Almost every entertainer will hit a period of career stagnation. It is impossible to avoid if you have been working long enough. This applies to any creative businesses or entreprenuer, not just an individual creative artist like an entertainer.
I define career stagnation for an entertainer as doing the same type of shows for relatively the same money for more than two or three years. It means you are not moving forward and innovating with your career, increasing your value to the market or exploring new markets.
Career stagnation will be harmful in the long run, even if you are currently making a good living. In my opinion, if you are stagnating, you are actually regressing; that is, moving backwards.
How can you be moving backwards if you are stationary, you may ask? The reason is very simple. You regress because the world is constantly moving forward and at a startling pace. If you allow yourself to stagnate, you will soon become irrelevant because new talent who are ploughing forward will soon surpass you.
Entertainment trends, audience tastes and preferences of show bookers will evolve. So, when the world moves forward, you will be left behind, which is essentially the same as moving back.
In the age of the Internet, everything moves at light speed with entertainment content being produced on all platforms and media. It is very easy for a live entertainer to get obsolete very fast if you do not reinvent yourself or your show.
Even if you are performing proven effects, there is a constant need to update the act; whether it is the choreography, music, prop design, costume or staging.
In my book “The Showbiz Master Plan”, I share 3 points in my career where I felt I reached career stagnation and how I handled it to push myself to the next level.
In each instance, I forced myself out of my comfort zone.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
There is no gain without pain and if you want to be successful, you will have to get out of your comfort zone and take risks. With risk comes the possibility of failure. But, if you do not take any risks to move forward, then you are almost guaranteed to fall behind in a matter of time.
Most people do not like change and do not want to get out of their comfort zone. Some stand by the saying, “don’t fix what is not broken” due to fear, laziness or complacency.
As highlighted earlier, if you allow yourself to stagnate, you will be left behind as the world is constantly moving forward.
“The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.” ~ Seth Godin
In order to make quantum leaps in your career, especially when trying to get into Big Money markets, you need to do just that, get out of your comfort zone and take a quantum leap.
If you have been offering the same differentiated quality product (your show or act) to the market for the past 3 years, can you make it better, bigger or more valuable?
- Can you create a new differentiated quality product to replace the current one?
- Getting out of your comfort zone applies to both your show and business. For your business:
- Have you stagnated in the way you manage your business and market your show?
- Are you spending enough time and money on your business processes and marketing?
- Are you running your business efficiently & professionally? Do you have unnecessary operating costs? Do you have a proper rehearsal space?
- Is your website up-to-date, contemporary in design, search engine optimized and mobile friendly? Are you still using a free email account as your business account?
- Are your performance and publicity photos in your promotional material older than 3 years?
- Have you tried new marketing tactics in the last 3 years? Are you taking advantage of social media, Internet tools or just different forms of marketing that you previously did not consider?
- Have you explored new markets or sourced for new agents and partners in the last 3 years?
Your honest answers to the above questions will reveal if you are at a point of stagnation in your career. If you are stagnant, the good news is, you now know where to start to push yourself to the next level.
As one who believes in putting what I preach into practice, I have been working hard to put a new product (show) together.
What makes this show unique is that it is unlike any of the shows I have produced in my career. There is a concept to the show and all illusions and acts revolve around the concept of the show.
And, this is not just an aesthetic concept or theme. This concept is the very core of the show and changes the expectations and experience of a regular illusion show.
I actually came up with the concept years ago (maybe as many as 6 years ago) but was never satisfied with the structure or effects in the show until about a year ago. I have been testing individual effects in my regular shows and will be putting everything together in the new show soon.
To get an idea of what I mean of innovative show concepts, check out this post here.
Don’t rest on your laurels… get out of your comfort zone and reinvent yourself.