What Can Entrepreneurs Learn From Comedians

Standing-Up: What Can Entrepreneurs Learn From Comedians?

There are a huge number of resources out there for ‘learning’ entrepreneurship, many of which claim to hold the key to infinite success. However, no rule book for launching a business will be able to single handedly bring you great success because every business faces its own series of unique challenges. This is why the greatest entrepreneurs are often those who draw influence, resources and inspiration from many different disciplines – taking things which don’t necessarily relate directly to business and applying them in their day to day work.
One such discipline you may not think to take inspiration from is stand-up comedy. Comedians are far more similar to entrepreneurs than you might realise though; here are just a few lessons which you can take from the stage to the office.

They take risks

Both comedians and entrepreneurs are considered risk takers, simply by virtue of their stepping away from the traditional world of work. Of course, this is simply the first step however – the act of getting up on stage is where the hard work begins.
It is in front of an audience where comics take the biggest risks, and this is equally true of launching a new business – it is all talk until you get it out there in front of people.

They have a persona

Not all comedians are the same – they adopt their own onstage persona to make them stand out and incorporate elements of their own personality to avoid it seeming like they are reading from a script. A business should do this as well – attracting attention and customers can be very difficult for new businesses in a competitive marketplace. You should have a company USP which can get people talking.

They live or die by their material

Once they are up there on-stage, the comedian has nothing other than the quality of their jokes to help them win over the crowd. If the audience doesn’t like it there is little they can do to turn it around. The same could be said about the quality of your product or service – it’s important for comics and businesses alike to spend as much time as possible honing their material before releasing it into the world.

They adapt to environment

A stand-up comedian is required to work in a range of different environments – from small clubs to larger function rooms and everything in between. All of these places have different atmospheres and there is no guarantee the same material will work across all of them. The entrepreneur too must be capable of altering their message depending on who they are speaking to, whether it be customers, investors, partners or anyone else – they must know how to sell their message to each audience.

They learn by doing

There is no formal training which you can take to become a good stand-up comedian. Sure, there are courses which will claim to teach you the technical stuff but it’s not something which can really be taught. The same can be said for entrepreneurship – you will never truly know if you’re any good at it until you get out there and learn by doing (and probably failing a few times into the bargain).

They can handle failure

‘Bombing’ is part of the learning process for comedians. Many would say it’s a huge part of the process for budding entrepreneurs as well. Many don’t find any success until their 3rd or 4th startup attempt, while some can take even longer. It is important to incorporate the lessons learned from these failures into your next attempt and continue to hone your skills.

Kane Miller

Kane has been involved in startups since he was a teenager. Him and his sister started a company called "Curb Prints" going door-to-door selling address signs painted on the curb in front of people's houses. Fast forward 20 years, he has a computer engineering background, but is now self employed, working on fun and unique web projects, doing angel investing, and helping startups find success.