Don’t take yourself too seriously. Make space for fun – regularly introduce a little play and imagination into your day and you’ll find that you’re infused with new energy and perspective.
THE STORY YOU’RE TELLING YOURSELF
Rightfully, the business you’re building is important to you. Maybe it has the potential to change the direction of your life, provide you with a new stream of income, or challenge you creatively in a way that hasn’t materialized in your day job.
You can see it all so clearly. You want that vision to be real and, naturally, you wish you were closer to the finish line than you are today. So, you get to work. You hustle, maybe a little too hard – all in service of bringing it to life as quickly as possible.
Perhaps, you put pressure on yourself to get it done, putting in long hours, working on the weekends, missing or declining plans with friends and family. “I’m making tradeoffs,” you tell yourself. “It will all be worth it in the end.”
Except there is no end, no finish line, and no destination.
You will never be able to simply settle in at some new status quo and let your business take care of itself. That’s not how the market – or the world – works.
Starting and growing a new business takes a crafty, entrepreneurial drive – you need to constantly overcome self-doubt; make plans and figure out how to execute them; and stretch the boundaries of your comfort zone.
But, once you’ve built your business, that’s not the end – it’s merely another beginning.
Additionally, owning and operating a business too requires constant vigilance – you need to manage supply and demand; watch your flank for competitors; and seek out new opportunities for growth.
Surprisingly, that’s not the end either.
Expanding or reinventing your business looks very similar.
So, when in this process are you supposed to enjoy it? ‘
PLAY BY DESIGN
When we’re set on a goal, we can sometimes create a kind of tunnel-vision around that goal. We’re laser focused and everything else feels like a distraction. On the surface, that might seem good. But, it’s actually counterproductive.
In fact, the narrower your field of vision, the more likely you are to miss something. By all means, work hard – just make sure you come up for air and perspective.
You can be productive, achieve what you want, and have fun doing it. It’s not mutually exclusive. In fact, it’s reinforcing.
In Martin Reeves’ TED Talk – Why Play Is Essential For Business – he says: “you can’t stretch your strategy unless you really stretch your mind.”
Well, that really applies to any problem you’re trying to solve. By intentionally stepping away from the work and seeking new experiences, you’ll give your brain the rest and new information it needs to make unconscious connections and generate new ideas.
More fun and play infused into your day makes for a healthier, happier, and more satisfying life, according to Catherine Price’s TED Talk, Why Having Fun Is The Secret To A Healthier Life.
In effect, when you make space for fun, you’ll be infused with creative energy and the capacity to keep going.
MAKE SPACE FOR FUN
Maybe you’ve said to yourself:
- I’ll have fun when…
- I’ll enjoy this after…
- If only that happens, then I’ll…
Life is short and fast. There is only so much time you get and none of it is guaranteed. These simple facts alone should make delaying your own joy and happiness not an option.
Find joy now – in the work, in the people around you, in the ordinary of everyday life.
Take a vacation. Go for a walk. Read a book. Grab a drink with a friend. Play with your kids and pets. Sleep. Reflect on your accomplishments – even the small ones. Celebrate with people you love. Keep a bowl of Legos on your desk. Grab some crayons and a journal.
Do what works for you.
You might think of these moments as breaks from your work. But, flip that around. Your real life is in those moments. The work is just work.
Make space for fun. Now. Today. You’ll be glad you did.
ONE MORE THING
Starting and growing a business is not a straight line.
It can feel messy – it zigs and zags, it starts and stops. It can feel frustrating even for the most seasoned business owners. And, that’s ok.
It’s also an exciting challenge. It’s going to stretch you. You’re going to learn a lot – not just about business, but about yourself.
And, that’s why it’s worth it.