Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ben Whiting, Founder of Ben Whiting Productions, located in Traverse City, MI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a keynote speaker and consultant. I serve corporations, associations, and educational institutions that want to create cultures that can achieve the impossible while having a lot of fun. I utilize my background in leadership development and corporate entertainment to create experiences that help people improve their communication, relationships, and mindset.
Tell us about yourself
I love people, and I love having fun. That's why, for more than two decades, I was a corporate entertainer, performing as a magician and mind reader in over 30 countries in almost every venue imaginable. From sales conferences to cruise ships, from Off-Broadway to the Las Vegas strip, I worked to create experiences that were fun, memorable, and meaningful for my audiences.
But, after years of performing, I felt there was something missing. I realized I wanted to help people. Luckily, I figured out that the skills I was using as an entertainer could help others in their everyday lives. You see, the principles and strategies I used to connect with audiences didn't just work on stage. When applied to communication with colleagues, clients, and leaders, these techniques help build trust, likeability, and influence through stronger connections, and anyone can use them. Soon after I began sharing these principles with others, I was hired by a global leadership development firm to create and deliver content around the globe (making sure my new audiences had a blast and NEVER suffered death by Powerpoint!)
However, despite the improvement my clients were experiencing in their communication skills, I saw that they still weren't reaching their full potential. They weren't adopting great new ideas or taking risks. They still saw change as an obstacle rather than an opportunity. That's because they weren't just struggling with communication and connection. They were struggling with their mindset—something magicians understand all too well.
When most people are trying to solve a problem or achieve a goal, they work until they get to the point where they believe it's impossible, and that's where they stop. Magicians, however, try to imagine the impossible thing they can—and that's where they start. I saw that if organizations could revitalize their communication and connection pathways and adopt this mindset, they could create cultures where anything was possible.
So I crafted a blueprint to guide any organization, from associations to small businesses to Fortune 50 companies, in creating these kinds of cultures, cultures where there are no limits to what people can achieve. I share this roadmap to a Limitless Culture through keynotes and training in a fun, engaging atmosphere, combining entertainment with practical strategies for helping your people reach their full potential because when we do, the possibilities are limitless.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Creating and sustaining quality relationships with quality people.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, it's remembering that just because I can do something, it doesn't mean I should. For years I ran my own website, did my own prospecting, worked to create a speaker video (that never came to fruition), etc. When I finally started hiring people to do those things and could focus on nothing but the experiences I create on stage for my clients, things went to the next level.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Remember that the absolute best marketing there is, is to be so good at what you do people can't ignore you. There's no point in trying to scale, sell, or market something if it isn't good.
- Work to remove your ego from your work. It rarely serves you. If your work is good, there's no need for ego.
- Remember that success is a balance between achieving results and managing relationships. One is not more important than the other. You have to have both.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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