Damian Surr


“In the last couple of years, I have had grand plans of becoming an entrepreneur. I am not really interested in the ‘work hard every minute to get a nice car’ type of entrepreneur. For me it’s all about quality of life. We only get one life and time is the most valuable thing we have.

In the last 12 months I have made a list of exactly 152 ‘muse’ (potential businesses) ideas! Some of these have actually been created independently by other people since I thought of them and they are now making lots of money from them. How many have I tried and succeeded or failed at?

None! This made me a ‘Wantrepreneur’. But then I changed.

“After seeing Nigel Botterill give a talk, I joined the EC. Nigel is a lot like Marmite. You either like his style or you don’t. I find his energy makes me want to go out and make changes myself, and that’s good enough for me!

“This is my challenge: My One Month of Business Implementation

“What is it?

I’m going to spend every working day (Monday to Friday) implementing changes in my business. These are all of the things that I know I should be doing, but never seem to find the time to do.


I will be improving and optimising my current business. Implementing as many of the things I know that I should be doing as I possibly can in the 23 working days . I will also be starting up at least two new areas of business along the way.


No working at the weekends.

No working in the evening (a bad habit of mine that my wife loves!)

Strict time slots for everything (will be trying out the Pomodoro technique as well as (10+2) x5).

“When does this start? The beginning of next month? From next Monday? Nope, today. Not putting anything off any longer.

“Day 1 is creating a whole website (which didn’t exist at all until today) and planning out the month ahead. I’m sure things will change around a bit as I go, but I’m off on the journey!

Here’s what happened, in a kind of order-ish!

•Set up blog to document my ‘Implementation’ effort

•Set up a structure and plan to achieve as much as possible in a 1 month period

•Sent out an email campaign to introduce people to www.christmaspartymagician.co.uk

•Tried to find an app developer to produce my iPhone magic ideas using my personal contacts

•Tried to find a suitable app developer on Elance

And more…

•Added contact forms to all of my WordPress websites (this has significantly optimised initial communication with clients)

•Improved current Google Places entry

•Added Google Places entries for different aspects of my business

•Attended a couple of business conferences (mainly on marketing)

•Developed a new magic promotion(this is a big commitment and needed lots of planning to get it right)

And more…

•Set up a few geeky tools on my iPhone so that I am not notified every time someone emails me, but I am notified if anyone makes an enquiry about my magic that I should respond to quickly

•Spent a lot of time changing, optimising and tweaking several different Google AdWords campaigns (I’ve learned more this month than in the last two years of AdWords tinkering)

•Experimented with hiring someone to do telesales for seasonal gigs.

•Created several new adverts to go into various publications

•Created trackable QR codes to go on these adverts, to see which forms of marketing are working and which are not.

And more…

•Edited a brand new magic promotional video together to promote www.christmaspartymagician.co.uk (this was a massive achievement, it is a huge improvement on the few shot clips I had previously)

•Went to a couple of business networking events

•Did more in terms of social media than I have done previously, but lots of it has just been ‘broadcast’. I’ve not had the time to engage with other much.

•Set up a shiny new CRM system (another one of the biggies that I’m particularly proud of. I’ve been putting this off for SO long!)

•Stated an argument on Facebook (sorry)

•Made lots of little changes to my targeted websites to improve their effectiveness.

And more…

•Had to deal with an ongoing increase in enquiries because of all of the changes. I estimate this is around a 400% improvement on previous enquiry rates!

•Tried hard to stick to the mantra, “Good enough is good enough”

•Achieved regular increases in booking fees without raising any prices by introducing optional upsells that are of great value to my customers.

•Went to a 4Networking Business breakfast

•Created a quick reference index card to quick data entry from telephone calls

•Went to a couple of different meetings to demonstrate my magic. Both resulted in gigs.

And more…

•70% of the way towards selling a brand new non-magic related product

•Lots of competitor and SEO research for the new product

•Lots of competitor and SEO research for other magicians

•Told my first app idea to the developer I most wanted to work with. He’s really into the idea too! We’re about 40% of the way towards getting the idea into the app store.

•Organised a photo-shoot for the new website (I hate this type of thing and put it off for about three years )

“Before this month, I would have sworn that time was my biggest obstacle.

This month I had the enlightening experience of removing time as an excuse!

The result was surprising to me, but I’m sure not to others who have ‘been there and done that’. The reason that I have a huge list of ideas that I’m not doing anything with is that doing anything with them is scary! Lists of multimillion pound ideas that may make you rich some day is perversely comforting. Taking one of these ideas and actually getting the actual thing onto the actual market for actual customers to actually part with their money for is terrifying! I guess it depends on your background how much of a leap that is, but it’s been a big one for me. I had a couple of huge attacks of self doubt that made me want to throw in the towel and hide under the duvet. I’m glad that I stretched out of my comfort zone as far as I did this month, but there’s still a fair way to go. I’ll get there though.”