Skip to content

37: Magical Business Building Blocks with Dennis Friebe

Dennis Friebe - Business Breakthrough Podcast

“The best way to build up your business is while getting paid.” Magician Dennis Friebe (Kardenni) takes us on his journey from High School Magic Shows to being featured at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, illustrating how small, profitable steps over many years can launch a high-level career. We also discuss the right time to hire, and how to hire when you only need sporadic assistance and don’t want to pay for regular staff.




My Guest: Dennis Friebe 

Dennis Friebe is Orlando-based magician Kardenni (Car – Denny), born in Bad Nauheim, Germany but mainly works in the United States. Kardenni has found himself in Germany, Spain, England, Portugal, The Bahamas and the depths of Canada.

From 2012 to 2017, Kardenni established himself as one of Central Florida’s top performers by performing at restaurants and nightclubs. He then quickly moved to Busch Gardens Tampa and Legoland Florida, doing magic, acting, and some stunts. Currently, you can see shows regularly at Walt Disney’s Boardwalk Resort.

In 2017 Kardenni opened his show Illusion of Choice and toured select cities – New York City, Fort Lauderdale, and Hollywood CA.


Pivotal Moments:

Dreamed of being a pilot as a kid and enrolled in a high school with an aviation program.
After being impressed by his friend’s magic trick at age 14, bought his first trick from a booth in the mall near his home.
Frequented the magic store until he got hired to do magic tricks on condition he would try to sell every trick he performed.
Got featured in a local paper at age 15, landing him his first paid magic show at a birthday party.
Dropped the dream of becoming a pilot and switched to communications and radio broadcasting to learn the skills he needed to be a magician.
Became a weekly – monthly radio DJ for a children and teen radio station where he learned journalism, television and music editing skills which he still uses today.
Started building up his clientele by cold calling businesses and restaurants.
Joined a travelling musician, doing opening shows and teaching magic to professionals, hobbyists and dabblers at magic clubs around the world.
Recently Dennis has gone into acting to improve his magic shows and also to enter the acting industry.


The Advice:

Just having one core skill is not enough to make you a successful freelancer. To run a business, a skilled freelancer needs skills and knowledge of marketing, sales and profit modelling (to name just a few) in addition to their core skill. Having this knowledge improves profitability in the early stages of the business because it avoids the need to bring in knowledge from external sources.

If you do something for long enough, you will get a certain measure of success from it just because you will have enough life experience to help you work out the best approach to take.

The best way to build yourself up is while you are getting paid to do so. It is often worthwhile to get a job in the industry you are seeking to enter, even a low-paying one. You can then use your position and the exposure to clients to market yourself and your services to every customer you interact with during your work. This helps to build up your client base, while you are getting paid to work.

Get a coach or experienced practitioner in your industry to work with. They can help you get into doors that you couldn’t get into by yourself and take you light years ahead.


The Struggle:

Dennis struggles with managing his time. He has so many things that he wants to do, but he runs his company completely single-handedly. He does all his own graphics, marketing and administration, plus he has recently started auditioning for acting gigs which is very time consuming. How can Dennis manage his time so that he can do all the things he dreams of doing while keeping up the smooth running of his business?


The Breakthrough:

It might be time for Dennis to hire because his time is so valuable. When faced with the choice of spending his time sending out contracts or performing a paid magic show, obviously he should pay someone $10 an hour to send out contracts so that he can earn much more doing his gigs.
But, having a constant responsibility to pay a salary can be debilitating and suck all the money out of the company. The best way to bring in help would be to hire freelancers on an ad hoc basis when it makes sense to do so financially. This will free up his time to allow him to focus on his acting and all the other things he dreams of doing, but in a financially viable way.


Resources and Links:

Did you enjoy this episode? 
 subscribe to my podcast on iTunes, so you can get automatic updates whenever another episode goes live (and you will be helping me get to #1 on iTunes, making us all cooler in the process!)

About the author, Estie Rand

I love turning ideas into money, and helping others do the same. I help small business owners with everything from marketing to fiscal management, business plans to staffing, database architecture to work/life balance coaching and I love it all! What do you need help with today?

Leave a Comment

Scroll To Top