How To Attract A Crowd: Starting A Riot At The Dollar Store
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So I bring my daughters to our local Everything For A Buck Emporium to pick up a few odds and ends. We're in the toy aisle and come across a basket of small playground balls with Pokemon on them.
Of course being who I am, I grab three and start juggling. Hey, I'm bored!
About five seconds into my fun time I attract a group of five or six kids. I'm guessing the oldest is about ten. No parents in sight.
"Hey, Wow! Look at what he's doing!"
Of course the performer in me comes out, so I throw a few little tricks in for fun. Criss-cross arms, fountain pattern, just little stuff. One bounce off the head. And of course the kids go wild.
Now juggling in on a stage or other wide open place with professional juggling equipment is one thing. Juggling Pokemon balls with uneven weights in a store aisle with kids all around is another. The balls came down in pretty short order, which wound the kids up even more.
So the ring leader picks up a couple and does the classic little kid "throw one in the air and pass the other hand to hand" maneuver. He does not survive his first toss. And of course the rest of the kids follow suit.
Before long, they're all asking me how to juggle and telling me I'm even better than the guys in the circus.
And of course, one kid – right on cue – picks up a Nerf football and does his best NFL quarterback impression. He flings it the length of the store. Perhaps it's best we do not know where it landed.
"Quick girls, get your stuff and let's get out of here."
Fortunately the store was only staffed by two ladies, bother of what were working up front. We pay and leave. A clean get-away.
Now in case you do not know me from any place other than this story, I am a juggler. I created the Juggle To Success program, so I'm actually more a juggling trainer than a juggler. I believe in juggling as a way to teach all the important things in life … healthy risk taking, team building, self-confidence, managing change, even making complete paradigm shifts in business and edcuational organizations.
So as much as I'd prefer not to start riots in retail stores, I'm actually very happy I lit a spark in these kids. Enthusiasm is where everything starts. It lets you know what's possible and gives you the incentive to dream big.
I wonder if someone's going home tonight and thinking about a future career or some other big goal …
while tossing pairs of rolled up socks in their room … far away from anything breakable of course!