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David Hira – Magic

Being a magician means that I have the ability to do what others think is impossible while creating wonder, astonishment and disbelief. For years I learned to do this through the tricks that I learned, practiced and performed.

Over time, a wonderful thing began to happen. In the midst of my performances people started saying, “These aren’t just tricks, are they?” What they meant was that I wasn’t just some guy trying to fool them. Instead, I was creating such impressionable moment for them that they actually got to believe, just for a moment, that anything was really possible.

Hurray! This is what I strived to achieve. Indeed, for all of us, anything IS possible. Note that I did not say “everything is possible”. What is the difference? Focus. When we focus individually or focus as a team on a result it most certainly can be achieved!

We all have the capability to do what others think is impossible. My job is to remind and reinforce to each person that I meet that this is indeed true. Find a way you can do it, not reasons why you can’t. Focus on what you wish to achieve and then make it so. Do something every day to reach your goal, our dream, your vision. Then, one day, it will happen. Then, you too, will find that one of life’s greatest joys is doing what others said was “impossible”.

Business Tip: How to be a Mindreader

David Hira, Mind Reader, Magician, and Motivational Speaker

How can you have just the right product or service, tweaked perfectly to your customer’s smallest wants and desires, so that that people will shop with you and tell all of their friends time after time? It’s easy: become a mindreader.

If you’ve seen my magic shows or my keynote presentations or if you were ever one of my customers when I owned my restaurant, day spa, jewelry shows, or if I navigated you through U.S. Customs as I did for Cartier, Seiko and Fossil Watches, you know that I must be a mindreader! People leave my keynotes saying, “How did he know that was exactly what we needed to hear?” My customers always gave my other businesses awards for “Best of..” over and over again. We won community awards of every kind!

Was I really a mindreader?

No. Now, our magician’s code is, “Never reveal the secret to a trick.” But (because I know YOU can keep a secret), I am going to break the code just this once to help you in your business or job. Here’s the secret to knowing what your customer’s want, what your community wants, what your church wants, and what your spouse or kids want or need from you: Ask them and ask them often.

The first question you need to figure out is who is YOUR customer? Your customer is whoever it is that you have to please in order for you to sustain your lifestyle. She could be your business client, someone who patronizes your store, or an online buyer you have not yet met in person. He could be your student or your students’ parents. Your customer may be your spouse and your children or your neighbors and your community. With that in mind, please read on!

How good are you at asking the people that sustain you, “How can I please you best? What can I improve for you? What might you want from me in the coming months?” This simple act of engaging people, listening to them, and then taking action allows you to match your customers’ lists of wants and desires with what you provide and always yields great results.

What are some ways this can be done? Phone a few customers each day. Make it a part of your routine. Create a short survey on your web site or email them a short survey. Print up a short and easy to fill out card with your questions. Give them multiple choice answers and a place for them to write in answers. Get out to where your customers are and ask them pointed questions.

What questions can you ask your customers?
•    What aren’t we carrying or what service aren’t we providing that you really wish we did?
•    What bugs you most about doing business with us?
•    If you could name 3 things that we do best, what would they be?
•    If you could name 3 things that we could do better what would they be?
•    What is your biggest need as my customer?

What questions can you ask of your spouse and children?
•    What aren’t I doing or providing to you that you really wish I did?
•    What bugs you most about being married to me or about being your dad/mom?
•    If you could name 3 things that I do best for you, what would they be?
•    If you could name 3 things that I could do better what would they be?
•    What is your biggest need as my spouse/child? (Do any of these questions sound familiar?)

When I am hired to provide a great fun magic show, perform “Mingling Magic” (expert sleight-of-hand), or give a motivational and life-affirming keynote I ask a LOT of questions. Why are these people gathering? What is the purpose of this event? Is there anything I need to know about regarding these people? Has there been any incidence that I need to know about that is affecting people’s emotions, thoughts, or attitudes? What is the average age and income of those who will be present? What do you hope to achieve as a result of me being at this event? How will you measure that result?

In order for me to be successful and to be relevant to those I will be affecting and engaging I need to know who they are, how to best relate to them, and what is on their minds.

So now you know my secret: I am not REALLY a mind reader.

Since I’m not a mindreader, I simply need to ask. When you start asking questions, on a regular basis, you will be surprised at how much more successful you will be at everything you do!

When Was Your Last Attitude Tune Up?

Do you remember the time when someone grabbed your attention, spoke directly into your soul and being, and changed your attitude, your thinking, and your life? Was it because they spoke to your heart or because they spoke from their heart? Or was it (most likely) because they were genuine, real, and focused on you?

The fact is, someone “got to you” at one time or another in you life. They made you think about where you were, the decisions you were making and, perhaps, the outcomes you should expect because of the choices you were about to make. They helped to make a change in you to put you on a better path than the one you were on.

People change people. Words change people. Thoughts, ideas, and attitudes are all affected by the power of words. What were the words that rang true for you and made you reevaluate yourself? Who was that “someone” who changed you?

When I was in my twenties I got to meet one of my idols: Jim Henson. A simple conversation about puppetry turned into an attitude altering and life changing experience. Jim’s words resonated with me, and helped me realize my potential and what I was capable of. To this day, I remember his words, and strive to use the power of my words to reach others and show them what they are capable of.

Video of Jim’s Inspirational Words

It is a high honor and responsibility to be a keynote speaker. People often ask me, “What can I expect my people to get out of one of your keynotes?” I simply reply, “It is not what your people will get out of my keynote. It is what my keynote will get out of your people!”

We take our cars in for tune ups. We run diagnostics on our computers to clean them of “bugs” that might slow them down. We take ourselves to our doctors for annual physicals to make sure we’re running in peak performance mode. Yet, most people do not do enough to have their attitudes refocused and refueled on an annual basis.

We MUST work hard to keep our attitudes and our teams’ attitudes in tip top condition. It’s like adding nutrients to your lawn- you have to feed and energize your team member’s minds not just choke out the weeds!

I would be honored to come energize your people, give them the tools and ideas they need to succeed, and change the course of their thinking. Please call me and let me come tune up your team’s attitude!

Motivational Keynote Video

Thoughts on an Elevator

Do you talk to people in elevators? How about to people seated behind you at the movies before the show begins? In line at the bank, the post office or at the gas station?

I know it drives my friends and my family nuts, but I do! I can’t help myself!

It is no secret that I believe in God and in the Bible. When I look at all of the incredible things that God has created on this earth I think that “people” are the most awesome things of all. When I’m on an elevator I cannot help but think, “These people are especially and wonderfully created by God!” I realize that I may NEVER be this close to these people ever again. I simply MUST acknowledge these incredible creations of His who are sharing the space with me for this one moment.

I don’t simply say, “Hello…” I don’t merely ask, “How are you?” In the few seconds we might have together I ask, “Can I ask you a quick question? I love to travel. Where’s the coolest place you’ve been that I need to know about?” Then, let the fun begin! Watch them react. Most of the time they look at me in shock, then in skepticism. Next, they smile as they recall a terrific place… and then they share! It is a wonderful moment for me and a wonderful time for them. I leave a better person and, hopefully, so do they.

Try it! Share a moment with a stranger and acknowledge how special they are.

And remember, you are incredibly and wonderfully made too! There will never be anyone in the world like you ever again. I hope that others will take a moment to notice how special you are and perhaps even ask you a simple question with the hopes of finding out even more about you.

Lets play my elevator game online: where is the coolest place you have ever visited? Post your comments on here so that you and I can share a moment and I can learn something special about you!

Five Tips for a Great Trade Show Booth

Trade show season is upon us – make sure you are ready to make the most of  your experience and time at your show with these five tips to make your booth the best ever!

1. Remember, it is a trade SHOW.

Have a script, costumes (company shirts), and props (promotional items). Be sure to rehearse your staff before you go to the trade show. Set up a mock trade show booth at your office or your company’s cafeteria. Have a script of what people are to say and practice how you will greet customers and prospects.  Enthusiastically practice handing out materials and giveaways and practice gathering info on those who come by.

2. Have a set of RULES.

When you are in the booth you are ON STAGE. Bring smiles, leave company gossip and drama at the door. Be well groomed: clothes must be pressed. Breaks take place outside of the booth: no eating in the booth and no sitting in the booth. No bad language or off-color jokes. Make sure your employees only use positive language and statements for the duration of the show. Be good neighbors to the other exhibitors- depending on the show, some may also be your customers or suppliers. Every 3 hours: Change your shoes, brush your teeth and apply deodorant.

3. Love your attendees’ KIDS.

Be sure to have giveaways that are fun for participants to bring home to their kids. This is a SURE WAY to win the hearts of those who come to the trade show who have traveled away from home to attend the show. They will remember you because you helped them be heros at home. A great specialty advertising company can help you choose the perfect items.

4. Market your booth BEFORE ARRIVING.

Send invitations two weeks before the event to customers and potential customers telling them that you’ll be at the trade show. Give them an incentive to come to your booth such as a “ticket” for a free gift. Entice them with teasers such as, “Want to see which gizmo will save the most electricity in 2010? We’ll have it in our booth!”

5. Get a CARNIVAL BARKER.

Trade shows have limited floor time for you to attract people to your booth and deliver your compelling sales message. Hire a professional who is skilled in STOPPING TRAFFIC in the aisles who can entertain people while informing them of your product and services and PEAK their interest to learn more about you. It’s a game of numbers: the more people who know what problems you solve for them with your product or service, the more business you will get!

I am an entertainer, keynote speaker and an expert at getting people to STOP at trade show booths just like yours. For more information… http://davidhira.com/trade_shows.html

Can’t Get No Satisfaction?

I was listening to a program on the radio today where they reported the findings of a recent poll on job satisfaction. The study covered people in careers of all kinds located across the nation. The study found that the people who reported having the highest level of job satisfaction were (in this order)

  1. Clergy
  2. Firefighters
  3. Physical Therapists

Three drastically different career paths that require different types of education and training, attract different personalities and people, and function in extremely different environments! I started to wonder what, if any, connection there was between these three career paths that contributed to the level of job satisfaction that they gave people. Then, I noticed something. All three of these jobs focus on service to others.

Those who are enriched by their work have jobs that result in the betterment of their fellow human beings. Clergy give people a dose of faith and hope and make people feel uplifted and loved. Firefighters save lives, keep families together, and make communities feel safe. Physical therapists relieve pain, speed recovery, and give people back abilities lost through surgeries and accidents. Every day, they serve others. Every day they feel satisfaction with their jobs.

I began to think about my job, and my level of job satisfaction. I get tremendous satisfaction out of performing my comedy magic and illusion shows, whether for parties, corporate events, or awards banquets. I love speaking at conferences and meetings to people about their businesses and their industries. Does this mean that my job serves the “betterment of my fellow human beings?”

What about my friends who work in inventory control for television manufacturers? Or those who create software? Or sell safety equipment? Do they feel satisfied by their jobs? Are they working in careers that better the lives of others?

The truth is, most jobs result in improving the lives of others. It may not  be obvious at first, but it is true! Those who work in electronics inventory control make sure that parts and products are in stock in a timely manner and that the finished products are on the shelf to bring entertainment and laughter to people. Those who create software help businesses manage their budgets and help small business owners pursue their dreams. Those who install safety equipment keep workers safe so that they can continue to provide for loved ones and come home to their families without injury.

Air conditioning technicians, auto mechanics, engineers, flight attendants, pharmacists, furniture manufacturers, accountants, office managers… the list goes on! All of these people contribute to the “betterment of their fellow human beings” whether they make their lives safer, more comfortable, less stressful, or more entertaining. In one way or another, they benefit other people and make life more enjoyable.

What is your level of job satisfaction? Have you thought about who it is your career serves? You can see your job as just that… a “job”… or you can see it as a something significant – something that benefits the people around you.

I invite you to step back and look at the big picture. Clergy, firefighters, and physical therapists aren’t the only ones who contribute to bettering their fellow human beings – you do too.

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of others!

Thoughts on the Crisis in Haiti

Haiti. Hundreds of thousands are feared to be dead. I am watching this on television right now. It is a miracle that we can see these things happening around the world, but I don’t like seeing what I am seeing. Graphic. Raw. Images of despair, panic, helplessness, and soon, hopelessness.

Children, adults, babies… dead, injured, lost, frightened, shocked.

But what can I do?

The first thing we must do is PRAY. Not everyone believes in the power of prayer. I do. Whether you do or do not, it costs nothing, and could possibly bring hope and healing. Give it a try. Prayer is good.

The next thing to do? HELP. Text “Haiti” to 90999 on your cell phone to donate $10.00 to the Red Cross for Relief in Haiti. 100% of your donation goes directly to the Red Cross- your cell phone carrier keeps nothing. A ten dollar donation will be hardly noticeable on your phone bill, but will help save lives and bring hope to those in need.

Then? TEACH. Help your kids or your friend’s kids understand what is happening and how they can make a difference. Help them with ideas and efforts to raise money for help. It is important to teach charity and compassion to the next generation and to support and encourage them to participate in aiding victims of tragedy.

Don’t turn your back on the events of the world to avoid the feelings that I am feeling right now. We must FEEL these emotions – for better or for worse. We must not lose our humanity.

My heart breaks… but through this pain shines hope.

From David and Angela’s Kitchen

My wife, Angela, and I are big fans of the television show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”. Host Guy Fieri did a show on Kelly O’s Diner and we fell in love with her “Haluski” recipe. I remember having a similar dish when I lived (briefly) in Cicero, Illinois in the heart of a Polish neighborhood. Ethnic foods like this are aromatic, unique and fun to cook. Your kitchen will smell great and its a fun meal to cook with your family.
Kelly O’s Haluski Recipe
Ingredients:
1 Head of green cabbage (core removed and leaves separated)
1 Stick of unsalted butter
2 Large Spanish onions, julienned
1 Tablespoon garlic salt, divided
1 Pound sliced bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
5 Cups wide egg noodles, cooked al dente and rinsed in cold water
1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ Cup grated Romano cheese
Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cabbage leaves and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and julienne.
Melt the butter in a LARGE skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, sprinkle on half of the garlic salt, and let the onions sweat for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the cabbage and cook, stirring all the while, until the onions and cabbage start to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the crumbled bacon, the noodles, the remaining garlic salt, and the pepper. Let the haluski cook for about 5 more minutes until all nice and brown and slightly crunchy. Plate it, and top it with Romano cheese.

5 Steps to Motivating Your Team This Year

Pep talks, performance contests, monthly luncheons… do these things really increase morale and motivate people to perform better? Maybe!!

Not all of us are good mind readers. We tend to believe that we know what our team members are thinking and what motivates them, but how can we be sure?
Simple – ASK.
I have learned a few things about motivating people:
  • You can’t motivate people to do things that they don’t want to do. That doesn’t mean that you cannot MAKE them do these things. It simply means that you cannot MOTIVATE them to do things they don’t want to do.
  • All people are motivated by something!
  • People are motivated to do things for their reasons and not for your reasons.

We have to be in tune with those we work with. Why is it that they come to work? Money? Prestige? Social reasons? Security? Experience? Once you know what each person is working for, what their motivations are, it is easy to design programs, incentives and activities to dial into their personal motivations.

So, how do I “tune in” to my team and motivate them all this year?

1) Set up an informal meeting that allows enough time for everyone to give their input. If possible, center it around a potluck lunch or at least a catered box lunch. People really like to show off their best cooking abilities, or their lack thereof, with a potluck function.

2) Give everyone an index card and ask them this question: “What do you really need to do with your paycheck?” Give them examples such as pay off credit card debt, help aging parents, save for their kids’ education, save for retirement, fund a vacation or trip, buy a new car. Sincerely ask people to THINK about what it is that they work for and what their biggest pressing needs are. Ask them to write this in four words or less on a card in an unusual handwriting, fold it up, and drop it in a big box. Shake the box. Have people pull the cards out, read them, then list what is written on them on a board.

3) Reaffirm that we are all here working together to help one another achieve this or her needs and goals. We all have goals. Some are fun. Some are dire. Regardless, if we are to get what we want we must be willing to help others get what they want. Really show your sincere interest in helping each person attain their real life goals.

4) Ask people to come up with ways in which the company/organization can help foster an environment to help people succeed at their jobs. Suggest monthly potlucks, changing the office around, field trips to other companies/organizations to see how things are being done other places, incentive awards, score cards, etc. Let people have input to the process to achieve a level of “ownership”.

5) Reward good results, invest in motivational tools such as posters and books, be sure to make the days FUN for people and be sure to keep everyone engaged and updated of their individual and joint progress. Foster a warm environment that encourages your employees to achieve their personal goals by supporting each other and working together.

When your employees are happy and productive, your business will reap the benefits!

Cell Phone Travel Tip!

In case you missed my last newsletter, here is the helpful travel tip I sent out!

Forgot your phone charger?

There’s nothing like the feeling of checking into your hotel room late at night, unpacking and realizing that you you’ve forgotten your charger for your nearly dead cell phone.

Good news! Lots and lots of hotel guests check out each day and forget their charging cords in their hotel rooms. As a result, most hotels have HUGE collections of cords to choose from in their “lost and found” and are more than happy to give you one that they’ve collected.

As a precaution though, put an extra charging cord in your usual bag now and consider a “back up battery” that lives in your suitcase.

Do you have a favorite travel tip? Email it to our office and if I use it you’ll receive a gift certificate for lunch for two!

email to: mindy@davidhira.com

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