Lessons Learned From My Day With “Drunk History”- Career Edition

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November 20, 2015
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December 14, 2015

Lessons Learned From My Day With “Drunk History”- Career Edition


For the first time in nearly two years, I got sick. Admittedly not my best quality, I’m kind of a whiny sick person (See, “Calling my mom who resides 100 miles away asking her half jokingly, half seriously that I need her to ‘fix this’”).

Anyway, the world slowed down figuratively (and literally, if you take into account my Nyquil haze), and I had to take a pause. So I did what anyone would do, and I binge-watched Comedy Central’s “Drunk History”- Seasons 2 and 3. And this post is about the lessons I learned. Well, lessons learned above and beyond how good Jaleel White was at playing American hero Bass Reeves.

IMG_3670 copyOrnament from the Ozovek-Rosales family tree. I thought it was fitting. (Photo credit for sideways photo I can’t seem to rotate: Jill Ozovek)

  1. There are no bad ideas. I mean that. Obviously not every idea is a viable career path or business idea, but many of those core ideas can be developed to something viable. Whoever thought that drunk comedians and people telling the stories of historical figures is a genius, but I bet it didn’t start out as it is now. It took finessing, testing, re-finessing and retesting. So, my point is, go start a “Drunk History” spinoff in the UK. No, my point is that if you have an idea for something you’d like to do for your job, but you don’t think it exists yet or isn’t something you can access, try your very best not to extinguish that light/passion. Maybe it doesn’t exist because you’re ahead of the times and there’s something you can do now that does exist. Or maybe it doesn’t exist because it’s not viable. Do your due diligence, talk to people, expand your network- do anything but let it go from the get-go.
  2. Let your freak flag fly. In other words, be yourself. It’s gonna be exhausting to put on a show in an interview or getting to know you phase (in a networking or business partner sense) and then have to keep up that façade foreverrrrrr. I haven’t met and interviewed the creative geniuses behind “Drunk History” (yet), but if I had to guess, I’d say they didn’t compromise who they are or their vision for the show. Same thing goes for when you’re starting a new thing and are looking for clients or you’re looking for a new company to call ‘home.’ Many times, people come to me saying they’ve tried everything and no bites have come their way and they can’t make any progress. When we lift the hood and do some mock conversations, it turns out they’re not being authentically themselves. People say it all the time and it can sound trite, but being authentically you is THE key ingredient for success. You need it no matter what. As Oscar Wilde used to say, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Companies are looking for robots less and less these days, I hear.
  3. Narrative is key for a viable candidate/idea. I’ve been beating this drum for awhile but it is TRUE. Understanding your personal narrative (Check out my online class on this here) is crucial to connecting to both your target company and job description. Without it you might as well not apply. Funny you should ask- the same goes for “Drunk History”! Their genius format has the audience following three different stories constructed over a major theme (e.g. “Cleveland”, “Journalism”, “Games”) and they carefully curate each of the 3 stories to fit in an approximately 7 minute time frame. It’s tight, compelling and leaves you wanting more- exactly the three things you need when pitching yourself for a job or pitching an idea to potential clients or investors.
  4. Let the things around you inspire you. Ok, so I didn’t feel this way yesterday (see: aforementioned Nyquil Haze), but let the weird and wacky or the beautiful and exciting things around you inspire you to try something different or try to do something you normally do differently. It inspired this blog post, for example, and maybe it will inspire you to watch the show. Or something. What I’m really saying, though, sarcasm aside, is to let whatever is around you in your day to day life inspire you to try something new. Maybe you’re sitting there thinking that every day is the same, blah, blah, blah and if that’s truly the case and you’re just not putting up blinders, try to spend some time in the slower holiday season to do something inspiring for yourself! (If you like food and going to weird new places, hit me up for my next Walking Food Tour- Holiday edition in December). You never know what will click.

Ok, I think I squeezed enough out of my day watching “Drunk History” for this blog post. If this was helpful and you want to spend some time figuring out what that passion piece is for you, click here for a tool to help you. And if you have questions about it or want to discuss, give me a shout here.