What I learned on a Monday night at an open mic in Los Angeles

 
 

I'm a professional entertainer.

The only way I make a living is when I impress people enough for them to pay me.

I suppose that's true for all of us... whether we're in showbiz or not.

Impress people and they pay you.

That's why we have job interviews and resumes.

But wait

It's not fair! The most qualified person doesn't always get the job!

Ah! Now we're on to something.

Qualifications don't matter.

The funniest comedian isn't the most famous. The best writer isn't the best-selling. The most effective leader isn't a big CEO.

Why?

NO ONE CARES.

No one cares about your qualifications. No one cares about your past. No one cares about you.

I care about me.

ME.

MORE ABOUT ME.

Everyone is looking out for number one.

I don't care how funny you are.

I care about how CONFIDENT you are.

Back to the open mic. I watched 15 amateur entertainers take the stage.

They weren't getting paid.

Why are entertainers taking stages in every city and small town across the country and not getting paid?

Well, they aren't impressing anyone. So no one is paying.

Were they funny?

Yes, some of them had me laughing out loud and having a great time.

THEN..

Then they lost me. And they lost the crowd.

Did they tell a bad joke?

Nope

They lost the crowd because they lost their confidence.

They apologized.

I'm never paying anyone to hear them apologize.

But no one actually said, "I'm sorry."

They apologized with their body language... with their uncomfortable look as they rushed into the next joke.

DON'T APOLOGIZE.

Own it.

Own your jokes that don't get the laugh. Own your style that makes you YOU.

Own everything that you do and deliver it with confidence like no one else in the world can do.

I'm not the best juggler. I'm not the best podcast host. I'm not the best writer... BUT I will own the things I do on stage, the words I say and write.

They are true to me at the time I create them. This is me and I'm confident about the work that I create.

I hope I impress you, but in the end, I don't care.

So what can you take away?

Stop apologizing, because no one cares.

But if you own it, someone might.

Impress me.