Thinking for a Change #4

Barry Mitchell April 24, 2012 0

Thinking for a Change #4 Children\s Ministry YouthI’ve discovered ten phrases that can and will change our lives if we apply them.  The next few articles will continue to cover some of these truths and hopefully give you a reason to think for a change as well.

In the last issue we covered 1. All success or failure in life is based on two things, the people you meet and the books you read.  Today we move to number 2.

 2. The 5 P’s, Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

This is one of the statements I learned from my mentor Louie Vesser.  He wasn’t my only mentor in life but he was one of the best.  He not only said it, he lived it and taught me to do the same.

As a Boy Scout our motto was, “Be Prepared.”  However, I never realized as a scout how important it was to my performing career.  By the way, allow me to stroke myself for a moment to say one of my proudest accomplishments is the achievement of the highest rank in Scouting, Eagle.  Okay, enough about me.  We’ve all seen and been the performer whose lack of preparation is evident in the show.  Yep, that was me too.  Proud to say it WAS me.

I’m glad I can say I’m very focused on preparation now.  Although I still make mistakes and suffer with forgetfulness I have improved immeasurably.  You can too.  The keys to preparation include focus, planning tools, and detail thinking.  We better throw in a passion to do the best show possible.  Without a passion for excellence none of the others will become habits.


If you grew up on or near a farm you may know what blinders are.  The are side panels on a horse bradal that prevent the horse from seeing to either side.  The horse or mule can only see straight ahead.  You might call it forced focus.  That kind of focus is more difficult for us unless we wear some really silly looking glasses.  But it is possible to strengthen our concentration toward all the elements of a good show and a great performance.  Allow me to remind you that I’m not talking about newer and greater tricks.  I mean great presentations, patter, and personality.  Without those the audience will remember your tricks and forget your name.

Planning Tools

Build your ability to focus with better tools.  It isn’t practice that makes perfect it’s perfect practice that makes success.  Do the paperwork necessary to keep your business in good health.  Use an accounting program, set up a show calendar and advertising calendar, write out your patters, theme or outline your shows, study the success habits of others, and create layout and blocking maps of your show.  Wow, that is a long list.  Everyone of those tools will increase your focus and preparation.  In my book, “You Can Do Magic With Your Business” I explain that entertainment success is equal combinations of planning, promotion, and performance.  I used the professor’s nightmare as an analogy.  Many performers put too much emphasis on performance and not enough on planning.

Detail Thinking

Using the tools list above will force us to think about our shows in greater detail.  This detail thinking will show us potential problems in our performance and thereby help us to be better prepared.  Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

Let Me Hear From You

Please drop me an email and let me know if you agree or disagree with my thinking.  I would enjoy knowing your thoughts as well.

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