How to Use Play & Fun to Create a Thriving Membership, with Jeff Harry

rick mulready

How to Use Play & Fun to Create a Thriving Membership, with Jeff Harry

November 24, 2021

Do you want to have more fun at work and be more productive?

In this episode, I talk to Jeff Harry about incorporating play and fun into your business. Specifically, we’re going to be talking about incorporating that into a membership program in your business.

Jeff works with companies and individuals to help make their work more fulfilling and discover their joyful purpose, all while removing what is getting in the way of their success.

Through positive psychology play, he creates a safe space for teams and individuals to have difficult conversations and address uncomfortable challenges, and do it in a play-oriented way.

Whether you have a membership right now, or you’re thinking about adding a membership to your business, we’re going to be talking about how to play more and have more fun, and how you deliver that in your membership so you can increase your retention.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why you need to fail more—and fail big—if you’re going to succeed
  • How to keep your paying members engaged
  • The key to being happy in business
  • Who to listen to instead of your inner critic
  • Why you need more boredom in your life

Links & Resources

Jeff Harry’s Links


Got A Question You Want Answered On the Podcast?

Ask your questions or let me know if there is a topic or guest you’d like to hear from in the comments below or click here to visit my contact page and submit your question there for a chance to be featured on one of my upcoming Q&A episodes.


Follow The Art of Online Business on iTunes and/or Stitcher


Please support the podcast by giving an honest Rating/Review for the show on iTunes!

Right-click here to download this episode


Other Episodes You’ll Enjoy:

Membership Sales Secrets, with Jason Brown (Replay)

Is a Membership or a Course Right For Your Business?

Using Facebook Ads For Your Membership? (What Would Rick Do)

Membership Case Study: How Hallie Sherman Added $10K/mo With a New Membership


Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Jeff:
The reason so many people have mental breakdowns, or midlife or quarter-life crisis, is because they’ve made everything about themselves, and they’ve now reached a certain echelon, right? They’re like, “Now I’m rich. Now I’m successful, and I feel empty.”

Yeah, because you’ve been serving yourself. You haven’t been serving the community, and if you want to address that, then start serving the community.

[00:01:08] Rick:
What’s up, my friends. Welcome back to the show. We’re going to be talking about something we’ve never talked about here on the podcast. I really don’t know why, to be honest. We’re going to be talking about incorporating play and fun into your business.

We’ve never covered that topic from this perspective. We’re going to be talking about incorporating play and fun into a membership program in your business.

So, whether you have a membership right now, or whether you’re thinking about adding a membership to your business, we’re going to be talking about how to incorporate play and fun, and how you deliver that membership so you can increase your retention.

Joining me to share his expertise on this, I’m so excited to welcome him to the show, is Jeff Harry. Jeff works with companies and individuals to help, as he puts it, “Lift their veil of BS,” in order to make their work more fulfilling, and discover their joyful purpose, all while removing what is getting in the way of their success.

Through positive psychology play, he creates a safe space for teams and individuals to have those difficult conversations and address those uncomfortable challenges, in a play oriented way.

Jeff’s work has been featured in The New York times, Mashable, Upworthy, Shonda Lynn, and Wired.

Jeff is so much fun to talk to—not surprisingly, right? So, I asked him to come on here and share his expertise through the lens of, how do we have more fun in our business? Specifically, how do we incorporate play into our membership? Again, whether you have a membership already or not, this is going to be for you.

Jeff brings out so much gold here today. I’m really, really excited to introduce you to Jeff Harry, which we’ll do here in just second.

Now, before we go hang out with Jeff, I want to let you know I’m accepting applications right now for my Accelerator coaching program. This is a complete, personalized, one-on-one and group coaching program for established online course creators and coaches.

You’re already averaging a minimum of 7-8K per month in your business, and you want to take the guesswork out of increasing your profit and your impact, with less hustle. All while still being a good human being in the process of doing that.

This is where you get to work with me and my team of expert coaches, and the rest of the amazing entrepreneurs in Accelerator. So, if you want to see all of our success stories, learn more about Accelerator and apply, just go to

All right, my friends without further ado, let’s go hang out with Jeff Harry.

Jeff, welcome to the podcast. I’m so pumped to have you here. How are you?

[00:04:17] Jeff:
I’m so excited! I’m ready. Let’s do this.

[00:04:20] Rick:
I just told you, I like, Hey, you know what? is how I do interviews. have blank document of me. to go. It’s like you and I sit down for coffee I know what we want to talk but where it goes from there, I have no

[00:04:34] Jeff:
This is perfect. This is play right here.

[00:04:36] Rick:
I can, I can tell you are really So why don’t we first start out with, having introduce to our listening Who the heck are Who is Jeff

[00:04:48] Jeff:
I am Jeff Harry. I’m now going by the mischief maker, you know, peop people, where they introduce me. I’m like I do positive psychology and play to create psychologically safe workspaces for a lot of businesses. when I’m not doing that, I’m trying to advocate for the importance of play and how it can solve a lot of your problems, frankly.

[00:05:14] Rick:
I want to get into what exactly that means, but how the heck did you get to doing what you do

[00:05:20] Jeff:
Ooh, you want the origin I’ll give you the quick Batman origin story. So remember the movie big with Tom Hanks.

[00:05:28] Rick:

[00:05:28] Jeff:
So I saw the movie big with Tom Hanks, in third grade. And I was, and he was playing with toys for a living. I was like, you can do that as a job. I literally ran to my word processor.

My mom had a word processor and I started writing letters to toy companies, I just kept doing it from third grade all the way through all the way up to college. applying to be like, be in the industry. then I eventually got into the industry and I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten exactly what you’ve always wanted.

And then been so disappointed when you get there, but it was just cubicle walls, no play. No, high-fives no toys, no fun. I’m at a toy company and I’m like, what is happening here? And I had my quarter-life crisis. I was living in New York at the time I left there, came to the bay area. had no idea what to do, hopped on Craigslist.

Good old Craigslist back in early 2000s I I found a job that was teaching kids engineering with Lego. It was basically you get to play with toys for a living, but you get to teach kids at the same time. I was like, sweet and joined that. It was only seven people at the time. But it was so much fun that I was like, I’m going to make this a real thing.

We were able to take it from seven people to 400 people. in 10-15 years. And it became one of the largest Lego-inspired stem organizations, in the U.S but we did it all by playing. we had no idea what we were doing. Just like that blank sheet of paper, No Business plan.

No. we picked cities, we thought were fun. We picked people, we thought were fun. We made a ton of mistakes, but because we got so big and we started in the bay area, we got the attention of Silicon valley, like Facebook, Google, Adobe, all those companies. And they were like, do you do team-building events?

We’re like, of course we do. No, we didn’t But we just said, you asked everything right. Yeah, we’ll do everything. Yeah. We could do a special event. Yeah. We could build whatever you want out of Lego. then I ended up running special events and team-building events for the top tech companies for a decade, from the bay.

But I realized while I was working with all these companies, they would claim. innovation creativity and risk-taking, but I didn’t see it. I didn’t see it at all. I realized it was because they hadn’t created psychologically safe workspaces. So I created rediscover your play two years ago to basically tackle toxicity at the workplace.

How to have a difficult conversation, how to deal with your inner critic. How did. You know, tap into your inner genius through play. I just made a bunch of these workshops Up and then started doing them with these organizations because I was like, we should be having more fun at work. If we’re going to be here 2,500 hours a year.

[00:08:19] Rick:
Right. Why aren’t we, why aren’t we having more? In your

[00:08:23] Jeff:
Because people are, taking stuff way too seriously. You know, I consider, I define play as, as any joyful act where you forget about time, that has no purpose of result. Right. But the other part of it is plays the opposite of perfection and perfection is rooted in like ego shame. fear of failure, right.

And plays rooted in like curiosity and on and experimentation, like all the amazing things. Right. But we are, we, especially in America where like we’re so job focused and we tie our productivity to our value. We, are so much about focusing on being perfect that we lose the art of play. But if you think of any startup.

Or even Google or Facebook when they first started, it was play. That started the whole process. It was an experiment. It was an experiment of figuring out, like, can we bring together the world through this search engine or through this app, you know? And we forget, we just forget

[00:09:24] Rick:
So, how does it, you know, from I’m really interested or you just mentioned perfectionism? I am like, it’s so cliched, but like recovering perfectionist, but let’s be honest. I’m still not fully recovered, quote unquote from that. And I, a lot of my students. Struggle with that, you know, the, from the perfectionism standpoint, meaning if it’s not perfect in their mind, which is completely subjective, then I can’t put this out or I can’t do this, or I can’t speak to this person or whatever it might be.

And it slows them down.

[00:10:01] Jeff:

[00:10:03] Rick:
I would assume there’s a mindset shift that needs to happen to incorporate like, oh, what if I took a playful approach to this? How do we get there?

[00:10:14] Jeff:
You’ve got to fail miserably. Like you gotta, like, I don’t think people realize what it’s like to fail and then be like, oh my gosh, I didn’t die. Like, there’s, there’s really, I remember my niece once said to me, she was like, oh my goodness. If I talk to that guy, I’m going to Die. Right. She was like, I’m just going to die.

Like she was she’s in high school. then I was thinking about it. and I was like, that actually makes sense because a part of her personality has to die, a part of a person she has to let go of, of not being comfortable talking to strangers. it’s the same thing with a perfectionist.

We’re so scared of failing because we think if we fail our Parents are going to disown us. We’re going to get kicked out of school. We’ll end up on the street. you run to this massive, like extreme, but if you actually fail, you realize, oh my gosh, it’s not that bad. It actually is great.

You know, and I remember I talk about, NASA talked about this, about how they found that many. students, when they first tested their creativity around the age of four, their genius levels, their ability to be creative was in the 90 the 90th percentile, By the time they reached the age of 18, it was like under 15%, by the time they reach adulthood under 10.

NASA needs, problem-solvers people that. think Outside the box, but are creative school is destroying that because it’s all about, supporting perfectionism. It’s all about, I have to get an, a, I have to get the highest grade on the sat. If I don’t get a good sat score and I don’t get good grades, I’m not going to get in the college I need to get into.

There’s this, this like, Cycle of BS. When, like, I think Shawn Achor said this recently, this happiness guy he was like your GPA in college and heck Even your GPA in high school determines your success in life. As much as rolling dice. Like it doesn’t even matter, but we put so much effort into it.

We make such a big deal about it. And then our parents make such a big deal out about it. And frankly, it’s just so much pressure. And BS, propaganda of like what I need to be in order to be successful. And if the pandemic did anything, it lifted that veil and it was like, all of this is BS, you know, like, like yes, you could pursue. You becoming a doctor or a lawyer. I know a lot of people that have those jobs and hate those jobs.

I know a lot of people that are millionaires that are depressed beyond belief. And then I know other people that don’t have that much money that know how to find their joy. So we have to really question what is actually bringing us fulfillment happiness and joy.

[00:13:11] Rick:
So for a business owner who already has some success in their business, but they’re feeling that unhappiness that maybe unfulfillment they’re tired of. Just, oh, I’ve created another job for myself rather than a business. What would you start to say to that person who’s already in that space and not really having fun.

Maybe they had some fun in the beginning, but you know, after a few years there, their business is a little bit more mature. Now they’re in the spa. How do we start to incorporate more of this so that we can bring back some of the fun and remember why we did what we did.

[00:13:53] Jeff:
Well, I would, I would quote Alex Johnson who says, you’ll find the future where people are having the most fun. just from a business standpoint, it’s going to be smart for you to actually pursue your curiosity and pursue your fun. examples of this is Google’s 20%. Rule Back in when they first started, They gave their staff a fifth of their time to pursue whatever they wanted. As long as it benefited Google, what came from that? G-mail Google meet AdSense, Google, you know, maps, the foundation of Google came from playing. So I would need to be asking business owners right now. Yo start following your curiosity.

What else do you want to create next? Look at the companies that thrive during the pandemic–TikTok Hulu, Netflix–like taking risks, man. This is the time to take risks. If you are still trying to solve post-pandemic issues or even pandemic issues with pre-pandemic solutions, the way you market, the way you do sales, the way you recruit you’ve got to throw all that out the window. It is a brand-new world out there and where the experimentation that’s where all the innovation is. A lot of people don’t know this, but I say this a lot, but like the Wright brothers, while they were pursuing. Making the airplane as bike mechanics, there was a guy named, Lampley who was connected to the Smithsonian and had access to scientists as well as access to a bit, think of like a million dollars worth of funding.

Money, corporate money and the best scientists in the world, making the same flying machine at the same time as two bike mechanics, like in the middle of the Midwest who gets there first, the bike mechanics. Why? Because they’re playing because they were just doing it because it was interesting to them.

It was fascinating to them. That is what I would be telling business owners right now what excites you about your work? if nothing excites you about your work, then start exploring. What else is there, Instead of, instead of just like now going through the motions, I know a lot of people like to build businesses, but they don’t like to maintain them.

It gets boring after a while to just maintain sweet. and I know this is scary. but Start anew then blow it up a little bit go fail a little bit and start anew that’s where you’re going to get most of your joy and fulfillment. And that’s where you’re actually going to be most successful as well.

[00:16:28] Rick:
Well, so talk a little bit about that. I’m so glad you sort of finish that thought with, by saying that because most people think. Like from my experience was to, I don’t want to say put the overarching most people out there, but like, I know that in the past for me, a lot of my students that, we work with it’s that, well, I can’t do that because I need to generate revenue.

I need to continue generating revenue. so if I’m focusing on these things over here that maybe are a little fun, it’s not providing that, you know, potential growth, but you’re saying no, it’s actually the opposite

[00:17:04] Jeff:
Because you actually have more energy. You, are 500% more in. flow And more productive, five times more productive when you’re at play. say for example, we’re doing something like outreach, I need to outreach to a thousand people in the next month because if I’ll reach a thousand people, I’m going to get a 5% return on that.

And then a 5% onto, you could do it that way. Totally. How’s that working out for you? I can spam those thousand people or I could follow my curiosity. And reach out to people I vibe with maybe on LinkedIn and then start messaging them and sending them audio files of like, oh, I love some of the cool work you’re doing.

I would love to hear more about what you’re doing and connect that way. maybe you get more business that way than you do outreaching to those thousand people follow your cure. What is it? What are you good at? You want to hop on a bunch of podcasts and do a bunch of interviews that way and utilize some of your time, not all of your time, but some of your time to do that.

Do you want to create? Oh, I’ve always wanted to create this new workshop, but I don’t know if I’d make revenue from it. Is anyone else making it by you pursuing the thing that interests you, even if you are the only one interested in it, you might be making a workshop or a product that no one has thought of.

Then you’re five, six months ahead of everyone else. start taking those risks, Start experimenting in small scales and failing. And I’ll give you a good example of this. So the Buffalo bills, right? Random, random team. Now a lot of people like the Buffalo.

[00:18:42] Rick:
What I was expecting to come out of your

[00:18:44] Jeff:
The Buffalo bills, you know, Hired these two, like dudes and gave them a whole floor to just make TikToks on the Buffalo bills back during the pandemic.

Why are the Buffalo bills now? One of the most well-known teams on TikTok The same thing with the Washington post A random dude of the Washington post just started making TikToks Most gen Zers now. know the Washington post more than the New York times or any other publication because of this one, dude.

So like, again, experiment, There are so many different platforms to try this stuff out, allocate a certain amount of time where you’re going to do your standard business and your standard outreach, but then also give you time to experiment and fail doing the cool stuff, because the cool stuff’s going to

Give you energy to do all the other stuff.

[00:19:33] Rick:
Yeah. I love that. I didn’t know about that, about the Washington post. So they hired somebody

[00:19:40] Jeff:
They either hired this guy, or this guy already wrote, wrote for him, wrote for them. he was just like, Hey, I want to just start making TikToks he would make the weirdest TikToks but they tied into the Washington post. now it has so many followers dude, just type in Washington, post TikTok guy.

Guy Everybody knows that dude now. And I’m talking about like 19, like, well, not even, what am I saying? 16 to 24-year-olds know about the Washington post. Do you know how irrelevant it was to them to that, that population five years ago? all of a sudden now everyone’s like, oh yeah, I know that guy.

That’s a super cool company. It may not even be a super cool company, but according to that, dude, it is now.

[00:20:23] Rick:
Right. And He’s showcasing it through that light.

[00:20:27] Jeff:

[00:20:28] Rick:
So for those of us who have, paid communities, memberships, we have students, for example, One of the biggest challenges people have with memberships is obviously retention. how do we keep people engaged in our, you know, cause we, we want to be helping them, but if they’re leaving after a certain period of time, we can’t help them.

Right. the biggest reason why people leave well, the top two reasons, are there’s just too much content, I’m overwhelmed with it, or I simply don’t have enough time. How can we incorporate more of what you’re talking about, the play into our communities so that we can just be, you know, like I kind of look at it as like, that’s a huge differentiating factor for people, if we’re able to do it and just make this like, oh, I can’t leave that community because I’m having so much fun over

[00:21:21] Jeff:
Yeah. Yeah. Okay. follow this weird train of thought right over and go down this weird. So have you ever been to a crappy wedding and I’m not talking about a bad wedding. I’m talking about an average wedding where they have chicken and fish and then they have the music And it’s just, those weddings are the worst.

It’s not the bad weddings. I don’t like, it’s the meh it’s the mediocre weddings. why are they mediocre? Because they’re trying to please, everybody stop trying to please everybody in the community. Stop trying to do everything and be everything to everyone. Do you be your weird, you, your straight, like do the things that are curious to you, because guess what what’s going to happen is two things.

One, you’re going to turn off a lot of people that. don’t Vibe with you. But they wouldn’t be part of your community anyway. They wouldn’t be already paying for your community if they were there. But yeah, but you’ll turn off certain people that are not vibing, but the people that you are really nerding out with by you doing your weird thing.

They’re going to be into it because they’re going to be like, no one else is doing this. Nobody else is doing this right now. it’s crazy. I’m part of a community where we’re like, it’s like a, I don’t know, like, you’re trying to find your person. We’re trying to find the person we want, the next love of our life.

And there’s this one community where we’re all brainstorming cool ways in which to take risks each and every day or every week to try to do. that It’s a super interesting, fascinating community run by these podcasters from the Dateable Podcast. they just pursue the thing that interests them.

I’m saying double down on your weirdness, don’t run away from your weirdness and try to be all things to people, just do you and see what comes up from there. then part of this also is then you have to, and this is going to be really hard for you, but you’re going to also have to let go of the results.

Stop looking at your membership numbers of whether they’re going up or down, It’s just the same thing as looking at your stuff that’s viral and not viral. Just trust your instincts the more you actually go deeper and get more weird and more curious, the more I want to actually spend time hanging out with you because you’re doing something that no one else is bringing to the table.

[00:23:44] Rick:
So what’s an example. I love all, everything you just said. And I just took a note of like doubling down on your weirdness. And I think that might be the, the S the S the name of this episode here.

Yeah, that’s a book title for you, by the way. So, how do we, how do we do that? Like, what’s an example of how we could

[00:24:07] Jeff:
I mean, it depends on what your group is. So let’s say you have a group where you’re like, Hey, we got to take risks, man. All right, listen, I’m going to, I, as the leader of this. I’m going to start doing things that scare me. Right? So say for example, I’m like, I’m scared to make videos. You know what, for the next month I am just going to commit to making ridiculous Tik TOK videos, and I’m going to share them with the community.

That’s what I’m saying. what makes you both nervous and excited or I refer to as nerve sighted. So then you put out to the rest of the community and then they’re like, oh, well I want to write a blog. Oh, I want to apply to be on a podcast. Oh, I want to quit my job and apply to this other job that I want, oh, I want to talk to this person that I’ve had a crush on for like six months.

So everyone that is putting a little more skin in the game. Right. So everyone’s taking, so then it’s, it’s a shared. Risk. It’s not just like the online community leaders. Like, let me tell you how to be perfect and how you should live your life. And blah-blah-blah no man, shall that vulnerability, man, let’s get vulnerable.

Like take a risk, like the rest of us stop pretending like you’re better than me. Right. And be like, be in there with me, like what is a true leader? The true leader is polling with everybody else, right. Instead of standing on their pedestal and being like, well, this is how you should run your online business, you know?

And because of those dudes, all those people that DMU on LinkedIn or. You know, let me help you get it to seven figures. And it’s like, do you make seven figures, dude? Like how many people are making six and seven figures? Because I heard 19% of the population makes six figures a year. So wait a minute.

There’s a lot more people emailing me than 19% telling me they can take my business to the next level, stop BS. And me with that, that met and like be real.

[00:26:01] Rick:
I want you to dive into that a little bit because I had a problem with this. Oh, it was called a problem. But like, this is something that I feared for a lot of years in my business of sharing, being vulnerable as to all the stuff that was going on behind the scenes, because I thought that if people were seeing that, or if I was sharing that, they’d be like, well, I don’t want to go learn from that guy.

[00:26:26] Jeff:

[00:26:28] Rick:
Like she’s like, I want, I want

[00:26:32] Jeff:
Someone that has their stuff together.

[00:26:34] Rick:
Exactly. Can you just, can you talk a little bit more about that?

[00:26:37] Jeff:
Well, I mean, I mean, just look at all the Bernays Brown’s work. She’s built her whole career off of vulnerability. Right? What’s the bridge. She would always say, what’s the bravest thing that, that you’ve seen on, on stage, you know, someone sharing, being vulnerable, how many people feel that way everyone raises their hand, but you onstage don’t feel that you onstage whole time.

You’re like, oh, they’re going to see. I want to see that. Give me that, give me, give me the, you know, going back to the wedding analogy, give me the wedding analogy where, where y’all talk about how you almost broke up or talk about how you almost like, you know, or, or, or how y’all even met and how tough it was at the beginning.

Cher. I need to know. I need to know what’s unique about you. The problem is, and this is the whole perfectionist thing, right? The problem is, is everyone trying to be all perfect. So then everyone looks the same. So, so a good example of this is in Portugal. So when I was traveling in Portugal, like there all these castles you can go to, right?

So I’ll be like, Castle while I was there. Why are there so many Instagram influencers there and why are they all taking the same photo? The same spot, doing the same pensive, like stare out into the universe. Like I’m being, I’m so thoughtful when they’re not present at all. Right. They’re pretending to be present, but they’re not present at all.

And they’re taking the exact same photo. There’s a lot. I have them. And I’m like, how are you all influencers? If you’re taking the same photo, like, can we all do something unique? Like show me who you really are. And guess what? You know, some people are not going to come with you on that journey then. Fine.

You know, I remember Elizabeth Gilbert saying this about she, like she wrote eat, pray, love, like millions of people followed her. She wrote another book. It was like only a hundred thousand or so people followed her for that one. She was like, That’s cool. Whatever, like you ebb and flow. That’s going to be the same thing with your online communities.

There’s going to be times when it’s going to be a lot of people at times when there’s not, but if you keep creating. From this space of like curiosity and really tapping into your inner child and you trust that, then it’ll take care of itself. And I remember speaking with someone who’s like a prolific best-selling author.

That’s about to like, have a show on like HBO and Hulu. And, and I was like, how do you know when you’re writing? That it’s that you, you know, where it’s going to go. And she’s like, I just trust it. I’ve been doing it for so long that I trust myself. I trust my creativity. I trust my inner child and my curiosity that it’s going to lead me to where I want to go.

I don’t know how I’m going to get there, but I trust it. And that’s what we need to do. We need to spend more time tapping into that inner child and stop listening to that inner critic.

[00:29:30] Rick:
So when we ha I love that because I, it kind of like this example is conversation right here. I’m over here taking a whole bunch of notes as we’re chatting, when it was blank to begin with. And I, like I said, in the VA, I had no idea where this was going to go, but. I’ve done 600, 600 episodes over eight years.

Pretty confident that, you know, that I can bring out what my audience wants to to

[00:29:56] Jeff:

[00:29:57] Rick:
And you’re nailing it by the way. Good thumbs up for you. Thumbs up. Good

[00:30:01] Jeff:
I would’ve loved to. You were like, you’re not nailing it. You’re doing horrible right now that would’ve been awesome. That would’ve been hilarious.

[00:30:06] Rick:
I’ve only had a couple interviews, unfortunately over the years where I’m just like, I can’t, you know, and it’s always an awkward conversation by the way. Like, I can’t release

[00:30:16] Jeff:
Well, but wait, but why is it an awkward conversation? Because they’re not playing because you’re trying to be their perfect self. And you’re like, I can’t even get to know who you are right now because, because your professional self is getting in the way. And I say this to people all the time. Why are you not playing more at work?

You’re already playing a role at work. Anyway, you’re already pretending to be somebody. Why not pretend to

[00:30:39] Rick:

[00:30:40] Jeff:
It’s much easier than pretending to be this professional self of yours.

[00:30:44] Rick:
So is there a pro like, I don’t want to put like a, but I’m going to ask it anyway. Is there like a process that we can go through? So going back to our membership example, like if I wrote down, like I took a note they’re like tapping into your inner child. And creating from, from through that energy and that space rather than, you know, the, you know, the, the buttoned up, if you will, like super, you know, straight narrow, if you will, is there a process that we can use to figure out.

How we can use, how can we, how we can use more fun and play within our memberships, within our communities so that people are like, oh my God, this is the greatest thing

[00:31:31] Jeff:
I got two suggestions. Right? Okay. So here’s the first one. The first one is, it’s a process. I, you know, Gwen Gordon, this play mentor of mine told me how you can play. If you’re in an anxiety ridden state, you can’t play when you’re angry, you can’t play when you’re sad. So you have to identify what actually suits you, what actually calms you down.

So you first have to identify what is that for you? Is that going for a walk? Is that taking a shower? And then you have a flood of ideas. Is that you dancing in costume in your head? Like, what is it? Is it morning pages? Like what are you doing to calm yourself down? Right? So you first have to soothe yourself and you gotta also remember, this is really fascinating is like you adopt the ways in which you sued yourself from the people that took care of you the most.

So if they didn’t have good coping mechanisms, you might have adopted theirs. So for example, if you, when you get super stressed out, go shopping, Right. And that’s your way of, of de-stressing. But also when you want to celebrate, you also go shopping. Like, now it’s bad because now you can’t tell what it’s not a healthy way of doing it.

Right. So you have to explore that. So you have to identify, okay. Do I have healthy coping mechanisms and healthy soothing mechanisms? Okay. Okay. What suits me? Right. So then once you sued yourself, calm yourself down.

Then I challenge you to get bored. And this is so difficult nowadays. And what do I mean by get bored?

Stop binge watching Netflix, stop looking at Hulu. Stop looking at your email. Stop being so busy. And allow yourself, like I’m talking about 10 minutes, the 30 minutes a day to not have any information inundated into you because I heard this recently, while I used to share the stat of, we get more information in a day than most people in the 1950s got in an entire year.

Right. But here’s a crazier stat. We get more information in a day. Then during Shakespearian times that they got in their entire lifetime, their entire lifetime, we get all that in a day. So no wonder we can’t make anything, it’s so noisy and think of the amazing things that were created during those times, right.

They created such art and wealth and, you know, fascinating things. Again, you have to allow yourself to get bored. And what do I mean by that? Like get bored, like you were as a kid, because that’s when you add your most mischievous ideas. Right. And when you’re super bored, All of a sudden that inner child starts to pop up and it starts to whisper you, those ideas, those nerve cited ideas like, Hey, we should start a podcast.

Hey, we should make a video. Like, Hey, we should just like take this risk. And then here’s the crazy part about taking the risks, right? When you do the thing that is nerve cited and you take that risk. You realize what fear is, it’s just false evidence appearing real, and you start leaping into this world of uncertainty.

And you’re like, oh, actually, that wasn’t that bad. Like, oh, I emailed that person. And I thought it was going to be the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life. And it wasn’t that bad. And then you’re like, and then you start to expand and you’re like, Why not, what else should I try? You know, I remember once watching a Marvel movie and I was watching the scroll afterwards and the creative director popped up and I was like, I’m going to email that person.

I’m going to get in contact with person. And I did that day and they got back to me and I was like, like, this is crazy. So like when you take these risks, regardless of whether it’s successful, Just the idea of you taking it, expands, who you are and expands. What’s possible similar to what my niece was like, I’m going to die if I do this thing while you’re not.

And then you realize it, the second suggestion I would give you to play. Is this something you can do with your community, your actual, you know, the community you currently have, or with your friends, you ask them these two questions. One.

What value do I bring to your life? Like another way of essence is like, what do I do for you? Like, why are you here? because a lot of times I think we forget what we do for our community or what we, what we do for our friends. So what value do I breach your life? And then the second question I would ask them is when have you seen me most alive?

Right. And another way of asking that is like, when have you see me most playful, most creative, most myself. Right. So when you ask those two questions, what value do I bring to your life? And when have you seen me most live and you ask five different people, or you ask your community, the answers you get back.

You’re like, I do that. I didn’t even know what. Oh, where you’re like, oh yeah, I do do that. Oh my gosh. That is when it become alive. Oh my gosh. That is how I play. When was the last time I played like that? And then all of these ideas start to come up all of these ideas and you’re just like, Ooh, I didn’t think about that.

Ooh. And then you reach out to your same community and you’re like, Hey, help me to do this. Cut. You know, be mind, play accountability partner and help me to actually play in these ways. And when you pursue that, all of a sudden. Things just start opening up that you never thought possible before.

[00:36:45] Rick:
I love that, the question of what value do I bring to your life? Like, why are you here? How do we, how can we incorporate something like that? Being able to get the answers to that type of question into incorporating more plant. How does that lead to allowing us to come up with ideas for more.

[00:37:07] Jeff:
Because the what’s going to actually happen is when you ask people why. They are part of your community. And especially if you ask them individually, like you reach out to them individually, maybe you’ll hop on a zoom call with them where maybe you just email them directly or whatever it is. Right.

Imagine reaching out to 100 separate people and having that conversation, you’re going to realize like, oh man, I do a lot for people that I didn’t even realize. And you’re going to get re-energized, you’re going to get reminded. This is why I do this work. Oh my God. This is why I created this community in the first place.

I have totally forgot why I created this community. Actually. Now I’ve just been so obsessed with the numbers and trying to figure out how we can make more people that have forgot. And I’ve neglected the people that are already here that are so excited to be here. Whether that’s a hundred people or five people, that’s five people that are giving you your.

Right. I think a lot of people forget this and I’ve seen tech talks talk about this, you know, like you’re like, people are like, oh, I only have 500 people that are following me right now. What if you were making a video right now? And 500 people just walked into the room and were like, Ooh, what are you going to make next?

Like, yo, that’s kind of what it’s like a little bit. Right? Like that’s exciting. And then you are remote. It’s kind of almost like. When you run a marathon, I’m only run one and I was a half marathon and I don’t recommend it for anyone that doesn’t like running, but for me, like I ran and it was great that all these people are cheering you on.

That’s literally what you’re doing when you’re asking your community, you’re asking them almost like you’re in a marathon and they’re reminding you why. Y you do the work that you do. So that’s going to energize you and get you more playful. And then you’re going to be like, Ooh, now what else do I want to do?

And you know, some people, while you’re having that conversation, you could even then ask them, well, what are some of the things that you would love to see right now? That doesn’t mean now that you plead people, please them and do what they want. But anyway, Any suggestion, they give you that resonates with you.

And you’re like, Ooh, that hit me in my core. Maybe that is what I want to do. And you ask more people and they’re all suggesting the same thing that hits you to your core, follow that curiosity, follow their path, see where it takes.

[00:39:22] Rick:
And that brings you back to the vulnerability part and the authenticity, because if you’re asking your community of what, you know, why are they, why are you, why are they here reminding you of that? And then putting it back and then asking them it’s it’s co-creation of the

[00:39:42] Jeff:
Exactly. It’s not about you, your company. Here’s. This is going to be tough for some people in your community. It’s not about you. They’re not there just because of you, they’re there from what you’ve, what you’ve cultivated with them. So let go of that, like posturing, that this is just all about me and how I’m going to get more people to like me.

Right. And, and also be vulnerable in the sense of like don’t email, don’t like blast the whole community and be like, what do you want? Actually talk to people, man. Like do the thing that actually scares you and, and, and really connect with people.

[00:40:19] Rick:
I mean, and now more so than ever, right. People are craving.

[00:40:23] Jeff:
Of course now more than ever, especially if they’re, they’re giving you money every month and you don’t have the, the time to call them up or hop on a zoom call with them or go back and forth over email. Like they’re literally handing you money. You can, you can show up more than like posting on the Facebook group.

[00:40:47] Rick:
So people, the inevitable question on, on that, Jeff is how do I do that at scale?

[00:40:52] Jeff:
Well, I mean, let’s say you have a community of a thousand people, right. You know, the people that comment all the time in the group and will the most start with them start with like five, 10:00 PM. We don’t have to do everybody, you know, and then you can still write your survey and put that out as well to the group, but do a bunch of different experiments.

Again, follow your curiosity. How do you want to get that vibe from the community? And then again, those two questions you could ask it of just five people in the. Right. You can also ask it of your friends that are not in the group. You could ask it of people that have thought about joining a community, but didn’t want to, well, why didn’t they want to find out why, you know, like this, you can do this over and over again.

But the idea is to let go of the results, which I know is so difficult. But look at, you know, if you look at the videos that have gone most viral, if you look at companies that have been most successful, They pursued their play. They pursued a future of fun and that’s where it went. They weren’t, when someone was making that viral video, they were in thinking at the beginning, this is going to be viral.

I can’t wait for it to be viral. This is what I want to do in order to make it viral. No, they just made something that just hit home for them. They were making it for themselves. They were tapping there and that’s where all the magic is.

[00:42:15] Rick:
Yeah. And it’s funny you bring that up because, my, my wife has a video right now on, I think it’s an, it’s an Instagram real that has quote. And she gave me an update this morning. She’s like, yeah, I’m up over half a million views on this thing. And it was interesting at first, like the first few days where it started to catch some, to catch a little fire, she’s like, yeah, we’re at like, I don’t know, 17,000 views.

I was like, do you know how big, how many people that is? We’re here in San Diego. And I was like, consider like that’s half of Petco park where the Padres play and she’s like, I was like, that’s like your video playing upon the center field scoreboard to, to the stadium. And she’s like, oh yeah, that’s really true.

I’m like, put it in that perspective and, you know, She thinks it’s so funny because she’s like, I put like nothing and this was like a, almost like a, you know, I didn’t even think about it after. Thank you. That was, yeah. Yeah. And she’s done all the other videos, but this one particular has like completely taken off and it was an afterthought.

And the reason that I think these are doing so well for is she’s having

[00:43:29] Jeff:

[00:43:30] Rick:
It’s bringing her joy.

[00:43:31] Jeff:
But I will even say this as well. Again. Be careful not to chase the vitality because I’ve had videos that go viral. And they’re not a lot of the videos that I have that go viral, not my favorite video that I make. I put so much heart and soul into some videos and no one watches them or barely any people watch them.

And then others, you know, watch like the ones that I’m like really that one, that’s the one, that’s the one. But again, it doesn’t matter. Like again, if you let go of the results of like, whether people are watching it or not, If you put your heart and soul into something, if you truly it’s truly going to resonate with the people that it should resonate with anyway.

Right. And just because you have, like, I know people that have like, I don’t know, hundreds of thousands of followers or millions of followers. Doesn’t mean, they’re all confident. A lot of them are super insecure, you know, while I have other people that have like maybe 3000 followers, but they’re making more business out of their Instagram or their Tik TOK with that many followers because they know who they are, then other people that are chasing vitality.

So again, you know, let, make it have fun and then let it go. Just let it go to the wind. Like everything else.

[00:44:47] Rick:
Because they are being true to themselves and being like, this is me, this is me having fun. This is what I’m putting out there. And you know, like either take it or leave it.

[00:45:00] Jeff:
Yeah. Like if you show up great. And if you know, I’m still gonna make it because I’m making it for me.

[00:45:05] Rick:
Yeah. I want to finish, finish up with two, two questions, one being a very selfish question. I’ll finish with that one, but I want to circle back to the, this whole topic of, it’s not about you. It’s not about me in our business and. Because this is a big thing. And, and, you know, I went through this for years where it’s like, wait, they’re here, they’re here for me.

Or the success of this depends on access to me. Or like, I literally just had two conversations yesterday with New, to a new Accelerator members. This was the topic where there. Making themselves, you know, accessible to their students at all hours of the day, for example, or feeling like, oh, no, this is about me.

And if I’m not making myself available, then it’s all gonna, you know, go away. Can you kind of talk to that? how is it not about us, I guess is how we’ll start

[00:46:06] Jeff:
Well, it’s, it’s what you provide. Right. It’s the what’s because when you say it’s all about you, it’s about ego then, right. And then it’s all about like your personality and be like, oh my gosh, I have to be producing. I have to create what they want. And, and again, it goes into this, the whole people pleasing, well, what do you want?

Well, I came here because I liked you for you, but now you’re asking me, you know, it was very confusing to figure it out. Right. But if you were, but if you were like, okay, Again, what value do I bring to you when you find that out or reminded of that, then you’re like, okay, what else, what else could I do for people?

How else can I serve? Right. We are most successful when we are serving the community, this and this, something, this is actually really important and, and follow my train of thought for a little bit, because I’m going to go a little nerdy. So just bear with me. do you know, Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?

[00:47:06] Rick:

[00:47:06] Jeff:
For anyone that doesn’t know, it’s, this pyramid, physiological needs are most important followed by, other needs and then it ultimately ends up with self-actualization Well, Maslow stole that He stole that idea. That idea is not his own concept. He actually was hanging out or spending time with the Blackfoot nation, this native American tribe, which had had a hierarchy of needs.

That was not a triangle. but it was a Pyramid. at the bottom of their pyramid was self-actualization the idea of, let me figure out what I need to do who I am and how I want to contribute to the world. So self-actualization is not at the top. It’s at the bottom, That’s the bare minimum. You can do figure out who you are and how you want to contribute to the world.

The second. Level of that, of that tipi right? It wasn’t a pyramid, right. Was community actualization. So now that you figured out who you are and how you want to contribute, how do you want to contribute as a community? How is the community contributing to actually help other people out? A great example of this is recently there were a bunch of fights happening at schools.

A bunch of fathers. left work and started showing up at the school as a way to address all this. So the community came to help out. Another example of this is someone was talking about how, like in a village, someone was going through depression, right. And usually the solution is. Give someone, you know, medicine, but they instead the community found out, well, why is this person depressed?

Oh, because they haven’t been able to work. Why haven’t they been able to work? Oh, well they don’t have the right farming equipment. Okay. They raised money through a go-fund me to provide the farming equipment. What else can we do? Oh, they have kids. We’re going to have the community help. Watch the kids again, community actualization.

This idea that we’re co-creating, this is really important about community. And we’re helping each other. I’m serving you so you can serve someone else, It’s a ripple effect. then at the very top, and this is the part that I love the most about this, Blackfoot hierarchy of needs is cultural perpetuities at the top.

And cultural perpetuity is this idea that it’s, it means breadth of life. And what that means is by yourself, you’re insignificant just your life alone. Not as significant, you’re going to live 80 to a 100 years, you might make an impact or might not. Right. So in one way, you’re not very significant, but in another way, as cultural perpetuity, you are breadth of life, which means you are the connection between our ancestors and your descendants.

You are the link. you take all of their successes failures. Historical trauma, all that you decide what you bring from what you’ve learned from them and pass it on to the next generation. When you think of it, that way that you’re representing people from 10,000 years before and 10,000 years after then you’re like, whoa, this work I’m doing this business I’ve made is much bigger than me.

Anything I make here in this business is going to affect. Generations of my family and other people, anyone else that I connect with. when you see it that way, you’re like, this is much bigger than just me the reason why so many people have mental breakdowns midlife or quarter-life crisis is, because they’ve made everything about themselves.

They’ve now reached a certain echelon They’re like now I’m rich. No I’m successful. And I feel empty.

Because you’ve been serving yourself, you haven’t been serving the community. if you want to address that, then start serving the community.

[00:50:56] Rick:
I think we have to end it right there. Seriously.

[00:50:59] Jeff:
I mean,

[00:50:59] Rick:
I don’t think that’s like tied up, tied up in a nice bow right there.

[00:51:06] Jeff:
Was now I was like, this is what I love, because then later on I’m like, what did I say? Oh, I should have wrote that down.

[00:51:13] Rick:
We’re going to transcribe it and send it to you, and take you to the end of the interview here. I want to make sure that people can connect with you in all of the best ways. Talking about connection, and community, and so forth, where would you like people to connect with you? Because the Art of Online Business audience, they will reach out to you and give you amazing feedback. Seriously.

[00:51:38] Jeff:
I mean, I am ready for this. Okay, so, if you want to see all my nerdiness, see where I make all my nerdy videos, my handle is JeffHarryPlays. That’s J E F F H A R R Y P L A Y S. That handle is for everything. TikTok, Instagram, Medium, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, all of it, all of it.

So, JeffHarryPlays if you want to nerd out with me and see all my nerdy videos. If you want to connect with me, we can brainstorm and figure out mischievous ways to cause a ruckus in this world.

Because we need more, what was it, what did Howard Thurman say? “Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive.” Because what the world needs is more people to come alive. If you want to do the stuff that makes you come alive, then come to my website,, and then click on the calendar button, and let’s talk, man! Let’s have a flow talk.

[00:52:39] Rick:
As you can see, chatting with Jeff is so much fun. We had a call a long time ago, it seems like, and I was like, we could just talk forever. We can just talk for so many hours here. It was like a 15 minute conversation.

So, I’ll link up Jeff’s links, @JeffHarryPlays, and I’ll link everything up in the show notes for today’s episode.

But Jeff, this was gold. Thank you so much for coming on here. You knocked out of the park, as I knew you would. Thank you for coming to share your brilliance and expertise. I super appreciate you.

[00:53:14] Jeff:
Thank you, Rick! I knew this was going to be so much fun. I just didn’t know how, and that’s the best part.

uncover the hidden hurdles keeping your business stuck

Keep reading...

Take the Quiz!

Answer these 11 questions to clear the hidden hurdles holding you back so you can crush your next big launch.

ditch your business blindspot quiz

take the quiz

 © 2022  |  All rights reserved    |  Privacy Policy    |  Terms of Use