3 Life Lessons The Circus Will Teach You
Whether you’re a student, work a nine-to-five or own your own business, here are three life lessons the circus can teach you.
A few weeks back I got a chance to finally attend my first circus courtesy of Big Apple Circus. It was opening night, my partner and I arrived at Lincoln Center at Damrosch Park, and the super-friendly staff set us up and explained how everything was going to work. We started the evening in the VIP Tent for a specially curated experience. We were treated to complimentary circus-themed cocktails, mingled with celebrities (including the Real Housewives of NY cast), while we explored the circus grounds, equipped with immersive circus performers. When it was time for the show, we were ushered under ‘the big top’, where we received even more complimentary concessions throughout the evening.
The Big Apple Circus is world renowned for its one ring with award-winning acts from around the world, and an intimate and artistic style — where no seat is more than 50 feet from the performers. The main event featured celebrity ringmaster Tinsley Mortimer (Socialite and Real Housewives of New York star) alongside ringmaster Stephanie Monseu. The evening’s talent included Iron woman Virginia Tuells and husband Ihosvanys Duo Fusion Acro balance, The Flying Tunizianis, Emil Faltyny with his freestanding ladder, the gravity-defying horizontal juggler Victor Moiseev, and of course, the hilarious Mark Gindick and Adam Kuchler — among others. We even got a chance to witness the quadruple somersault by Ammed Tuniziani — a feat only successfully landed by ten people in the world.
After the main event, we were invited to join the cast of the Big Apple Circus in the ring for a post-show celebration. But besides all the VIP treatment bestowed upon us, here are three things I took away from the experience.
Lean into Fear
A circus performer at the top of their game knows all too well that fear hinders any performance. Yes, there are going to be failure and mistakes, but they should make you stronger. You can either let the fear take over and not fully experience the blessings of life, or you can acknowledge the fear and do it anyway. The more you work your confidence muscle, the stronger it will get—the easier those difficult things will become. Some days you’ll feel like the clown, some days the ringmaster. Either way, remember, life is a ticket to the greatest show on earth.
Develop a Unique Value Proposition
While all circus talent must be multi-dimensional, they all have a unique act that differentiates them. The same is true for you. You must uncover and package what makes you unique. A signature system or process is one of the best ways to position yourself as an expert. Hone your skills, then repackage and repurpose your unique ‘it’ in different ways to create multiple streams of income. What will you offer that no one else can?
Craft a Compelling Story
It was amazing how the ringmaster directed the various talents. She added suspense, made it fun, and gave you something to look forward to. Each act kept you riveted to your seat, complemented the other acts and contributed to the overall story. People remember stories. When they remember your story, they remember you. So, if you want to be memorable, tell a story. Craft a personal brand strategy that tells your individual authentic story across several channels. After all, you are a compelling story that can be showcased in many ways.