09/10/2014 02:15 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

A Lesson Learned From Joan Rivers


As we hear the countless, inspiring stories of people who were personally touched by Joan Rivers, I can't help but be in awe of this amazing woman.

I'm not suddenly in awe of her because she's no longer with us, quite the contrary, I've been a mega-fan since I was a kid. I've appreciated her from day one, and I have followed her career as she has progressed through the years. I have enjoyed her work every step of the way.

But you have to admit, and even she would admit, that she's been around for a very long time. Much longer than the average Hollywood career, and much longer than anyone probably would have imagined. Except for her!

She's been doing her thing publically for decades and now we are hearing of all the amazing things she did privately all along the way as well. Of course she did!

She is so inspiring.

How did she do it? What can we learn from her longevity?

Stay relevant.

Joan Rivers had the unique ability to stay relevant in our lives decade after decade after decade. She stayed relevant in pop culture all that time as well, as tastes and attitudes changed through the years.

We loved her standup routine, we loved her impromptu ability to make us laugh, we loved her talk shows, we loved when she took over the red carpet, we loved her reality show and we loved when she critiqued celebrities.

Her critiques were always the best part! "Can we talk?"

She made each of her own career milestones relevant to our lives. She made current events seem relevant, she gave the red carpet real meaning for us and she even made celebrities more human for us.

Who cared about the red carpet before we first heard, "Who are you wearing?" We cared because of Joan.

She also clearly stayed relevant to her friends and family as well, who so clearly love and need her.

While I didn't know Joan Rivers personally, she was a very big part of my life. As I look to fill the void that now remains, I am inspired by all that she accomplished in her long, rich life.

Joan Rivers inspires me to stay relevant in my career, which is never an easy feat no matter what you do for a living.

My industry is just as youth-oriented as the entertainment business, so staying relevant means proving my worth every single day. Staying relevant in a creative business means staying on top of pop culture trends, as well as changes in attitudes and behaviors. Staying relevant as a leader in an organization means keeping a pulse on people's work and what will make them happy and productive. Staying relevant in marketing means keeping up with the latest ways to connect with people.

Staying relevant means showing up and being present every single day.

Which is exactly what Joan Rivers did on a daily basis. Based on the schedule she kept, it was on a constant daily basis even at 81 years old. I will never complain about my jammed calendar again!

I will also strive to stay relevant to my family, as they progress through life. I hope they will continue to need me too, just like Joan's family needs her. The only way to do that is to stay relevant to them and for them.

Thank you, Joan Rivers, for teaching us the art of staying relevant. It's a lesson I have learned from you, especially this week, and one that will hopefully make me a better person personally and professionally.