With clients such as American Express, GE and Oprah’s HARPO Studios, Ben Whiting is known for his humor, originality, and ability to connect with audiences. Ben will combine these skills with world-class magic and mind reading to make From Street Performer to Fortune 50 Business Consultant not only fun and memorable, but meaningful. The event takes place on September 30 from 6-8pm in Stark 103.
Recognizing his passion for helping audiences in their careers and day-to-day lives, Ben began focusing on keynote speaking and leadership development. In 2016, he delivered his first Ted Talk and was hired by a leadership development firm shortly thereafter to deliver leadership training around the globe. Within two years, he moved from leadership trainer to senior consultant at the firm. His leadership consulting clients have included international companies like UNiDAYS, as well as Fortune 50 corporations such as Schlumberger.
Connect Like a Mind Reader
When asked the question “what advice would you give the street performer ten years ago,” he was quick to say don’t stop taking risks. He regrets the times when he was lazy and the times he took off. If you have an idea, go for it! He has learned many different lessons while on his street performing journey. He learned that there are three big concepts that he needs to learn, stop, stay, and pay. You need to learn how to engage people, keep them there to listen and make them pay. Learning how to engage people and tell them that you are not pushy or awkward, but rather interested is a huge lesson that he has learned while street performing.
Whiting has three influences that have made the biggest impact on him and have shaped him into the person that he is today. The first is Jim Cellini. Cellini taught Ben to develop his craft through street performing. Will Kitchens is also a big influence on Ben because Will helped him make the transition from going out of street performing and going into consulting. Bruce Springsteen is also a huge influence on Ben. Bruce taught Ben to make sure he’s listening and engaging with his audiences. Engaging and listening to your audiences is one of the most important skills you can have while street performing and consulting.
As with anyone, Whiting has some struggles that he is going through in his business life. He has a lot of ideas that he wants to follow up on. He’s learned that as you get older, the concept of coming up with ideas is easy, and it’s more difficult to stick with one and make it happen. Forming the concepts of self-discipline and focus will make it easier for you to achieve your goals. While Ben has struggles that he is going through, he also has some goals that he has set for himself. He is currently writing a book which talks about the core ideas that he talks about often. He is also writing a show in the magic of Charles Dickens. Charles Dickens is also a magician and has many great stories to tell.
Audience Engagement Redefined
In 2006, he and his best friend started a theater company called MagicMouth Theatre, a company that combined magic and theater while educating communities in both art forms. He received the Kauffman Foundation fellowship in Entrepreneurship for co-founding the company. The company ran its course and the two accomplished everything that they wanted to accomplish. The two were growing beyond what they achieved and they had to start something new. This wasn’t a big mistake or failure that he had to overcome, but rather a learning experience. You can learn from every situation that you are put into, and as long as you never give up, you will be successful.
Ben hasn’t always wanted to do what he does now. He grew up with his dad being an insurance adjuster and he thought that maybe he would take over the company. He learned in a short amount of time that he was talking to people in high stress situations, which helped him learn how to talk to people in these situations. He is grateful for this experience because it helped him grasp the concept of conflict resolution.
When asked, “how do you feel that you have Created Your More?” His response was the realization that it isn’t about making a huge dent in the universe, it’s about how you impact people that are right in front of you. He always wanted to make an impact on the city that he was in and the people that were right in front of him.
If you would like to learn more about Ben Whiting, you can attend his event and learn all about his journey from Being a Street Performer to Becoming a Fortune 50 Business Consultant on September 30 from 6-8pm in Stark 103. We hope to see you there!
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