Improv comedy is one of the toughest genres to master in the performing arts.
There is no script, and you play off the unique dynamic of the other performers to create something as an ensemble. It requires a keen in-the-moment awareness and a quick wit, and if done correctly, the result will be an over-the-top hilarious experience both for the performer and the audience.
Improv is truly one of the greatest exercises in being in the "now" you will ever witness.
One of the most basic rules in improv is to always say yes. That means you must always go with what is happening in the moment.
It's sort of like your partner says, "Oh, I see you've turned into a purple dinosaur who loves wearing jewelry!"
Your partner's worst case scenario right now is that you look at her and say, "No, I'm a lingerie-wearing pirate, remember?" Your partner cringes as you force her to keep going with a scene that wasn't going anywhere and abandon her brilliant idea.
But if you choose to go with what she is presenting you with, chances are you will create something magical together.
In your business, just like if you were on stage doing improv, you should always go with what is happening if you want to create the magic. You should always say yes to what is.
It's really about seeing the truth of the moment and always honoring it.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your business is that when things don't appear to be coming together, you continue down that same path and force it. Like saying, "This was my plan for the month, so I will just have to make it work."
Often saying yes to what's happening means saying no to what you thought was going to happen.
Recently I was planning a joint venture with a colleague. We'd been talking about co-leading a teleclass for months and when we started into the planning process, things just weren't coming together. She didn't want to let go of control, and the whole point in doing something together was that she could let go of teaching the class and I would let go of selling the class … we would both be having less responsibility than if we did something on our own. The further along through the planning process we got, I felt more and more that something was off. Plus, I kept running financial scenarios, but they just didn't make sense. I wasn't seeing how this arrangement would benefit either of us enough versus just marketing our own programs.
There was a time in my business when I would have thought telling her no would have been out of the question, especially three weeks before we were supposed to launch. But I have learned that forcing things just doesn't work.
We both went with what was happening and chose to abandon the plan.
I breathed a huge sigh of relief, and so did she. I chose to market my teleclass on my own and it was a huge success. She chose to market her program, and I'm sure she did very well. We eliminated a lot of stress and increased our profits.
Remember, even when you have a plan, always say yes to what is happening. You can turn your business into that magical improv moment, but in the form of less work and more profits.
Can you think of a time when you should have said yes to what is, but you tried to force things instead? What was the result and what might have happened if you had allowed things to unfold naturally? I would love to read about your experiences below.