“How would you describe your approach to your craft, your program?” I was led to answer this question when I told a friend that I was taking a Master Class from Steve Martin. I was gushing about how he thinks about the whole performance of comedy. Seriously, if you have any interest at all, check it out. I honestly enjoyed the class. Bonus: it was Steve Martin.
There was, of course, a ton of fascinating information on everything from how he crafted his personas to editing each and every single joke with a preciseness that only comes from being the perfectionist and craftsman he is.
What piqued my interest, and something I wanted to share was his discussion about trends and leaning into new ones, or even creating one yourself.
Steve reminisced about what a working, successful comedian looked and sounded like when he was first breaking into the industry. Most other comics dressed in jeans and leather jackets sporting long beards and shaggy hair. It was the late 60’s and early 70’s; I’m sure you get the picture.
He realized he should be different. He needed to be unique to be seen. In his class, he discussed the importance of “looking for the vacuum” rather than being like everyone else.
From this, we got The Wild and Crazy Guy. Steve purposely cut his then shaggy hair and turned in his ponchos and jeans for the crisp white suit we’ve all come to know, love, and instantly recognize as Steve Martin. His goal? To be at the “beginning of a movement rather the tail end.” We can all agree he succeeded.
This idea resonated with me. It made me think about the work I’m doing:
Am I replicating others’ success or crafting my own?
As I look at every aspect of the business I’m building, each time I ask:
- Is this just like someone else’s program with my rhetoric (my version of jokes) or am I crafting an experience that’s honestly new and different?
- What can I learn from the giants that have come before me and yet what can I innovate?
- Do I have the courage to push the idea out as far as the talented Steve Martin?
What about you? What is your unique approach? Are you looking to the future or are you hanging with what’s been done before?
It is hard. You’d have to put yourself out there. People might judge. (Remember, you need to be courageous so you can be brave.)
But what if they were surprised and delighted by what you did? Isn’t it at least worth trying?
Be Curious: What We’re Reading
We are voracious readers and podcast addicts at The Amplify Lab. We’ve chosen a couple of newsworthy items that really opened our eyes to some new and amazing ideas and made us think outside the box, beyond our knowledge sphere.
"19 Public Speaking Tips to Find Success" by Dave Kerpen in Inc. World-renown speaking expert Michael Port shares his secrets.
"12 Habits of Genuine People" by Travis Bradberry in Entrepreneur. Genuine people know who they are. They are confident enough to be comfortable in their own skin.