Disclaimer: If you’re not familiar with Jerry Seinfeld, watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S292TElZmd8
I’ve watched every Seinfeld episode, seasons 1-8 at least 10 times each. Season 9, at least 3 times. I’ve read Seinfeld’s book Seinlanguage. I watched every single stand-up, interview, and mini-show he’s done since he stopped doing Seinfeld.
For me, Seinfeld represents something more than just a funny show, made by a funny guy.
Something always brought me closer to him, like gravity. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, the ray of light falls on the eye to be seen, or some shit like that. Point being, I was drawn to him for a reason.
There was a time in my life, where my brother and I would watch Seinfeld every day at 6PM, over a home cooked dinner. That was when I was trying to get this affiliate marketing thing off the ground. Without conversation, we’d watch and laugh.
I’ll never forget that time, because to me it was a simpler time. It was a time when I didn’t have money. When I just had a burning desire. Seinfeld was our company then. I don’t watch it anymore. That time in my life has past.
But I look back on it like people do their high school years. I was learning.
If you get something right, you feel it, right in your chest, on stage. I think it’s an incomparable experience.
All I ever wanted was to do it right.
2010. Summer. Really really really really fucking hot. Hot like when the tar melts. I live in new york city. So the tar melts, taxis grind to a halt, tourists move slow and we’re all dying of hot.
2010 was the summer of gin. Gin to keep my mind going. I wrote in my journal every day. All I wanted to do was publish a short story.
It was one of those summers, like that black dude on comedy central once said, a guy from Africa visiting our city once said “how do you live like this?”
It was one of those summers you come off a bad breakup and it’s so goddamn hot, and you have no air conditioner in your house because you’re broke and you can’t afford it.
Back then, I didn’t care about money, or “making it”, or buying nice clothes. All I cared was getting it right, the words on the page, to fit them together correctly, to put my thoughts on paper, and not for people to like it, but to FEEL like it was right.
Gin was the cure.
Looking back on that summer, I come away with this lesson:
I was willing to become an alcoholic to get it right.
The truth is, I had always wanted to be a comedian, but I really didn’t have that kind of personality, and it’s a terrifying thing to say.
Well I never did become an outright alcoholic. I’m not much of a drinker. But I found that alcohol really does help with the writing. And I remember how much I wanted to get a short story published. And I was willing to experiment to get it right.
I never did publish that short story. But I never did forget. Desires like that don’t disappear. They just lay dormant underneath the ashes. Waiting for a spark. One day…
Being a stand-up is my mission in life; it’s my passion. My ongoing goal is to simply be funny, on my own, in front of a roomful of strangers.
Like Jerry Seinfeld says, getting it right, there’s no other feeling in the world.
You toil in anonymity for years. Seven long hard years of what we here in goatt land call “grinding”. Mike Tyson type shit, black shorts, black socks, black flats, black gloves. Robe black. You enter the ring. You knock the motherfucker out. You go home. That’s grinding.
Grinding is what people don’t see. What doesn’t go on the gram.
Grinding is subway sandwiches for years until you make it. Grinding is not sacrificing. Grinding is not seeing anything else but the process.
Are you thinking about it in your sleep?
Are you thinking about it while you shit?
Are you thinking about it while you run?
Are you thinking about it while you’re drunk?
I do probably 60 concerts a year in the States. And I go out to clubs in the week. I’m doing new stuff all the time.
I think about young Jerry. Nervous Jerry. We all know him as the king now. He’s certainly the king to me.
We see him old, and somewhat fat. Goofy. Casual, almost to the point where you think he doesn’t give a fuck about ANYTHING anymore.
Dude’s worth whatever. Half a billion, maybe more. Fuck you money on another level.
For telling jokes?
I tell everyone – you can make a living doing anything, as long as you’re the best at it.
A man tells jokes for a living and is worth half a billion dollars. He can buy you, your family, and probably 3 generations of you out.
But I love Jerry Seinfeld. He’s a hero to me. Because he’s just so normal. He’s just so genuine.
And most of all, because he knows what it means to grind.
I think about young and nervous Jerry. In his ill-fitting suit. Crafting it. Making it his. Creating his style. His system. His philosophy.
You have to motivate yourself with new challenges. That’s how you know you’re still alive.
You wanna make money with affiliate marketing?
You want to make a million dollars like all the gurus say?
In your underwear no less?
People only see the new Jerry. The rich Jerry.
Just think about the grinder Jerry. The no holds barred I’m going to figure this out and do what it takes. Not for a day. Not for a month. Not for a year. Not for 5 years. For the rest of my life, I’m going to keep learning.
People think it’s easy. But it’s a never-ending grind. If you’re not living, you’re dying. If you’re not improving, you’re losing.
You don’t get there overnight. Don’t let anyone fool you. One good joke doesn’t make a Jerry Seinfeld. And it’s easier to tell a good joke than it is to set up a campaign.
As a comedian, I found this thing, this profession, that suits my mind and life force. To drop it to do something else? I just don’t get that.
Don’t get me wrong though. Years of experience in business, in failure, in gin-related stupors, in having to look at myself in the mirror and wonder, what the fuck am i doing, in people fucking me, in me fucking other people, in waking up at 6am, in waking up at 12pm, in working out every day, in buying nice shit, in never buying nice shit, in grinding alone, and grinding with others, that’s the only way to learn this shit you know.
But don’t see it as “oh no, Ed is just saying I can’t do it.” Of course you can. If a wannabe-fiction writer like me can do it, you can probably do it way better than me. There are hundreds of thousands of people doing it better than me right this instance. Then again, there are millions of people doing it worse. The competition isn’t with other people. It’s only with yourself. Be your harshest critic. Experience EVERYTHING you want to experience related to affiliate marketing. And then, when you’re ready, sit down and grind. Grind for as long as it takes.
People think knowledge is about learning new tactics. New sources.
Then, you have the people who say NETWORK, and they think knowledge is knowing new people.
Well, that’s all good and well. But to me the greatest knowledge in the world is knowing that no matter what happens, no matter the obstacles you face, the limbs you may lose, the partners that may screw you, the employees that leave you, the women that dumps you, that you’ve gotten it right once. And as Jerry says, that’s an incomparable feeling.
And I’ll tell ya, once you have that feeling, you never lose it. You’re always chasing it back.