Bill Murray on taking chances and saying “No”

If you aren’t an entrepreneur or someone in a creative industry, it’s possible you might not be able to imagine how much disappointment I go through.

I create things constantly. New ideas. New solutions to problems. Some ideas have worked so well people pay for them. Most don’t.

Same with my writing. I put things out there I think might get some momentum on places like Twitter and Facebook. Some go crazy. Most don’t.

I love Bill Murray’s take on this:

Bill: You gotta commit. You’ve gotta go out there and improvise and you’ve gotta be completely unafraid to die. You’ve got to be able to take a chance to die. And you have to die lots. You have to die all the time. You’re goin’ out there with just a whisper of an idea. The fear will make you clench up. That’s the fear of dying. When you start and the first few lines don’t grab and people are going like, “What’s this? I’m not laughing and I’m not interested,” then you just put your arms out like this and open way up and that allows your stuff to go out. Otherwise it’s just stuck inside you.

Comedians have a special place in my heart. I see a lot in common between their profession and the one I’ve been doing for awhile.


There was a great quote I saw this weekend on design and entrepreneurship.

The essence of design lies in the process of discovering a problem shared by many people and trying to solve it.

Kenya Hara, Designing Design

Comedians have always interested me because they have a similar struggle.

It’s not that much of a stretch to say the essence of comedy lies in the process of discovering a problem shared by many people and trying to make us laugh about it.

So this awesome interview with Bill Murray this month in Esquire strikes a chord. Here’s another great bit:

Interviewer, Scott Raab: A lot of folks worry that if they aren’t available or don’t say yes, they’ll stop getting asked.

Bill: If you keep saying yes, they’ll stop asking you, too. That’s a much more likely event.

The whole interview is worth a read.

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