Drawing on nearly four decades of a career in comedy, Carol Leifer has plenty of tips and tricks to offer in her new book, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying.” Part memoir, part guide to life, and all funny, Leifer imparts lessons learned from her days as a “Seinfeld” scribe, among other gigs. She shares with us some of the advice she’s accumulated.
If you’re not failing, you’re not doing something right
Any good long career has a lot of failure. To be a good standup comic you have to really suck for a long period of time, it’s the only way you get good. Don’t be afraid of failure, it’s inevitable and you learn the most from those low points. As any successful person will tell you, its par for the course.
Keep your sour cream off the table
In other words, don’t hold a grudge. Don’t turn bitter when an opportunity doesn’t pan out. Sour cream belongs in the fridge, not out in the open where everyone can see it spoil.
Tenacity will always make you a winner
Whatever job you’re in or aspire to get, you’ll never go wrong sharing your genuine enthusiasm with those involved and keeping tabs with folks you meet as you pursue your goals.
Respect your Yodas
Always respect the greats, in whatever business you choose. After nearly forty years, I now see this from the perspective of an old-timer. When someone comes up to me and rattles off one of my jokes from my college days I realize how nice it is to be acknowledged for whatever contribution you make to your field.
Embrace being in the minority
Being female is a tremendous advantage, and always will be. The great thing about women is that we think differently than men. While working on Seinfeld, I wrote episode where Elaine thinks her manicurists are talking about her behind her back in Korean. It’s doubtful that a man would have come up with that idea. Use what makes you different to your advantage. That will always put you out ahead.
If you go:
April 9, 7 p.m.
Barnes & Noble
150 E. 86th St., 212-369-2180