Remember, this is supposed to be fun


I have been digging into deep business growth and transformation with a number of clients.

This is not work for the faint of heart.

They are leaning into repairing and strengthening financial habits and systems.

They are building teams and dealing with challenging performance issues and difficult conversations.

They are managing feelings related to having so many clients (yay!) that they are working all hours of the day and night (boo!), all while building the systems and team to eventually lighten the load and reduce their stress.

And as a favorite client is fond of telling me on our calls, “Let me guess, this is another chance to “strengthen my leadership capacity,” right?” (to which I smile and say “Yes, exactly!” while dodging the imaginary stapler I know she is throwing at my head through Zoom).

This work is HARD.

So in the midst of doing it, it can feel infuriating to be reminded of the fun-loving promise of entrepreneurship like the skateboard-riding peppy business person pictured above.

Here is the thing.

Growing a business is really, really hard work. It will stretch you in ways that no other life activity will.

But in this serious endeavor, it is critical to remember to bring joy, gratitude and connection into your day. Otherwise, you will recreate the never-ending wheel of stress, pressure and grim feelings. This is not why you got into business!

3 Ways to Bring Some Fun into Your Day

1. Celebrate the hilarity of your mistakes

Once, while on an important business trip to Amsterdam with my client Cisco Systems, I mistook a Senior Manager’s lean forward for a handshake as a chance to do the European “kiss kiss kiss” greeting. So while he leaned his hand out, I did an awkward fall into his hair while I reached for his cheek with my lips.

There is not a shade of red dark enough to describe the color of my cheeks.

After recovering from my mortification and escaping to the restroom, I looked at myself in bathroom mirror and started laughing. “This will be a great story one day,” I said. And it is!

2. Ground yourself in gratitude

Pressing deadlines and the pressure to produce content at a rapid pace can make your chest constrict.

At this very moment, I know my friend and editor David Moldawer will read my newsletter and wonder why I still haven’t finished the edits to my book proposal that I promised last Thursday (David, you know you were wondering that, right?). He is right to be annoyed, but I have had unexpected waves of proposals and proposals to complete (good) which leads to an ever-growing to do list that stresses me out. (bad)

Despite this, I am so thankful that I get to work on cool projects, that work is plenty and bountiful, and that I get to make the choice to prioritize my book the rest of this week (really this time, David!) because it is my destiny.

3. Shake, rattle and roll

Whenever I let the anxiety of production get to me, my husband Darryl reminds me to stop, take a breath and physically touch my chest and heart. After doing this, I like to turn on some music and dance, especially to a pop tune with catchy words that is in the taste category of my 11 year old daughter (Shawn Mendez ftw!).

Moving and grooving, getting in touch with my breath and physical body immediately reduces the flow of anxious energy and brings a smile to my face.

I will never promise that growing a business is easy. But it can be infused with hilarity, gratitude and movement that leads to a full-color, full-contact life infused with fun.

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