By Jason Fell for Entrepreneur…
When I ask Justin Willman how he got started in magic, he tells me it all began at 12 years old after borrowing money from a bookie. When he didn’t pay it back on time, the guy broke both of his arms and sent him to the hospital.
One thing is for certain: Willman is an entertainer.
The real story, it turns out, is slightly less dramatic. When he was 12, Willman attempted riding his bike while wearing roller blades. The bright idea did result in two broken arms. His doctor suggested he practice card tricks to help get the dexterity in his hands back. It worked, and by the time the casts were removed, the seed was planted and Willman knew he wanted to be a magician.
Since moving to Los Angeles in 2002, Willman has been busy pursuing a career in entertainment fulltime. He’s been a regular guest on The Tonight Show, Ellen, and Conan. He landed a special on Comedy Network called Sleight of Mouth and hosted the Food Network show Cupcake Wars. His online videos have logged more than a 100 million views.
You might also recognize Willman as the star of Magic for Humans on Netflix. With the second season of the show dropping on Netflix today, we caught up with Willman to talk about what drives his creativity, how he views entrepreneurship, and how he defines success. What follows has been edited lightly for length and clarity. READ MORE