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Keys to Success – Jerry Seinfeld Style

Posted By Darren Rowse 13th of October 2008 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 51

On a recent 15 hour flight from the US to Melbourne I was surfing through the in flight entertainment and came across an interview with Jerry Seinfeld.

The interviewer asked Jerry for his keys to being successful and Jerry answered with three points (I’m sure I’ve heard him talk about these before in other contexts also). The three points are simple – yet challenging and as I listened to him talk about them it struck me that they were three great tips for bloggers wanting to be successful.

Here they are (paraphrased):

  1. bust your ass – whatever you do, work at it with everything you have. He talked about doing things that you enjoy and are passionate about but then working your ass off.
  2. pay attention – be attentive and learn from everything around you. Ask lots of questions in every situation you find yourself in.
  3. fall in love – if you find something good in life, stop and enjoy the moment. Learn to see the good around you and celebrate it!

Three great lessons for life and for blogging.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  1. Great advice Darren, appreciate you sharing this. The Sein knows what he’s doing – obviously one of the most successful comics of all time.

    Shame they stopped running the Seinfeld/Gates ads, I thought they were clever.

  2. I am running a blog, so I will work at it with everything I have, for example, time, which is one of the most important things you have to spend in blogging.
    I am living with a blog, so I will pay attention to everything I meet in my blog, mostly the comments, and I will also pay attentions to what other bloggers says.
    I am falling in love with anything I love, and I will digg whatever I meet and love anytime & anywhere.

  3. Simple, outstanding advice that we all can use. I especially like the “fall in love” piece. The more in love we are, the easier the other 2 tips come to us.

  4. thanks darren for this is very useful.

  5. Too many people ignore or downplay the “bust your ass” part of this formula and wonder why they’re not successful. And, you never really bust your ass unless you love what you do. I’d sum it up like this:

    1. Find what you love;
    2. Learn all you can about it; and,
    3. Work like your life depended on it b/c your happiness depends on it, and what is life without happiness, anyway? ; )

  6. Very simple yet makes so much sense. With all the “ass busting” how could anyone blog without being in love and having passion. And pay attention? My husband says I am showing signs of OCD? he he…I love it.

  7. Jerry is the man, Great comedy and a stand up (pun intended) guy!

  8. Thats the way my wife and I run our art business.

  9. Jerry is a great guy and in many ways a rolemodel. Has anyone checked out his new set of commercials with Bill Gates? Some funny stuff. Check it out here:

  10. Great tips….
    I love it when someone who is successful can boil it down for others.
    3 Tips…….These really are huge tips too if you stop and think about it….
    I like it…Thanks for Sharing…..

    Dr. Ben

  11. Your point #1 – bust your ass, I am totally agreed to it. My latest post also talk about success and ass.

  12. Love it. I always like those 3-part pieces of wisdom from those who’ve achieved a lot.

    I’ll be sharing this with my business school classmates

  13. Hi Darren
    I have always felt that to be successful at something one must love what they are doing in order to devote the time it takes to make it a success.

  14. 2. Ask lots of questions not if questions

    Great blog as usual

    Thanks Darren and keep busting your ass, we enjoy !


  15. This is really good. Its basic, but if you think on it, it is rather deep. I never really thought about point 3 that way either, I am going to try and implement all three of these more. Thanks for sharing.

  16. I love simple tips like this. Things don’t have to be complex!

  17. I just want to stress that hard work is a BIG part of blogging career. And a lot of work goes into creativity part of it, it’s not as easy as it seams at first.

  18. Jerry’s advice is no different that what other successful people say. Of course no matter who says it…it is right.

    There is no “free lunch”. You get to eat lunch after you have “worked your ass off.”

  19. If you believe you have to “bust your ass” to be successful, then that’s what you’ll experience.

  20. Its three steps that makes it seems easy, but is difficult

  21. Hi Darren. Thanks for sharing this. I’m a fan of the Seinfeld show; just finished watching 2 back-to-back episodes that I’ve probably seen at least a dozen times each. Remember this one… The librarian episode where Jerry had an overdue book to account for with Bookman the librarian cop, and George was reunited with an old teacher who used to give him wedgies?

  22. I think “fall in love” is the most important. You need to work on something because you love it and then the money will come. If you focus on making money then you’ll miss the point

  23. That’s funny that he says bust your ass to get where and what you want. Because when you watch him he does’nt seem to exert the kind of energy you would equate to that saying.

    Although I do know what he means in the context it was meant to be taken. But then again isn’t that a big part of his comedy.

    Gary McElwain

  24. Love the simplicity of this. The great thing about these three items is that anyone can do them and no one can stop you. The success or lack of success is completly up to you.

  25. Thanks for sharing this Darren. I’ve seen some ‘behind the scenes’ interviews and such with Seinfeld and as much as he’s a ‘funny guy’ he’s also a seriously HARD worker as well as a smart guy. Great, simple tips!

  26. Every successful person I’ve met has given similar success tips. My personal favorite is finding something you love and are passionate about.
    How many times have you heard a very successful person make a remark such as this… “I don’t even consider it work, I love what I do. It’s fun!.”
    Those people are more then likely indirectly “busting their ass” but don’t even realize it because they are simply doing what they enjoy!

  27. thanks for sharing this Darren. Paying attention is so important. I have noticed a few successful people around me do this so well – despite being busy – they always manage to stop everything and listen to you, or focus on the task at hand.

  28. Nice one thanks again Problogger

  29. Definitely, these are the key points one should keep in mind to succeed in whatever field.

    thanks for these great points.

  30. it’s no doubt that jerry seinfeld is can we be successful? just do one thing in your time. many people are succedssful but not famous,i think they have the trait,Persistence.
    jerry find his way to describe it. and the most important is how do we describe it.


  31. Ahhh….I love simplicity. It’s not complicated…

  32. Good tips to be successful as a blogger.

  33. Well, Jerry aimed straight to the target. It may seem simple but I can say that this 3 key points will get you far.

  34. You wouldnt actually have to be a rocket scientist to figure this out yourself.

    Off course hard work is expected if you at least wanna have a tiny chance of success

  35. great advice indeed. and from someone who’s found astronomical success in a really competitive field.

  36. “bust your ass”

    It’s really funny how obvious this one ‘should’ be, especially in earning a living on the web. People new to the web seem to think they can leave this one out.


  37. I find it hard to stop and relish the moments when I am working like a dog to be successful. It’s a balancing act I haven’t quite figured out yet.

  38. Great advice from Jerrry Seinfeld! They are simple truths but the ones that work! Thanks for sharing!

  39. I agree 100% with busting your butt and doing what you love. If you don’t have passion in what you do you will never achieve success.

  40. I like the first point. I once heard a saying along similar lines: if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. It made perfect sense.

    It’s when we commit to something with everything in us that it most often meets with success.

    I like to think of Bette Midler, She was told she didn’t have the classic looks or voice to be a star, instead, Bette turned that around and used what she had to carve out stardom. Guts in an unconventional package!

  41. You can’t say it much better than that! Excellent!

  42. cool tips darren . Thanks a lot for sharing with us . You are the greatest inspiration for all bloggers .

    And darren , i have noticed your alexa rank go very down in the past weeks – hope you noticed that – currently its 45638 .Why is it so ?

  43. Thanks for this, Darren. This echoes points made by Jason Calacanis at FOWA conference last week: work hard, and love what you do. Great advice for anyone in any field or industry.

  44. Darren,

    Another great post though simple and brief.

    Is it not instructive that brevity and simplicity are the keys to success in life?

    I have found that we tend to over-complicate things; we add layers upon layer to the simple, thought-provoking and instructive.

    I believe that we should set goals which are simple and achieveable.

    For bloggers, writing complicated pieces and posts will make our ability to attract and retain traffic challenging.

    Remember and apply the KISS philosphy: Keep It Simple and Stupid

  45. “fall in love – if you find something good in life, stop and enjoy the moment. Learn to see the good around you and celebrate it!”

    I believe one of the best ways to be successful in life in any aspect is to be happy. This tip of Jerry’s I believe is strongly important because it directly correlates with being happy. If one can fall in love and be happy with life, they’re more inclined to do better in the first two tips.

  46. Good tips- Seinfeld also had a technique to make sure he kept motivated to write – “don’t break the chain”. I’ve written more about it here:

  47. “fall in love” – at first, i thought it was getting inspiration from a special person or simple a human of opposite sex.

    Anyway, this is a good article.

  48. I like this post–brief and yet powerful. Good advice for both blogging and life in general. Oftentimes we forget the basics, the simple things that are really a foundation for success in everything else. Thanks for sharing!

    Katie Liljeberg

  49. OK, so the title grabbed me.

    The simple, basic things are often the most profound.

    Jerry nailed this one.

    It’s not just a blogger thing, it should be a life thing.

    Pay attention!



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