How much fun is your job?
Kind of fun? A lot of fun? No fun?
Fun matters. A lot.
Regardless of your industry, if you create a space where your team and your clients/ customers have a lot of fun, you’re going to have a huge advantage. Your team will work better, and your customers/ clients will want to spend more energy (and time and money) with your business.
Fun is painfully underrated. Play is the default human state of creation (and ALL humans are creative artists). We don’t live in a perfect world, and sometimes you need to grind stuff out. But if people are NEVER playing, something is fucked.
“Lila” is a Sanskrit word that can be roughly translated, “divine play” or “the play of God.” That’s some mystical ass shit. But it’s also important and hints at why this type of creation is practical. People do better work if it’s an expression of their unique selves at play.
I work in the fitness industry. Fitness, for many people and in many establishments, is not fun. There are of course the minority that love physical exertion and/or like looking at their bodies in the mirror. But that’s not most people. Creating a culture that prioritizes fun has been the source of much of our success.
To be clear, you also need substance. Fun and depth aren’t mutually exclusive (READ THIS DO IT), though in the fitness industry (and many life endeavors) they sometimes seem that way. Can you achieve success in an industry by being all fun and no substance? In less-than-competitive markets, sometimes. Can you achieve success with all substance and no fun? Totally, boring and utilitarian can succeed. But substance AND fun will be more powerful.
Furthermore, in the fitness environment, we’ve often seen the substance BECOME part of the fun once people have some base of knowledge. We all know education is the crux of external content marketing, but sometimes it’s less appreciated that it is also helpful internally. Once Ninjas become true students of training, they start to see what was once “means” to their hotness goals as an “end” unto itself. When executed properly, the formerly boring substance becomes a driver of fun.
Here’s what I most love about MFF; on any given day, I can walk into Clubhouse and hear the team geeking out over the relative merits of the Selective Functional Movement Assessment versus the assessment paradigm of the Postural Restoration Institute, OR everyone will have the lights out and their pants off having a dance party to the Braveheart soundtrack.
If you aggressively pursue both fun and domain mastery, it will be a lethal combo for bottom line results.
The fitness industry is starting to “get this,” and I hope MFF can continue to play a role in spreading the good word here. Those of us who work with people on their health and fitness know that’s it relatively easy to teach people WHAT to do. The challenge (and adventure) is getting them to do it on an on-going basis. And if you figure that out, not only is it good for your business, but you actually succeed in doing the thing that drives you into the industry; helping people live their best lives.
Fun is long term behavioral change lubricant.
And even if you’re not in the fitness industry, you want your clients and customers to make the use of your product and service as part of their ongoing behavior. ALL businesses and industries benefit from fun.
Take a minute and think about your own business and industry. I really think ANY industry can be fun. In fact, if you’re in a boring ass industry, you have an even bigger advantage. If you’re in a boring industry and think of way to make your business fun, it will drive your marketing. (“Did you see the tax accountant office themed like Vegas where all the CPA’s dress like rockstars and they serve you beer while you wait??”*)
How can you drive more fun for your customers/ clients? In your marketing? In your interactions with them? In your service experience? How about your team? What can you do internally to encourage and support fun in your culture?
Business is hard-ass work. And it’s not fun every second of every day. But if you’re not having a lot of fun on a regular basis, you’re doing it wrong.
*this not actually a thing. yet. but it should be!