Breaking into a Competitive Field: Why Tenacity Wins Out Over Nepotism and Talent

Margaret Cho: Wherever there is a lot of opportunity for money and fame, there are many, many, many people out there trying to do the same, and, for me, the competitiveness of the industry, combined with the fact that I am Asian-American where it is mostly white men in comedy who are performing, and I’m a woman, I’m queer… there are many aspects to my personality that don’t really fit within the idea of what we think of traditionally as a stand-up comic.  So I was fighting a lot of people’s expectations of what comedy was and who should be delivering the jokes also, fighting this notion of invisibility of Asian-Americans or for Asian-Americans in entertainment.
If you really want to do something, you should just go for it and never let go.  And I think that tenacity wins out over talent.  Tenacity will win out over any kind of education or any kind of nepotism or any kind… I mean, I think, tenacity, if you really stick with it… there’s a reason why you feel something.  There’s a reason to have a drive to do something.  And if you have a drive to do something, then you should do it.
A lot of people make the mistake of allowing their families to choose their path for them.  They allow other people to advise them into careers that they don’t want to be in.  When you can overcome what other people’s expectations of what your life should be, then you've really won. And I think that when you do what you really, really want - when you do what’s in your heart - then you really are bound to be successful.  And by successful, I mean the reward is doing what you love.

Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd

"I was fighting a lot of people’s expectations of what comedy was and who should be delivering the jokes," says Margaret Cho. But if you really want to do something, you should just go for it and never let go.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less