Radio Lessons From The Real World – #30 Seinfeld
It took everything to create the show about nothing.
New York’s Jerry Seinfeld is commonly regarded as the ‘hardest working man in show business’. He would painstakingly rewrite scripts, tirelessly rewrite jokes and insisted on weekend rehearsals during most of the 173 episode run.
Comedy Central named him #12 on the Top 100 list of ‘Greatest Comedians of All Time’ and his earnings mirrored the TV show’s success with his personal highpoint in 1998 seeing him pocket a cool $268 million. Beyond the awards and pay cheques though, Seinfeld’s determination and his constant desire to improve are his most impressive assets. Born out of his relentless pursuit of excellence and his drive for consistency is the ‘Seinfeld Principle’.
A young comic who met him by chance asked for tips on finding success; Jerry described his mantra like this, ”the way to be a better comic is to create better jokes, and the way to create better jokes is to write every day”. He went on “get a giant wall calendar for the whole year and put a big red cross in each day once you have written 5 jokes. Do it every day. The secret is to not break the chain of red crosses”.
Notice there is no metric on how good the jokes need to be, and no pressure to find instant fame; it is simply the act of refining everyday that will lead to improvement and ultimately success.
Jerry Seinfeld continues to write new material everyday.
Hard working people succeed; whether you are a programmer or talent, the more you put it the more you will get out. Know your Achilles Heel as a professional and as a brand and work on it every day. Every day. Saturdays and Sundays are days too. Start small and let the act of refinement grow you – not the motivation to be #1. Be motivated. Challenge yourself to sharpen the pencil. Be the master of your own domain.
About Ronnie Stanton
Aussie kid living in Canada. His office job is VP – National Brands and Programming for Corus Entertainment . Ronnie also consults radio stations and coaches morning shows all over the world. He can be reached throughwww.ronniestanton.com