My guest on Episode 12 of the Disrupt Yourself Podcast is Marco Rosamilia. Together with his brother, Anthony, Marco is the founder, owner and operator of I Fly Trapeze, a flying trapeze school, that also provides instruction in other circus arts and community performances both by nearly novice students, the highly experienced and expert instructors and the super-skilled Rosamilia brothers themselves.
One of the things I loved about this interview is that Marco was not a traditional subject. He is a flying trapeze artist who also runs a business, not a businessman first and foremost. Unlike some, I’m quite sure he hasn’t read Disrupt Yourself and didn’t know what to expect from me. Nevertheless, he really delivered on some of the key aspects of personal disruption: taking a step back, embracing constraints, being discovery driven, etc.
I Fly Trapeze has experienced the entrepreneur’s maddeningly slow S-curve low end and now, in its second decade, is finally hitting its stride, quite literally on the upward swing. With two locations in Long Island and one in Arizona, the business, which requires a large outdoor space, is now able to operate year-round, rather than seasonally, and has an established base of repeat customers to augment the one-timers who come for a thrill-ride and to check an item off their bucket list.
That’s another reason I loved this interview—the very act of participating in flying trapeze is a great analogy for personal disruption as well. And it helps expand the paradigm of personal disruption from white collar to blue. Not only is flying on the trapeze physical work, but there is immense labor required to set up and take down equipment, and to provide instruction to multiple groups and individuals throughout the day, into the evening and on virtually all weekends and holidays!
The brothers forewent the well-established family recycling business to follow this unconventional path. But the capacity to work hard all day, every day that has been necessary to make I Fly Trapeze a success was learned early. “My work in my family business was 90 percent physical work…. My brother and I both…what works is the fact that both of us can basically get anything done. Like literally get anything done. Tell me what your problem is and [we] will find a way….”