(At StartupNation's request, the following words of advice were provided by Jared Sherlock, a winner in the 2008 StartupNation Dorm-Based 20.)
The 'secret sauce' for my business is MAGIC! Literally. It is one part magic, one part timing and one part love.
Magic is just that. It is universal. My clients and audiences set aside everything for the moment in which they let go and let be. I have been able to 'virtually' operate and promote every ounce of my business from behind the screen of my computer; from conception to production. When taking the production from the paper to the stage, It is my goal to use my art to help people realize life while they live it. It is the performance that gets me, my cast and crew out from behind the desk and onto the stage. That's where the real magic happens.
Timing is something that I learned about from one of my mentors, Andy McKelvey, founder of Monster.Com. He taught me that "the secret of a successful business is being in the right place at the right time." Entrepreneurs know that it doesn't matter how good your idea is, how solid your business plan is, or even how vast your resources are; if the market isn't right, you will not succeed. As I reflect upon the establlishment of my business, I agree with Mr. McKelvey's observation. My greatest successes and opportunities were a result of being in the right places at the exact right time. For that matter, even learning about and applying to StartupNation happened on line only a few days before the deadline for applicants!
Love and support inspire and reward the countless hours involved in a production. I have been blessed with the most wonderful and supportive family. They have supported and encouraged my dream since I was a young boy putting on the holiday magic shows with plastic tricks in the family room. They have embraced my passion and have encouraged me to go the distance with magic and performance. Love has also led me to opportunities to support the charitible organizations that I care so deeply about. It has let those individuals let go of their worries for a few hours and believe in magic. It has enabled me to establish a foundation, Arts Now; to further benefit the arts and those in need.
There is a humbling number of talented business owners and entrepreneurs; so it is an honor to receive this recognition. Magic and theatre is what I love. It would be incredible to have the opportunity, upon graduation from St. John's University, to build my production company into a full length, tour capable theatrical grand illusion show.
Thank you for taking the time to read about my work. I encourage you to take a peek at our website and sign onto the mailing list to see what is going on from the dorm room to the stage.