Respect you and your goal to find meaningful work

“To be a comedian, you have to get onstage and find out if you’re funny” – Rodney Dangerfield.

Rodney Dangerfield is the patron saint of comedians wondering when their ship will come in. Imagine having no success and after nine years of failure, giving it up in disgust, moving to New Jersey, and selling aluminum siding. “At the time I quit, I was the only one who knew I quit.” Years later he tried again, this time wrecking his marriage, and failing once more. “It was like a need. I had to work. I had to tell jokes. I had to write them and tell them.” Epiphany: he made a meticulous study of his jokes, eliminating every extraneous element to isolate what did work and focused on just doing that. Ultimately, he became better at it than anyone who had ever done it. That peak was long in coming for Rodney Dangerfield. By the time he perfected his act, he was nearly 60.

Dangerfield got his big break on The Ed Sullivan Show and the “No Respect” bit became his signature. He got his life together, remarried, opened the comedy club Dangerfield’s, starred in Caddyshack with Chevy Chase and Bill Murray, had starring roles in Easy Money and Back to School, expanded his reach to include Broadway, and earned a Grammy for his No Respect album. Rodney’s famed suit with a white shirt and a red tie is on permanent display in the Smithsonian.

It IS possible to find meaningful work, even later in life. It’s just a matter of how bad you want it, how much work you’re willing to put in, and how persistent you’re going to be to reach your goal. Respect you.

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