As a person who is pursuing a lifestyle of success, you know it’s vital to consume great content that helps you achieve your goals. If you’re like me, you have tended to focus on books, webinars, conferences and masterminds.
But another surprising source of learning and inspiration is entertainers. Those at the top of their game have spent decades developing their networks and honing their craft. One of the most notable people in show business today is Jimmy Fallon, host of The Tonight Show. He rose through the ranks of Saturday Night Live and by age 38 attained one of the most coveted spots in entertainment.
Fallon is well-known for his musical ability, celebrity impersonations, and youthful energy. But look past the entertainment factor and you’ll find there is a lot to learn from his commitment to personal success.
Here are six principles that have helped Fallon gain tremendous success as a leader and influencer, and they can help you as well:
1. Stay focused on your dream
Fallon was a young comic with zero acting credits when he tried to convince talent manager Randi Siegel to help him get onSaturday Night Live. She knew Fallon’s dream was a long shot. As Shane Snow recounts in his book Smartcuts, “But for some reason, she couldn’t turn him down; she had never met someone as focused and passionate about a single dream as this grinning bumpkin from the tiny town of Saugerties, New York.”
Your dream may be a long shot, but we live in a time where almost anything is possible. Stay focused on what you want to achieve, set high but realistic goals, and find others who can help make your dreams a reality.
2. Show up consistently
Producing any type of content on a regular schedule is hard work, much more so for an hour-long talk show five nights a week. Everyone knows that every show won’t be a home run. But half of the battle is showing up consistently and swinging for the fences. The sheer volume of effort required by Fallon and his staff (and anyone producing a daily show) is amazing.
A huge part of success is just showing up and doing the work. If you put in the time consistently, you’ll begin to produce a large body of work. That will dramatically increase your chances of being more successful.
3. Use all your talents
Although Fallon got his start as a stand-up comedian, his talents go far beyond that one area. He can sing, play guitar, do impressions, act, and dance. All of these talents are on display at different times on The Tonight Show.
It does no good to sit around wishing you had a different set of talents or skills, or being jealous of someone else. Make the most of the skills you do have and don’t worry about what others are doing.
4. Put your audience first
Fallon’s first goal is to entertain his audience. In an interview with GQ, he said, “I just feel like people like a little break . . . Especially at 12:37 at night, you go like, ’I’m just tired of the snarky right now. I just want to lie down and have somebody make me laugh for an hour. Entertain me and then I’m going to sleep with a smile on my face.’ That’s my job, that’s what I do.”
No matter if you are a writer, entertainer, speaker, or run a business, you have an audience. Put their needs first and you will develop a loyal following.
5. Collaborate with others
Whether it’s slow-jamming the news with the President, rapping with Justin Timberlake, or doing a lip-sync battle with Emma Stone, Fallon is big on collaboration. In addition to his off-kilter antics and typical interviews, he also engages celebrities in games like Wheel of Musical Impressions and Beer Pong.
Teamwork is a huge key to success in business and in life. You have a larger network than you think. How can you partner with others to create something greater than each of you could do individually?
“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” – Amy Poehler
6. Harness the power of social media
Fallon is a savvy and active social media user, with nearly 27 million Twitter followers, and over 7 million YouTube subscribers. He doesn’t think of social media as a sideline to the on-air broadcast, but as an essential component of connecting with his audience. The bite-sized segments of The Tonight Show are perfectly designed for sharing on social media. His expertise at using social media is so well-known that it’s been dubbed the “Fallon Effect.”
You don’t need to be a celebrity to harness the power of social media. You just need to see it as an essential way to engage and delight others.
As the old saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” But “playing” by watching a little television might be just what you need to move forward in your life or business. These six secrets from Jimmy Fallon can help do the trick.