Are you fun deficient?
For too many of my friends and loved ones, life just doesn’t seem to be much fun anymore. And it’s not just the pandemic that’s ruined fun for us. It’s financial pressure, society, the desire to succeed in work or business. And, of course, all the adult responsibilities that we have.

I don’t know about you, but I want life to be fun. I look for fun everywhere I go, but sometimes I fall off track and I know I need to recalibrate. Fun is a primary motivator for me, no matter what I’m doing. If it’s not fun, being there is a challenge!

This week on the podcast, I’m sharing why so many of us are fun-deprived right now, how you can find more fun in life and business (I’m giving you some really specific examples!), and the impact that fun has had on some of my Inner Circle clients. Honestly, it’s a game-changer for many.

Links and Resources:

Time Stamps:

[0:44] – Are you fun deprived?
[1:22] – “You used to be warped, twisted, and hilarious…”
[3:20] – If you’re the party pooper, it might be time to take a step back
[3:36] – The problem with being fun deprived
[4:13] – FUN is the primary motivation in business
[4:50] – How fun works for one inner circle member
[5:47] – The last year has been rough
[6:43] – Had to stop waiting for fun to present itself
[8:09] – 3 elements for true fun
[10:12] – Getting your spark back
[11:40] – Fun you won’t get arrested for
[13:02] – How to incorporate fun into your life right now
[16:53] – At a loss for what’s fun for you?
[18:35] – Recreating a fun time
[20:30] – Change up how you use your brain and body


Amber Hawley 0:01
Business owners are increasingly being pulled in so many directions, feeling like they aren’t reaching their full potential in business and life despite their type aways. With my background as a therapist, entrepreneur, and as dropout with ADHD, I interview and coach high achieving business owners like you who want to stop struggling for success by using psychological systems, strategies, and the occasional care for entation. This is the easily distracted entrepreneur, your place to slay overwhelm perfectionism and shiny object syndrome so that you can get done what matters most to you. Hello, my fun seeking friends, I have an important question for you. Are you fun deprived? This may not seem business related, but I assure you that it is. I think we are in an epidemic of being fun deprived. I’ve seen it for years and the couples I work with in the clients I coach, and honestly in myself, financial pressure, a desire to serve your clients. And frankly, just the demands of life can leave us feeling overscheduled overloaded and stretched thin. And having fun is often the first thing that we sacrifice, because it feels responsible to take care of all the things.

Amber Hawley 1:21
One of my favorite movies growing up was saying anything. There is this scene where the main character Lloyd is talking to his sister. He’s having fun with his nephew and she yells at them. She’s just stressed out. She’s a single mom. She’s kind of done with everything. And he says, can you get in a good mood? How hard is it to decide to get in a good mood. And then he goes on to tell her used to be fun used to be warped, twisted and hilarious. And I mean that in the best way. She’s very serious. She sits there. She says to him, I used to be hilarious once was an i I still am. As a teen I thought how sad how sad that is that she lost her sense of fun. There was definitely the thought in me that that was never going to be me. As all you know, teenagers think of things right? And cut too many years later, three kids stress it and especially in times of overstimulation. I was his sister times 10. The short Aviv that people would often use to describe me was gone. I was grumpy, I had no sense of humor.

Amber Hawley 2:40
And if you know me, you might think No way. But trust. Trust me, I had no sense of humor. I had to find me again. And that meant actually prioritizing me. Things that made me and me alone happy and that I found fun, even if no one else did. Now the new fun mom is a good litmus for me that I need to ramp up fun time when I start feeling myself fall back into that space. I mean, everybody’s going to have those days where like, you don’t find your kids funny. And you’re kind of annoyed by everything because it just feels like everybody’s complaining. But there are those times where it’s like everyone else is having fun. And I’m the one who’s like the party pooper. So like when I noticed that then I’m like, Okay, gotta take a step back. Gotta prioritize some fun time. Because the problem with being fun deprived is that we are just left with the grind, we lose our Spark, we lose our creativity and the general joy in our lives. And frankly, as I often say, like if we create a business so that we can have this life that we dream of this vision that we are dreaming to have in we’re not having fun. What’s the point?

Amber Hawley 3:56
I talk a lot about fun. I mean, I talked about it a lot. I’m not sure if that’s because I’m an ENFP, which, if you’re not familiar with that it’s Myers Briggs Type, or if it’s because I’m neurodivergent, but it is a primary motor motivator for me to have fun. It’s what drove me to create this business, as a balance to all the heavy work that I do as a therapist. Even though I love seeing my therapy clients. I wanted something where I got to be more unfiltered, be more relaxed with my boundaries and do things like subjects my inner circle members to my music preferences and cheer dancing. I wanted to incorporate playfulness and fun into my work whenever I could. And I know it’s working not just for me, but those around me.

Amber Hawley 4:49
I want to read you an email that Adele, an inner circle member, sent to me recently says I’m sitting here working on GST and catching up After vacay in a week of yucky mind, and I wanted to thank you for your playfulness in your membership, I can feel my own playfulness and creativity coming back. I know that it’s thanks to the work I put in, but also to being witness to your playfulness and our co working times, community and coaching sessions. Thanks for helping me come back to me. Honestly, I was moved to tears when I received this email because it is what I want for people I want them to be their authentic selves and to enjoy their lives like that, honestly, is probably my primary mission if I really think about it. But even I find myself in periods of feeling fun deprived. This last year has been kind of rough for me in many ways, I was stressed to the max and not getting many outlets for fun, as a lot of people found themselves to be.

Amber Hawley 5:54
This became so apparent to me in December, I felt lonely and stuck and unhappy. I was extra sensitive, which if you know me, that saying something, my business was only a small part of it. I hadn’t found my people locally, I was still recovering from COVID. And I was finding it near impossible to focus, I felt miserable. So I went back to what I know makes me happy, and reached out to our neighbors that we had been saying forever, that we would get together some time. And I actually made it happen. I proposed a date, we had a dinner party, and it was fantastic. I was proactive at scheduling times with people that I did know locally and made plans for a big trip in March, I had to stop waiting for fun to present itself. And it’s been night and day for me. Since then, I keep taking a step back to see how else can I support my quest for fun. Because the reality is I know that it fuels my business, it fuels my creativity, it makes me a much more enjoyable person to be around. And it gives me energy. So there are so many reasons, even though I think in our culture, we’re so conditioned to, you know, work and be productive and always show up for everything that that fun is something that’s considered, you know, frivolous. And I have been called immature by quite a few people, which I think I’m a very mature, responsible adult.

Amber Hawley 7:34
But I think it’s that that like quest for fun that people then determine Oh, that’s juvenile, which is really fucking sad to me actually. When I talked about putting this episode together, another inner circle member Mrs. told me about this book that she read called The Power of fun, by Katherine price. And I had to take a look at it. And it articulated so well what I felt about the importance of fun in our lives that I had to quote it. So in it Catherine talks about there being three elements necessary for true fun, we’re not just talking about nice times a little bit, a little bit of joy there a little something that’s enjoyable, we’re talking about true fun here. And she said true fun is the convergence of playfulness, connecting and flow. So playfulness is what you experience. When you do something just for the sake of doing it. You’re not looking for a particular outcome or reward. Your carefree you smile and laugh, and you feel completely free of your responsibilities.

Amber Hawley 8:45
And I’m sure if you think about it, I’m hoping you’ve had those times within the last year. But when you think back to those times of when you’re truly having fun, I think that that definition just captures it perfectly. You also feel connection, when you share a special experience with another person. But you could also feel connected to nature, the activity itself or a pet, for example, I think of this as like friends who are artists, and they’re really into painting, and that’s their outlet, that when they start painting, they feel super connected to themselves and their creativity and they absolutely lose time. So it doesn’t necessarily have to be with other people. But I think there are many examples that I’m sure you can come up with in your own past that, you know, sharing those special times and moments with people is what makes it all the more sweeter. And as you know the saying goes Time flies when you’re having fun. Well, that’s what you’re experiencing when you’re in flow.

Amber Hawley 9:52
You’re so engrossed in what you’re doing in the present moment that you simply forget time. So those are the three l minutes when all together, that’s true fun, right? There can be times that are fun or enjoyable. But when we’re in true fun, those three things are present. She also talks about five steps to getting your spark back, she talks about making space. So making space for these kinds of activities, or the things that bring you joy, pursuing passions is the next step. And you know, whether that’s your hobbies or things you want to learn about. The next step is attract fun. So doing those things that bring you joy, or being around people who you light up, when you’re with that seem to be fun magnets. Make sure you’re putting yourself in those places, or with those people that that fun seems to attract. The next one I love is rebel and she talks about rebelling against adulthood. I am all for that. Just you know, figuring out your own way, letting go of the idea that it all has to be done a certain way. And this is what an adult does. And this is what’s proper and good. That’s something I fight against a lot.

Amber Hawley 11:21
So I love that she mentioned that one. It’s she even talked about like breaking rules, you know, maybe even laws, but in a safe and fun way where it has little consequence. You know, taking risks. It made me think about a friend of mine talks about one of the fun things that I do is I’ve tried to talk my way backstage or into VIP rooms before by just trying to be charming and funny and try to get past and it’s it’s fun, right? It’s, it’s you’re doing something you’re not supposed to do. I mean, you’re not gonna go to jail for it. But it’s kind of fun to see how far you can get and see what kind of adventure you can have. So I absolutely love the rebel one. And the other thing she says is you just got to keep at it, you kind of like what I’ve talked about that I I did make some shifts and changes to consciously be connecting to people more because that is something that I find fun, like being with people in real life. Like that’s important to me. And it has to be the right people, right has to be people you’re actually enjoying your time with. But I still have to take a step back and assess and make sure that I’m doing more things. And I have not just one thing at my ready, right like at one point, watching Netflix in my pajamas and not changing out of my pajamas all weekend was a lot of fun, not so much anymore. Kind of burnt out on that. So I’m looking for other things.

Amber Hawley 12:57
And so it’s it’s about changing it up and keeping at it. I have fun with my kids. And this is a part of the playfulness and fun that I seek. But I also needed time for just me. We all need adult time where we don’t have to take care of anyone else. And we can be totally free and in the moment. So how can we start to incorporate more fun into our lives today, not two weeks from now, not a month from now. But today. So I have a few tips for you. One is I would like you. Ideally, I would love for you to just pause this. And I would like you to schedule something like text somebody that you like being around, text them about going out to dinner, or going to a concert or something, whatever it is like text them make a date to connect with somebody who has fun, or schedule, something that you enjoy that you love doing. And that is fun for you. schedule that now. Right. The other thing is start with little playfulness. Like if there are things that you enjoy doing, like I talk a lot about the fact that I love dancing. I absolutely love it. And that’s what I jokingly say, that’s why I love going to conferences so much because a lot of big conferences have like dance parties. And I’m like I get to go dad saying because I’m not going to the clubs all the time anymore. Although I did just do that recently, and that was a blast. I will say even even if I even if we were the oldest people there. It was so much fun. But you know in lieu of like going out to a club or having a conference that has a dance party.

Amber Hawley 14:42
I was like, am I gonna wait for that? No. So I have little dance parties at home. You know, I do it with my kids. I used to do it all the time when they were little. And I will say today I was in one of those particularly fun, lighthearted moods. And this is kind of like it kind of gave me a little bit of joy, but also was such a bummer. I was like doing some dancing and my kids were like, oh my god, what? Stop enough. Which actually brought me a little joy just to embarrass them or modify them was a little bit of joy. But it’s also like what a buzzkill they are. But yeah, figure out the way that maybe it’s not the full blown thing, maybe it’s not you’re going to a dance club, but you can do it for yourself in your house right now. So start with a little playfulness, even if it’s not the end goal, like work your way up. The other thing you could do is sign up for a class or buy some tickets to something like is it been forever since you’ve seen live music or been to a concert, or, you know, like, for me, I came back from a conference and I signed up for belly dancing classes. Because I was like, it’s something I’ve always wanted to try. And I knew that if I didn’t do it, right, then, like capture it, when I was in that mood of like, oh, this was so great, I probably would get busy and forget it and forget about it, right, and then would come up like three months from now. And I would do the same thing over and over, because that’s what I have been doing.

Amber Hawley 16:13
And maybe it’s just starting really small and just go somewhere fun tonight, you know, instead of the normal routine and all of that I have to do this, I have to do that. There’s laundry, blah, blah, blah. Like most of that stuff can wait. So go do something fun tonight. So I want you to start that now. Because you do it, you have fun. And then you take that moment to kind of reflect on it and it encourages you and inspires you to do more. And so I want you to start right away, I don’t want you to wait too long. Don’t say I’ll do it in six months, you know, let’s start it. Now. If you’re at a loss of what sounds fun, I would say go back to the things that you used to do that you loved. You know, I know I already mentioned dancing, like I’ve always loved dancing. And so like that one’s for me music, listening to music, playing music, sports, whatever, whatever the things are that you used to enjoy when you were younger, or even a few years ago. Think about those things and see what you can do to make that happen. I still love listening to really loud music while driving, it brings me joy, and it gives my energy up. It is something I love doing. It’s 16 Right?

Amber Hawley 17:35
So like, go back to those things. And just, you know, again, go back to that rebel against adulthood, big adulthood thing. And, or maybe do something you’ve always wanted to do. So trying something new having adventure. That’s a piece of fun, right? So maybe that’s taking an improv class, or like I said, belly dancing, something I’ve always wanted to do, but never did. Maybe it’s skydiving doesn’t always have to be big. Like that doesn’t have to be something risky. But you know, figure out what it is what it whatever is fun to you. This isn’t about what’s fun to me or what other people think is fun. It’s about what’s fun to you. Maybe you did something once and you loved it. How can you do that, again, recreate that or do something kind of like it. I recently just did that i A few years ago, I took a trip to Canada, to Quebec, and went to North America’s largest spa. It’s called La nordique spa. And it’s a European Spa. So it’s really like sauna based there. It’s kind of like the hot cold treatment. So it’s very different than like your typical day spa.

Amber Hawley 18:56
They did massages and facials and stuff. But mostly it was about like the cold plunges and the pools and the hot tubs and the saunas and steam rooms and all of that kind of stuff. And I went with a bunch of women and had an amazing time. It was so wonderful. And I know afterwards we all were looking up how to get this one. They had this one, like ritual treatments called I think it was called the off Gus. And we all tried to find it locally where we were. Because it was amazing. You know, and it’s been many years, right? So just recently, I was like, You know what, I want to go and do a sauna. So I looked up and locally, there’s a place called sauna house. They didn’t have the offgas they weren’t gonna beat me with Vinick branches, which was part of the fun, believe it or not, but I found it and it was so great. And it was just like capturing a small moment of what I did with my friends many years ago and I vited Some local friends to go with me because I’ve already gone twice in one week. And I’m telling you, I can’t wait to go back.

Amber Hawley 20:06
So it’s just capturing those things just like remembering, oh, that was such a fun thing I did. And then just looking it up and like, do it, don’t overthink it. You know, whatever, just go. So whether that’s, you know, you love to cook. So you’re hosting more dinner parties, or joining a book club or taking a cooking class, whatever the thing is, get creative and just try something new. So a couple of other notes to keep in mind, if you have a really cerebral job, try incorporating something physical, we need to change up how we use our brains and bodies. That’s just something I mean, it’s a good technique for general stress management. But it’s also like changing up and giving us a chance to experience different kinds of fun, right, because there’s physical stuff, like we talked about dancing and skydiving, and then there’s that cerebral stuff like book clubs or cooking classes or something that you’re learning. We also need hobbies, right? Sometimes we need to remember as entrepreneurs that we should not monetize our hobbies, we need to have something that is purely for fun. And it’s okay if we suck at it. And we do it just for the enjoyment. Because as we know, it’s very different when people are paying for something than if they just get to experience it, you know, for free just because you love it. I think cooking is a great example of that, like people love my cooking.

Amber Hawley 21:40
Now, if I cooked if I was cooking in a restaurant where they feel the same, I have no idea. But I wouldn’t enjoy it as much. Because there would be all this pressure about like, you know, how people liked it, or what would the reviews be. So I just want to remind you, because that is something we are notoriously good at doing is trying to monetize the things we love. And don’t let these be shirts, have them be something you actually enjoy. Not things you think you should enjoy. Like if you hate going outdoors, but you know, it’s good for you. It’s good for stress management, it’s good for everybody. It’s, it’s healthy, right? Don’t say, Oh, I’m going to add hikes to my fun list. Because if you don’t like outdoors, it’s not fun. So don’t let these be shoulds let these be actual things that you’ve that you find fun.

Amber Hawley 22:32
So I really want you to add more fun to your life and where possible to your business. And if you’re still feeling unsure about how to incorporate more fun into your life, or you just want to a little more creativity, you can head on over to to get the funnest toolbox around. So I hope that this has inspired you to actually incorporate fun on a daily if not weekly basis. But I’m hoping that you aim for daily because I always say if we aim for daily then we might get it several times a week. But I hope you actually scheduled something and you have more fun. And like I said head on over to fun If you need a little inspiration, and I would love to hear what this has inspired you to do. If you’ve decided to do something new have an adventure take a new class. I would love to hear about it so you can always email me at I would love to hear what you’re up to.

Transcribed by

The Inner Circle

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