I was talking to a clown the other day, and there’s one thing you need to do when talking to a clown:

Take good notes.

Within five seconds of her talking about the art of clown — and it is an art form — my gears were turning.

The clown, Lindsay, asked me, “You know what’s the First Rule of Clown?”

I can’t remember the last time I was this intrigued.

I’m paraphrasing here, as I was too excited to capture it all verbatim, but Lindsay said the First Rule of Clown goes something like this:

To be a clown, you need to take on an impossible task and try to complete it.

Attempt to complete an impossible task.

Wow. Clowns are… deep.

Four points are inherent in this:

1) Since the task is impossible, the clown is always failing.

2) The more impossible the task, the funnier it is to watch.

3) The more effort that the clown puts into completing the task, the more entertaining it gets.

4) The failure is public.

Put that together, and here’s how a clown fulfills their potential:

The First Rule of Clown is that you must publicly attempt to complete the most impossible task with the most possible effort.

As soon as Lindsay told me about this, I had that look I sometimes get when clowns talk to me. I started composing a column draft in my head.

I was thinking, “Who does this sound like?”

I knew the answer right away. Entrepreneurs. Founders. Anyone attempting to achieve what seems like the impossible.

The difference between a prodigy and a clown is that a prodigy is what you get when someone tries to be a clown — and fails.

Prodigies look like clowns. They attempt something ambitious. They put ideas out there. They build in public.

Most of the time, they fail. And people think they’re clowns.

They should be proud to be clowns.

It means they’re doing something no one in their right mind would dare to do.

They’re brave enough to have others watch them attempt the impossible.

They seem to have fun doing it. They don’t want to be doing anything else.

And they know full well, whether in their hearts or minds or both, that the odds are that they will fail.

But once in a while, the clown fails to be a clown.

They take on the impossible, and they succeed.

It’s not so funny anymore. It’s not as entertaining.

They did what they set out to do.

They’re no longer clowns. They’re prodigies!

They’re cheered and revered and sometimes still jeered.

But they’re not as fun to watch anymore.

At least, until they take on the impossible again, and fail.

So how are you going to be a clown this year?

How can I help you up the odds that you’ll be considered a prodigy when you’re through?

More importantly, how can the Serial Marketers community help you?

How can we all help each other in all of our clowning, just in the off chance that we fail at fulfilling our clown potential?

That’s what I want to know as we start the year.

There’s no way to have a happier New Year though than to embrace all the ways you will be clowning in the year ahead.

Succeed or fail at clownhood, the community and I are here for you.

Happy New Year.


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Find more open roles via Candidate.co. Refer yourself or your friends, and get rewarded for supporting your network.

Also, check out the Serial Marketers job board.

Other job resources:

  • Advisable: Get instant access to top marketing freelancers
  • AMA Job Board: Listings from the American Marketing Association (maybe you can also ask them anything)
  • Beeler.Tech: Job listings for ad operations, programmatic account management, sales operations, and more.
  • Before: A talent matching platform with the mission to end bias in the hiring process.
  • Braintrust: A new freelance platform where you are the owner and where freelance talent keeps 100% of the bill rate.
  • Built in NYC: Jobs at a range of levels and functions, as long as you’re okay working in this quaint, backwater hamlet.
  • CareerList: Here’s a form for companies hiring and a form for job seekershere’s the public list with tabs for both
  • Content Writing Jobs: Content marketers, enjoy
  • Creative Women of Color: List yourself in the database and find talent, via Women Who Create
  • Demand Curve: Growth and marketing jobs
  • DiscoverTheTalent: An initiative designed to build partnerships with businesses to advocate, train, and hire military spouses
  • ExecThread: Senior roles spanning a range of verticals and cities; membership is free but fully vetted (this uses my referral ID to get you in faster)
  • Ex-Equinox Media Talent: A spreadsheet of available talent (permission given by those listed) who are recent ex-Equinox media folks.
  • Gently Ventures: Helps scale businesses by finding the right talent
  • GLG: Get paid to share your topical expertise; it can lead to some interesting conversations at a potentially decent hourly rate
  • Growth Collective: Apply to join this network of notable freelance marketers
  • Grace Blue Transitions: A portal for hirers and seekers with resources from this exec recruiting firm
  • The Hired Guns: An array of jobs in marketing and related fields at brands, agencies, and media companies
  • Hue: Amplifying voices of people in color working in marketing
  • Hunterz: A way for connectors to get paid to introduce startups to large enterprises
  • Lead5: A paid service for executive roles, plus intel on changes with companies and PE investments; you can try a risk-free weeklong trial to see if it’s any good for your needs
  • Lunch Club: Match 1:1 around predetermined goals with accomplished professionals (free)
  • NYC Ad Jobs & Networking: A popular Facebook group
  • One Club for Creativity: COVID-19 jobs Board
  • #OpenToWork: There’s a channel in Serial Marketers where you can share what you’re looking for
  • Pangea: Where you can hire college freelancers (and college students can get gigs)
  • Pocit: A platform connecting people of color with jobs in the tech industry
  • Questions to Ask for a Marketing Role: What questions should you ask when starting a new marketing role or job?
  • Remotists: Remote startup jobs, chronicled weekly
  • Sales Hustle Stack: Find platform-based gigs and other creative ways to earn some extra cash
  • Serial Marketers Job Board: Post regular and featured listings and subscribe for updates.
  • Startup.Jobs: There’s a section for marketing jobs
  • Teal: One place to organize and manage your job search.
  • TechNY Daily: While more technical, there are also some sales and marketing jobs at NY startups.
  • VC Job Boards: AlephEniac VenturesPearSequoiaUnion Square Ventures
  • VentureLoop: Free startup job listings; their paid option is $15/month and might surface more leads (but it might not).
  • Venwise: Submit your job interests here and get in front of their roster of hiring leads; select “Serial Marketers” under “How did you find us”
  • Wanted: Wanted helps top talent in tech and marketing find a job at your desired pay.

Do you run or enjoy other job listing sites? Let me know, and I’ll share them.


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(previously mrktr.net/toptech)

www.berky.co (also in hardcover)

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