Art of Play
We all have passions. Perhaps it’s cooking gourmet meals in the kitchen, playing tennis, or doing origami. Whatever it is, we can get pleasantly lost in that activity for hours.
What if you can channel that passion into a business, and do what you love and make money at the same time? It’s the ultimate win-win.
Especially during a time where many of us are staying at home, and spending time on our hobbies, it’s a unique opportunity to consider how our passions can become a business opportunity.
Dan and Dave Buck, twin brothers from California, are a great example of how following your passion can lead to entrepreneurial success.
Passion leads to innovation
Growing up, Dan and Dave were always into extreme sports. Not only did they want to be good at what they were doing, they wanted to take it to the next level.
When they started developing their love for magic at the age of 11, it was no surprise they didn’t want to be ordinary magicians. They wanted to develop card tricks and presentations that no one had ever done.
To add an extra sense of awe to their tricks, Dan and Dave ended up creating a new art form called “cardistry,” which is the performance art of card flourishing. Think of when you’ve seen magicians spin cards and toss them between their hands. This is cardistry.
They practiced relentlessly, pioneering new forms of card art that had never been tried.
Over a decade later since Dan and Dave started innovating new cardistry techniques, it’s become a worldwide movement.
How then can you take a passion and innovate upon it?
Tell the world about what you love
As Dan and Dave built upon this new art form of magic creating more and more original material, they wanted to tell the world about it. They learned about web design, and created VHS videos which they sold through their website.
They also began to bus at restaurants as young teenagers. Using every dollar they saved, at just 14 years old, they traveled to magic conferences in Europe to learn about magic and to find ways to share their innovations.
Today of course it’s much easier to share knowledge. If you’re like Dan and Dave, take the initiative and share your passion with others. Whether it’s your gourmet cooking or Rubik’s Cube skills, start that youtube channel or blog that you’ve been thinking about, and share your unique knowledge.
Build a brand around your passion
When Dan and Dave visited magic conferences as teenagers, they didn’t have the funds to buy a booth and promote their material. Instead, even though it was against conference rules, because of their love for cardistry, they stood outside workshops and presented their new material and attracted large audiences.
They also leveraged the fact that they were twins, branding themselves as Dan and Dave. Soon, they began to develop a reputation as innovators in the magic space, and were able to successfully sell videos and pamphlets of their cardistry tricks at conferences. They made more money than most teenagers could imagine.
When you’re doing something you love, your brand story comes naturally.
Perfection is a standard
After getting rejected from film school, Dan and Dave saw an even better opportunity to continue to build up their magic business. They moved to Las Vegas and filmed a video on card flourishes and sleight of hand.
The material was fresh, but they wanted perfection. They used super high end production and packaging, and produced a magic video unlike anything seen on the market. They set up an online store, and sold over 20,000 units and made over 6 figures in a very short period of time.
With businesses you care deeply about, you can only set a high standard for yourself
Opportunities start naturally coming
With the success of selling their own material, Dan and Dave started producing and distributing material for other magicians, expanding their footprint. With their experiences selling online, they launched a new business dedicated to helping other businesses with their fulfillment effort.
Then they saw an opportunity to make a new type of magic conference. Inspired by TED style talks, they launched Magic-Con, under the premise of hosting high quality 20-minute workshops with a focus on Q&A. Leveraging their connections in the magic space they had built, the conference became a hit, and a standard bearer in the space.
At the same time, Cardistry continued to grow in popularity. Seizing upon the global movement, they started two new businesses. Dan and Dave launched the Art of Play, an online site which sells unique and beautiful high quality decks of cards and other games. And they also launched Cardistry-Con, which has now become the go-to global conference dedicated to cardistry.
Do what you love
Neither Dan or Dave set a long term vision about the cardistry movement they would start, or the businesses they would create around it. They simply did what they loved, and opportunities came naturally.
Starting a business isn’t always about coming up with an ingenious idea. If you know something well and love doing it, you’ll find a way to stand out and share it with the world. That’s exactly what Dan and Dave did, and they started a global movement. You can too, if you channel your energy in the right way.