Wiener Dogs, Card Tricks & Zoom Meeting Magic

How do you deal with nearly all meetings now being Zoom meetings in your business?
How do you deal with social distancing in your business?
How do you deal with the equivalent in your business of “Wait. No one told me there’d be 30 barking dachshunds here?”

Social distancing & Zoom meetings are the new wiener dogs.

I can only hope I don’t die of a heart attack at my keyboard right now, leaving my loved ones to not only grieve, but to forever wonder what that last sentence means.

Not all shows are the same. Nope. Nope. Nope.
A few years ago I’m performing close-up magic at a big outdoor event. I’m the only magician, but not the only entertainment. There are jugglers. There are acrobats.
And at noon on that day for about 20 minutes, there was a wiener dog race.

The wiener dog race took place less than 40 feet from me. Now I was fine with this because I have a soft spot in my heart for the kitschy Americana (Germanica?) that is the wiener dog race. During the race I paused my performing because, one, it was an all day booking and a small part of my time there, two, I knew the longtime client would want me to pause, and, three, in the rock/paper/scissors world of performing, nothing short of Santa on a flaming chariot trumps a wiener dog race. Nuthin’.

The wiener dog races conclude. The bettors pay up. (I didn’t actually see any gambling, but it’s a shame to waste a perfectly good wiener dog race wagering opportunity.) I turn on my microphone and immediately gather a large audience, because there was a large audience at the race and that event just ended. I know opportunity when I see it. My audience included one of the wiener dogs and her owner. I perform a 20 minute set, concluding with the wiener dog herself doing a card trick. It was a fun time.

During all of this I look over at one of the other entertainers. He’s ticked off. I later confirmed in a post show discussion he’s ticked he had to stop doing his act because of the wiener dogs.


Rather than discuss the folly of his anger, I want to focus on how the event turned out well for me, not to brag (I do card tricks, not brain surgery), but to illustrate important principles.

And yes, I know that using a wiener dog race as a metaphor for how to deal with change is odd, but if instead of “wiener dog” this post had the phrase “studies show” or “research proves,” you would not have read past the headline. Moving on.

Step one: I realized the reality what I was up against and no amount of denial or fighting would change that reality.

That day it was the dog race. Currently it’s the fact people are not gathering in person to become audiences.

Step two: I started thinking about how I can work around the current reality to still serve my customers. Remember when you read I had the wiener dog do a card trick? If you’re wondering how I was able to create a wiener dog trick on the fly, I didn’t. The moment I saw the race I realized such an opportunity might come up and I mentally prepared.

That day it was a card trick. Currently it’s the virtual shows I’m doing online, usually on Zoom. The process was fast and immediately starting putting me in front of audiences all over the country. Read about it in a previous blog post, It’s Time To Buy Brains.

Step Three: I realized there was big opportunity after the race finished: a few hundred people, packed together a few feet from me, that I could pitch to come to my show.

That day it was a crowd of hundreds of people. Today it’s thousands of people who I can help that gather in virtual crowds who want to elevate the game of their Zoom meetings.

Regardless of what business you’re in: See reality. Look for opportunity. Help others.

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