If things aren’t working so well… maybe you aren’t having enough fun?

This past weekend, I attended the book launch of a fellow Portland business owner, Luna Jaffe. (Her new book is called Wild Money – check it out, it looks pretty darn cool.)

Luna didn’t just go to a bookstore and sign some books and give a boring talk.  She had a miniature “fair” at a hotel, complete with an area to paint and draw, some lovely artists selling cards and paintings, food and drink, some interactive exercises related to the book topic, and an “oracle” doing tarot card readings using an experimental deck that was reworked with concepts from her money book.

I couldn’t believe… how much fun this book launch was.  There was stuff going on the whole time, and everyone was smiling.  I have never seen a team so happy at their book launch – they were positively giddy, instead of that respite “I’m so glad this damn book is launched so I can go sleep” look.

Maybe You Aren’t Having Enough Fun

I have been slowly getting the gears in order for planning a retreat here in Portland for my Plum Deluxe team. I happened to mention this to one of Luna’s peeps, Amanda Winn, who helped plan the gorgeous book launch, and one thing she mentioned to me is that in every step of the way of their planning process, they asked themselves…. how could we make this more fun?

My jaw dropped at how simple of a question it was, and yet, it was an important one.  I made a decision right there on the spot:  I was definitely going to take this approach in planning the team retreat, but also evaluate all of the other business activities I am working on.  For example…

  • Recently I did an experiment with my website critique where I made it a very visual process.  It was a lot more fun, but also a lot easier for me to communicate my thoughts to the client, and clients loved it (as it made it easy to communicate with their teams), so I will make the visual focus a regular thing.
  • Last month I did a content series, Summer Lovin’, all about content marketing topics I get asked about a lot.  It was so much fun!  I enjoyed it a lot more than just doing one-off Q&A (not that I am not enjoying this post here, but…).  Ok, so why am I not just planning a series as a regular thing?
  • While I am not speaking this summer, come autumn I am back to my regular schedule of engagements, and many of them are requests for “customizations” to my regular workshop packages.  You guessed it, I’m brainstorming how I can have a lot of fun and surprise my audience with a great learning experience.

Start a Fun Idea Journal

I also decided to start a fun idea journal – that is a ‘fun idea’ journal, not a fun ‘idea journal’ (similar, though different).  In it I have all of my project areas, and on each page I’m spending some time each week coming up with fun ways to change what we’re doing.

jotters

Pictured above is one of the jotters I use fromKhristiana Howell - they’re so fun and the pages are unlined, encouraging creativity. I also have quite a few Scoutbooks, really lovely small journals that are made just around the corner from my house!

The trick is to make sure that I pull the winning ideas from the book and incorporate them into my business process, but I am a stickler for organization so it shouldn’t be a problem for me.

So, when it comes to your business… how can you have more fun?

(If you need ideas on how to incorporate some fun-ness into your website, call me.)

7 Responses to If things aren’t working so well… maybe you aren’t having enough fun?

  1. Amanda Winn July 13, 2013 at 12:36 am #

    As it turns out, that one seemingly simple question, “How can we make this more fun?”, changes everything. It will be a delight to watch what unfolds for you Andy. I know this will take your team retreat to a whole other level. And your business offerings … look out … here comes the newer improved and whole lot more fun version of Mr. Andy Hayes. Great post!

    • Andy July 13, 2013 at 12:40 am #

      Aww, thanks Amanda – such a delight to bump into you! :-)

  2. Caelan Huntress July 15, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    It’s also important to schedule the time to have fun, too.

    In my task manager, I have a regular recurring event pop up to remind me to ‘Take 5 minutes and enjoy life.’ Below that is a list of things that I can do for a 5 minute pick me up. (Dance party, juggling, calling an old friend with a joke, etc.)

    Having that reminder helps me to keep the fun in my life. If my daily workload is such that I can’t even enjoy 5 minutes out of my day, then this is my diagnostic that something is wrong, and needs to change.

    • Andy July 16, 2013 at 1:36 am #

      That is an excellent suggestion – love that idea!

    • Luna Jaffe July 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

      That’s a great idea and insight!

  3. Brandie July 16, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    Awesome ideas. Planning fun is good, but also does what you’re doing make you happy, is it what you want, and what feels fun are all things to ask oneself. This can be a really deep query.
    The book “fair” sounds fun for sure!
    Thanks for sharing this… My head is turning. Can’t wait to see what you do!

    • Andy July 16, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

      You’re quite welcome – thanks for stopping by!

Leave a Reply