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A review of Highway to Success by Elliott Smith

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It’s always appreciated when you can gain the mentorship of someone who has travelled the road you intend to embark on. As an entertainer, or small business owner, this is critical as it marks the difference between hoping and succeeding. However, what if you can’t get access to such a person?

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Elliott Smith’s Highway to Success is the virtual mentor to fill that gap. This is a complete guide to tackling the business side of what you do, setting up a system that will ensure success for decades on end.

Smith should know as he has been a successful magician for over forty years. He’s also the only magician to be featured on the Wall of Great Comedians at the National Comedy Hall of Fame Museum and the only Canadian magician to be featured at the legendary Friars Club in New York City.

This book is a complete system with all the information one would need to get going. While some of the tactics don’t hold up well, given this was published in 2003, they can easily be extrapolated to today’s digital mediums (websites, social media, etc.). That’s the beauty of the system outlined here—it doesn’t depend on specific tactics. Also, given that Smith is still performing and thriving, it obviously works.

The chapters on contracts, fees and agents have been invaluable to me as a writer navigating the publishing world, as well as a speaker for professional development events. Having been burnt by clients for payment issues early on, the advice here has saved me from countless headaches over the years.

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While geared towards other entertainers, this book zooms out just enough to be applicable to any entrepreneur or small business owner. There are templates and scripts that can be adapted, and you are also given digital access to the “Extended Warranty” page that includes practical, ready-to-use business forms.

That’s a lot to offer in just one book.

The seasoned business professional may find some value in how another has found their way, but for the budding business owner or stumbling entrepreneur, this book is worth picking up.

 

You can find out more about Smith’s book at: http://www.happymediumbooks.com.

Vito Michienzi is a teacher, author of several books and co-host of The Unapologists podcast. You can find him at vitomichienzi.com.

 

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