What do comedy improvisation and a successful internet business have in common?

Well…  As unlikely as it may seem, quite a bit.

This is more of what you might think is “semi-religious self-improvement psycho babble” (let’s call it SSPB) – it definitely isn’t junk.

One of the things I was taught early on is that it’s important not to “block the flow” in order to be successful.

What the heck does that mean?

It all boils down to not being negative, and accepting whatever comes your way and using it to further your business or your career or whatever it is you’re pursuing.

I like to think of it as “every cloud has a silver lining”.

Example.  The recent eBay slap.  To read what some people were saying you’d think the sky was falling – what a load of old fuss about nothing.

I read the new rule, chuckled and thought “yee-haa!”

See, I knew it would get rid of all the junk on eBay and also get rid of a lot of people who were selling ebooks etc. without understanding what they were doing.  Those people were just making it difficult for the real marketers.  You couldn’t see the wood for the trees.

I sincerely hope you weren’t one of those people who didn’t know what they were doing…

eBay knows that people like to market on their site (and not just sell), and it seems that for now they’re okay about it, which is a refreshingly enlightened attitude for a corporation their size to take.

They’re not blocking the flow.

So eBay have now disallowed the selling of digital products as digital downloads.  And what they’ve done is suggested that marketers use the classified ad format instead.  That’s really cool of them and it opens up a whole wealth of opportunities.

But if you listen to the doomsayers, the golden age is over.

What nonsense.  Things are just different.  And better.  Less competition for starters.

Let’s get back to the original thread.  What about comedy improvisation?

If you’ve ever seen a group of comedians improvise, it can be something magical to watch.

You know how they keep it all going?  They don’t block the flow.

They accept whatever premise the other comedians give them and they just add to it and pass it back.  And forth.  And so on…

The kiss of death to their act is to say no, or refuse to accept the current idea.  They all know that if that happens, they will falter and stop.  So all of them accept what they’re given and use it to their advantage.

It’s a simple rule to follow, and works just as well in business, in relationships, or whatever else you care to think of.

Accept what you’re given.  Make it better.  Put it out there.  And keep the flow moving.

-Frank Haywood