The DIY Work Ethic


My wife and I recently built a new house, and the basement will be unfinished. We have already begun discussing the process of finishing it ourselves (even though the upstairs will be more than enough space for our small family), and what we plan on doing with the extra space once it is complete. Sure we could pay someone to do it, but where’s the fun in that? Doing it ourselves will allow us to create memories, and to do things to our exact specifications, and on our own time frame.

When you do something yourself the possibilities are endless. Not every human on the planet is capable of completing any and all tasks on a professional level, but taking control has clear benefits. This is true in any line of work. I have read a plethora of articles about entertainers who made things happen on their own; people who got book deals, television programs, who planned their own tours, and many other great things. Sitting around and waiting to be “discovered” is a thing of the past.

Last week I watched a few episodes of the Comedy Central show Workaholics, on Netflix. The show is funny. The guys who are on the show also write the scripts. What’s more, before they ever got the show they made short films and posted them on the internet. In fact, that is essentially how they landed the deal; a Comedy Central exec “stumbled upon” their videos and enjoyed them.

This type of story is becoming more and more common. However, I don’t think that the Workaholics crew made their short films in hopes of getting a tv show. No, they probably did it because they enjoyed making them. Consequently, someone recognized their talent and they were given a show. More importantly, they weren’t a bunch of one trick ponies. I believe at least one of them is a stand up comedian, others are trained in acting and improv, and obviously they have experience making films.

I’ve decided recently to treat my comedy career they same way that I will treat my basement. Of course everyone needs “permission” from gatekeepers at some point. This is why we didn’t build our own house, but had professionals do that. Accordingly, I’m not going to call late night shows and tell them that they NEED to put me on, but I’ll take control of my career in more realistic ways. My goal isn’t even to get “discovered”, but simply to get funnier and continue to enjoy the content that I produce (both on stage and off). Eventually when someone “discovers” me I’ll be ready, because I didn’t sit around and wait for it to happen. I’ll have put myself out there and learned how to be a better performer, writer, etc.

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