Rokas is a world-record holding magician operating out of Vilnius, Lithuania. His personal brand is Rokas Magician, a self-named company that oversees his performances across the globe, in places like Holland, Spain, Denmark, England, and the United States. He is the owner of Wonderstation, a professional shop for magician supplies.
Rokas is one of the more interesting interviews we’ve had here at Niche Interview. Being a magician, he relies on his own skill and ability to perform more than any of the other participants. He began the interview by expressing his own personal philosophy, which stresses overcoming inner doubts and trusting yourself by working on your craft enough to have concrete expertise. This mindset is imperative for success in performing arts, but it also pertains to traditional businesses where you are responsible for the success of your own brand.
Rokas would go on to tell the tale of his two world records. The records he holds is for the highest throw of a playing card, at a height of 14.35 meters (47 feet, 1 inch), and for being able to throw 124 cards within a minute.
His desire to apply for the Guinness Book of World Records came from the realization that he needed a better way to market his magic abilities, since he comes from a smaller market in Lithuania. He used the publicity from his successful attempts at world records to establish credibility points, which enabled him to expand his brand recognition to bigger markets like the United Kingdom and America.
Rokas spoke on the value of persistence, of not giving up in the face of adversity. He tells a story of his initial travels to London during the 2012 Olympics, just as his magic career was gaining steam. His intention was to perform street magic and take advantage of the bustling crowds that would be attending the games. His biggest crowd turned out to be six people, four of whom were his friends. Not accepting defeat, Rokas flew to Las Vegas and took a street magic course to improve his performance.
He learned valuable rules that can be applied any business: Make them stop, make them stay, and make them pay.
These simple rules can be applied not only to street magic, but to websites and storefronts. Rokas gets people to stop by adding elements to his performances that are different from other magicians. This is usually unorthodox movements that cause bystanders to wonder what he’s doing. To make them stay, Rokas asserts that you must promise them something. He uses his credentials as world record holder to establish credibility, similar to any business reminding potential consumers of their success with previous clients. This is the art of building trust, which is a necessity in any consumer-driven scenario. To make them pay, Rokas uses humor to establish an emotional connection and appeal to their humanity.
Like most entrepreneurs who are their own brand, Rokas was challenged by an improper mindset in the beginning. “If I had more money…if I had a bigger team…” He overcame this by focusing on the work, by working hard at improving his craft until he’d built confidence to perform without these thoughts becoming a hindrance.
Rokas provides advice for self-branded entrepreneurs, particularly those in performance-based industries. We packed a lot of insight into a 31-minute interview, and there’s sure to be something there for everyone. As always, thanks for listening!