Episode #233: Arj Barker on What It Takes to Make It and Sustain It

October 2, 2018

Arj started his career in comedy after graduating from high school in 1989. His first gigs were at an old café called Caffe Nuvo in downtown San Anselmo where he hosted stand-up night every Sunday throughout the early 1990s.

Barker has appeared on Premium BlendLate Night with Conan O'Brien and The Glass House. He twice hosted Comedy Central Presents and was featured in Comedy Central's animated series Shorties Watchin' Shorties.

Barker appeared in the HBO sitcom Flight of the Conchords and has enjoyed success in Australia for a number of years since first appearing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2000 and is currently in Melbourne as part of his We Need To Talk tour.

You might be wondering why I invited a comedian to appear on the show. For one, there are many parallels between making it as a comedian, a musician, an athlete and an entrepreneur and we explore them in today’s conversation. That and Arj’s show, which I was lucky enough to catch on the Saturday night before this conversation, was heavy on tech talk, making fun of our tendency to become furious by 5 minute UBER wait times in this, the age of instant gratification.

Arj only had 30 minutes to spare for our show, but we managed to explore a number of topics, including:

  • Arj’s early days on the comedy circuit in California
  • The power of silencing your inner critic
  • Positive feedback loops
  • How Arj tests new material and iterates
  • Taking risks when you have nothing to lose
  • The support of family
  • Staying present and getting into flow when performing live
  • Relating to and connecting with people
  • Showing up, even when nobody’s watching


There’s many lessons in this one for entrepreneurs to learn from, and Arj even throws in one joke from his set, so with that….strap yourself in for the one and only, Arj Barker.


Show Notes:

Arj’s tour dates: ArjBarker.com

Get Tickets: ComedyFestival.com.au

Do It Myself TV on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL2TgeKrcWyKHq1ZTJDYOfg



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About steve glaveski

Your host and occasional cybernetic organism, Steve Glaveski, is committed to helping people better navigate the growing uncertainty that technology change brings, in order to survive, thrive, create more value for the world and lead more fulfilling lives.

Steve is the CEO and co-founder of innovation accelerator Collective Campus, founder of children's entrepreneurship program Lemonade Stand, author of Amazon best-seller The Innovation Manager's Handbook and the Wiley book, Employee to Entrepreneur, investor in blockchain based fractional property investment platform Konkrete and is a keynote speaker and startup advisor.

When not fighting T-1000s Steve can be found in the gym, hiking, skating at the beach, attempting standup comedy, at a heavy metal show or socially lubricating at a whisky bar.

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