I recently attended a wedding where I sat next to a long-time friend and his two sons. While catching up on our lives, he shared with me that one of his sons was passionate about making short films with his video camera. So later that evening, I asked his son, “What do you love about making videos?” He emphatically answered without any hesitation, “It’s fun!”
I have often been accused of being a passionate person, so I recognize it immediately when I see it in others and it was clear to me that this kid was passionate about his video-making abilities.
His enthusiastic answer prompted me to think about why most entrepreneurs rarely give the “fun” factor any consideration in their business. Many entrepreneurs (especially male entrepreneurs) have for far too long believed that the money factor was all that mattered in businesses. “Who cares if the job sucks as long as the money is coming in,” is an attitude that I am far too familiar with amongst my male colleagues.
Well, I care. I care about how much fun I have. Apparently, the popular online shoe company, Zappos cares about having fun too. It’s a big part of their company culture.
I care about how I spend my time. I care about the type of people I work with. I care about the products and services that I bring to the market place. For me, business is about so much more than making money.
Don’t get me wrong. I am all about building profitable and sustainable businesses, but I place a much higher priority on the quality of my life than “making money.” Life is much too short to be working on something that drains the life force out of you rather than energizes you and taps into your creativity and imagination.
So here are my top 7 reasons why fun should matter in business.
You can replace the word “fun” with the word “passion,” “inspiration,” creativity,” imagination,” or whatever word resonates with you. The point is that business does not have be so boring. Life is about choices. So how about choosing to have some fun in your business?
1. Fun is a motivator, as in something that motivates you to get out of bed in the morning and help you look forward to the work that you do versus going to something that bores you to tears.
2. Fun can help you endure painful spreadsheets of numbers. I don’t know about you, but numbers tend to put me to sleep. Nevertheless, numbers matter a lot when you own your own business. So as a small business owner, make sure you have some fun in your business because accounting can be very uninteresting.
3. Fun will remind you of why you do what you do. For example, when the naysayers, or own your self-doubts hit you hard, you will need a “guiding force” or “compass” to remind and guide you back to your vision for your business. Fun will do that.
4. Fun breaks barriers and when barriers break down that means there’s greater opportunity for understanding and where there is greater opportunity for understanding everyone wins whether it be fellow employees, vendors, customers, or partners. Fun makes everyone feel good.
5. Fun is contagious and inspiring. Inspired buyers tend to take action—they are more likely to buy your products or services and then refer their friends and family to buy your stuff.
6. Fun ignites creativity which fuels innovation, the cornerstone of building a business.
7. Fun is associated with laughter and laughter has many health benefits.
What do you think? Do you think fun is important in business? Can you think of any other reasons why fun should matter in business? What is it about your business that makes it fun? What are some fun things you do in your business?