Why did the chicken cross the road?……………

To get to the other side…… 🙂

Today I am choosing to start my post with this well-worn joke. I have been thinking about some of the similarities between becoming a successful stand-up and building a successful business.

Chicken 1

Firstly it strikes me that stand-ups are always ‘out and about,’ testing their material and gaining valuable first-hand feedback about what works and what doesn’t.

I’m guessing that most successful comedians have had their fair share of poor reviews,  ‘tumbleweed’ moments. Those times when a particular gag or complete routine just fell ‘flat’ and did not raise so much as a ‘titter’ from their audience. They may have had their share of playing to indifferent or hostile audiences before they started to hit their stride and develop their own unique style.

There is much to learn in business, I think, from the way stand up comedians operate. They continually have to develop new material for new shows. They also I should imagine have to draw on their strengths, experiences, and observations to regularly produce that material and refine their delivery. In short, successful comedians are never just ‘resting on their laurels.’

I can also see that for many, working in collaboration with other comedians and comedy writers could really help them build a following. It might well take a team to produce a good joke.

Writing and then delivering a joke is not just about the words, but the context, the nuance, timing, and pitch-perfect delivery for maximum impact and laughs. While delivering their material, the stand-up comedian is most likely ‘reading’ their audience and gauging their reaction and making adjustments in real-time.

Much like making a presentation or a ‘sales’ pitch. For the stand-up, this takes practice over time to master and hone their skills. Highly successful comedians did not spring onto the circuit and establish instant, overnight success.

It occurs to me that starting and running a business may well be the same.

So my question for you is, as a business, how are you testing out your materials, products, and service? Are people really willing to part with their hard-earned cash for what you have to offer? Have you really taken on the feedback from your customers/clients, potential, or otherwise? How well have you tested your potential market? Are you really offering what people want?

‘Fail fast, learn fast,’ is a phrase I have come across recently, and though it seems a strange thing to say. It occurs to me that is what successful comedians do and do pretty quickly. They are not slow in getting their material out there.

Even a big name has to take a risk and try out new material at some point. No successful comedian churns out the same content, year in, year out. So, why should your business do the same?

Until next time

Janice Taylor


About careerresilience

Career Coach and Writer at Blue Sky Career Consulting. I love to write and am currently juggling three different blogs. On a mission to discover how people can thrive and flourish in life and work.
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