You need to have more fun.
There I said it.
Stop taking yourself so seriously and have some fun already. There’s been a glaring lack of fun happening lately and it’s time we did something about it.
We’ve Forgotten How To Have Fun
Table of Contents
It seems like all anyone ever talks about online these days are the same old blogging ideas:
- Start A Blog
- Create a posting schedule
- Build your brand
- Create your product
- Sell a Letter.ly subscription
- Debate if comments are good or evil
- Build your brand
- Find your voice
- Create a niche site
- Build your brand
- Build your brand
- Build your brand
Boring. If you really want to build your brand and differentiate yourself really quick, have some fun. People will start to notice because everyone else is taking themselves way too seriously.
Mark and I were talking about this the other day because it seems that everybody is so busy desperately trying to position themselves as an expert in whatever “social media” is, that people are forgetting to actually be social. We’re distilling socializing back down to the boring, sanitized, corporate-y version of social we think is “acceptable” to portray. Because of this, a lot of things are beginning to happen:
- We’re forgetting to be actually social.
- We’re forgetting that people like people, not robots.
- We’re forgetting that people like to laugh.
This isn’t an excuse to be unprofessional and I don’t think you should go into your next major client meeting with whoopee cushions in tow, but it is okay to have more fun with your blog and your life. Here’s a few ways to get started:
Laugh at yourself
There’s nothing more sad than a person who can’t laugh at his or her self. If you don’t know how to do this, please learn this skill ASAP. Life is a lot less embarrassing when you point out your own mistakes and own them rather than waiting until others point them out and you refuse to accept them. Here’s a few truths you’ll have to realize first before you get there.
- You’re human and you’re not perfect. It’s okay. Welcome to Earth. There’s 6 billion of us here. That’s Billion. With a B. Get comfortable
- You’re not as important as you’d like to think you are. You care more about yourself and your image than other people do.
- People have shorter memories than you think. Your great work will outshine your bad work. Focus on your great work. Laugh at your bad work and move on.
So go ahead. Look back at your bad work, laugh at yourself and get better.
I’ll start. Watch this video and try not to laugh –> 100 Pushup Fail. You can’t. I look [and sound] ridiculous. But I have two options: either I can try to hide that because it’s embarassing or I can laugh at it, own it, and use it as motivation as I keep on improving. I prefer option #2, so that means I have to spend a large amount of time laughing at myself and figuring out how to get better.
Have fun with others
I really like Nerd Fitness. If you don’t read the blog, you should because it’s one of the most entertaining fitness blogs around. And while the content is great, what I really enjoy about the site is how the founder, Steve Kamb, runs it. Steve doesn’t take himself too seriously and knows how to laugh at himself. On site, this leads to some pretty funny and entertaining articles. Off site, this usually leads us into making fun of each other back and forth on twitter in a sort of epic twitter hashtag war. They’re usually short and dumb arguments about how Steve is going to be #HugeInJapan after his recent Japanese radio interview or how #SteveKambIsGoingToBuyGoogle after his speaking engagement with them this summer, but it’s a lot of fun and different people chime in on either of our sides throughout the banter. So not only will having fun with other people not only serves to build a better relationship between you and them, but your audiences will absolutely love it. [Please note: make sure the other person has a sense of humor and is able to laugh at themselves. Otherwise you’re setting yourself up for a bad ending].
Steve Kamb on Twitter –> @SteveKamb [If you don’t follow Steve on twitter, you probably should, if for no other reason than to catch one of our epic twitter hashtag wars every now and then].
Have fun because you’re doing great work, not in spite of it
This doesn’t mean I want you to go dink around, go play videogames and waste your life. Doing great work that matters doesn’t mean you stop having fun and having fun doesn’t mean you stop doing great work. Rather, you start to have fun because of the great work you’re doing. Don’t think that’s possible? Well unfortunately for you, I’ve know a lot of of people proving you wrong:
Shannon and Kristin have one of the most intriguing blogs that I’ve come across in the last 6 months and they’re about to get huge [you read it here first]. Their blog is called All of Us Revolution where they’re documenting their efforts to build an ethical clothing line from scratch. The majority of the time, they’ll dive into commentary on consumerism and what they do for their actual work, but for Valentine’s Day they decided to do something different. They decided to write up a tongue-in-cheek piece titled The 8 Most Eligible Bachelors of the Blogosphere. They had fun with it, made a few jokes and found embarrassing quotes from everyone they chose, and the post absolutely blew up. What’s really cool is that they didn’t just isolate the “fun” they have to that one post. If you watch their videos, it’s clear they’re not only working on something that matters to them, but they’re having a lot of fun doing it as well.
Shannon & Kristin on Twitter –> @AllOfUsRev
I’m a big fan of the way Dan does work. He puts in crazy hours, manages a multi-national team spanning multiple time zones all over the world while simultaneously building a million-dollar business from the ground up. In between that, he somehow manages to write two blogs, record a weekly podcast with his business cohort Ian and create internship programs for people who want to live abroad, travel and get a lot of hand-on business experience. Despite all the specific things Dan does, the thing that I love about Dan though is that he loves what he does. Every time I listen to a podcast, I end up laughing because the fun he and Ian have doing business carries over to the podcast and it actually shows. Dan is doing some things that other people only talk about, but he’s having a blast doing it. He doesn’t sacrifice his work to have fun, but he’s also consciously aware that he’s working in order to create freedom and live, not just work.
Dan on Twitter –> @TropicalMBA
Not Just For Bloggers
Just because the three people I mentioned happen to have blogs, doesn’t mean that this only applies to bloggers. If you have a normal 9-5 job, you could probably stand to have more fun there too and it would actually help you work better.
The big players already know this. In fact, Zappos’s [you know, the Zappos that sold to Amazon.com for $928 Million dollars? Yes, that Zappos] third core company value is “create fun and a little weirdness.” Their website explains:
“We want just a touch of weirdness to make life more interesting and fun for everyone. We want the company to have a unique and memorable personality.”
Zappos realized that people doing really great work, tend to do it because they have fun doing it. Their site goes on to say:
One of the side effects of encouraging weirdness is that it encourages people to think outside the box and be more innovative. When you combine a little weirdness with making sure everyone is also having fun at work, it ends up being a win-win for everyone: Employees are more engaged in the work that they do, and the company as a whole becomes more innovative.
Having a better time working, actually helps you do better work. Who would have thought?
Google recognizes this too and they’ve learned to have fun and laugh at themselves. While some companies are worried about brand colors, integration, uniformity and strategy, Google constantly is changing their home page logo to be something different for special occasions. They even created a dedicated Google Doodle team just for this.Whether it’s Earth Day, Thanksgiving or Jules Verne’s 183rd birthday, they’re always coming up with something new and creative. Google literally pays someone to have fun for them as a company.
If Google needs to have more fun. You need to have more fun.
So start having more fun with life. It doesn’t have to be a huge change to start. It could be something as simple as sending Steve Kamb antagonizing hash tag messages on twitter [which I wholly endorse you doing], or something as easy as reflecting on the last six months and laughing at the things you used to do [and maybe still do] and striving to get better. The important thing is that you make some change.
Why I Do The Impossible
It’s kind of fun to do the impossible – Walt Disney
It’s weird to explain fun to people. It’s the most natural thing in the world, but at the same time, it feels so unnatural. You can feel guilty and lazy just thinking about having fun. After all, you’re supposed to work and work is not fun! But that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. Sure, not every part of work is fun, but the overall process of creating, accomplishing and having something to show for it all at the end of the day makes it worth it. So why do I do what I do?
- I do marketing because it’s enjoyable to me. I love solving problems and helping companies get better and grow.
- I have a side hustle because I enjoy working for myself and getting better on my own terms.
- I run triathlons because of the constant challenge, so I keep pushing myself.
I do the impossible because doing it is a lot more fun than just daydreaming about it. Telling a great story is almost always better than reading one and living out a great story is even better.
Live a great story. Do something impossible. Have some fun.[Photo Credit]