Let’s play a bit today.
The sun is shining here and it’s crazy-warm as I am writing to you today (outside, that is…inside they cranked the AC and I am wrapped in a blanket and wearing wool socks!) so that’s got me thinking…
And when I think of summer, I think of FUN.
And when I think of FUN, I think WORK!
That’s maybe an odd leap that I just made there.
How did I get from FUN to WORK in just one step?
Is that even possible? Could FUN and WORK be so closely connected in my mind and in my world that I just immediately hop between the two?
Well, actually, the answer is yes.
Now I know that we have been taught that being in business is a lot of work, that it’s hard, that it takes blood, sweat, and tears to really get things going. And I suppose, looking back, there’s been some of that for sure.
Mostly I have had a lot of fun.
Now before the Dad Voice in my head goes all crazy on me and starts lecturing me about hard work paying off in spades, and that business is serious — serious business (!) — and that I’ll never get anywhere if I don’t have a good strong work ethic…et cetera…
Yeah, before he gets really going, let me stop him right there.
I take being in business very seriously. I am dedicated to my craft. And driven to succeed. I am also committed-as-hell to my clients and their success, something I also take very seriously. And I do work hard, and my work ethic is (albeit not the same as my dad’s) strong in its own way.
So Dad can relax. And I can explain.
I like making money. But as Stella Orange once put it to me, making money is not the most interesting thing in my life.
The most interesting things in my life are people, my relationships with them, their relationships with one another, the things that drive them, the things that make them batty, the ways in which they do things, the manner in which they simple are. I am driven to understand people and Who They Really Are such that they can bring all of THAT to their work. And for me, that’s quite simply FUN.
My clients are fun people. They are full of joy, and sometimes mischief. They’ve great senses of humour, and delight in simple pleasures. Being around them and witnessing their growth and evolution as they grow and evolve their businesses is the greatest honour, and it is also, you guessed it: FUN.
Does this mean that we don’t work hard together? Does this mean that there are no times that the sweat pours from them, that tears flow freely, that the price they pay doesn’t sometimes feel a bit like giving their very blood? No. Those things happen, too.
There are moment in business, as in life, that really don’t feel that fun. And sometimes, they just aren’t fun…not at all…nothing funny about them.
And that’s cool, too.
And what I know to be true is that, when we approach our lives with curiosity, with a blend of inquisitiveness and openness to discovery, the crappy times are still crappy. And. When we come out the other side, that sense of curiosity “remembered,” we will have fun again.
Recently a friend and colleague posted a video on Facebook that she took while on sabbatical in Bali of some children who, poor as they were (meaning: poor as we would have judged them to be), were playing soccer and having — yes! — FUN. Their natural desire to play and create joy within their lives was palpable…in spite of what may be perceived as hardships.
It is within us, deeply within us, to want to play and create and have joy in our life. So why not in our businesses, too?
And so I ask: What would be fun for you in your business?
If you could quiet the Dad Voice in your head, or the voice of anyone else who told you what you HAD to do in your work, if you could release all the advice that smacks of cookie-cutter business models and reacting from fear, what would you do differently?
Would your programs look different? Would your pricing change? Would you still work on Fridays? What about Mondays? Would you take the holiday in July and book those two weeks off at Christmas? Would you price flights to Oregon and throw an impromtu business event “just because” someone you adore just moved there? Would you call more old clients to see how they were doing? Would you use video on your coaching calls even though you were in jammies? Would you eat Oreos for breakfast and take a salsa class at lunch? Would you pre-record your webinar and make it to the soccer game in time? Would you hire an assistant to take care of the laundry? Would you stop scrolling Facebook or cancel your Twitter?
And would it be FUN?
Would it be fun for YOU to do business in that way?
This is my question for you today, in fact, for every day, and I hope you’ll share with me how you’ve answered it (because that would be fun for both of us!)
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Rebecca Liston helps her clients predict, pivot, and compete in an increasingly complex global marketplace. Her clients quickly uncover the root of their challenges and know the actions to take to overcome them. A six-time nominee for the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Award, Rebecca combines business strategy with intuition, giving her clients the edge on forward-thinking, elegant answers to their most complicated problems. Her clients are entrepreneurs with CEO-mindsets and executives with entrepreneurial instincts. She is based in London, Ontario. What if you could get the answer to your biggest business challenge, in one sitting? Visit rebeccaliston.com to find out more.