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How To Make It More Fun & Still Call It Work

In our pursuit of productivity and worth, it’s easy to forget the value of enjoying the moment.

The expertise you share helps to build trust and the fun you add allows people to stay.

When you have fun, we all have fun. When we look to promote what we do, we aspire to create better content. A lot of the time we do this by bypassing what is playful.

Let’s consider how aligning fun with your identity and values can help you create a more compelling personal brand.

Bringing The Fun Side Into Your Work

The most successful givers aren’t doing it because it’s forced. They do it because doing it brings them joy. They understand that fun isn’t frivolous.

It’s important to understand the reasons why you want others to participate so that it is known for the main message and idea. Joy is at the heart of the entire delivery. This is what motivates people to engage and connect

Many of us want enjoyment, fun, gratification, respect, joy, support, success and hope. The best givers are those who know how to balance these elements making enjoyment an integral part of your strategy.

It Shouldn’t Be Hidden Away

For several years, I was too focused on the doing. This was for validation.

By this I mean a narrative that always had a business-themed delivery. It made sense, this was to encourage people to enquire and show up.

In 2018 we placed our YATM events in a local theatre, called Shelley Theatre. By putting in the confines of an arts venue, it gave us freedom to play and have fun. One session we could have included crowd surfing, another was for everyone to stay out after the event. 

Over the years, I’ve learned that genuine enjoyment should be combined with any activity. Your fun side can exist alongside a sense of respect. Finding the right balance comes down to your principles, creating connections and making people feel involved in the overall effort, as well as building alliances.

Crafting a narrative that blends fun with a clear, purposeful message is essential for people wanting to join in. It’s important to ensure that the content is meaningful and not superficial. Fun takes hard work.

An idea that connects x encouragement to join in = Enjoyment from involvement

Fun In Your Work Is No Different To School

Think back to your days at school.

You went there to learn, but the best part was always spending time with your friends. To me, it helped me feel recharged and happy, regardless of what was happening at home.

This is no different today. We head out to events to be ignited with new thoughts and ideas to progress, but if you can do that with people who are on your side you create special moments together.

When you find that balance of practicality with the party, you create unforgettable moments.

We’re testing that idea out in a few weeks. 

We have the YATM Summer Party on Friday 12th July. The idea is to incorporate different ideas from our YATM community friends and enhance the fun by gathering together. For those people who want to see in the weekend early and raise the party feeling, we have a bottomless brunch included. This means at some point in the afternoon, the drinks will be bottomless.

You should come and join us, in Bournemouth, book here.

The primary focus is on making connections and building stronger relationships, with the ‘work’ aspect coming second.”

We’re exploring this idea as it ties into the YATM concept of self-sufficiency, promotion, and creation, but with a stronger focus on camaraderie. Hosting a work event with a bottomless brunch is a new way to have fun.

How To Elevate Your Work By Embracing The Fun Side

Here is how you find that balance between the approach you want people to get behind and maximising enjoyment for everyone involved.

It takes a serious approach for people to realise that it’s okay to relax and understand that everything feels much better when joining in.

1) Be Tuned Into Your Audience 

You focus on delivering a relevant message to your audience while recognising the necessity for making the most of being together.

It took me years to realise you can’t lead on the frivolous side. To others, this may appear as a lack of structure.

You only know what works by testing it out and the necessary adjustments. Our ‘challenge’ element to the Lunch Club events is for people to know that they are in a space where people are accepted as themselves and we all cheer a participant on. You can’t step up with an anarchic mindset when there is no familiarity, this distances people. It’s all about refining your delivery alongside your audience. 

To make it work, you have to keep at it. In the words of Tim Washer, ‘You have to give yourself the grace to fail.’

2) Know It’s Part Of A Bigger Story

Humour when added into your narrative, adds depth to your message. It’s not about going straight to the punchline, it’s about people joining you for the journey.

Connecting experiences to a bigger picture helps to frame everything. This means that when the time feels right to introduce something off-kilter, there is always a reason for it and fits the narrative. A lot of our shared activities with YATM are intended to show togetherness and what it feels like to join in with others. 

It takes time for people to trust you. When they understand your intentions and see meaning in their world, it becomes easier for others to commit.

3) Understand It Always Has To Be Professional 

You have to know when you are carefree and the moments you want people to pay attention.

When I used to present, I was often a ball of energy and nerves, which affected my delivery. People couldn’t grasp the points I wanted to convey. I learned that for the important ideas or statements I wanted to emphasise, I needed to slow down, pause, and speak more slowly

Fun shouldn’t mean a lack of seriousness or competence, it’s knowing the signals you share where you want your audience to lean in, or feel a part of the shared moments of fun. This means you create an environment where creativity thrives. It is hard to achieve, but comes down to balance in respecting your audience and the relationships you build with others.

4) Lean Into The Connection Between Your Work & Personality

Bringing more of you into your work, helps people feel settled and comfortable. 

Recognise how far you want to go. It doesn’t mean sharing photos of you and your family, but where there is an association between what you create, the reason for it and why it’s relevant to others. 

For instance, the reason I was open about ideas not working or mistakes that have been made, was to showcase to people that no one ever steps into a space as the finished article. It takes time to learn a craft. Too often we look at the people who have achieved success as the barometer for how we need to perform from the start. Not everything is going to work. By sharing what didn’t go according to plan, was there to make me relatable to others.

5) Embrace The Unexpected

When a community comes together, it can overcome adversity.

At the end of 2021 a hybrid event went wrong in every possible way. We had a power cut in the theatre, so we found a pub nearby to house the event. We were reliant on people on Zoom and guests from around the world. Then the WiFi went in the pub. To me, it was awful as the preparation and planning became pure chaos affected my confidence took a huge knock. To others, this became one of the most memorable events they had been to as it represented the strength in overcoming any hurdle as a group. 

I understand now that it’s important to embrace unexpected moments and use them to your advantage. Whether it’s a spontaneous joke or an unplanned turn of events, these instances add authenticity to your work. Unpredictable moments can create the most memorable experiences.

6) You Know How To Balance Between Fun And Goals

Whilst fun is important, it’s also crucial to keep your goals in mind. 

For instance, if everything is centred around enjoyment and you begin to lose track of the deeper meaning, so will everyone else. As an example, if you decide to create a networking evening at a bar, it becomes a night at a bar.

You still need clear objectives to ensure a message hits home whilst maintaining a positive and engaging atmosphere. For instance, for our YATM Lunch Club events, there is an overall topic that we delve into for each session. This balance is how you find focus and keep everyone motivated. 

Psychologist Dr. Stuart Brown, in his book “Play,” argues that play is not just an activity but a state of mind that can make us more creative and innovative. Brown’s research indicates that incorporating elements of play into work can improve problem-solving skills and boost morale.

Let’s Round-Up

Westrow Cooper says, ‘Happiness is best as an accidental by-product of things you are doing.’ When that becomes shared with others, you can create a powerful space.

Building trust is the result of purpose, reason, fun and performance co-existing. The challenge isn’t whether you can be taken seriously while showcasing your fun side, but knowing the values that allow you to open up.

When fun connects to who we are, we can build an even more compelling personal brand. Introducing fun into your work isn’t just about transforming your brand, but the world around you.

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