If you listen to the gurus of success, many tell you to study a successful person and emulate their patterns. Don’t reinvent the wheel, get a leg up by doing something that obviously works.

Successful people usually get to where they are thanks to hard work coupled with opportunities. Lets take a look at some different paths…

Jeff Dunham is a very smart businessman. Before anyone realized how important mailing lists were, Jeff was collecting addresses. In every club he worked, he’d get people to fill out his cards and add them to his list. He stayed in touch with his fan base as it grew. He’d contact people in the areas he was performing and sell out the clubs.

Later Jeff used his own money to create his first TV special. His agent represented several comedians that Comedy Central wanted. They weren’t interested in Jeff. His opportunity came when the agent insisted they include his special in the deal. Jeff contacted his list of fans and turned his special into the highest rated Comedy Central program of it’s time.

From there, hard work and creativity allowed his career to go through the stratosphere.

Terry Fator was a ventriloquist performing in a band. His vocal impersonations made him a natural front man. Show bands were popular at the time, so he added his ventriloquism to the mix, letting his puppets sing some songs. Later he went solo, working the fair market.

When AGT hit the air, Terry went on the show. He had years of professional experience behind him. He had a unique talent (singing ventriloquist impressionist) that no one else was doing. He captured the heart of America and won.

AGT had no idea what to do with his talent, so he managed to get out of his contract. Terry then went on to sign one of the biggest contracts ever offered to a reality show winner.

Both Jeff and Terry’s paths to success were different.

Almost every day, I get contacted by someone who is going on America’s Got Talent. Some are starting a YouTube channel to become a famous ventriloquist. Others have a big show coming up that will change their careers.

I wish them luck. I support their efforts when I can. But I also realize some of them have completely missed the key ingredients of success.

Put in the hard work, the practice and time in front of audiences of all types. Be a master at both ventriloquism and entertaining people. That way, when your opportunity presents itself, you can seize it with both hands. It will offer you a greater possibility for success.


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