This week I went to a Dara O'Briain gig, and laughed until I was drooling. First there were giggles, then some tears began rolling down my cheeks, and soon enough an errant trickle of dribble snuck out the corner of my mouth (sexy beast).
I didn't go for business lessons, I went to have fun. But on the (long, cold, tiresome) journey home, I realised the evening had reinforced some important lessons around entrepreneurship.
#1 Be Yourself
Oh my chuffing goodness that man swears a lot. I have no flipping idea how he holds down a job at the BBC. There was no filter, no censorship and no sense of embarrassment. He just let rip as his full glorious self. And it was fantastic.
Have you ever watched someone perform on stage when they aren't feeling it, when they're feeling self-conscious, when they'd rather the stage swallowed them up? It's a horrible, awkward, uncomfortable feeling for everyone. When we Facebook, tweet, Periscope, webinar, email or in any other way attempt to communicate while filled with fear and trepidation, our audience can feel that dark, murky energy.
When we do these things we are on stage, and need to approach it with gusto.
Be yourself, your full, fierce, glorious self.
#2 Work Hard
Dara works his arse off. I've always had this warped perspective on famous people, imagining that they earn £1,000s every week by working just a handful of hours. By this measure, I feel woefully inadequate. During the gig Dara mentioned that while as he's touring the UK, he can do 100+ gigs each year! I'm never going to complain about a working late again. However easy other people make it look, know that a huge amount of knowledge, skill, talent, experience and effort go into every success.
#3 Not Perfect? Share It Anyway
Dara's performance wasn't flawless. He's not perfect. He's human. Occasionally he lost his thread, sometimes he mumbled while fishing for the right words. I am so grateful that he shares his gift anyway. 1500 people roared with laughter throughout the evening, because one man had the guts to shrug off the fears of imperfection and stand on stage anyway.
What gifts are you hiding behind your fear of failure? Is the world missing out because you are waiting for something to be perfect? I know I'm guilty of that, and whenever I feel myself wobbling, I'm going to think back to one man, standing on a stage, giving it his all.
Fancy a giggle? I had to include this. Warning: Contains swearing.
In the comments below, or over on the Facebook page, tell me about a performer that inspires you.