Here's a follow up to that inspired by Emma who works the streets. But not in the way you might be thinking. Emma is a street performer, and a very, very good one.
I was lucky enough to spot Emma doing her 'show' for an enthusiastic crowd at Circular Quay in Sydney on the weekend.
The first thing I noticed was the crowd. They were completely engaged and on the edge of their toes. This felt like the face to face equivalent of a tweet or YouTube video gone viral. People were entertained and they wanted to be part of the action. So much so that when Emma called upon a volunteer from the audience the guy scrambled to be part of the act.
With little more than a small perspex box and a big idea (how do I squeeze myself into this tiny perspex box?), Emma had created a platform filled with suspense. Like any good marketer, Emma had created a need in her audience. There was now a chasm we needed her to bridge and we all wanted to know he she'd do that.
Emma had worked her routine up. Impressively so. What was most impressive though was her ability to give massive entertainment value while extending a simple moment (I'm out of the box, I'm in the box) into a whole show.
Now that she'd captured our imagination and emotions, she'd earned the right to sell, and she did so with humour. Emma's jokes are not only polished, they're also very funny. Emma sold us with her wit and authenticity. She calmly and logically let us know she was the only person who did this act outside of a theatre. Emma also let us know she trained daily and had worked for many years to perfect the act. There was genuine pride in her telling us this was how she made her living, and yes, it took some time for her to work out how to draw a crowd, and keep them enthralled.
So when her off-sider bought out the hat and asked for people to open their wallets it wasn't begging, demanding or manipulative. No, this was fair exchange. We were championing her. With our hearts, our minds, our wallets. And yes, it's usually in that order.
We can all learn a lot from Emma. Can't we.