Tuesday, June 24, 2008

George Carlin's Business Smarts

Trail-blazing comedian George Carlin died Sunday at the age of 71. The Toronto Star today published his "advice to young comics," which originated in a 2001 interview with Carlin by Star correspondent Leatrice O'Neill.

I thought Carlin's advice was pertinent to artists and entrepreneurs everywhere. We practice much the same craft: selling ourselves and our ideas, communicating with others, keeping our pitch unique and fresh.

Here's what he said:

"Get out in front of the audience as often as you can. That's an obvious thing, but there are people who don't do it as often as they should. Just hear yourself. You gotta hear yourself all the time."

In other words, practice makes perfect.

"Don't worry about what they think of it. It's up to you. Find your common voice. Find your identity. It took me a long time."

Entrepreneurs too must find their own voice: their own mission statement, their own cost-benefit ratio, their own unique brand.

"The writing must be given all the attention. You gotta write good stuff. You gotta be thinking. You gotta be using your head all the time."

Entrepreneurs reinvent themselves all the time. Their market is always shifting, the competition is catching up. Entrepreneurs, like their BlackBerrys, are "always on."

In honour of Mr. Carlin and his entrepreneurial instincts, here are seven words and phrases you don't hear enough on TV:
Hard work; invest; responsibility; accountability; market (as a verb); long-term; strategic planning.

RIP, George.

1 comment:

J. B. Loewen said...

Great list of seven words we do not hear enough. Hard work and strategic planning resonated for me because part of success is just showing up.
I listened to a group of writers talk about how they became Governor General award winners and best seller authors. Everyone of them said they were surrounded by more talented writer buddies but what made them get ahead of the pack was not their talent but that they sat down every morning and wrote.
So true as a business owner, show up and get your team to do strategic planning.