S3E10: Eric Henning — The Financial Wizard
These are show notes taken from an audio interview.
To listen to the actual interview, please use the player above.
In this episode, I talk to Eric Henning about his career in magic and his expertise: finances. This financial wizard gives great practical information on how entertainers should manage their finances for their business. This is not an episode to miss!
Eric Henning is a magician from the DC area who’s magic has taken him around the world.
He’s had the honor of performing for President Obama and the First Family, as well as three Presidential Inaugurals and five other White House appearances to boot. As for accolades, He’s been voted DC Magician of the year, and made it to the quarter-finals of the World Championships of Public Speaking.
He’s also an international speaker, author and teacher on the subject of money and investing. He was senior editor of The Cornerstone Investment Letter, and he also wrote “The Financial Wizard,” which was a regular column in The Magic Menu where he shared his insights on money and how it pertains to entertainment professionals.
Do it now! — his wife
For example, get that client thank you card in the mail immediately after a show.
Eric’s very first show was a complete failure. He will now never step on stage until he is completely prepared.
• Bankruptcy is the biggest mistake Eric sees other entertainers make.
• Pay off your debts. It releases more money for you.
• Pay off your house if you can. It’s flawed and stupid thinking to keep your mortgage around just for the “tax break.”
• Gives a tip on how you can pay off your mortgage faster.
• Save up an emergency fund.
• Make sure you’re properly insured.
• Don’t be reactive, plan your spending.
• Small leaks sink great ships. Look at all the places you’re spending money and evaluate whether you really need to put money there. We’re talking Starbucks, Netflix, etc.
• Invest in mutual funds once you’ve paid off your debts and saved an emergency fund.
• It’s wise to hold back 50% for taxes of what you bring in. (Note: Eric is NOT a tax expert. You should seek the advice of a tax professional for more in depth advice pertaining to you and your unique situations.)
• Of everything you earn, you should save 10%, give away 10% and live off the other 80%.
• There’s a relationship between your giving and generousness and your own wellbeing.
• Your business needs to have it’s own bank account and it’s own money. You pay yourself out of it.
Biggest Professional Challenge
Inertia. Getting stuck in a rut.
Before you “jump ship:”
1. Pay off your debts.
2. Build a savings of 12 month’s expenses.
3. Make sure you’re at least making as much money from performing as you are from your day job.
Other Topics Covered
• How important and rare hand-written notes are in business.
• The impostor syndrome and how to overcome it.
• How to make sure you’re prepared for performances.
• Developing original material.
• What audiences remember.
Find something you’re passionate about and weave that into your act.
Recommended books and resources:
Note: Many of the links in this section are affiliate links, meaning we earn a small portion of any sales. If you’re enjoying our podcast and decide to purchase one of the recommended resources or books, please consider using our affiliate links to help support the work we’re doing here at the Successful Performercast. Thanks!
Podcasts like the Magician Business Podcast, and the Magic Newswire
Eric describes his audio setup in great detail.
Here are the products he mentions:
OneTrack – Backing Tracks for Pros iOS App
Denny Haney’s Lecture Notes & DVD
Maximum Entertainment by Ken Weber
Show Doctor by Jeff McBride
Where can we find Eric Henning?
Eric Henning’s Kid’s Show Website
Eric Henning’s Public Speaking Website