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Comedy is serious business, they say. From smartphone-shot, goofy videos attracting maybe five viewers, to a million-strong fan base, stand-up comedians like Kanan Gill, Tanmay Bhatt, Azeem Banatwalla and others, sure have latched onto a smart business model. Slogging it out every step of the way, these millennial artists ditched dead-end, often lucrative day-jobs, to follow their dreams, building entire empires on the very serious business that is comedy!

Starting out is never easy, but the startling success of recent startups has shown the way forward. Here are some essential life lessons you can borrow from India’s crop of indie comics.

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1. Embrace the qualities that make you, YOU

Can you even begin to imagine AIB without its trademark rib-tickling profanity, Kanan Gill’s Pretentious Reviews without “Exercise!”, or Sumukhi Suresh missing her sullen frown? None of these comics would be as good at what they do, if they hadn’t taken a firm hold on their individuality and squeezed it out for every ounce of its worth! The important takeaway here is to be unique: no one wants rotten old wine in a shiny new bottle. Wow people with your individuality, and your niche will just carve itself!

2. Form a connect with people; that’s half the battle won!

Attend any stand up show and if you can spare some time from rolling in the aisles laughing, you will see that the very first thing most comics do, is engage the audience. They’ll ask a few questions, throw in an icebreaker, and maybe pull a leg or two, but not until they have their audience’s full attention, will they begin! That’s a smart strategy for any business. Reel in your customers and make the brand recognisable and relatable; success will come pouring in.

3. Laugh at yourself every day

If there’s one thing we can learn from stand-up comics and Youtubers, it’s to never take oneself too seriously. The rare trait to be able to laugh at oneself and to see the world in a lighter vein, is what separates an Obama from a Trump, that cool new teacher in school from the stern principal, and an extremist from a pacifist. Life isn’t that hard; chill!

4. Collaborate with your competitors

In the small, close-knit community of Indian comics, there are no rivals and no competitors. Browse through the many collab-videos between comics like Kanan Gill, Abish Mathew and the AIBians, and you will see how much fun it is to be friends with your competitors. With everyone having each other’s backs, and zero instances of ego-clashes, the comedy fraternity grows by the day, benefitting each of its members equally. That’s an important lesson to take into the business world as well.

5. Be a boss at what you do

The simplest secret to success? Be the f**king best at what you’re doing! Be it AIB, Usain Bolt, or the Kardashians, none of them would have attained the immense success they have if there was someone else who could trump them. All it takes is some passion, the ability to be the best, and tons of hard work.

The recipe for success is easy: it’s the slow simmering that trips people up. However, lapping up these life lesson from the indie comics of the day will definitely put you on the right path to success!

Image Credit: IIM

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