In conversation with Joan Rivers at Internet Week NY

With Joan Rivers, you never know what you’ll get. I definitely did not know what to expect from her Keynote at Internet Week but I had a feeling that whatever it was, it would be brutally honest and just the comedic relief I needed.

Honestly, I wasn’t able to write down too many notes about the internet and media but I did write down sage advice that she had to offer, all of which resonated in me and happens to work for both business and life. Thank you Joan Rivers! (see after the image):


This is what she had to say (and I quote):

1) “And when it all goes to shit, which it will, for all of you at one point, don’t worry. It comes back.”

Joan Rivers was referring to the inevitable speedbumps and pitfalls we encounter in business and life. She described a few of her personal difficulties- difficulties she went through and came out of successfully and guaranteed that bad times will be balanced by good times. Just be sure to enjoy the good times when they’re here and stay humble when you can.

2) “There are a lot of terrific people out there with talent. If you’ve got talent and a little luck, appreciate it”

She mentioned a certain teenage superstar and how she was unimpressed by his cough, lack of gratefulness. “Self entitlement really bores me.” There are so many talented people out there, what will set you apart and make a lasting impression is authenticity and genuine thanks.

3) “You just don’t know when the magic will happen. You might get something wonderful from someone you don’t expect.”

She was referring to interviews and how you don’t know when the other person will say something that will just turn the conversation around. Unless you persist in the conversation and ask good questions the conversation and possibility will just fizzle. This also involves giving experiences and people a chance in general, cause, you just never know.

4) “Nothing comes naturally to anybody.”

Work hard and prepare. Whether its interviewing or preparing for an interview, come with questions to ask and your thoughts organized. Make commitment to excellence a priority and be ready to deliver, every single time. Hard work and consistency stands out in a world where things are fast and short.

5) “Look at the morons doing other things.  You can do it too. We’re all smart…..most of us.”

“Never say I can’t,” she said. You don’t have to be smart in the most traditional sense, to succeed. You just have to be smart about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. This means a lot of hard work and determination and being able to keep going when the going gets tough.

6) “The lightning will strike if you stay in the rain long enough”

Even though she was referring to comedians who are trying to “make it,” this easily applies to anyone who is pursuing a dream. Just “do it and people will find you. Try everything. It’s much better for people starting out now. I don’t know anyone who was truly funny and didn’t get through.” If you’re good, people will notice just as long as you’re willing to put yourself out there. With all the technology, social media platforms and resources out there, there is no better time than now to connect and put your work and self out there. “You just have to love what you do and then it just happens. Nothing should be about the money.”

7) “Put your blinders on and run your own race”

She said that a friend in the Mafia once gave her this advice. To this day, this is how she stays focused: “I was just too busy pushing myself through.” Sometimes (actually most of the time), it’s necessary to shut off all the noise- doubts, distraction- and do what’s best for you and your goals. This isn’t to say that you should isolate yourself or decline collaboration but instead shows that everyone has their own path and instincts to follow.

8) “There are no rules to fashion anymore. If you look good, wear it” 

Need I say more?

9)”And that’s why he was so good- he was happy! He was so excited. It was infectious.”

There’s a big difference when someone is really is excited and passionate about what they’re doing and when someone is doing something as if it were a chore. Attitude and energy changes everything, so be sure to do things passionately but more importantly find something you are passionate about.

10)  “Deal with it. What’s the choice? What are you going to do. I give myself a weekend wallow sometimes and write everything bad down and then Monday morning you say, gone! Just start again.”

As you can imagine, Joan Rivers has had to deal with negativity, haters, down days just like the rest of us. She advised that we let ourselves feel it and deal with it- whether it is eating bad food or writing it down. It’s going to happen, just know how you deal with stress and what makes you feel better and then be on with it. The worst case is, you’ll have to start over but that’s better than trying to make force something that obviously doesn’t work.

After all the people she has met and all the things she’s done, it was refreshing to hear that she fully embraces the present.

When asked, “What’s the best time of your life?” She said, “Right now and I mean it. Look at what’s going on around you. If you’re not in the moment, you’re missing a good time”

In fact, she doesn’t know what she would do differently if she could.

“I do the best I can. That’s all you can do. I believe in Karma. If you are nice over here, it’ll come back over there”

So note to self: embrace the madness. Work and learn with people you like and when it’s funny, remember no matter how mean it may be, it might be the truth.

I’ll be keeping this advice in mind while I push through my own way.


If you want to hear the whole conversation in video form, click here to watch! (via Internet Week)

Check out her twitter feed here to see what she’s up to!

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.-Henry David Thoreau”

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