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Play for Pay

Updated: Apr 18, 2021

Here’s a simple idea and one that has so much merit. But it has become complicated over time. Especially for those of us who have been conditioned to work hard. Play for pay. When you think about your professional endeavor, you may find that you are conditioned to take it quite seriously, as if to say you shouldn’t be engaging in laugher, banter or seeking to be happy.

Photo: Courtesy of Sam Moqadam (Unsplash)

I would suggest that on the contrary, work as we know it, should actually involve much fun and playfulness.

To illustrate, recently I had a great conversation with a student of mine. He’s studying business at Lancaster University where I’m mentoring students as part of the University's entrepreneurship in residence program. Interacting with faculty and students across the world, the mission is to cross-fertilize ideas and cultures to accelerate and promote business in different countries across the globe. This student’s father is a microbiologist whose work entails extracting nutrients from plants and adding them to various products in order to enhance human and animal health. And as a result of my relationship with his son, I’m now engaged in various ways to help their family grow their business.

This morning, we talked about building relationships and connecting his father with key people who could support their business, help them solve some problems and accelerate the growth of their venture. And as we talked, we agreed that we’re both business minds and not particularly oriented to focus on heavily scientific matters. We agreed that "heavy science" which can be quite painful for us. On the other hand, his dad, other biologists and chemists tend to be detail-oriented, technical and are seemingly ecstatic when getting down into the weeds of complex scientific challenges and discoveries. We surmised that for these researchers and scientists this is all great fun.

As you might imagine, we had a hearty laugh as we discussed this dichotomy. And in doing so, we also recognized that humor was something that we all had in common and should relish as part of any success journey. We agreed that it wasn’t sufficient that we provide just the business support, but also strive to incorporate humor in more of our interactions.

Because of that moment of levity we enjoyed in that conversation, there was no question at the end that our relationship had become stronger.

So much so, that he suggested that we must and will grow our relationship beyond this engagement to one that is long-term and would include future business collaborations. Not because of my financial and entrepreneurial experience. Not because of my technical expertise. And not because of the practical business ideas that we exchanged in strategizing for opportunities that could be seized by their company. But because of the playfulness with which it was approached.

So, as you consider accelerating progress in your career or your business. As you seek to build stronger relationships with your employees, colleagues at work, other company leaders, investors, your network or any other stakeholders, recognize the inherent significance of having fun at work.

Give attention to how you might be more playful. The experiences and results just might be richer and arrive faster than if you didn’t.

I want to help you embrace the idea of play for pay, become increasingly irresistible and financially invincible. Together, through intentional and achievable steps, we can make your future bright, build your wealth and give you the freedom you deserve in your business and life. Today is your day. Let’s get started here.

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