016 – A Conversation on Living ‘Between Dreams’ to ‘Just Go’, with Chris Ruggiero
Chris Ruggiero does fun for a living; he is a live theater performer, podcast host and author who has been featured on Entrepreneur on Fire and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Whether he’s juggling random objects on a unicycle or executing seemingly impossible tricks and stunts, nothing is off limits in his show! Thousands of audience members have been left in a state of laughter and amazement.
What was one new experience you tried that, at the time, was completely unknown or uncomfortable to you?
To answer this question and give a background into what I do ties into the same thing. I do a live theatre show that is a one-man show, juggling, circus, variety and all kinds of crazy stuff. Just getting started with that was scary and I didn’t how to do it. I started by doing small things. I started before I knew how to do it.
Take us back to when you got started, what did figuring it out meant to you at that time?
My book fits into all of this as it is entitled, “Just Go”. For my show, it was like first starting and create your own thing and try to get people to hire me and do a performance. Just being patient and willing to take one step at a time is really valuable. I would do shows for free because I wanted to learn how to do it. I wasn’t impatient to get to it. I knew that it would be great to make a large amount of money doing shows but I wasn’t ready for it yet. I was willing to start with the small shows including birthday parties, free shows, community events, retirement homes, all these shows that didn’t look too glamourous looking back at them but they allowed me to develop those skills to be able to do the bigger shows. Now I perform in casinos and do the shows that are more ‘brag worthy’.
Share the importance of staying in your lane and developing our craft doing the things that we love…
With my show, I said, I’m here and I need to start here. You need to focus on your own thing. For example, I self-publish my book because I didn’t want to sit around for two years to hear every book publisher tell me ‘no’. I didn’t know how to write and publish a book but I knew how to start writing. I had YouTube and internet and I research and figure out how to do it.
What has been a most terrible time for you as you enter the field of entrepreneurship?
Getting inside my own head and saying am I good enough to do this? Am I qualified enough to do this? Who’s going to care about this stuff that I’m creating? For me it comes from within myself. You start to find things outside yourself to reinforce that. On the other side of that it’s what you’re focusing on is what your brain will seek out and find.
What is the message you’re sharing with your clothing brand?
I’m trying to build an umbrella for all the work that I do to fall under. Between dreams is this idea of my friend Kip and I. People dream all the time, dreaming about things, talking about things. But there are certain people who do things between dreams…live, that’s where life is. That’s where the idea of Between Dreams came. It’s an idea for people to grab a shirt and feel like they are part of a community. Things you wear tell the story of what you want to convey. It can make you feel like a different person. It can change your physical surrounding as you are behaving differently. It can change your life and change the world.
The achievement you’re most proud of?
Some people saw the Ellen Degeneres show as this major thing. It was awesome but it didn’t change my life. I’m proud of it and the work that I did to convince them to be on their show. The overall most proud moment is just going out and keep going. Life is more about the themes that you do in life rather than the smaller picture. I have a following that read my book, listen to podcast and come see my show and I’m most proud that I’ve created something around me.
Was there any moment of fear that gripped you before you decided to do this anyway?
There are days that feel off. When I was first started, I said that if I don’t do it you’re not going to do it. You’re not going to do it tomorrow. You can’t keep saying I’m going to do this today because then you’re not really talking, you’re doing.
What advice would you give to our #PeakPerfomers community to just get started?
Like my book says, “Just Go”. Just get started. Don’t keep trying how to learn how to do stuff, just do stuff and you’ll learn how to do stuff.
- Just being patient and willing to take one step at a time is really valuable.
- Just do.
- Don’t forget to live when you’re between dreams