I know most comedians cringe at the mere suggestion that they are business people, but the reality is that in order to have a successful comedy career these days you have to recognize that you are a business person – whether you choose to think of yourself as one or not.
And once you come to grips with that fact, it’s worth taking a moment to consider exactly what kind of business you are running.
Are you in the service business? Will you make (or fail to make) your fortune based on your ability to service your clients?
And if you are, then who are your clients? Your fans? Strangers? Bookers? Venues? Podcast listeners? Do you even know who you are trying to service and how? Do you know what they want from you?
Are you in the manufacturing business? Does the ultimate success of your business lie in the products you create? Is it about your albums, your live show, your video series, your merchandise?
If you’re in the manufacturing business, do the economics of production work for you? How will you sell what you manufacture? Are your products sustainable? Is there a customer base for what you’re manufacturing? Are you making the right products?
Are you just an employee? Maybe you’re not a business owner, maybe you’re just somebody that’s going to work for somebody else. There’s no shame in that, and it can certainly be very lucrative.
Is your path to success dependent on others hiring you to act in their projects, write for their creations, or help them reap bigger rewards? And if so, how does that impact every other decision you make as relates to your career?
There’s no right or wrong answers to any of these questions, but I do think you’d be foolish not to at least consider them as you plot your roadmap to a successful career.
You can be in one of these businesses or all three. But if you’re not in any of them? Then you’re probably headed nowhere fast.