Why Play is Important for Solopreneurs

We can get so bogged down with all the details of our work – goal setting, productivity, service, promotion – that eventually we conclude that we need to lighten up.  Following is my exploration of why play is important for solopreneurs.
This week I stumbled on a very stimulating TedTalk The Playful Wonderland Behind Inventions  by Steven Johnson who concluded that “you will find the future where people are having the most fun.”
We know that research has shown that play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength; that it is through play that children engage and interact with the world around them.  But what about play for adults and work?  As I reflect on my own experience I recall some situations where play resulted in positive results.

 As a Trainer

While delivering leadership development training to emerging leaders in the north, I found that the training experience was both intimidating and stressful for participants unaccustomed to this type of activity.  By placing colourful beanie babies (small stuffed animals) on the table, trainees began handling, trading and even tossing them to each other.  The result was a relaxed and playful group of men and women who began to enjoy the training experience.

As a Facilitator

While promoting a new team development approach to workers in the top-down corporate environment, I found that playing games together helped them understand the joy of discovery and benefits of collaboration.

But where does play show up in the work of a solopreneur?

  • Stress reduction – Playing the right type of music while working on something with a deadline
  • Engagement – Getting together with on-line friends for a laugh or two
  • Discovery and learning – Getting together with other members of a Success Circle for sharing of information and approaches
  • Exploration of possibilities -The excitement of playing the ‘What if’ game, especially with other solopreneurs – Brainstorming can often be playful if you take it far enough.
  • Experimentation – There is joy and excitement in the discovery of new and better ways of doing things.
  • Collaboration – Working on an experiment with online colleagues.

 My Conclusion:  

We build play into our developmental work through our mindset – Having fun and experimenting till we make something to celebrate.

 Mindset Monday Challenge

What ways do you find for incorporating play and joy into your work?  Share your techniques with us.
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2 thoughts on “Why Play is Important for Solopreneurs”

  1. I also think this is important for people on low income for example … people on social assistance (welfare specifically) because the monthly incomes are so low that even budgeting $40 a month for food is often a gift… I say this in relation to this post because as a person on welfare myself who has tried for three years to ‘do my own thing’ and who has thought up about ten different business ideas, but who can never afford to pay anyone to coach on how to actually make that happen etc.. it always ends in failure because we have no money to learn HOW to do what we want done.. so.. back to the topic, if people had what is known as “Basic Income” of say $1300 a month etc as proposed here in Ontario for 2017 … it would allow an emotional freedom from the stress and depression of always wondering if you are going to be able to buy food, or pay your rent etc, or to even have a future etc.. and it would allow people to have a little more money so they can at least EXPLORE their passions… to get some training or support on how to be successful in their chosen interest which is just like Play … doing what you love .. is play.. and when you do what you love, you can often become successful because you are doing what you love.. but again, basic income can help people follow their passions… to indulge in Play and get out of the rutt of negativity and failure 🙂

    Reply
    • Doing what you love and following your passion is play. And learning can be play. You are so right John, that emotional freedom is key. I’ll be visiting your site to see what you are up to these days.

      Reply

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