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No Matter What You Do, Be Audience-Centric Like Jim Carrey Learned to Be

Jim Carrey's epiphany applies to us all

In Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, Jim Carrey says that in the early days of his career, he would often lie in bed thinking about what his audience wanted. 

“What do they want? What do they want? What do they want? What do they want? It wasn’t what I wanted. I knew what I wanted. I wanted to be successful. I wanted to be a famous actor but…what do they want? What do they want? What do they want? What do they want? And then one day in the middle of the night, I woke up out of a sound sleep. I sat up in bed and went, ‘They want to be free from concern.'”

That night, Jim discovered what eventually turned him into one of the most paid and successful actors on the planet: he realised that being funny was an act of service.

“What do they want?” is a crucial question to ask.

It’s what we should all be obsessed with regardless of who we are and what we do. 

Writers must ask themselves what their readers want. Teachers must ask themselves what their students want. Entrepreneurs, politicians, doctors, romantic partners — all of us.

We might not become the next Jim Carrey of our industry, but we’ll never be able to thrive without empathy.

You know what you want.

But what do they want?

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Fabio Cerpelloni is an English language teacher, writer, author, and podcaster from Italy. You can find out more about him and his work by clicking on his glass of beer in the photo.