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Why “hard work” doesn’t work. (And why I’ll never, ever work on Fridays … again.)

Back when I started my coaching practice, I was the poster child for workaholics.

And before that, when I was a fancy-pants real estate agent? Don’t even get me started.

Early mornings … late nights … munching my lunch alone, hovering over a computer screen, barely tasting my food … my laptop just an arm’s length away, 24 hours a day … it was cray.

And the craziest part was how not-crazy it seemed, at the time.

Because back then, my attitude was: “Running a business is hard work. Changing your life is hard work. Deep transformation is hard work. Anything worth doing or having … is frickin’ hard!”

And then one day, a client came into my world and shook up my whole attitude.

Now, if I was the poster child for workaholics, then Carol was the whole damn poster factory. She took “hard work” to an Olympian level.

During one of our very first coaching sessions, she confessed that she hadn’t been to a movie in three years. And that she slept with her cell phone on her pillow. Oh, honey. No.

I knew that if I could just get this diva to plug a little more fun into her life, most of her other “problems” would melt away. She’d actually begin to enjoy the success she’d created — and find the energy to create even more.

But it felt insincere to say things like “you gotta chillax!” and “quit working so hard!” when I was a total slave to my desk, just like her.

So, I decided to create an experiment — for both us.

For one month, we replaced “hard work” with “serious fun” — just on Fridays. And whatever “assignments” I gave to her, I’d also assign to myself. Double your pleasure, double your fun!

And oh, let me tell you … I was a rough taskmaster. Every Friday, we indulged in girlie movie dates … long, leisurely gym sessions … massages. … wine and dinner with friends … chocolate … a visit to those museums we’d always wanted to see … mani-pedis … window shopping … cooking (from scratch!) … cellphone-free evenings with a stack of books and magazines. #theworks

As we started to plug more fun into our lives, we both noticed a few surprising side-affects. Like generating more income, even though we were technically “working less” … effortless ideas … easier writing … energy and emotional bandwidth to spare … even a spike in the ole sex drive. (Which our huzbins did not mind!)

After just a few months of “Fun Fridays,” Carol was a changed woman.

A fun woman to be — and be around!

And so was I.

That’s when I had my fun-piphany — and realized that “hard work” doesn’t work.

Not really.

Because while “hard work” may lead to “success,” it comes at a cost.

And that cost … is the ability to actually enjoy your success. (Which kinda defeats the whole purpose.)

So, as counter-intuitive as it may seem:

If you want to change your life for the better, you’ve got to learn how to play.

And that’s why I’ll never, ever work on Fridays, again.

(Unless it feels seriously fun. 😉

So, people …

Fill in the blanks, down below in the comments:

“I get my best ideas when I ___________.”

“I feel the most alive when I ___________.”

“One thing I could do today that would feel seriously fun is: ___________.”

Then go do it. (And no, you don’t need to wait until Friday.)

xo.

Susan

P.S. Speaking of over-the-top fun (the kind that leads to big shifts, big creativity + big transformation) … you’ve seen this, right?

It’s Girlfriends Gone Wild: an amazing dinner party for amazing women doing amazing work in the world. The next two dates are in Savannah, GA and San Luis Obispo, CA.

Get yourself a seat at the hottest table in town — and get ready for life-altering fun.

xoxo, Susan

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