For this week's Our 1871, we chat with entrepreneur and 1871 mentor Jonathan Pritchard, Founder of Like a Mind Reader. Mentalist, magician, or simply someone who loves to understand how people tick, Jonathan helps clients use human psychology to be better communicators, more influential, more persuasive, and more successful.
What do you consider your greatest success?
Having been self employed since the day after college.
I had my first paid performance when I was 13 years old, and built momentum from there. I've traveled the world, entertained the troops stationed overseas, performed on Vegas main stages, appeared on national TV, and more — all because I followed my passion and curiosity.
Now I take my clients "behind the curtain" and show them the secrets I've used over the years, and teach how to apply the very same principles in their own lives & businesses. Sharing that knowledge has been incredibly rewarding, and I sleep well at night knowing I'm helping people solve their problems instead of simply forgetting about them for an hour.
What did you have to learn the hard way?
Nobody cares more about your success than you do (nor can they).
For the longest time I believed (incorrectly) that my agent's job was to send me work. I sat back and waited for contracts to come rolling in. How wrong I was!
It's my job, as the owner of the company – "ME" – to get out there and make things happen.
The belief that it was someone else's job to do my work for me kept me poor for way too long. Without a bankroll, I couldn't properly finance marketing efforts, which fed into a vicious cycle of failure.
Glad I learned the lesson though.
Who was a role model to you when you were coming into your field?
He's a world class performer, a rare once-in-a-lifetime intellect, and he became a dear friend over the years.
For decades he offered the "Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge" to anyone who claimed to have 'special' powers. If they could demonstrate supernatural skill under test conditions, they'd win the million dollars.
Starting in 2003 I handled applications and designed testing protocol for claimants. That's how I got to see every way they were trying to scam their way to the money! (And that's how I got my start as a world traveling Mentalist).
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first started in business?
Who you are now isn't the person who can do what you want to do; you have to become that person.
Life is a process, and believing you're stuck as the person you are now will keep you from achieving what you want out of life. The problems you have now will evaporate as you grow out of them.
Trick is, you'll never be done with problems, but at least you'll have more and more interesting ones along the way!
This is why mindset is so important, and is at the heart of my business coaching. No business tactic can ever fix a personal problem that's showing up in your business. (SECRET: They're all personal problems!).
What traits do you think are the most important for an entrepreneur to have?
Communication, presentation, negotiation, influence, and sales skills are make-or-break. Time spent improving any/all of those is time well spent.
Ignoring any of them is disastrous.
If you can't communicate your value, influence someone to prefer your product/service, negotiate a win/win outcome, or ask for the sale, you're sunk.
What's your tech/startup prediction?
The pendulum will swing away from digital sales.
As we move further into automated processes, clients and customers will find face-to-face communication and connection more valuable (and persuasive).
What's one piece of advice you've give to a rising entrepreneur?
You're good at the thing you're good at. You're not good at EVERYTHING else. Don't shoot success in the foot by refusing to ask people who are better at the essential parts of your business to work with you.
Where is your favorite spot in Chicago? The grassy area by Fullerton beach, just north of the Buddha head statue installation.
What do you like to do in your free time? Write for several blogs for fun, practice kung fu every day, and do body weight training several times a week.
What book would you recommend every entrepreneur read? "Here Is Real Magic" by Nate Staniforth. It's life changing.
What hashtag best describes you? #Curiosity
Which city do you hope to have a layover in? Nashville. The Southwest terminal has a chair massage place in it, and they're so good. Perfect way to spend time between flights after being on the road.
Do you have pets? One cat named Aglet.
What's your personal mantra? Illigitibus Non Carborundum.
Follow Jonathan on Twitter here.
1871 is where Chicago's entrepreneurs come to build a great business, providing education, inspiration, workspace, and unparalleled startup resources.