Why entrepreneurs want to seek out their ‘internal clown’

Boris is the sensible ol’ CEO of TNW who writes a weekly column on all the things about being an entrepreneur in tech — from managing stress to embracing awkwardness. You will get his musings straight to your inbox by signing up for his newsletter!

Opposite to what many individuals might imagine, studying the right way to be a clown isn’t a part of a circus faculty curriculum. I do know, as a result of I dropped out of college after I was 15, signed up for circus faculty, and graduated as knowledgeable juggler three years later. 


Circus faculty was very a lot about specializing in a single ability, spending numerous hours training, and constructing an act round that. Turning into a clown, nevertheless, adopted a very totally different course of.

Clowns, all joking apart, take being a clown very significantly. The factor is, you may’t simply practice eight hours a day for it after which ultimately succeed, like with juggling. An actual clown IS a clown. She or he isn’t appearing. The clown is already there, hidden inside us, and the course centered on discovering your internal clown and peeling away the layers of respectability, somewhat than attempting to make you merely act like one. 

Be genuine

A few years in the past I knew a younger entrepreneur who was all the time hustling. When he discovered a possibility to generate income, he went for it. He had no particular curiosity or passion and was simply inquisitive about doing enterprise. He’d purchase and promote and make a margin and that was sufficient for him. I just lately ran into him and he’s now wealthy and profitable and nonetheless hustling shopping for and promoting ever dearer issues. 


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Whereas that is clearly a hit — he’s completely satisfied and wealthy and he has achieved his objectives and desires — I personally discover it onerous to be optimistic about what he achieved. I can’t relate as a result of my place to begin was all the time my curiosity in expertise and innovation, constructing upon who I used to be at my core. Solely caring about wealth is a really particular sort of poverty. 

I do notice that’s a really privileged factor to say, however if you happen to can, attempt to unpeel your traditionalist layers and discover out who you actually are. Nothing can beat authenticity.


I heard a comic describe as soon as how he developed his act. At first, he started in search of jokes on the earth round him, however quickly he realized the most effective jokes had been to be discovered inside. 

When he felt uncomfortable about one thing, he found it paid off to poke and prod at it and construct the joke across the discomfort it triggered him. The deeper he went, the extra private and funnier his routine grew to become, and in addition extra distinctive. 

I suppose all of us have our internal clown to find. And my internal clown is a really particular one. I couldn’t play a special clown and care in regards to the issues I don’t care about. Now let me ask you, who’s your internal clown?


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Revealed June four, 2020 — 15:00 UTC