To say Carol Leifer’s book How To Succeed In Business Without Really Crying left me feeling inspired is an understatement. As a college student I’m surrounded by people who have the same dream as me. Thousands of people my age are trying to work in television. Leifer’s book really gave me insight on how to make myself stand out and she taught me how hone my skills.
There aren’t many books that I personally can identify with, (not saying I’m a comedic genius like she is) but with this book I noticed a lot of what she spoke about is stuff that I am currently going through. She touched on interviews and how to not embarrass yourself during one. How to deal with hecklers at a standup comedy show, and how to keep pushing yourself so eventually you’re versatile in your field.
In Leifer’s book she did a “Top Ten” much like her old friend David Letterman does on his show. I decided to list ten reasons I LOVED this book.
10. Leifer doesn’t play up the disadvantages of being a female comic; instead she talks about how it was an advantage for her and how it helped her a lot throughout her career.
9. The scrapbook section at the end of the book. This book was very personal and at times felt like you were listening to an old friend. The pictures of Leifer and her friends throughout her career were a great addition to the book.
8. When her parents took her to Minetta Tavern. I love that her parents were completely on board with her dream of meeting Soupy. I also loved how years later she realized how wonderful what they did for her was, and how she hopes to do the same for her son one day.
7. “You’ll hear the word no a lot. But it only takes one yes to get you started on something new.” I feel like that quote is so important for so many reasons. It’s something people are constantly saying to me and I have come to realize is one hundred percent true. So many people will shut you down and eventually one person will say yes. Once that person says yes a lot will change and typically things get better.
6. “When you’re a fan of the industry you’re in, that enthusiasm will inevitably bring you a Barry Levinson moment, when your passion for your profession helps you stand out among your rivals.” I admire people who aren’t afraid to show how much they love their craft. I think it’s extremely refreshing when someone is able to talk about the field that they are most passionate about for hours on end.
5. She talks about how comedians have a strong work ethic and how she personally has one. That is very clear throughout this book and she sets such a wonderful example of someone who is driven and passionate and has completely made it in her field.
4. She touches on her times at SNL and if you’re an SNL super geek like me you’ll find this portion of the book extremely interesting.
3. While talking about how to get into the industry she mentioned writing a spec script. I love that this was mentioned. I personally love spec scripts, I like writing them and reading them. This is such a great tip for new writers and I love that it was mentioned.
2. The fact that she continuously mentioned her father throughout the book, and how he was such a huge influence on her career. I too am extremely close to my dad and much like Leifer; my dad is the funniest person I know. I loved how she kept mentioning how she learned so many funny things from him and how he pushed her and supported her to go after her dreams.
1. “I’ve always had a pretty simple philosophy about business – I like to treat people the way I’d like to be treated” This is my favorite quote from the book! I think a lot of the time people get caught up in the whole “Hollywood” mentality and don’t really focus on how they were raised and how to actually treat people.
I highly recommend this book to not only people who are interested in comedy and television, I would recommend this book to college students. This book gives you valuable lessons that are relevant to any field. Leifer has been through so much in her career and she has so much to offer.
You can buy the book via Amazon by clicking here.
Victoria Nelli loves TV so much that she is paying $30,000 a year to learn about it in College. When she’s not learning about TV she enjoys writing about her favorite shows, interviewing anyone in the industry that will let her, and ranting about how underrated Parks and Recreation is. She is very much aware of her Netflix addiction, and no she will not be seeking help anytime soon. You can follow her on Twitter @VictoriaNelli