Blog with Paul Gertner

Best Advice from a Magical Mentor

Magicians Only:  What was the best advice you ever received from another magician about magic or life in general?

Following up on my Blog Post from last week about magical mentors, we saw a lot of  names of great magicians that we learned from or would have liked to learn from.
So I’m curious what was the single best piece of advice
you ever got from another magician?

I’ll go first.

Many years ago when I was 22 years old and was just starting to perform at trade shows, a Pittsburgh comedy magician named Bob Miller saw me at a the local magic meeting and he said now that I was making a little money he wanted me to save up twenty thousand dollars and tell him when I had it.  That was a LOT of money… I had no idea why he suggested this… but I trusted Bob and I was pretty sure he was going to have me use the money to buy a bunch of new magic illusions that would make me a star like that new kid on the scene Doug Henning.

Three years later I cornered Bob at the monthly magic meeting and I told him…”I have the $20,000 in the bank.”  He confirmed that I did not need it for my general living expenses and then he wrote down an address on the back of his business card handed it to me and said:  “Next Friday meet me at this address in downtown Pittsburgh, I’m going to introduce you to my stockbroker and you are going to learn a new trick called The Magic of Compounding Interest.”

At that first meeting I remember Bob saying:  “Twenty thousand dollars is not a lot of money now… compound_interestbut if you invest it… it will double… and then it will double again… and again… and again… and it will keep on doing that as long as you don’t touch it… and forty years from now you will be really glad you did this.”   Bob Miller was right, that $20,000 did just what Bob said it would do.  What a valuable gift to a young magician just starting out.

Best Advice Ever.

Paul Gertner is nationally recognized speaker and corporate magician, whose honors include multiple Tonight Show appearances, performing at a presidential inauguration, and winning three international competitions. He can be hired as a trade show magician or keynote presenter. For more information, visit


Posted in Magicians Only on May 31, 2015 by Paul Gertner.

11 Responses to Best Advice from a Magical Mentor

  1. Stuatt: May 31, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    My father told me, after someone stole one of my Ideas! ” well you should forgive them and feel sorry for them. As you will see, that one idea they stole, mite be the only one they ever get! But you will never run out of ideas.” And he was right!

  2. Paul Gertner: May 31, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    smart dad.

  3. Lee: May 31, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    I remember being told that show business was two words: show & business. And if I wanted to be successful and performing shows, I should first learn how to properly run a business.

    That advice changed my life and was the reason I went to Robert Morris University to study and graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business & Marketing.

    I was about 16 years old and that advice was given to me while standing in a office in Etna by you.

    Thank you Paul.

  4. Paul Gertner: June 1, 2015 at 12:30 am

    Thanks for the post Lee. I remember that conversation too. Glad it’s paying off. We are watching for you on America’s Got Talent.

  5. Jeff Spiller: June 1, 2015 at 2:53 am

    The best secrets are hidden in print…. So read !

  6. Paul Gertner: June 1, 2015 at 3:03 am

    so very true Jeff!

  7. Joe Rindfleisch: June 1, 2015 at 10:29 am

    There are tons that come to mind but Sol Stones wisdom is something I always remember when creating a new effect. ” If you work like an elephant and produce a mouse, it’s tragic. However if you work like a mouse and produce and elephant, then that’s real magic. ” – Sol Stone

  8. Paul Gertner: June 1, 2015 at 10:54 am

    I always enjoyed spending time with Sol. Good advice.

  9. merry: January 22, 2016 at 6:22 am

    This is an excellent post. Thanks to share it. It is really what I wanted to see. Hope in future you will continue for sharing such an excellent post.

  10. Jamy Ian Swiss: November 14, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    “Good work is never wasted.” – Steve Spill

  11. David Harbour: November 15, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    “There has to be a reason for every move, every look and every word, if there isn’t, leave it out.”

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