The beauty of being second banana

I heard a fascinating interview between a comedian and his manager. 

Both agreed that although every artist wants his name in the title of the show, having top billing was a dangerous move. 

Because it means you’re the single point of success and failure for the project. After all, you’re the star of the show, which means you have to carry the plot like an albatross from scene to scene. And that’s a ton of pressure. 

On the other hand, being second banana on a sitcom, that’s the good life. Because all you have to do you walk into the scene, deliver punchline after punchline, and then exit stage left. 

It’s the same difference between running your own business and working for somebody else. 

When you’re the sole proprietor, you have no choice but to do everything. It comes with the job description. Which might sound thrilling at first, especially if you’re an anal retentive perfectionist control freak who demands to do everything his own way, but after ten or fifteen years of that, it gets exhausting and unsustainable. 

Having to be responsible for operations and finance and customer service and sales and marketing and management, holy smokes, that’s a lot of hats to wear. 

It’s like my entrepreneur turned corporate employee friend once said:

Now I work full time, but when I ran my own business, I worked all the time.

I’m reminded of brilliant satire article about the pros and cons of freelance employment. One of the items on the list was that freelancers are able to set their own work/searching for work balance. 

That perfectly sums up the entrepreneurial lifestyle. There is no downtime. Every day you’re fighting for your life, because everyday might be your last. 

But hey, at least you get to have your name in the title of the show, right? 

What an ego trap. In a world where millions of people are quitting their comfy day jobs to start their own risky businesses and become their own bosses, being second banana never sounded so good. 


How sustainable can your one man show really be?

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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