As a guy who typically spends his time begging for the opportunity to write, being asked to guest blog for Were Not Sorry was a great honor. When I asked Drew for a desired topic, I expected him to bust out the WNS editorial calendar and provide me with a list of upcoming features, but instead, he responded with the guidance of a true pro. “You can write whatever.” Good advice Drew. Well, right then, off we go.
I spent the next week or so thinking about what I should focus on that might make an impact on the readers of WNS. What in my short experience as a marketer and comedian could resonate with the youth of today? And finally, it hit me! I thought that Drew was being lazy in his artistic direction, but really, he was giving me a subliminal topic area of the most importance to his audience. “You can write whatever.” You son of a bitch, I never should have doubted you.
Let me tell you a little bit about myself, so you can appreciate where my meandering advice is coming from. I’m 25-years-old, I graduated from college with a business degree in 2010, and began working at a marketing agency in Boston while simultaneously writing and consulting for clients on the side. Once you graduate college, you realize that all of those built in extra-curricular activities go away. So you have to find your own hobbies so that you don’t go crazy from the monotony of the daily work routine. In my search for sanity I started doing stand-up comedy, which turned into improvisational comedy, and the rest is history. Recently, I published my first book on using comedy in the workplace, and moved to New York City to continue studying and performing at a higher level. Through my various projects I’ve been fortunate to connect with some pretty incredible people, and I’ve learned a considerable amount from them. Perhaps the best piece of advice, however, is some iteration of what Drew told me when he spoke with me about this article. “You can write whatever.” It’s so true, I can write, or say, or do, or create whatever the hell I want!
What am I talking about? Well, people our age (I’m not THAT much older than you!) suffer from an affliction that I like to call “the fear of unrealized potential.” Perhaps you can relate. The fear of unrealized potential means that in this economy of over-sharing and over-achieving it is seen as a weakness to sleep. We spend so much time thinking about what else we should be doing that we often fail to enjoy what it is that we are actually doing. I know I’ve had this problem. Many people ask me questions like, “Should I quit my job and pursue my passion?” or “What do I need to do to get ahead?” Unfortunately, there are no clear cut answers to those worries. Still, there is one piece of advice that applies to everyone who is looking to get ahead in their career. Do Something! It may sound stupidly simple, but it is a mentality that will serve you well. How often do you hear people talking about what they should be doing more of? Or about an idea they have for a company or a book or a project that they should create? I bet it is far more often than you hear people who are actually doing those things! This is why I admire the founders of this site, who as college students are taking the initiative to create something. Some people might say that WNS is a piece of crap, but who gives a damn? For the record, I’m not saying that, don’t hurt me! I’ve done plenty of comedy shows that were a piece of crap, and I look forward to many more that will fit into that category.
And so Drew’s unintended advice holds very true. In today’s world, you have the ability to do whatever it is that you want to do. Take advantage of that opportunity, because it will make not only your career but your life more exciting. As Mark Twain said, “In 20 years you will regret far more the things you did not do than the things you did do.” Take chances, and don’t worry about whether you are doing the right thing. Because the only wrong choice is no choice. So do something! Last quote, a favorite of mine by comedian Ricky Gervais, “Everyone should create. You should do something, then sit back and say, ‘I did that.’”
Thanks to the editors of WNS for the opportunity to be a part of the publication!
Bill Connolly is a marketing/branding expert, career adviser, and professional improv comedian. Bill is also the author of the book, “Funny Business: Build Your Soft Skills Through Comedy” (July 2013), and host of a radio show by the same name on the UR Business Network. He is an actor at Boston’s Improv Asylum, and performs regularly with the group What Up D’oh. Bill resides in New York City. For more insight, visit his website, TheBillConnolly.com, or follow him on Twitter: @billconnolly.