Comedy Legend Judd Apatow on Trusting Your Gut and Taking Risks

From collaboration to facing self-doubt, one of the most singular voices in the world of comedy has a lot to teach entrepreneurs.
Comedy Legend Judd Apatow on Trusting Your Gut and Taking Risks
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Freaks and Geeks. The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Girls. The Big Sick. Writer/director/producer and comedian Judd Apatow is responsible for some of the most hilarious and influential comedies of our generation.

You’d think with a track record like that, the guy would be brimming with confidence. But that’s not exactly the case, as he revealed in the above interview with LinkedIn Executive Editor Daniel Roth. Explaining why he continues to get in front of crowds on stand-up stages, Apatow admits, “my fear is that I’m not funny any longer but no one has told me.”

Related: LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman Says Laughable Ideas Are Sometimes the Best Ideas 

Whether or not you're an aspiring comedian, Apatow has a lot to teach on the topics of risk-taking, collaboration and self-motivation.

On pushing yourself

“You know, I just don’t feel like any success I’ve had means the next one will be successful. It keeps me on my toes and I have a lot of energy to succeed because I just don’t get cocky or lazy because, again, in comedy I just don’t know.”

On defining success

“Success isn’t necessarily in the money and the box office, it really is in ‘does this project survive, do people care about it?’”

On trusting your gut

“The hard thing with comedy is no one knows if anything’s going to work. There’s just no way to predict it. Early in my career, I just had an instinct that if I think it’s right, I should try to just do it the way I think it works.”

Related: Silicon Valley's' Kumail Nanjiani on Never Playing It Safe

 

Edition: September 2017

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