Check out this episode of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" and hear the story of how Thom Singer got past a 25 year fear of trying his hand at a comedy open mic night.
Now he has done it four times. Don't worry, Jerry Seinfeld is not nervous about his job security, and Kevin Hart is not asking him to open for him in his sold out arena comedy shows. But it has been a unique and inspiring experience for him and he plans to do it a few more times.
This episode is dedicated to talking to everyone about the importance of trying new things, and doing it with an open mind. No, not everyone needs to do a Stand Up bit in a comedy club or coffee house, but when you get past the fear of looking foolish or the fear of failure, there is power and growth in the trying.
Thom's first time ever at an open mic night was in New York City. He was convinced that all the comics would be great and that his five minute set would be the worst. That the word "bomb" would forever be attached to his one time comedy effort. But the result was positive. He got laughs, and found that comics have a supportive community.
His second time was a mess. Not his three minute bit, but the place he took the stage was disorganized, the hosts were not engaged (gave the best time slots to their friends and acted like a bunch of frat guys who didn't welcome strangers into their home)... but he still got laughs (although there were only 6 people still in the room, as all the comics were outside drinking with their friends). But the lesson here is that all open mic night experiences are not created equal. But it also made it clear that not everyone who got up on the mic would be funny... so why was he so worried.
The third and fourth times at open mic were really good and have inspired him to keep going. No, not to ever be a comic or to incorporate elements of stand up into his corporate speaking, but because the power in pushing yourself to do things out of your comfort zone come from what happens along the journey.
Check out this episode is you have ever wanted to try something hard, but let the fear hold you back.