Following are the tips to keep in mind to establish a successful startup:

  1. Finding the right partners will take time. Accept this reality along with the more sober one that some will not work and all may not end gracefully either. It is human nature to have differences. Best you can do is to get the best you can out of them and try your utmost to part without burning bridges. Stay in touch and help out those who may have left on decent terms. It took several tries before I could get the right content partners who understood both corporate and comedy.
  2. Market noise will constantly distract you. From fund raising announcements to someone achieving Youtube fame. Each one’s journey, background and objectives are different. Pay attention but dont get overly depressed if some of the conventional parameters are not working for you. You may have a more sorted revenue model even if you’re not making news.
  3. Don’t ignore other metrics like health and relationships. Keeping them in place is as critical to your own well-being as it is for your startup. Some of the best jokes and assignments have come not from working in a room locked up but simply by actively socializing and being engaged.
  4. While everyone chases expensive networking forums, there are platforms like Toastmasters which are not just very cheap but also provide genuine skill development like public speaking and leadership. My comedy career started from joining Toastmasters.
  5. The darkest moments often result in the best results in the longer term. I joined Toastmasters because I had time after getting laid off. My comedy skills improved after being dropped from the Comedy Store premier line-up. Lack of Youtube fame early on meant we had to work harder to get clients and now have a more sustainable client base without needing to worry the next big thing taking all our business away.

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