This post will be about the second point, Use Everything, in the speech I’ll give later this week about the, Three Things Steven Martin Taught Me. The speech will be based on the fourth project, Keep Them Laughing, in the Toastmasters Advanced Manual: Humorously Speaking. In this project, I need to open my speech with a self-depreciating joke and then use sets of two or three joke sets throughout the body of my speech. I have been trying to accomplish this speech for a few weeks but I continue to put it off this speech while I complete other speech projects because I’ve been having a hard time writing my own jokes. That’s why I decided to do the speech about Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life, by Steve Martin, so I’ll build joke sets off of the examples in Steve’s audiobook to help tell my story.
I first wrote about this point about a year ago, in the post, Are You That Boy on the Tonight Show? Yuck!. It was inspired by a section of Steve Martin’s book, Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life, that blog posts title is something a woman in an antique shop said to Steve Martin after the first time he thought he killed it on the Tonight Show, a night when Johnny Carson loved his appearance and Sammy Davis Jr hugged him. The next day Steve ran into this women at the antique store, she actually recognized him, and let him know she hated his appearance last night.
Steve was standing there. A night after making two of his idols double over in laughter, somebody was bringing him back to earth. This story helped me realize that no matter what you do, no matter how good you think whatever you created turned out. There will always be someone out there who is dissatisfied with your work.
This gives you two available options: 1) You can let there opinion dictate your work, or 2) You can decide that what your doing isn’t for them. Your work shouldn’t be meant to please everyone. If that’s the goal then you probably need to rethink your strategy. The first option can be continued to be broken down further. The next question will be, “Is this the kind of person I’m targeting?” If your target person is the one with the negative opinion then you probably do have a problem. If this person is not your target then it’s safe to assume option two.
Creating this kind of mentality is difficult for a lot of people. It was difficult for me. You grow up wanting everyone on to like you and to make them happy. Only to find out that to create the type of work that makes you happy means you need let go of caring about other people’s opinions.
You need to quit living for acceptance. Think about what audience your work is targeting, ignore all the other noise, and get to work.