13 Feb, 2019
by Jake
Comments Off on What Street Performing Has Taught Me About Sales

What Street Performing Has Taught Me About Sales

I have been doing streets shows for over 12 years. It has taught me a lot about people, sales, and negotiation.

Gathering a crowd. It is not easy. Stopping people who do not necessarily want to be stopped is tough. It requires the ability to make people wonder and trust immediately. This has thoroughly helped me open doors to huge clients. I know how to get attention and make it count.

Rejection. Oh man. When I first started, I was awful. There were 1000 reasons to stop going. I actually did for 2 years. I found the rejection so hard. The streets can be raw. But then I got tough. Really tough. It is essential to have a “walk” attitude. It is counter intuitive, but when I don’t care if people stop to watch, I get more people. It has totally helped me as I now negotiate large deals. I go in there with, “I can walk on this deal attitude” (I only want it, don’t need it).

Body language speaks volumes. Half of how we communicate to our fellow human beings is non-verbal. In the martial art, Aikido, there is an opening stance where you are totally physically open, yet firmly rooted into the ground. When I get to the performing spot, I just do this right in the middle of the pitch and people cannot ignore it. I have tested this countless times. This has massively helped me in my business presentations.

Remain calm when it is all going wrong. I have had big failures on stage with hundreds of people watching. I just could not get my nerves in line. It is critical to do everything relaxed. Do everything relaxed – no matter what.

Keeping them focused. There are so many distractions on the street. Not only the physical environment, but people’s schedules. It is absolutely vital to have a flow to the proceedings. I am fully prepared yet totally flexible to improvise. Be like water. This has helped weave journeys for my clients and the deals that we put together.

Make it funny. I can walk into a giant ballroom and make it erupt into laughter. Comedy attracts, disarms, and engages people. It is what pulls people into my show. A crowd of people erupting in laughter attracts more crowds. Self-deprecation always works. People do business with people they like.

People skills. I am constantly practicing emotional intelligence. It is one of those things where I don’t think I will ever reach the destination. There is always something more to learn and deeper to go. I have had the opportunity to perform for thousands upon thousands of people. It has allowed me to engage nearly every walk of life and understand where people are coming from.

Improvisation. The streets are all about improv – especially when using participants from the audience. I am leading it, but what path it takes to get to the end is completely open. There are so many crossover skills from improvisational acting that I highly recommend all sales people take dozens of classes.

Impenetrable skin. The streets are tough. The rejection is brutal. It has made me impervious. I can cold call anyone on this planet.

Get Paid. Again, street shows are tough. I need to stop people who don’t necessarily want to be stopped, hold them for 40 minutes, and then get them to pay me. I get paid. I close deals.

All of this has 100% helped me become an excellent business man.

13 Feb, 2019
by Jake
Comments Off on Experiential Marketing

Experiential Marketing

Creative, meaningful experiences are hard to forget. Music is one of the things that connects us all. It has been an absolute pleasure developing these experiences for cities throughout North America and Europe (above video is in Chomutov, Czech Republic).

I have been helping to create participatory experiences that drive deeper human connections. In a public space, when people are having fun, they want to stay and play longer. This is good for the community and has a significant impact on business. Lighting always enhances the experience and transforms the space.

Our Aurora technology is the most powerful machine in the world at analyzing sound. It will give you a light show in real time to whatever you want to sing to it. This makes for totally personalized experiences. I am proud that I have been able to do this for humanity. I have made another dent in the universe.

From a business development/marketing standpoint, I have been able to help businesses by:

  • Driving Lifetime Value
  • Creating Engagement
  • Building Memories
  • And Turning Spaces into Places

12 Feb, 2019
by Jake
Comments Off on What I have accomplished at Limbic Media Part 2

What I have accomplished at Limbic Media Part 2

Usually, I prefer to do annual summaries of skills learned, but I have accelerated so quickly at Limbic Media, that I have to do one at six months.

Of course, I have continued to increase the skills that I mentioned in Part 1.  Indeed, at a lightening pace.  Necessity is the mother of invention.  Limbic Media is in a tight spot, as most start-ups are, and I am doing four people’s work.

I always love creating something from nothing.  Art and money are two of my particular favorites to make.  At Limbic Media, I get to do both.

But the pressure is most certainly on.  Here are more skills that I have learned, developed and/or honed in the last 6 months:

  • Increased Marketing capabilities.  We have been running on a business development skeleton crew.  I have been directly involved in pushing campaigns forward and securing qualified leads.
  • Engaged in Experiential Marketing campaigns creating unique, memorable installations that turn places into spaces for property management firms.
  • Clearly defined Limbic Media’s verticals crystallizing the company’s direction and revenue.
  • Negotiated Strategic partnerships with larger companies. Accelerated ability to demonstrate exceptional value immediately.
  •  A Top Rainmaker.  Further developed excellent closing skills.
  •  Ability to attract investment and promote the company’s interests.
  •  Elevated ability to stuff the top of the funnel – indefatigable at gathering leads and potential clients.
  •  Directly involved in streamlining the business for maximum effectiveness – Operations, Sales, Development, and Executive.
  •  Contributed to outlining and detailing a clear product sales process building an end to end campaign that is currently being executed.
  •  Directly involved in creating new products and designs with clients; From Fortune 500, to the Entertainment Industry, to North American cities.
  •  Expanded persuasive abilities through research and practice with clients. Further increased already excellent public speaking skills.
  • Accelerated negotiation skills through research and daily practice with clients (strategy and tactics).  Improved “blank-slating” of deals.  No expectations. No assumptions.  Just negotiate the best deal possible.
  • Re-evaluated and redefined what metrics are important to measure for the company.
  • Continued direct involvement in disrupting industries.  For example, the entire holiday lighting industry in the US.
  • Furthered ability to structure large deals.
  • Spearheaded international business with China; currently negotiating deals with large Property Management firms.

Not too shabby for six months of work.  I have so many irons in the fire at the moment; from giant partnerships with Goliath companies to small rural USA city’s holiday light shows.

Now in our second year with this product, it is so heartening for the team to see our recurring revenue kick in.  Our clients are delighted with the ability of our platform to be able to scale and change every year forever.

The trouble is, I can see the end of our runway.  Running an innovative hardware company is not easy.  I am doing my best to hammer out the big deals to set us free. Our growth curve looks so positive.

Exciting times.

10 Feb, 2019
by Jake
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Aurora Tunnel

It is always a pleasure to collaborate with highly talented individuals, like, Daniel MacPherson.  He is the Technology Director of THEMUSEUM in Kitchener, ON, Canada.  With our tech, Aurora, he was able to create this magnificent exhibit.  I knew it was going to be good, but whoa…

…it really, really turned out good.

18 Jan, 2019
by Jake
Comments Off on Elegant, Sophisticated, Interactive Installations.

Elegant, Sophisticated, Interactive Installations.

This is one of my favorite installations that we do at Limbic Media.  Utilizing powerful AI and machine learning, we have become the best in the world at sound to light mapping.  That allows us to do all kinds of cool things.

We give anyone access to see their sounds immediately represented in light.  Anyone can play a piano attached to our technology and sophisticated lighting design and get a light show in real time.  Indeed, they can also fully control their own light show.  Whether you can play chopsticks or are a concerto pianist (see above), you get immediate, multi-sensory engagement.

It is a beautiful installation.  Interactive, immersive experiences are the future. No doubt about it.  It keeps people coming back again and again.

Our work at Limbic is leading us into some absolutely fascinating projects.  More video coming soon…

4 Dec, 2018
by Jake
Comments Off on Parks Canada Bison Roam Free

Parks Canada Bison Roam Free


Here is a little clip of a unique project that we worked on recently for Parks Canada.  This “Blinky Bison” has started its journey at the Calgary Zoo and will make its way around Banff National Park for years to celebrate bison being re-introduced back into the wild after being gone for over a hundred years.  It is a cool project and cause.  I was happy to be able to make high tech digital art and draw awareness to conservation in our national parks.

26 Sep, 2018
by Jake
Comments Off on What I have accomplished at Limbic Media Part 1

What I have accomplished at Limbic Media Part 1

I simply love building businesses.  It is a true passion.  I don’t think that I will ever be able to stop.  I am a full blown deal junkie – I just can’t get enough.  Making something from nothing – it just feels too good when it all comes together.

Obviously, in order to build a business, one needs to gather clients.  This is one of my favorite things to do.  I can confidently go into any business to develop their strategy, open new markets,  and create more revenue.  To me, this is pure fun.

What any organization will always get from me is massive action.  There are few who can match my output.  Since I can remember, I have always been striving for unlimited growth.  I absolutely must reach the top of my game in everything that I do.  It is a constant struggle and challenge.  I will never stop.  Ever.

While it has been difficult opening up markets for Limbic Media and launch a brand new product, it has also been rewarding and satisfying.  I have been disrupting the entire holiday lighting industry in the US.  It has been quite an experience. I have had strong growth this year, and next year I can easily see at least a tripling of revenue.

Below are some of the things that I have already accomplished as an entrepreneur in residence for this company:

  • Created product strategies coupled with seamless execution
  • Directly assisted in streamlining manufacturing and shipping
  • Shortened sales cycles
  • Established a company-wide client-centric focus
  • Filled holes in business development. Eg. De-risk strategies
  • Pushed for an international approach; found and hired a sales associate to crack open the European market (He did it and is continuing to do so).
  • Spearheaded Asian and Middle Eastern market strategies
  • Hit aggressive sales targets
  • Executed successful Contact Marketing campaigns with 40% return call rates at the C Suite level
  • Ability to negotiate million dollar contracts
  • Accelerated closing skills
  • Indefatigable cold calling efforts
  • Honed consultative selling approach
  • Select Client list: cities, zoos, botanical gardens, property managers, science centers, museums, hotels
  • Built upon and furthered exceptional research skills. Able to attack nearly any segment and understand it rapidly. Legendary prospector.
  • Generated powerful bottom of the funnel movement
  • Identified and targeted issues with top of the funnel action
  • Increased leadership capabilities
  • Read at CEO level: 50 -60 books per year (not new, I have been doing this for over a decade)
  • Expanded empathy skills through a daily practice of Ho’ponopono (Hawaiian forgiveness ritual)

Not too shabby for just over a year.  I knew this year was going to be tough.  We are so brand new and it takes time for people to understand new things.  I am selling a creative engineering firm.  Their first product is an AI lighting platform.  We are putting the power of complex lighting design into anyone’s hands.  As it is a platform, we can continue to build upon it for years to come; doing multisensory, interactive, high tech, public art installations.

I am sincerely looking forward to 2019.  I think the first quarter of the year could be a turning point for the company. I continue to learn and evolve.  My goals are to make deals happen and increase revenue at a staggering pace.  Delight clients and the public.  Make everyone happy.

23 Jul, 2018
by Jake
Comments Off on Street Shows 2018

Street Shows 2018

I kept lean and hungry doing shows in the Inner Harbor this summer.  Some nights were absolutely magical.  Some nights were challenging.  All of it kept me humble and strong.  I feel blessed to have this amazing summer street theater a 10 min drive from my place.

23 Jul, 2018
by Jake
Comments Off on New Clown Acts

New Clown Acts

As part of “Eyes Up”, I had the wonderful opportunity to create two new acts.

The first one, “The Couch” happened by accident.  It just emerged.  I love when that happens.  I am so happy with how it turned out.

And the second one with the working title, “Disaster Act” was so much fun to do.  A lot of the time, I work alone doing solo shows.  It is always such a pleasure to collaborate with world class circus artists.  I brought this concept to the table, and everyone added their delicious flavors to it.  I am also very happy with how it turned out.