How Michael Flatley Tap Danced His Way Through The Glass Ceiling Of “Good”!

…..and how avoiding risk and anxiety will keep you broke!

The man behind Lord of the Dance can boast that his shows have been played to over 60 million people in over 60 countries and have amassed over $1 billion. Michael Flatley is said to be worth around $300 million collectively from his lifetime career as a dancer, choreographer and musician.

What most people don’t know is the interesting and incredibly “ballsy” story behind what led him to his exit with Riverdance and the founding of Lord of the Dance.  

It’s said that in 1995 the popular Irish dance-based show was paying Flatley a whopping £50k A WEEK for his performances. That’s about £83k in 2021 with the help of an inflation calculator!

In 1994, Riverdance took the UK by storm, birthed from a special mix of a 7-minute Eurovision performance into a full-length show. The following year the show opened in London with its leading man Flatley spearheading the opening performance, but within days it was revealed that he was leaving the show.

It was widely reported that Flatley was fired but show producer John McColgan later revealed that it wasn’t true. “He had got it into his head that he wanted to run the show and presented us with a huge list of 40 demands, he wanted a bigger car, to select the cast and choose his leading lady. If we had succumbed, he would have run our show and turned it into Lord of the Dance.”

What surfaced is that Flatley wanted equity in Riverdance. He wanted not only his name in the lights… BUT ALSO SOME STAKE IN THE GAME. Flatley didn’t think he was being given full credit for all his work in taking the 7-minute performance into the hottest show on the planet!

After his exit, Flatley went to work on developing his own show. Having provided the choreography for Riverdance, he was in a great position to bring his stage dreams to life and did just that with Lord of the Dance.

It’s set records all around the globe, from setting a 21-consecutive show run at Wembley Arena in 1998 to selling 12 million DVD copies. Showing just what you can do when you don’t let anxiety and fear of taking risks straggle your ambitions.

It’s a weird and contrarian thing seeking out “discomfort”. Huge levels of awareness are needed to see the vision of success. It involves heaps of belief in yourself and betting on your own skills.

In the brilliant book You2 by Dr Price Pritchett, he explains how one might achieve what he calls a “quantum leap”. In the steps described two key points really stood out.

  • Quantum leaps require “risk” and “anxiety”
  • Do not however confuse “risk” and “anxiety” with more “effort”

In fact, he explains that a “huge leap forward” can often be “effortless” and almost always looking back in hindsight described as the most obvious next step but crucially…… THEY ALWAYS HAVE RISK AND ANXIETY ASSOCIATED WITH THEM AT THE POINT OF DECISION!

It’s terribly cliched but GOOD is the ENEMY of great!

I always hear in Chiropractic that practice owners are just doing ‘okay’ or ‘good’. Michael Flatley was doing good in Riverdance, but he took a massive risk and became an even bigger star… and much richer from his decision.

Said differently, the fact that you may be making “decent money” right now or in fact have already achieved or surpassed that which you had originally set out to achieve when you imagined your life as a student, is in of itself the very reason that so many never really go on to achieve great things, serve massively, provide massively and or life EXTRAORDINARY LIVES.

In short …. Perhaps you’re reading this because you needed to hear this question… 




Chances are that you’ve got comfortable. A “good life” …. But I believe that a great life is what our maker had planned for all of us. The late Buckminster Fuller used to say that God/the universe would not give us a lick of the ice cream if he did not intend for us to have the whole thing. 

Heck, there is a MASSIVE ice cream Sunday waiting for ya….. or are you going to settle for the vanilla single scoop? 

The big prize is more than likely just the other side of a calculated “risk” or seemingly scary or anxious “action”.

Dr Pritchett explains that your Quantum Leap is often something you have already thought about doing…… and it’s something that you’re consciously stopping yourself from doing. 

Last point… if you want GREATNESS then you need to be asking yourself some hard questions.

What do you need to allow to happen to stop you from talking yourself out of your big risk?

My guess is that it’s something quite manageable. It could be hiring more people into your team, getting another site, spending more on marketing, stepping out in public and teaching. 

It’s probably going to make you feel scared, but that’s when you know it’s a risk. And then… BINGO that’s it. You’ve found the thing you’re supposed to be doing.

Take one second and think about the risk and fear Flatley had to overcome when he left Riverdance before he decided to GO FOR GREATNESS.

Now it’s your turn!

Love and light 


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