When I announced my intentions to build The Other Comedy Company in May of this year, I had a rough idea of what I wanted to build, but zero idea on how to build it. Initially, it would be safe to say, I was leaning on what I knew and kicking off with a small-event bar brand and taking it from there. It didn't take long to pivot towards what was best for the company and the product. If you compare what I was initially building to what we discussed in Business Insider you'll see a sharp contrast of ideas.
Here's what I knew at the time:
- I knew that I was going to build in the comedy world because it's what I know and love
- I knew I was going to apply my passion for learning, development & community to some degree
- I knew I was going to use this as an opportunity to question how we do things and why we do them they way we do
- I knew that I was going to commit to changing the way we approach learning and creative better, easy-to-apply options
- I knew that no matter what we were building; it was going to be fun
Here's what I didn't know:
- That building a business takes more time than you expected and costs more money than you anticipated
- That I would be driven by a simple hypothesis that a laughter-based learning system would increase learner retention and be the key to unlocking education not just for professional development but for all people, across all education systems
- That to truly explore and experiment with this hypothesis, it would not only take me more time, but potentially the rest of my life
- That I made a bigger commitment than I understood at the time to try and resolve these pressing education issues that held entire generations back
- That my goals would only become bigger and more unreachable (but in the best way possible)
This is the slow burn.
If I just wanted to make money I would start a soap company or sell fries by the beach.
But this is more than money to me.
The why behind this pursuit is simple. If I'm correct, things change for the better. If I'm not, things simply remain how they are.
So I need to try and continue trying. I need to build and continue building.
I'm encouraged by the positive reception from the public so far, the interest from not only comedians but creative professionals across the board. I'm also encouraged by anyone willing to talk to me and engage with my ideas.
I'm discouraged by reality and simply how difficult this has been to get off the ground. I was told at the beginning that bootstrapping a startup was like playing a game on the hardest mode possible. When you tack on government blockers, limited resources, limited funds — it almost feels like an unbeatable game.
But that just brings me to one simple goal: Beat this game.
Here's what happens if I beat this game:
- Canada will have a thriving independent comedy market
- Comedians across the world will have access to information, education, resources and funding to pursue their goals in comedy & live healthy lives
- Laughter-based learning will become engrained in a variety of educational programs beyond corporations and ultimately lead towards systematically reducing crime and poverty (by building a more broadly-accessible education system )
- Humans will treat each other better by default
Here's what happens if I don't beat this game:
- Someone else will. We're too connected at this point. These ideas are out there and accessible. I may not be able to accomplish what I set out to do but it doesn't mean that these ideas don't evolve and become someone else's quest.
- Love will ultimately win and I believe the next generation will be full of bright-minds ready to put an end to evil, greed, hate and inflicted-trauma. I have a core belief that I am someone very very small trying to do something very very big, beyond an idea, beyond a business... I see a road to real change. I think we should follow that road and see where it takes us.
And here's what happens next:
Right now, I'm just one guy. That's about to change. In the coming weeks I will be sharing news regarding an exciting brand partnership that's 100% aligned with my values and mission. Before the end of the year I will host a digital town hall for comedians and those interested in getting involved with the business. I want to find ways to share these ideas and get to the actionable steps that take these ideas into the real world, validates them and then ultimately scales.
Thanks for the continued encouragement and support from those who have taken the time to sit with me and talk. For those in the wings, waiting to see where this goes, please bear with me.
Bear the slow burn.
This is going to take a minute.
Hell, it might even take two.
📌 I'm just going to leave this here :) pic.twitter.com/3JKFcuEfBV— Clifford Myers Blue Checkmark (@cliffordmyers) October 19, 2022
PS: If you want to support myself personally you can totally snag an evil pineapple shirt. I'll drop a new design monthly for fun.