If you haven't heard of her by now, you're officially a late adopter. Early adopters knew her when she appeared on Last Comic Standing. She's Amy Schumer, the actress every comedian wants to be and the girl every man wants to date (and sleep with). Amy is drop-dead hysterical, honest, and an overall class-act. Why should an entrepreneur act like Amy Schumer? The answer may not be obvious.
Amy grew up with the desire to be an actress, like many young kids wanted to own a business. While Amy was participating in school plays as a youngster, adolescent business moguls were setting up lemonade stands and trading baseball cards. When Amy studied at the Sanford Meisner Center for acting in New York in her young adult years, budding entrepreneurs were getting their MBAs at Harvard in Cambridge. When Amy took her first Emmy award for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, prolific tech visionaries took their companies public on the New York Stock Exchange. As you can see, there are many parallels between Amy Schumer and the classic, successful entrepreneur.
The road to Amy's fame and success was not an easy path, like those that all entrepreneurs walk. Amy was rejected multiple times going out for auditions in her early career and she even got mocked for her physical appearance on social media during her time on Last Comic Standing. Entrepreneurs must face rejection when pitching for new business and raising venture capitalist money, and even when a rising organization gets recognized in the media, it's not always a glowing review.
If you're in the early years of growing a business, there are many lessons to glean from Amy's rise to stardom. Amy's top three lessons are easily comparable to those of companies who have made Initial Public Offerings or sold their organizations for millions of dollars. The lessons include the ability to take chances by being different, the willingness to fail by not playing by the rules, and the commitment to be honest with her audience.
Take Chances by Being Different
As a younger comedian, Amy took chances by embracing two topics most millennials avoid talking about: body image and sex. These two topics are normally only talked about in our therapy sessions or in our diaries, but Amy embraced these semi-taboo topics by being truthful about her experience. She took a chance and it paid off tremendously because her audience related. It's just a cherry on top that Amy's comic delivery is painstakingly charming and infectious.
Just like Amy, entrepreneurs need to take chances and be different. They need to introduce fresh products and renovate new services on the marketplace. Businesses need to take chances by doing something different than their competitors. It's the only way to test the market and determine what customers adopt or reject. When entrepreneurs are different, they're recognized for their ability to stand out and add value to the market.
Be Willing to Fail and Don't Play by the Rules
Amy failed a lot and continues to fail in some of her sketches, but she's willing to make mistakes and be different from every other comedian. When Amy walked the red carpet at the TIME 100 Gala in New York City, she tried to prank Kim Kardashian and Kanye West by pretending to fall on her face while walking in front of them. Amy caught the paparazzi's attention, but Kardashian and West continue to walk by Amy without a smirk. Amy's joke fell flat on it's face, no pun intended. Did this break Amy's career? Of course not.
Celebrated entrepreneurs and corporations are willing to fail and play by their own rules, regardless of the outcome. Chipotle had an outbreak of E. Coli and some people stopped eating there, but Chipotle is still in business and introduced sofritas, a new menu item, which is now a popular hit amongst vegetarians. Did you ever think a Mexican fast food chain could get vegetarians to eat at their restaurant even after a huge E. Coli outbreak scare? Chipotle is willing to fail and play by their own rules. Stop caring what other people think and do something different to stand out from the crowd.
Commit to Honesty For Your Customers
Honesty is at the heart of Amy's sketches and stand up comedy. She tells her audience what she's feeling and how ironic her life is. Her honest displays a truth that her audience can relate to, which is why America is smitten with her.
Entrepreneurs can do the same by being transparent with their customers. They can share the features and benefits of their products and services in a way that's truthful and authentic. When businesses strive to offer value, customers are bound to become an early adopter of their product or service and then spread the word which will end up reaching the late adopters. These businesses spread like wildfire and become the most popular businesses of their associated marketplace.
Who ever thought we could compare a raunchy comedian like Amy Schumer to the pivotal qualities of a traditional entrepreneur? However, that's the point. Amy is the representation of the new American dream, she is successful and significant in a way that attracts an eager audience. I can't help but smile every time I view one of her sketches on Inside Amy Schumer. Entrepreneurs can strive to be like Amy by putting a smile on each and every single one of their customer's face.
Are you an ambitious entrepreneur ready to break free from stress and anxiety?
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