I’m perpetually amazed at how many people have never seen a mind reader. They come up to me after my show and say “This is the first mind reading show I’ve ever seen. It was amazing!”

You see, I watch mind reading shows all the time. And when you become so engrossed in your own world you often forget that other people may not be as familiar with it as you are.

So when I first realized that I was quite likely the first (and possibly only) mind reader my audience members would ever see, I realized I owed it to those people to give them the best possible experience I can.

That means there’s no time for amateur hour. You won’t see me stumbling over my words or performing a half-finished script. I won’t be practicing new material in front of a crowd or apologizing when things go wrong.

I will do what I’ve done for every job I’ve ever held: arrive early, leave late, and be ridiculously over-prepared.

I remember trying to book a show back in college and having the client say “Oh we tried a mind reader once and it was awful. We’ll never make that mistake again.”

I was stunned. Not only did that unknown performer ruin that opportunity for me but they also ruined it for any future performers who might have the same chance to book that gig. What a shame.

Whatever your discipline, we all have an obligation to the people who encounter us. We must get these people to see what we do in a good light, to understand that what we do matters — no matter how small or insignificant that encounter may be.

Sometimes I get flown into major cities to perform for small audiences. I’m talking ten or fifteen people — the kind of audience where I know everyone’s name five minutes into the night. I treat those shows the same way I treat my large thousand person corporate audiences — by trying to give the guests an unforgettable experience.

Hopefully they’ll leave the party raving about the “amazing mind reader” they just witnessed and rave about it for weeks. They’ll forever associate “mind reading” with a positive feeling from that short time we shared together. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll want to work with another mind reader someday, too.

It doesn’t matter how big or small the audience is. It doesn’t matter the size of the room, the city, or time of day. I’m here to make sure my audiences leave with a fascination and admiration for my chosen profession.

Treat what you do with respect and people will care about it like you do. Don’t phone it in and don’t brush it off like it’s silly or unimportant. That’s just a waste of everyone’s time.

You have a responsibility. Yes, YOU.

You have to educate others without being preachy. You have to encourage others without being overbearing. You have to share your passion with others so they will always remember how great it is.

If you don’t do it for yourself, at least do it out of respect for the people who do what you do, too.