my magic shows, it was a thrill to walk away with some cash for doing what I love. I would go and buy new tricks and with whatever was left over, I would take my family out for a treat.

As my business grew, I slowed down on the purchasing of new tricks and instead used the money to replenish my magic kit with all the consumables like flash paper, birthday cards, mouth coils, and business cards.  I would fill up my car with petrol and any money left from my weekend’s work was then used to fill our kitchen cupboards or pay some bills. My wife was very happy with the extra income and of course I was happy doing the shows. It was a win-win situation until the day I decided to go pro.

I found that the moment I had set my mind on going pro, the money matters changed in a big way. My initial thought was all I had to do was make sure that the money I brought home from my day job would equal the money I brought home from my magic shows. This seemed to me to be very straightforward and not a daunting task at all. X amount of shows each week equals Y amount of dollars which equals what I make during the week at my day job.

But in order to help my business grow, I found that I had to spend more money. Costs of PPC advertising alone were an obvious outgoing on my balance sheet that I needed to account for. Also with the more shows I do each week, my vehicle running cost increased.

The bigger my business grew, the more I had to spend to keep it running at an efficient level.

The bigger my business grew, the more I had to spend to keep it running at an efficient level. A long list that I hadn’t previously thought of quickly came to light and made me realise that I needed to turn over a lot more money to make the same money I was getting from my day job.

So while I have now passed my original goal on where I had to be to go full-time, I now know that it’s not quite enough and that I need to grow my business just a little more.

As strange as it sounds, I need to be making more money so that I don’t have to worry about making money.

  • Julian Mather

    You are well on your way to creating your own future Steve, not the one dished out to you.

    • steve wick

      Thanks Julian. I’m certainly on a path that I would never have considered 5 years ago. With all the work that you and KEH team put in here, it really makes finding the right answers to the right questions very easy.

  • Some very good food for thought, Steve.

    • steve wick

      Andrew I know you have loads of helpful ideas and awesome information that you have learnt and gathered over the last 24 months while putting your school shows together and marketing them. Perhaps even a podcasts worh ? 🙂

      • Still feels like I’m on a very steep learning curve to be honest!

        • steve wick

          Yes for sure, same here,

  • David Forsyth

    Well done Steve, I’ve no doubt in my mind that you will achieve this.

    • steve wick

      Thanks David, it makes it all the more easier and enjoyable with support from people like yourself in the BYMS and KEH groups.

  • hahah I am starting down this road myself. Great to hear about your story Steve.

    • steve wick

      Thanks Stephen. I look forward to hearing more of your story, you are going great guns from everything I have seen.

  • Tore Skytén

    Thanks for sharing your story Steve, very inspiring!

  • Thank you for that insight of going pro ………………I know I got a long way before I go full time but is finding my time for my shows this is my day!!!…………. it may sound like excuses but my day is full to the rim ………………. But I am up at 3:30am every morning Start work 4:30 am finish work @ 3:00pm then by the time I Get home if I have time it’s study or play with show while wife is cooking dinner.. or we are visiting relatives family and friends by then it is 8:pm (bedtime). Usually errands to run after work what ever my wife likes to do !!!! most of my days off I work apart from sundays unless l have a booking or 2. I can’t seem to find time for stage time or practice. Only get about less than an hour to practice any day if I am am lucky ………………At this rate I will be in my 60’s when it happens that is only 12 years away!!!!!!

    • steve wick

      Hi Paul. Wow you do have a plate full!! I certainly had times of the year when my work load was consisting of 8-12 hour days 5 to 7 days for 2 months. That meant for me usually about 1-2 shows every 2 weeks. So I know how hard it can be to remain focused on your magic. Thankfully for me I had other parts of the year when my work load was a lot less and I always used that time to increase my bookings. Over time I got it to the point where I could say goodbye to the crazy hours of work. It took a lot of small actionable goals to get to this point, but the rewards both financially and physically have far out weighed the effort to date.
      12 years may seem a long way a away, but if it’s possible shoot for it and you just might hit the target earlier than you think.