Inspiration

What Joan Rivers' Long, Successful Career Teaches Us

As we hear the countless, inspiring stories of people who were personally touched by Joan Rivers, I can’t help but be in awe of this amazing woman.

I’m not suddenly in awe of her because she’s no longer with us, quite the contrary, I’ve been a mega-fan since I was a kid. I’ve appreciated her from day one, and I have followed her career as she has progressed through the years. I have enjoyed her work every step of the way.

But you have to admit, and even she would admit, that she’s been around for a long time. Much longer than the average Hollywood career, and much longer than anyone probably would have imagined.

Related: Honoring Joan Rivers: 12 of the Trailblazing Comedian's Wisest Quotes

She’s been doing her thing for decades and now we are hearing of all the amazing things she did privately along the way as well. How did she do it? What can we learn from her longevity?

Stay relevant.

Joan Rivers had the unique ability to stay relevant in our lives decade after decade, even as tastes and attitudes changed. We loved her standup routine, her impromptu ability to make us laugh, her talk and reality shows, when she took over the red carpet and when she critiqued celebrities.

She made each of her own career milestones relevant to our lives. She made current events seem relevant, she gave the red carpet real meaning for us, and she even made celebrities more human for us.

Who cared about the red carpet before we first heard, “Who are you wearing?” We cared because of Joan.

Related: 3 Things Entrepreneurs Must Do to Keep Their Business Model Relevant

While I didn’t know Joan Rivers personally, she was a very big part of my life. As I look to fill the void that now remains, I am inspired by all that she accomplished in her long, rich life. 

Joan Rivers inspires me to stay relevant in my career, which is never an easy feat no matter what you do for a living. 

My industry is just as youth oriented as the entertainment business, so staying relevant means proving my worth every single day. Staying relevant in a creative business means staying on top of pop-culture trends, as well as changes in attitudes and behaviors. Staying relevant as a leader in an organization means keeping a pulse on people’s work and what will make them happy and productive. Staying relevant in marketing means keeping up with the latest ways to connect with people.

Staying relevant means showing up and being present every single day. I will also strive to stay relevant to my family.

Which is exactly what Joan Rivers did on a daily basis. Based on the schedule she kept, it was on a constant basis even at 81 years old. I will never complain about my jammed calendar again!

Thank you, Joan Rivers, for teaching us the art of staying relevant. It’s a lesson I have learned from you, especially this week, and one that will hopefully make me a better person personally and professionally.

Related: The One Thing You Need to Keep Your Business Relevant