Confidence, Creativity, and Identity

Confidence, Creativity, and Identity

[0:00] Do you have someone in your life that has seen you from the very beginning of your entrepreneurial journey? Today’s guest Amy Isaman is that person for me. She’s seen me from the very beginning. And in this episode, you’ll learn how we met and how we’ve stayed connected and reconnected years later. 


[1:40] How Yong and Amy first connected


[2:43] Amy’s pivot from High School and College English Teacher to Entrepreneur


[5:49]  How to tap into your creativity 


[8:16] Taking action, pivoting, and the fear Amy felt when she published her first blog post  


[10:21] The importance of claiming the identity of someone who does the thing you want to do 


[11:06]  “Follow your joy.  Take a baby step. Follow your joy again.  Take another baby step and become and do the thing.” – Amy Isaman  


[12:11] Where society gets creativity wrong and Amy’s view of it


“Creativity is really just looking at different pieces, looking at life, and creating something new out of what you’ve already got.” – Amy Isaman 


“Our thoughts are creative. You’re thinking new thoughts every moment of every day.” – Amy Isaman


[15:49] Ideas you can use to tap back into creativity daily


[17:51] “Practice is huge! If you were to practice something every day for, 15-25-30 days, I can guarantee you, by the end of that time, you will be better at it.” – Amy Isaman


[18:47]  “You have to do the thing to be the thing.” – Amy Isaman  


[19:28] The significance of journaling for Amy. Finding your own version of “journaling” to quiet your mind and access your inner wisdom


[22:36] How Amy helped Yong reframe her own journaling practice  


[23:41] “Find the practice that works for you and then practice your practice.” 


[26:10] Letting go of outcomes and being open to playing and doing what feels really good to us  


[27:46] How schools get the writing “process” wrong and how to unlearn it


[32:29] Amy’s favorite “pre-writing” exercise that can help overcome writer’s block 


[34:08] How to form your own creative thinking partnerships. An episode from Amy’s podcast to help out


Connect with Amy



Podcast: Dear Creativity




[38:19] Amy book series and her live-and-learn self-publishing experience


[40:09]  If you need some help with writing your creativity or ideation and really figuring out which direction to go, reach out to Amy. 


Be sure to connect Amy inside the Arena of Awesome. Ask questions and view the video version of this interview. 


Next Week:

Live Podcast Recording: Wednesday, May 12 @ [9:30] AM PST

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Tool Talk [new series] Tuesday, May 11 @2:22 pm PST

The A.I. copyrighting tool that’s going to blow your mind and change the way you create written content


Read Full Transcript

Yong Pratt 0:00
Do you have someone in your life that has seen you from the very beginning of your entrepreneurial journey? They know where you started and they know where you are today. Today's guest Amy Iseman is that person for me, she's seen me from the very beginning. And in this episode, you'll learn how we met and how we've stayed connected and reconnected years later. I'm excited to introduce you to Amy because she is literally one of the most creative souls that I know. And hearing her words of wisdom and how she has pivoted in her life and in her business, to do things that she absolutely loves is such an amazing story. I look forward to hearing your feedback about this episode. When you're done listening, come on over to the Arena of Awesome. Share your biggest takeaways and a-has because I know you're gonna have tons after listening to my interview with Amy Isaman. I'll catch you on the other side. Enjoy!

Yong Pratt 0:55
Have you ever felt like there was something missing in your business? Something holding you back from the success you're seeking? If so, you are not alone. For nearly 20 years, that's exactly how I felt as a business owner. It wasn't until I discovered Human Design, that it all became clear. And it turns out that I was the missing piece in my own business. Join me on this journey of discovering the real me and hear stories from other business owners building businesses around all of their awesomeness. I'm Yong Pratt, and it's time my friend to Amplify Your Awesome™.

Yong Pratt 1:40
Hey, everyone, and welcome back to the Amplify Your Awesome™ Podcast. I am really thrilled to introduce you to today's guests because she is someone I've known since pretty much the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey. Her daughter took classes at my dance school way back in the beginning, and we re-connected recently - about two years ago now - and we've had all these fun conversations. And so many ideas have been spurred from just reconnecting, so I'm so happy that to have Amy Isaman here on the show today, Amy, welcome.

Amy Isaman 2:12
Thank you so much for having me on. I'm excited to be here.

Yong Pratt 2:16
Yeah, we have so much to talk about because you're someone who spent most of your career as a high school and college English teacher and now you've pivoted into an entrepreneur. So I would love to go back to that day or that time in your life when you were teaching school and you thought you know what? I want to go do something else. I want to go write books, I want to go do something different. Take us back to that moment.

Amy Isaman 2:43
I don't know that it was necessarily a moment it was a slide into recognizing that I was not happy that what I was doing was not fulfilling for me. As a kid I'd always wanted to write. I knew I wanted to write. I always loved to read. I was always the kid carting around big giant, you know, Stephen King, and Danielle steel and Tom Clancy. You know, the the popular Robert Ludlum books from the 80s. And I always had a book and I wanted to be a writer. And when I went to college, I majored in English. And I did take some writing classes, and they terrified me, because being a good student had always been sort of my way that I got my you know, pats on the back. And I felt worthy. And I felt smart. And I took some creative writing classes and got feedback that was probably really valid, good quality feedback. But I didn't have the confidence really to hear it. And so I just decided, oh, I'm not supposed to be a writer, I can't do this. I'm not good enough. So I went to education and started teaching writing instead. And it took, like, 20 years it took till my 40s. And, you know, my kids were teens. For me to say, Hey, wait a minute. That's, you know, to kind of remember that dream, I guess, and to start writing and to really acknowledge it and step into it. And I started a blog, just a free little wordpress.com blog. And on my very first post, I claimed I am a writer. This is who I am. And I started my blog there for once or twice a week for several years, just really sharing my writing, getting confidence in my writing, sharing my voice, learning how to express myself in a non academic way. And also diving into writing fiction and playing with fiction and starting a novel.

Yong Pratt 4:29
Well, I love so many things that you've shared about this journey, because so many listeners can relate to this issue of thinking or having these dreams when you're little about thinking that you're going to do something in life. And then life has a habit of really shifting us in different directions. We're easily swayed, because we're not sure what to do. And it's sometimes easier just to go on the path of least resistance than it is to follow the path we really want to be on. So I had a parallel journey. And so I really can resonate with that and I know so many people listening, have either gone through that or going through that now where they're finally saying, whoa, am I? Am I happy? Am I fulfilled? Is there something I've always wanted to do? And how do I get back to that? And that's kind of the next question. Well, how when you discover that you want to get back to doing something like you loved to writing, but it hasn't been part of your life? How do you recommend people start to tap into that, that place that where they were as a little child or earlier in their lives, because it's so easy to lose that sense of creativity and feel like we're not creative? Because the world says, you know, it's not really okay to be creative past a certain age, or you can't have fun at a certain age. So how can you help us to tap back into that, because I know this is one of your superpowers.

Amy Isaman 5:49
I think there's, there's two things to begin to tap back into that really figure out what as you said. What lights you up? What brings you joy? And do that thing. And those steps will take you down the right path to get to wherever you want to go. So for me, like I said, I started my, my blog. I just, I got up early, before work every day. And I wrote, and one of the things that I've learned through this journey, is that if you want to be the thing, you have to do the thing. So if I want to be a writer, I must write, I can dream about it, I can read books about how to be a better writer, I can teach it, but unless I write, I'm not a writer. And so it's really committing to that practice of doing the thing, then that lights you up and not just talking about it and reading about it and dreaming about it and and learning more about it, but actually doing it. And that can be really scary. And there's lots of excuses. You know, I don't have time, I don't have, you know, there's too much else going on in my life. But I really think that that's the most important thing, even if it's you know, just starting out writing in a journal every morning, or, or every night or, but doing taking some steps. And it doesn't I mean, whether or not you're writing or not, but if you want to be a painter or a dancer, or you know, whatever it is that you want to explore, do the thing. Take the class. Start doing it. Find a group of people to do it with find your tribe start playing with it. And the more and more you play with it, and have fun with it and dive into it, then you just you end up doing it more and more.

Yong Pratt 7:35
Yeah, I think. So for all of you listening out there, did you hear that? The key here to getting back to that place, is to take action, and it's probably going to feel really uncomfortable, and really scary. But if you want to plant your flag and say you're a writer or whatever it is a content creator, a video creator podcast, or whatever it is, if there's that dream, you actually have to take the steps, even if they're messy, uncomfortable steps, just to take that build those new habits to get to where you want to go. Because it's really those small steps that lead to the big success down the road, even though it never feels like there's much success happening when you're taking baby steps.

Amy Isaman 8:16
But the baby steps are crucial. When I look back at my whole, you know where I was 10 years ago, which is when I started my blog and said okay, I'm going to be a writer. So when did I start writing my book? Probably right around that point to when I started writing my first novel. Yeah, it was it was just baby steps. But it was like, Okay, I'm doing this and it was terrifying. I remember my very first blog post, I'm a wordpress.com. blog, crying in fear before I posted the post that said I am a writer, I was terrified just to even call myself that like, you know, who am I to do this? But then really, who am I not? Right? Who am I not? And who is to tell me that? I'm not? Nobody. I've gotten nothing but really positive feedback. So.

Yong Pratt 9:01
And that's such a good distinction, too, about who are who am I not saying this? But who am I to do this thing, right? We have this duality inside of all of us where we almost write the story before the thing happens. And we get so stuck in the story we create for ourself about not being the thing, even though we want to be the thing. So I really liked the distinction you made there that you have to just claim it. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, because probably in the beginning, no one's gonna see the thing you're doing anyway. So you might as well just put it out there and and start and it's almost better in the beginning when there's no one there because there's not that added pressure of what are they going to think? Can I can I really say that in a public forum? Can I write about that? And what about that, you know, there's all those questions that come up. So I love that the action, declare the thing and just make it happen. Because if we don't take the action, there's no one to do it for us. We're just going to keep dreaming of the thing. So as you're listening right I want you to tap into the sense of, is there something that you feel like you gave up when you were younger, because you needed to get a career? You need to be pragmatic about what you want to do. Think about that. And then take any steps of declaring what you want to do, and just taking those baby steps, because that's gonna help you get there much faster.

Amy Isaman 10:21
Well, it helps you identify as a writer or creator, or an artist or a videographer or photographer. And once you identify as it, then it's easier to be it.

Yong Pratt 10:34

Amy Isaman 10:35
I'm not sure if that makes sense. But

Yong Pratt 10:38
That totally makes sense. And you said earlier that when you went back to writing, you didn't have the confidence. And I think the idea of confidence and identity are so tied together, that as you're building your identity, the confidence grows. And when the confidence grows, your identity as a thing gets more solidified. And I think for all of us, we are, we're aiming and we're striving to do just that to be the thing always wanted to be no matter what happens on the world outside of us.

Amy Isaman 11:06
100% Yeah, just take the baby steps. Follow your joy. Take a baby step, follow your joy can take a baby step and become and do the thing, do whatever it is,

Yong Pratt 11:16
Do the thing. And that leads me to my next question about creativity. We talked a little bit about before about how when we are kids, you know, we're always really creative. And I know, there's some stat and I'm gonna totally mess it up. about, you know, kids were interviewed and asked if they felt like they were creative at different levels of their education. And you know, when they're little, they all thought they were like, the most creative beings, you get somewhere to middle school, and it kinda was like a 50/50 thing, and you get to the high school age about graduation. And very few kids at that point, think they are creative at all. And I still, to this day, run into adults who tell me they're not creative. But yet, when I look at what they're doing in their business, or their life, I see them as being ultimately creative. So how do we claim as ideal a claim this identity as a creative being, when we don't feel like we're creative? Yet?

Amy Isaman 12:11
I think you just have to broaden your definition of creativity. So we tend to think that Oh, a creative person is somebody who can paint or draw, or write, or dance or do something visual, something in the arts. And that's not in fact, the case. If you think of somebody like, you know, tech people, Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs, right, incredibly creative people. So creativity is really just looking at different pieces, looking at life and creating something new out of what you've already got. So it can be making dinner, you know, tweaking a recipe is highly creative, do you know creating something in the kitchen, or even how you maybe parent your children or decorate your house, you know, but it doesn't even have to be visual like that how you gardening. There are so many different ways to create, and then also just the your life how you think, you know, we create our own lives just in, in how we live our lives. So I think just really broadening the definition and empowering ourselves to create whatever it is that we want to create, whether I mean, I think entrepreneurs are some of the most highly creative people I know, because we're constantly thinking about how I approach this, what's this and problem solving and coming up with different solutions and testing things and seeing what happened there. Well, how did that work? Okay, well, what if I did it this way, then what if I did it that way that you and I've had some massive ideation sessions coming up with all kinds of different ideas, of where to brainstorm sessions of where we could go and what we could do, and you know, content, and it's not just painting, or, you know, writing a novel, there are so many different ways to be creative. And I think that's the first step again, is to just kind of own that, and look at your life, and maybe make a list of all the different way ways that you are creative, that you create things in your life. They don't have to be art, they don't have to be, you know, photography, or whatever. They can be anything. Because we all create things all day long. Our thoughts are creative. You're thinking new thoughts every moment of every day.

Yong Pratt 14:32
Yeah, and this idea of creativity is really about solving a problem. It doesn't matter what realm it's in, or what medium it's in. It's really about taking the resources you have and figuring out a new way to do something. And like you said, all of our thoughts every day, our creative thoughts. We just have learned to not think of them as being creative. They're just why just do it this way. And I just do it this way. And I'm in awe when I see people out there who who claiming to be not creative, right? And I just think, wow. And then we have a similar discussion about, well, you're creative. And this way you're solving this problem. And, and when you think about creativity from that perspective, gosh, that opens up so many opportunities for us to really be creative in so many aspects of our life, like you said, not just in business, but your home. I mean, if you're able to open the refrigerator and see that you have five things in there, you know, what can you make from that? That's the ultimate test of creativity. So, and you as a quilter, I know that you're always using your creativity to, to take a vision and put things together in new and interesting ways. So I just really appreciate the way that you view creativity, and really allowing us to understand that creativity is more than just a piece of artwork.

Amy Isaman 15:49
Yeah, yes. Well, thank you. Yeah, for sure it is. And there's a lot of different, you know, things you can do like, and I was teaching a workshop last fall, and there's an exercise, I can't remember what book it's in. But, um, we're like, open a book and pick out a word. And then, you know, flip a bunch of pages and pick out the next word like to, you know, nouns and then separate them and come up with three words in between that you can somehow relate those two words. And we did this as just kind of a warm up exercise. And it was fascinating to see, I can, you know, I don't recall what the words are, but how this group of women each came up and connected these words, but you can play a little games like that with yourself, sort of throughout the day, if you're feeling like, Well, I'm not creative. I don't have new ideas. But how can you How can you connect things in different ways? How can you connect ideas in different ways, and kind of push yourself and make your brain begin to practice those kinds of things? Like, like you said, Okay, I'm gonna cook dinner with just what I have in the fridge, what can I cook, you know, and, and see what you come up with, in practice, because our brains also need the practice they need, we can't just, you know, sit and stare at TV all day, and then be like, Oh, I'm gonna come up with some really great idea. Like, so you've got to practice and you've got it. And you know, there's different things you can do. You can go on a walk without any input. You can, you know, learn new things, read new things. You've got to get some input. And then but you've also got to practice thinking in different ways, too, can be helpful.

Yong Pratt 17:19
Yeah, and the idea of practicing is such a good one, too, because we just forget to do that. We're taking action all the time. And we think after one time, we should know how to do all these things. I know, it's really easy to beat ourselves up about, well, I already made this blog post, or I did this podcast, so I should know how to do it the next time. Well, if you don't practice it, like anything else in life, those skill sets tend to fade away pretty darn quickly, kind of like, you know, the riding a bike, I guess you can do it, it might just take you a while to do it. Well, again, if you haven't done it for a while.

Amy Isaman 17:51
No practice is huge. I mean, if you want to do a thing, well, then, I mean, if you were to practice something every day for, I don't know, 15-25-30 days, I can guarantee you, by the end of that time, you will be better at it.

Yong Pratt 18:07
Right when that goes to the idea that athletes or artists are born, but it really isn't that if you take a look at their history, they're great, because they practice the thing every single day. They didn't let anything else get in the way. They just knew they wanted to do the thing. And so they practice it, they may have been born with some natural talent. But it was really up to them to take the reins and say, I want to do it. So, you know, how do I get better at it. And it's through practice. So the idea again, of taking action, practicing, identifying, because again, the more you practice, the more you identify as the whatever it is you want to be.

Amy Isaman 18:47
Yeah. And back to the very beginning, you have to do the thing to be the thing.

Yong Pratt 18:50
Yeah, I love to do the thing to be the thing. I need to print it out.

Amy Isaman 18:55
There's my profound statement.

Yong Pratt 18:55
I love that. So I want to jump into talking about writing. I know, the other day, I saw a post on your Instagram feed about journaling. And I responded back saying I've tried journaling in the past, I've done it different ways. And you came back and said, Well, maybe you just need to do a different medium. So when it comes to things like journaling, is it for everyone? Can everyone do it? Are there steps to get better at it?

Amy Isaman 19:28
I think it depends on your intention with your journaling practice. There are so many different ways to think about journaling. You know, Julia Cameron teaches morning pages. She wrote The Artists Way. Where you know, every morning you get up and you write three pages to kind of clear your brain. It's almost like a brain dump kind of thing. A lot of people teach, you know, asking questions and answering questions and using prompts. I don't particularly care for that. How I teach journaling or journal myself is more kind of a match between morning pages free writing and getting things out, it is the pages of my journal where I get most of my ideas. If I'm, you know, stuck on something in a story or book, I'll write about it, or I won't even write about it. And just the answers will come to me as I'm writing about some other random thing. So I think, for me, it is an active, it's a form of active meditation. So it gets me into a quiet space, where part of my brain is kind of busy with my hand, and you know, writing the act of writing. And the quieter part of my brain is not so quiet, but sort of busily working and I come up with ideas. It's almost like yeah, like I said, like an act of meditation. And that's what I suggested to you, you know, you post on Instagram, lots of pictures of your walks, and how inspired you feel after movement, and you're a dancer. So again, for you, that's almost an act of meditation, right, a walking meditation. And I think, for me journaling is that connecting that that quiet time to connect with my inner wisdom. And if you do that through movement, as opposed to on the page, then do that through movement. Do that with a walking meditation, or go dance with, you know, an active meditation, the the intention to me for journaling, or to write in my journal, it's to connect with that inner wisdom, that sort of that sense of where I find answers where ideas come from that that source within myself, that doesn't always appear when I'm super busy and super active. And, you know, I have to quiet down. But often meditation, just sitting in meditation can be challenging for me, I actually went on a meditation retreat with my sister, and we sat for, like, five days. Wow, it was hard. It was. But it took days for me to get to a space where I could feel like I could really drop into just a sitting meditation on my journal, I can do much more quickly, as I'm writing, because it's a natural thing for me. I don't know that, you know, people, oh, you ever been to a journal? I don't know. I don't think so. I think you need to find what works for you. How do you access that inner wisdom within you, whether that's walking, or movement, or writing or sitting in silent meditation, or guided meditation, do what works for you.

Yong Pratt 22:36
And when you shared that with me that just do what works for you, and you suggest just, you know, doing what I'm already doing. And I've always just overlooked that, because I have always heard, you know, journaling is so great, really is so, the best way to do this. And, and so I was always feeling deflated when it came to journaling. So when you said I failed there something else there's, there's proof that I'm just not good at this thing. And, you know, I didn't want to ever claim that. But yet, I kept seeing this pattern every time I would start journaling. So when you say that I just felt like this weight off my shoulders, because it's like, oh, that's true. You know, and I talk about this in different ways in my business, too. But I just didn't think about this particular problem as you having a different result that I thought I needed to get. So that was that was he was enlightening for me. So I want to thank you for that. Because it just, it just opened up so much space to to breathe and say, Oh, that's right, we get to choose our own journey and what works for one person may not work for another. So he was just evidence that's always been there. But you put it into words. So thank you.

Yong Pratt 23:41
Oh, boy, you're very, you're very welcome. I think we get so caught up. And there's so many things out there. Like, you have to have a morning routine. And, you know, if you your morning routine has to look like this. And and Well, you know what? No, it doesn't. And you can have a really phenomenal day without a morning routine. Like maybe you have, you know, your quiet time. I think it's important. Yes, to connect with yourself at some point during the day. But that might be on a walk every afternoon at three and coming home and having a cup of tea or you know, whatever it is. I think that there's you know, when we have so much access to so much information, and then people kind of glom on to these ideas that there is the one way to do the thing. And that's, that's not in fact, true. And that one way might work for millions of people. That is awesome. But it also might not work for another million people who are like, Well wait, now I feel like a loser because you know, journaling doesn't work for me or, you know, meditation doesn't work for me. I you know, whatever it is and certainly on everything I would say give it a go practice it. Because you don't I mean, nobody can sit down and play the piano perfectly on the first try. like nobody can sit down and meditate perfectly on the first try. It's a practice, right? So but find the practice that works for you and then practice your practice. Does that make sense?

Yong Pratt 25:08
Practice your practice? Yes, yes,

Amy Isaman 25:10
Find a practice that works for you. And then practice.

Yong Pratt 25:13
Yeah, and the idea that what works for one person isn't going to necessarily work for you, it could you could take parts of things. And that really is the whole idea about this season of the podcast. It's really about knowing and hearing stories from fellow entrepreneurs, who are doing things in their own way that work for them. And you know, that the process of discovery, those things that actually work and, and going on that journey, because really, at the end of the day, building a business is just this great journey that we get to have in life. And there's so many ways to do it. So even something so simple as having a morning routine, or not having a morning routine, finding those things that work for you, and then move on. I think that's something really important we forget, in the minutiae of everyday because we're so busy doing the thing, and it's so easy to be down on ourselves. But when we let go of that outcome, whatever it is, that's where the true freedom comes in being an entrepreneur, especially.

Amy Isaman 26:10
I agree, I agree, when we let go the outcome. When we're open to playing and trying things our way and doing what feels really good to us. And certainly there are, you know, it's business like you can do business this way, there are certain foundational practices, but, but really, when it comes to like marketing yourself, and putting yourself out there, and all those kinds of scary things, there are so many ways to do it, that feel really good to you. Even though there's about a bazillion people out there saying you have to do this thing this way. You know.

Yong Pratt 26:38
It's so easy with things like social media to go look at those things and feel inept, because we're not doing it like that we're not having the kind of success. So, you know, I feel like social media, to some extent, is a double-edged sword, because it's great for building connections and getting to know people and seeing a different side of them. It's not just all business. But at the same time, it's so easy for us to get swayed to thinking things have to be so rigid in our lives.

Amy Isaman 27:06
Yeah, and it can be intimidating. And then then that even the social media like oh, I'm not creative. I can't think of what to put out there. I can't think you know,

Yong Pratt 27:13
Yeah, yeah. It's a whole downward spiral. We start going in thinking those thoughts for sure. So speaking of writing, I want to ask you, if you could share your writing process, because I know everyone, when it comes to creating content, you're a writer, you, you create beautiful books, you do a lot of creative things, when it comes to creating a book, is there a particular process that you like to go through to get your mind and your body ready to, to be a channel or a vessel for all those creative thoughts to get to the paper.

Amy Isaman 27:46
And the writing process, I've always struggled with that idea of the writing process. As an English teacher, you know, we had to have a poster in our classrooms are required by the school district or the state to have the writing process, post it, the one and the one, the one writing process. And the I think it's really different for everyone. And for me, how I write is different actually, kind of depending on the genre, of what I'm writing what I'm doing a lot of times for like social media posts, or blog posts or podcasts, I will just get hit with an idea and scribble it down in my journal. Or if I'm at my computer, script, something out really quick or an outline on, you know, Google Doc, or whatever, and it's good. Or if I'm on a walk, I'll use otter.ai and just talk about most of those things. I just kind of go with the ideas as they come sort of more short-form writing, like a blog post, podcast, social media post. When it comes to books, I generally have an idea I start with plot, which is kind of backwards. Actually the interview that came out on my podcast today, she's totally character driven. And it was kind of interesting to talk to her. And I think a lot of writers are they come up with the character first and really develop these characters, and then are like, oh, what's it? No, no, what happens to this person? Whereas I tend to come up with an idea like, what if, what if, and then the characters kind of come to me. I do tend to plan out and plot the major points of my novels. I know the beginning, I know, some of the big midpoint parts and I roughly know the ending so I know where I'm writing. And then as I write, I do a much more detailed outline. Kind of a few chapters ahead of myself, like all like, like outline out very closely like four or five chapters or scenes and then kind of write those and then Okay, well what happens where do those go, because as I'm writing, things will happen or characters will say things or a character will do something or Something that I wasn't expecting at all. I'm like, oh God, Where'd that come from? And you learn to sort of trust that and just kind of go with it that this character is. This sounds weird, but I think writers, fiction writers know what I'm talking about that that characters sort of become their own people, and they do their own thing. Like, you know, you're you're a parent of teenagers, teenagers, all of a sudden, they do a thing. And you're like, What the heck? Where did that come? Who are you? And that's why characters do the same thing. And I've literally had to even you know, as I'm, if I'm working on a on a book or a story, a character's will start, like, I can interview him kind of in my I've had to pull over and start like almost taking dictation, they just start sort of talking. And telling me Well, that's not what I would do in this situation, this is what I'm gonna do in this situation. And that, is that, okay, really well, why why is that? Well, that's because this happened when I was little, and it's weird, but they be kind of become real, a little bit. And then you just sort of write the story that they that they are in. So I don't know how to like, really sure that that's a process. And that's kind of the problem with the writing process. People are like, okay, the right, I have to do my pre-writing, and I have to outline everything. And then I have to sit down and have to start at the beginning. And then we're going to go through, and it's it's much more fluid, and freeing, then how writing is taught in the traditional educational setting, which is kind of a trap. It doesn't work.

Amy Isaman 31:38
Yeah. And that's really what I wanted to get to the heart of. The thing that I love hearing how people create content and create things like books, because everyone has a different process, you know, the plot versus the character versus all these things. So again, just going back and thinking about, there's so many different ways to do it. So hearing how other people do it, I find so much inspiration in that, because it makes me think about things in a new way to about Oh, is there? Is there a story? Is there something I can share with that. So really just diving into everyone's process is just so fascinating for me to hear all the nuances. And like you said, it's much more fluid than most of us were taught. So I think we spend a lot of time really remembering the lessons we learned in school, trying to do it like that, and we get stuck, because that's not the process that works for us.

Amy Isaman 32:29
100% 100%. When I was teaching, I would never like I would ask the kids like, Okay, how many of you guys, if I assigned like a pre writing assignment, like you have to outline it? How many of you guys will do that? After that you're done with writing your essay? And well over half the kids would raise their hands. Yeah. Like, you know, I'm not gonna sign that just so you can like, check. And then have you do this thing to check the box that you did the thing, even though it was totally not helpful for you. So, you know, a lot of prewriting actually, some of my favorite sort of prewriting prep writing is talking with my writing partner, my critique partner, and we kept brainstorm sessions, and just sit there with our notebooks open and throw ideas out there. And oh, well, this guy. Okay, well, what about that? So no, that's not gonna work? I think her job is this. No, no, we've had three characters be librarians lately. You can't do that. Or you know, whatever it is. But talking it out. And you know, people say, Oh, I get writer's block. But talkers block. I've never heard of talkers block, right.

Yong Pratt 33:30
Yeah, that's so interesting. So it brings up a good point about having someone in our lives that we can bounce ideas off of, for certain projects, like having having somebody you who's a fellow author, and you talk things out together. That's hugely beneficial. And I think as women, we sometimes don't like to ask for that help or ask someone to step into a role like that. So if people are out there listening, and they're thinking, Okay, I can really use somebody to bounce ideas off of work, or talk to somebody about things. Can you give us some tips on finding the right people to help us move forward with projects?

Amy Isaman 34:08
Yeah, absolutely.I think I have several different creative thinking partnerships is what I would call them. And I have my writing partner, my critique partner, and obviously, we work on our fiction together. I also have some other groups that I have entrepreneur partnerships. And you know, you and I have gotten together and brainstormed and talked about that. But I do have one friend that we talk weekly, about different ideas and bouncing ideas off of. And then I have another local group of women that I get together with to pretty much monthly and we kind of talk about big, bigger ideas, longer range goals. And I think it's crucial. And I think how you start is there's a couple different ways to approach it. Think about who you might want to work with, whether it's another entrepreneur or I think sometimes it can be very beneficial to have thinking partners who are outside of your actual area, because they have different perspectives that they can offer. And if they come at things from a different way or a different angle, they can offer some different ways for you to think about different things. So but think about somebody who or people who, yeah, not necessarily in the same field, but who would want to meet with you regularly. And then ask my one group here, I, you know, this woman called me, she said, Amy, I, I've always liked you. I met her in a book club years ago, kind of like you like, you know, this was sort of in and out of my life. And she said, I want to have a thinking thinking group, just a group of women that I can get together and talk kind of big ideas with, are you interested? Absolutely. So you can just start it, you know, reach out to people and say, Hey, you know, I'm putting this together, I want to create something in partnerships. And let's try it for a couple months, whether you talk weekly, or every other week or monthly, set up some guidelines, everybody gets to talk for 15 minutes, ask questions. You know, I like a meeting like an official meeting in all of my thinking and partnerships. We have almost an agenda, like, this is how this works. So everybody gets their time and their questions and their they get to be heard. And they also get to sharing, we get to help each other sort of problem solve and brainstorm. And they're incredibly helpful. But I think the first thing is to be intentional about them. Actually, I taught a workshop about on this with my one friend who were in a thinking partnership with and she called a couple weeks ago, and she said, I just wanted to let you know, we taught this workshop last January pre pandemic. And she had talked to several of the women in this that were, I think there are 16 to 17 people in this live workshop. And they had set up thinking creative and creative thinking groups and partnerships, and they were still going and loving loving it. So it is really, really helpful. And it provides connection and it provides. It's it's creative thinking it it deepens your own creativity. So I think be intentional. Think about who you want to maybe work with, and then invite them.

Yong Pratt 37:14
Yes, invite them. The action part, right yet you got to be the thing. We're back to that whole idea again. So Amy, I want to make sure that when people are listening, and they're thinking I need to learn more from Amy, I want to learn more about thinking partnerships or be a better writer or journaling. Where can they find you? And what will they find when they get there?

Amy Isaman 37:35
Where can they find me? They can find me at my website, www.amyisaman.com. It's AmyIsAMan.com and I also have my podcast, Dear Creativity: Let's Play. And I do have an episode and I don't know the episode it's in the 20s I think somewhere on creative thinking partnerships and the value of collaborations in your creative thinking and pushing your thinking and how to set those up and have some more details on that. And so Dear Creativity: Let's Play is in any of the you know podcast directories and online I www. amyisaman.com and mostly over on Instagram lately @amyisamancreative, Facebook

Yong Pratt 38:15
So good! And I think you have some some new books coming out this year right?

Amy Isaman 38:19
I do. I actually well I have a brand new one and a coming out in February called Cold Hard Cache and it is a second in a series but I ended up pulling the first one of that series because I didn't. I wrote the first one without really planning on writing the second one and then I wrote the second one and realized that the first one like I had needed some editing to match. So that was a live and learn experience when you're self publishing you know oops. So they're both coming out read get the first one will be getting re-released with a new cover and a new title called, In the Cards and at the end of this month and then the second one cold hard cash will be coming out the beginning of February and they are it's like Nancy Drew grew up. Trisha Seaver is the main character and she's, it's it's just like mystery kind of fun. Mystery women's fiction. Nothing.

Yong Pratt 39:16
So good.

Amy Isaman 39:16
Am I? Yeah, so more, not more novels are coming out. And then I'll be writing a sequel to my first novel after that.

Yong Pratt 39:24
So, so much good stuff coming out. Holy smokes! So yeah, definitely come over to today's show notes just at www.YongPratt.com. Search up Amy's name. All the links she shared with us today will be there. I know I saw the cover of your of the newly released or the re-edited book and I was surprised it was gonna be a new title because I read I think all of your your fiction books so I have to go back and now reread to reread the edited book and then of course we the sequl and the sequel to your other book as well. So Oh my goodness..

Amy Isaman 39:59
So thank you. Yes. It's It's fun. It's a it's fun. And it's fun to work with writers too, and get their stories out. And I've been having a really good time with that. Amazing.

Yong Pratt 40:09
So yeah, if you're listening and you need some help with writing your creativity or ideation and really figuring out, you know which direction to go, Amy is your girl for sure. She helped me so many times figure out some, some some things that I was stuck on and was so great to have somebody on the other side say, Well, what about this? And what about this and ask those really important questions because we sometimes aren't hard enough on ourselves to ask the right questions. So having someone like me, who can lead you through her process of asking questions, to get to where you want to go, is hugely valuable. So Amy, I want to thank you so much for saying yes to this interview. I'm so glad our paths reconnected a couple years ago, and we've been able to do fun things like punk podcasting together. Thank you for being here and sharing today.

Yong Pratt 40:54
Well, thank you so much for having me on. This has been really fun.

Yong Pratt 40:57
Thanks for tuning in, do the Amplify Your Awesome™ podcast. Let's continue this conversation inside my Facebook community, the Arena of Awesome while it's still free and open to new members, come share your biggest takeaways and a-has, plus, every week inside the Arena, you'll get access to me and I may even share content I don't share anywhere else. Until next time, my friend, go out there today and Amplify Your Awesome™!



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Tapping Into Your Real Self Through Play Part 2

Tapping Into Your Real Self Through Play Part 2

[0:01] Today on the podcast, I have part number two of my interview with Jeff Harry, a play expert. And in this portion of the interview, Jeff is going to walk us through some choices we can make, and some actions we can take in order to cultivate more play into our everyday lives. If you haven’t already listened to Part Number one, I would highly encourage you to go back and listen to that episode first, so that you get the very most out of this episode. It was number 330. And you can find that that YongPratt.com/330  or come on over into the Arena of Awesome where you can see the video version of this interview.


[1:43]  What happens inside of our brains and in our bodies when we play? 


[4:20] Einstein Time and the Gay Hendricks’ Zones of Work


For more on the Zones of Work check out Gay Hendricks’ books, The Big Leap & The Joy of Genius 


[6:02] Origins of the 8-hour workday and why it’s counterproductive 


[0:33]  “The work that we should be doing is the work that makes us most alive. Let’s focus on that. Because that is actually the stuff that we need in this world right now.” – Jeff Harry


[11:51] How billion-dollar ventures are coming out of play from big corporations lite Google and Zappos


Lessons from Tony Hsieh of Zappos: Company Culture is more important than just doing work and just being productive.


[12:55]  For the small businesses listening, how can they take these ideas and distill them down and help their companies by embracing this idea of allowing people to explore openly in an effort to build a bigger business? 


[13:21] Incorporating play into your business Step #1  


[13:59]  Incorporating play into your business Step #2  


[14:32] How the Buffalo Bills are gaining more fans through play


[14:58] How the Washington Post is gaining traction with Gen Z using play


[16:41] What to do when your inner critic rears its ugly head.


[20:45]  Content creation and Tik Tok


[21:00] “What I love about it Tik Tok is that it’s one of the only social media platforms where there are people playing.” – Jeff Harry


[22:26] “The reason why I make Tic Toks is because it primes my day in a positive way. It primes my day to see the world as play. And when I’m able to see the word world is play, then the sky’s the limit.” – Jeff Harry


[24:27] The question to ask yourself when something good happens


[25:23] Connect with Jeff on his website http://www.RediscoverYourPlay.dom OR on one of the following channels



Tik Tok





[26:16]  Life lessons from Good Will Hunting


[27:50] “For each and every one of your listeners, you’re sitting on a winning lottery ticket. There is something magical and awesome about you, that you might be also scared to do but also know, this is what makes you come most alive.” – Jeff Harry  


“Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive.”  – Howard Thurman


“Are you ready to show up?” – Jeff Harry


NEXT WEEK’S GUEST: Amy Isaman. Author. Creativity and a Writing Coach that helps amazing people get their stories onto paper and publish those books. 




Let’s continue this conversation inside my Facebook community, the Arena for Awesome while it’s still free and open to new members, come share your biggest takeaways and ahas. Plus, every week inside the arena, you’ll get access to me and I may even share content I don’t share anywhere else. 


Until next time, my friend, go out there today and Amplify your Awesome!


Read Full Transcript

Yong Pratt 0:01
Today on the podcast, I have part number two of my interview with Jeff Harry, A play expert. And in this portion of the interview, Jeff is going to walk us through some choices we can make, and some actions we can take in order to cultivate more play into our everyday lives. If you haven't already listened to Part Number one, I would highly encourage you to go back and listen to that episode first, so that you get the very most out of this episode. It was number 330. And you can find that that www.Yong Pratt.com/330 or come on over into the Arena of Awesome where you can see the video version of this interview. Okay, my friends, I'll catch you on the other side, enjoy.

Yong Pratt 0:45
Have you ever felt like there was something missing in your business, something holding you back from the success you're seeking? If so, you are not alone. For nearly 20 years, that's exactly how I felt as a business owner. It wasn't until I discovered Human Design, that it all became clear. And it turns out that I was the missing piece in my own business. Join me on this journey of discovering the real me and hear stories from other business owners, building businesses program all of their awesomeness. I'm Yong Pratt, and it's time my friend to Amplify Your Awesome.™

Yong Pratt 1:27
So I'm such a science nerd. So I want to know, when we're playing what happens inside of our brains and in our bodies, that helps us tap into creativity help us to silence that inner critic to help us to overcome some of those obstacles.

Jeff Harry 1:43
So what's happening when you go into a flow state, so usually your brains in a beta state and your prefrontal cortex, that's where your inner critic lies, that is probably the thing that's getting most in your way. But your inner critic is also there to protect you from all the dangers in the world. Right? That it's, it's it's important to be there, right. But then also now that we are dealing with caveman times and tigers, like it just runs amok. But what happens when you go from a beta state to a flow state, is you go through something called hypnofrontanality where a part of your prefrontal cortex actually shuts down. And this is why like time becomes distorted, and your inner critic starts to dissipate, and then you your implicit mind appears and you become highly creative. And then you get a shot of dopamine, and you can become very curious. And then instead of seeing the world in a very results oriented way, which a lot of adults This is where a lot of their suffering comes from, is like they're fixated on one result, right? And expectations are the thief of joy, right? Instead, when you're in a flow state, all of a sudden, all these possibilities are in front of you. All of these opportunities are in front of you. And you know, you felt this like when you've gone traveling. And you're in that that yes, and state where you're like, I'm going to ride this, I'm going to take this, I'm going to hop on this moped with this random stranger, they're going to take me to a deserted island. Now I'm at a party, oh my gosh, I'm at the best party in the world under, you know, the full moon, you know, singing with random strangers that are now my best friends. How did I get here? Because you were in a flow state, you're willing to say yes to stuff you're willing to be open. This is the magic, right? And when people are like, Well, that seems so woowoo Well, let me ask you, this is like, when have your plans ever worked out perfectly right? Like when has your linear plan? If I do a that I get to be do I get to see, like, if you look back at your life, nothing is linear. Nothing has, you could have never guessed how you would get there. Right? So why? Why are we planning what's so strict, instead of just being open to what the possibilities might bring? Because when you're doing that, that's when you can actually amplify your awesome.

Yong Pratt 4:00
So good. I love that you said it like that. And as you're explaining this in the flow state and what that feels like, I'm reminded of the idea of entering Einstein time, where you go into the state, everything is flowing, but you have more than enough time to do everything you want. And what you get at the end is far greater than anything you could have ever planned.

Jeff Harry 4:20
Yeah, yeah. And I think a lot of times, you know, if you think about it, even in business people are always trying to force it right like you got a grant and you got to you know, fight this but you know, as Gay Hendricks talks about this being your Zone of Genius. Like you have your Zone of Incompetence, which is things you're not good at. Zone of Competence, things that you're like average at. Zone of Excellence, which many people stay in, which is things you're really good at, but you like don't really care about it either way, but you like the admiration for it. So that's why you do it. Let a lot of people do a lot of their work in their Zone of Excellence, but zone of genius is the stuff where it's truly you. Where you forget about everything, you know, and you were just fully present. And and people you would be like, you know, I'll do this for free or I'll pay to do this because I enjoy doing this so much. And the more we can spend our time in our Zone of Genius, it actually has a ripple effect on all of our other work.

Yong Pratt 5:23
Yes, and I love the book by Gay Hendricks, the Zone of Genius, and Joy of Genius and all these things. I just think, again, from the outside perspective in society, it's the idea of giving ourselves permission or allowing for these playful things to occur during the day because they go against the norm. And I know one of the norms we talk a lot about is this eight hour work day and how it's really not a benefit to us. It's sort of a thing that actually harms us. Can you talk a little bit more about play during the day? And why eight hours in a day is probably too much.

Jeff Harry 6:02
Yes. Oh, I love that you asked this question. So I was fascinated recently, with the eight hour workday. I was like, why do we do eight hours of work a day, like who came up with this? So I did some research. And I found out that Welsh labor activists, Robert Irwin, who was also a business owner, created the eight hour workday back in 1817 1870, right, or 203 years ago, and it was eight hours of work eight hours of leisure, eight hours of sleep, like that was the logic behind it? Well, guess what, no one touched it, no one implemented it, you know, for 100, over 100 years, you know, basically, people were working everyone 12 to 15 hours, then then the Great Depression hit and Henry Ford could not get any staff to come to assembly line because they were dying on the assembly line. So he reduced the hours from 12 to 15 hours, down to eight hours to attract more people. And then he doubled everyone's salary, which caused a ruckus in the car industry, and just the industries in general, because I What are we doing, we you know, we want to squeeze as much out of people as possible, but he was just like, that's not helpful. And he found that people were more productive, and he made more money with them working less, but doing good work, right? Since then, since 1926, 94 years, nothing has changed. No one has questioned why we do eight hours a day. Yet studies have found that most people cannot focus for more than two hours and 53 minutes in a given day, they cannot be productive for more than that time. Maybe someone is, uh, you know, it, excels and they can focus for three to four hours or four to five hours. But it's just not natural for us to be focused for that long period of time. Yet, our our day, our workday is extended now to 8.8 hours, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So my question to people is, what are we doing for 5.8 hours? Like, what are people doing, and what they're doing are really dumb meetings. I'm looking for other jobs, making busy work, a lot of people are doing a lot of BS work to justify their job, you know, or they're on social media, or they're like figuring out other things to do besides work, like 85% of people right now are disengaged at work. That study was done before COVID. So just imagine how many people are sitting at home right now being like, I don't want to wear at work anymore. I don't want to go back to normal. My manager wants me to go back to normal, but I don't like normal like, like normal sucked. Like I commuted two hours a day. And you know, like a lot of people were in their car, like what average amount of travel was like, eight years of your life in commutes. So it's just like, what are we doing? Like the way we're even approaching work is so wrong. So if you only have three focused hours that you can do your work? Wouldn't you want your staff to be doing the work that they do best? You know, so I challenged people all the time team leaders, hey, you only have three to four good hours per day to ask your staff. Why did you ask them about the staff that your staff about the work they love to do most? The work where they forget about time that flow state work? Ask them what percentage of work do you currently do that? Is that work? Oh, it's only 10%. You only talk to staff? I mean, you only talk to people and connect only 10% of the time. Can we increase that to 15%? Because maybe that's just one extra hour a week because studies found that if you allow people to do that flow work, it again has a ripple effect that that makes you highly productive and all the other work that people usually do like to do

Yong Pratt 10:02
Such good statistics that it's hard to believe that for so long we've been in this, this habit of doing the eight hour workday. And now there's 8.8, I would almost venture to say it's longer in the sense that so many people are taking work home. They're multitasking. They're watching TV shows with their kids, and they're checking their work email, or responding to an email, or finishing up that proposal before the next day. They're not even leaving work at work. So we're probably closer to that 12 hour workday that started off right getting Right.

Jeff Harry 10:33
Right. And yeah, yeah, and we're in the thing is, is we're not doing good work. Now, that's not good work. Right. And then again, another big regret of the dying is I work too much. So it's just like, what are we doing? Like, you know, instead, we should be doing less work. But the work that we should be doing is the work that makes us most alive, let's focus on that. Because that is actually the stuff that we need in this world right now.

Yong Pratt 11:03
Yeah. And when you're most alive, and you're getting paid to be you and do what you're really good at. That's the sweet spot that we're all striving to get to. And so for those of you listening, think about what your business could look like. If you know that people could only focus for three or four hours a day, including your staff, how could you rearrange the tasks that they are doing right now or that you're doing so that everyone stays the most productive by working less, and then by you, acknowledging the work your your VAs are doing or your your employees are doing? And you're saying, you know, I only want you to work this much time, because I want you to spend time with your family and do what you love to do and do something outside of work. I think the culture of companies could change drastically. And very quickly,

Unknown Speaker 11:51
Drastically. I mean, and let's talk about like how play is incorporated at work at some of the top organizations, right, like Google does the 20% rule, where they give their staff a fifth of their time to pursue whatever thing they're curious about, as long as it helps the business out. Right. That's their play. Well, guess what has come out of the Google 20% rule. Google Meet came out of that. Gmail kind of came out of that. Billion dollar ventures that Google has have come out of that specific thing. Or Tony Hsiea, who is like drastically missed from Zappos, same idea. He actually would pay people three grand to leave his company, because he only wanted people that actually wanted to be there that were like, willing to be nerdy, willing to be weird, like, willing to show up fully as themselves, you know, like, just do strange things all the time. Because he realized the culture is more important than just doing work and just being productive.

Yong Pratt 12:55
So I'm curious to know your thoughts on so we know what the bigger companies have done, we know that huge innovation has come from allowing their employees time to pursue their own interests, that will benefit the company. For the small businesses listening, how can they take these ideas and distill them down and help their companies by embracing this idea of allowing people to explore openly in an effort to build a bigger business?

Jeff Harry 13:21
Yeah, I think I think it's worth twofold. I think it's worth first looking at your day, like breaking down the inventory of your day and your staff stay and be like, what, how does it actually break down? What are they actually doing? What am I actually doing? And how much of that work either can be delegated? Or is just bs work? You know, like, like, that is not serving me? And where can I carve out more time each day to do my flow work to do the work that that makes me come most alive. So that would probably be the first thing that I would do.

Jeff Harry 13:59
The second thing is, I would give, you know, Tony Hsiea would do this a lot with his staff is he would empower them to be like, Listen, we have this problem. We have to get you know, this problem we have to deal with, you know, a solution we have to get to, but I'm open to you figuring out how to do it. I'm giving you all of the freedom and I'm empowering you to be the leader and figure this out and experiment and fail and give your staff the opportunity to just experiment with stuff and two examples of this.

Jeff Harry 14:32
[Example 1] is like the Buffalo Bills right now you know football team gave two of their I don't know if they're interns or whatever, but they gave to their interns, cameras, whatever. They wanted a whole floor and they were like you can make whatever Tic Toks you want as long as there are Buffalo Bills related. And these guys are having all this fun. And all of a sudden they're getting more Bills Fans because of these two guys, right.

Jeff Harry 14:58
[Example 2] Another thing the Washington Post a really boring paper, right? Like old paper has this one dude making weird videos on Tik Tok. And all of a sudden, these Gen Zers are like, what's this Washington Post, maybe I should check this out. Like, this is what's happening when you give people the freedom to have fun to play, to experiment to fail, we don't give enough time for our staff to actually fail, you know, and have fun with it. Because, you know, trust me, I've done it with building a huge business, it works. But you have to trust yourself that you don't need to know what the result is going to be. And just be willing to be open to creating the playground, so that people can play and create something awesome.

Yong Pratt 15:46
And again, that takes me back to this idea of trusting ourselves and listening, and not being tied to a certain outcome, but just trusting that if you follow this process, if you have fun, if you play during the day, you allow yourself and your staff to make mistakes and experiment and figure out fun new ways to do business. That's going to go a really long way, again, in creating that goodwill, and creating people who want to stay with your company, because people are so motivated by doing these things and, and being with companies that give them the opportunity to explore their interests that support their outside endeavors that give them an opportunity to to really be their best at work. And just imagine how your employees are going to react. If you start taking these little bits and chunks that have been shared. And you allow them just to experiment in play. How much more fun could the day be?

Jeff Harry 16:41
How much more fun could your culture be? Right? And and this, here's just one other suggestion that I think is really getting in the way of our awesome is, is that inner critic that I talked about earlier, you know, the one that's constantly trying to protect you. And I'll be quick with this. But, you know, if you want to address your inner critic, here are quick ways in which you can just deal with it directly. My friend Marsha Shandoor, told me all about naming your inner critic and the power of doing that. So guess what, next time, your inner critic shows up, and you'll know that it showed up because you're going to be feeling like crap. And you won't know why you're feeling like crap, but you're just feeling it, right? All of a sudden, I want you to do this, start writing down what your inner critic is saying, like, what what are you saying to yourself right now, like, I'm not going to be successful, I'm always going to be alone, my business is never gonna do well. You know, all the mean things. I'm an imposter, blah, blah, blah, write them all down on a piece of paper or type them out. However you want to do that, right? As soon as you write them down and start to look at the list and be like, who is saying this? Right? You know, what does this person look like? What does this person sound like? Is it my bully from third grade? Is it that person from a high school? Is it that teacher? Is it my uncle? Is it my parents? like who is this weird person that is saying all these mean things to me? Mine happens to be Gargamel right from the Smurfs. So when Gargamel shows up. Now, I can be like, Oh, hello Gargamel is like, yeah, you suck, you're never gonna be anything, you're never gonna be successful, you're gonna always be broke, blah, blah, blah, right. And what I do is, I either text my friend, Dana, and I'm like, Hey, Gargamel showed up. And simply by doing that, and shining a light, it actually quiets down, you know, or I address gargamel directly, and I'm like, wait a minute, am I going to be broke? Actually, my bank account looks pretty well. Oh, wait a minute, is my business is going to be successful. Actually, it's doing really successful. I just did something with the Department of Homeland Security. Gargamel. So you start responding back to it, you know, and then you're like, you know, it's not that bad. And then because Gargamel says like, okay, I'll get it. No, okay, sorry, I'm just gonna sit in the back seat, you know, but as long as we try to push our inner critic down, or even destroy it, instead of befriending it, and playing with it, it's going to come back with a vengeance over and over again. But the more we're able to acknowledge it, the more we're able to quiet that down. And once we quiet that down, then we can hear our inner child, our inner superhero, that's whispering all of that goodness that you've been looking for.

Yong Pratt 19:19
And that reminds me so much of kids, because you set these rules, and because they're kids, and they're curious, they want to break the rule. But if you just let them try it and do it, it quiets that critic are quiet that desire to want to do that thing, or to to live into that thing, because they've experienced it. So I love this idea of naming your inner critic because Yeah, and I want to know to like, come back and share with us what your inner critics name is, I'm going to take some time and figure out what mine is because I know I know what mine sounds like and and now that it's wintertime and the fireplace goes, I sometimes will just write it on paper and like crinkle it up and throw it in the fire or watch things burn. And that also is a great way to just sort of release that back out into the, to the atmosphere and, and

Jeff Harry 20:05
It's interesting too what the names of them like, you know, some of my clients names are like Frugal Frank, Tila Tequila. I ran an inner critic workshop, like, this is what I do a lot of times, and I remember someone coming up to me and they were like, I hate this workshop. And I was like, Oh, my, oh, why do you hate this workshop? Tell me more. And I and I had heard her speak in front of like the 100 people that were in the room. And she goes, because my inner critic is saying, I'm not good at being my inner critic. So it's like, it's like so meta, that you have multiple voices that are coming in. But if you simply acknowledge them, then you can address it so that you can pursue the darkness that is you.

Yong Pratt 20:45
So good. So you mentioned earlier that you love creating Tik Tok videos, I want to hear more about why you love Tik Tok, and how these Tik Tok creations are allowing you to connect with more people who need what you're offering in the world.

Jeff Harry 21:00
So what's fascinating, there's like a lot of criticism around Tik Tok. But what I love about it is it's one of the only social media platforms where there are people playing and being ridiculous on there. And then of course, you have your Instagram influences and all that. But like if you think of Instagram, it's all about being perfect. If you think of Facebook, it's all about you know, also being perfect on Twitter, it's all about arguing on LinkedIn, it's all about being professional, but then Tik Tok like people are acting a fool and they're not even sharing this with their, with their friends. Like they're like, this is my Tic Tok family. Don't tell anyone that I do this. Right? Now you have all these people that are being ridiculous, my friend 80s era and you got to follow her on Tik Tok like she's, she's an actress, and she hasn't been able to act because she's been living in Kansas City. She used to be an actress in Hollywood for such a long period of time, but then they moved to Kansas City in this not as many opportunities. But now Tik Tok has given her the freedom to, to recreate all these characters, and now she has like 10 different characters. And she's been putting them out in the world. And people love them. They're like, when is Marco Marconi coming back? When is this person coming back? Like she, you know, she has all these, she's, she's able to express and have such an impact on this world. You know, and like, I think like, 300,000 people now have seen her tiktoks Right, right. And she only has like, maybe 10 12,000 followers, but she's having this impact.

Jeff Harry 22:26
The reason why I make Tic Toks even though like Not a lot of people follow me is because it Prime's my day in a positive way. It Prime's my day to see the world as play. And when I'm able to see the word world is play, then sky's the limit right and then my friend Deserae. This is another exercise that's really fun. Deserae always asked me to ask myself the question, how can it get any better than this? So when something good happens, or you start the beginning of your day you go, how can it get any better than this? So I started my day by creating a Tic Toc. Whoo, how can it get any better than this? Then I hopped on a podcast with this guy, you know, Louis, who was a learning development guy. Oh, how can it get any better? This? Oh, he's Filipino? So we talked about you know, and he's a Golden State Warriors fan. Oh, how can I get even better than this? Oh, then I you know, I wrote this, like HR firm, you know, this, like huge dossier of like, what they could do to incorporate play into their into their company? Oh, how can it get any better than this? Now Yong and I are talking on this podcast? Oh, how can it get any better than this? You know, I get to brainstorm with my friend Lauren in a few about like, all these new ideas we want to do for organizations, how can it get any better than this. And when you constantly are asking yourself that with curiosity, you're stacking all those positive priming moments. Now, on the flip side, when you have a bad day, I challenged people that I challenge them that they didn't have a bad day that they had a bad moment. And then thoughts usually lasts between nine seconds and 90 seconds. So what happened is you had a bad moment. You ruminated about that bad moment, 1000 times over. And then when you finish ruminating about that bad moment, you will look for more bad moments, thus adding up to a bad day. But if you can simply flip it back and ask yourself the question with curiosity, how can it get any better than this? You can change your entire day, if not your entire life.

Yong Pratt 24:27
That's such a great question. And I may need some tutorials on Tik Tok because I I do have a Tik Tok account. And I put very little there. You make it sound like so much fun though that I want to start my day with Tik Tok and be crazy and silly and and then see what's going to get better. And I love that that shift in perspective, because I think sometimes that's all it takes by reframing our experiences and looking at the positive things are what what's happening that can help us really propel the day so we're going to reach the end. We really You just can be so joyful and grateful for the day we've had because it's been so awesome because we've expected it to be even more awesome with every experience.

Jeff Harry 25:07
Yes, absolutely.

Yong Pratt 25:09
So good, so good. So I want to make sure that people can connect with you follow you on Tik Tok, or come to your website. Where is the best place that they can go to find out more about you and the work you do and how you serve people?

Jeff Harry 25:23
Sure, so if you want to see my ridiculous videos, I'm at the handle Jeff, j-e-f-f h-a-r-r-y p-l-a-y-s and I'm on Tik, Tok, Instagram, YouTube, Medium, all those LinkedIn all at that handle. And then if you want to go to my website, it's www.RediscoverYourPlay.dom. Simply click the Let's Play button. I have a bunch of play experiments that I talked about on this. And then you can also hop on a call with me and we can figure out how you can kick ass in this world and Amplify Your Awesome™.

Yong Pratt 25:58
Yes. And before we wrap up before we hopped on the interview, we're talking about all sorts of fun things. We have such a good time before we even press play or press record on this episode. I'm reminded though because you said something that caught my interest about how you can goodwill hunt my listeners?

Jeff Harry 26:16
Yes. See, yes. So you know, you know the movie Good Will Hunting right? For a lot. But for a lot of people that don't. It's it? Well, it's first fascinating that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck created that movie, because they were getting no play from anyone. They couldn't get any roles. So they created their own. They created their own movie. That's how they got to become stars, because they made this right. So that's fascinating in and of itself, just playing. But what I loved about Goodwill Hunting was, so Matt Damon is a genius in the movie, and he can have any job he wants at anything tank where he'll make millions of dollars and be super successful. But at the end of the movie, he's working construction with his friend, Ben Affleck. And they're sitting at the construction site, you know, eating lunch, and Ben's like, you know, when are you going to take one of these, you know, high paying jobs, right? And that's like, Nah, I'm not not going to do any of that, um, you know. I'm going to work construction. We're going to raise our kids. We're going to watch them play baseball and Foley field. You know, that's just what I'm going to do. And Ben stops, and he goes, if I see you here in 20 years, I'm going to kill you. Like, I'm literally going to kill you. You know what he's like, what, what I owe it to myself. And he's like, No, you don't owe it to yourself, you owe it to me. And you owe it to everyone else at this construction site. They would give anything I mean, anything to have what you have. You're sitting on a winning lottery ticket, and you're too scared to cash that in.

Jeff Harry 27:50
And for each and every one of your listeners, you're sitting on a winning lottery ticket. You know, there is something magical and awesome about you, that you might be also scared to do but also know, this is what makes you come most alive. Right? That like I tie it to the Howard Thurman quote, you know, don't ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive because the world needs for more people to come alive. And the reason why is because when you show up, other people are waiting for you to show up so they can show up. So when Yong took the risk of, you know, to start that podcast, she gave all these other people permission to hop on her podcast and share their knowledge. And now I'm lucky enough to share and show up. So now you're hearing this. So now you have permission to show up. And there's countless people that are waiting for you to show up so they can do something amazing, and amplify their awesome in the world. So my question to you is, are you ready to show up?

Yong Pratt 29:01
Such a great way to wrap up this interview so beautifully said I literally have goosebumps. I'm getting a little teary-eyed because the way that you share that in the fact that every single listener out there has that something special inside, and there absolutely is somebody waiting for you to show up. So permission granted by yourself by us. Take that leap of faith. Get comfortable being uncomfortable and take those big actions so that you can live that life that you've only dreamed of. Jeff, I want to thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. I've had such an awesome time with you chatting and having fun, and making memories and sharing with others and reminding others of how valuable they are. So thank you for being here. Thank you for saying yes. And sharing everything that you do.

Jeff Harry 29:47
Thanks so much for having me. This was so much fun.

Yong Pratt 29:49
Oh my goodness. How much fun were these two interviews. I cannot wait to hear how you are incorporating play more into your everyday lives. You The tips and tools and action items Jeff shared on these two interviews. Next week I have another special guest for you. This guest is near and dear to my heart. She is someone that has been with me or has known me since pretty much the very, very beginning of my entrepreneurial journey. You've heard her name on several podcasts as she connects me with the most incredible people, including Jeff.

Yong Pratt 30:23
Next week we have for you Amy Isaman who is an author. She is a creative coach and a writing coach, and she helps amazing people get their stories onto paper and publish those books. I will catch you then. Cheers.

Yong Pratt 30:40
Thanks for tuning in, do the Amplify your Awesome™!. Let's continue this conversation inside my Facebook community Arena for Awesome while it's still free and open to new members, come share your biggest takeaways and ahas. Plus, every week inside the arena, you'll get access to me and I may even share content I don't share anywhere else. Until next time, my friend, go out there today and Amplify your Awesome™!


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331 Amplify Your Awesome - Jeff Harry - Rediscover Your Play
Tapping Into Your Real Self Through Play Part 1

Tapping Into Your Real Self Through Play Part 1

[0:00] Do you ever wish you could have more fun in your business? If so, you’ll want to turn up the volume on this episode with our expert guest, Jeff Harry, as he explains the ins and outs of tapping into our real selves through play. 


[1:28] How Jeff and Yong Connected


[1:49] Jeff’s Origin Story – his life before becoming an expert on play


“I think a lot of times, we’re constantly looking for external validation. But really what we’re looking for is to claim our own self-worth.” – Jeff Harry


[8:19] “With every decision you make you either claim who you are, or you end up chasing your worth for the rest of your life.” – Viola Davis


[10:09] Jeff’s definition of play 


[11:28] “Don’t you want to get paid to be yourself?”  – Steven Worley


“Why wouldn’t we be focused on making more play in our lives?” – Jeff Harry


[13:00] How Jeff helps people that have lost play in their lives reclaim it


[16:03] Step 1 to rediscovering your play


[16:22]  Step 2 to rediscovering your play


[17:40]  Intuition + Your Inner Child + Inner Curiosity 


[19:37] Taking lessons from the dying 


[20:07] An exercise you can do today to discover your awesomeness 


[21:42] What are Tipsy Storms and why Jeff recommends them


[25:13] Come share your biggest takeaways, ahas, and watch the video version of this interview inside the Arena of Awesome.



Be sure you’re subscribed to the podcast or are part of the Arena of Awesome so you don’t miss Part 2 of this interview, Tapping Into Your Real Self Through Play with Jeff Harry next week.


Read Full Transcript

Yong Pratt 0:00
Do you ever wish you could have more fun in your business? If so, you'll want to turn up the volume on this episode. Our guest today shows individuals and companies how to tap into their true selves, to feel their most happiest, and to address their most challenging issues through play. Jeff Harry, an international speaker, and a top 100 Hr Influencer of 2020 has been featured for his work on play in the New York Times, AJ plus SoulPancake, the San Francisco Chronicle and CNN. I, for one, cannot wait to dive into this interview about play.

Yong Pratt 0:40
Have you ever felt like there was something missing in your business, something holding you back from the success you're seeking? If so, you are not alone. For nearly 20 years, that's exactly how I felt as a business owner. It wasn't until I discovered Human Design, that it all became clear. And it turns out that I was the missing piece in my own business. Join me on this journey of discovering the real me and hear stories from other business owners building businesses around all of their awesomeness. I'm Yong Pratt, and it's time my friend to Amplify Your Awesome!™

Yong Pratt 1:24
Welcome to the show, Jeff.

Jeff Harry 1:25
Oh, I'm so excited to talk about this.

Yong Pratt 1:28
Absolutely. And I'm so glad my friend our mutual friend Amy Iseman connected us so we can have this awesome conversation today.

Jeff Harry 1:37
Yeah, let's get into it. Okay,

Yong Pratt 1:39
So I want to know. I want you to take us back before you were working in this field of play. What did your life look like before? And how did you get into this particular field?

Jeff Harry 1:49
Yeah, so so I'll tell my origin story, right? So do you remember the movie Big?

Yong Pratt 1:56
I do.

Jeff Harry 1:57
So I saw that movie when I was in third grade. And he went and danced on a piano and then got offered a job at a toy company. And I didn't know that was a job in third grade. And I was like, that is what I'm going to do with for the rest of my life. That's just it. So I started writing toy companies in third grade. You know, by fifth grade, I was writing them on my word processor. And I was spamming before spam was the thing I was sending so many letters. And because of this, you know, by sophomore year, a toy company wrote me back told me to go into mechanical engineering. I should have never listened to them. But I did it anyway. And I kept going. And then I eventually got into the toy industry. I eventually got into my dream industry. And I don't know if you've ever gotten exactly what you wanted, and then been so disappointed when you get there. But like, that's what happened. I was in a cubicle and padded walls, and I'm like, Why are these walls padded? You know, no play. No fun, no adults that are having fun. No high fives. No toys. No kids, like I was like, we might as well have been selling microwaves or socks. So I'm like, What am I doing here? I remember leaving New York coming to the San Francisco Bay Area, you know, piddling around figuring out because I was going through my quarterlife crisis, right? Or I'm like 22, 23 and bumping into an organization that was teaching kids engineering with Lego, they were just playing for a living. And I was like, I want to do that. It only paid $150 a week, but I was like, they're playing. And that's what I want to do. I want to play. That's all I want to do. Right? So I worked with them. And then over the next 15 years, we grew the largest Lego inspired stem organization like in the US. But we did it by just playing by, we didn't have any clue what we were doing. We were making it up as we went along. We picked cities, because they thought we thought they were fun. We picked people because they were fun. We failed miserably and experimented all the time just trying things out. You know, because we were one of the first stem organizations back in like 2004 stem wasn't even a thing back then. So we're just trying stuff out all the time. And then we got the attention of Silicon Valley, you know, around like 2011 or some 2010, 2011. And they were like, hey, do you do team building events? And we're like, of course we do. Even though we didn't, we would just say yes to everything in words. And then for the next like seven to 10 years, maybe? Yeah, about that time. Um, you know, I worked with Facebook, Google, Adobe, you know, Netflix, all these top organizations in the world. And all of them talked about agility, and disruption and innovation and all these buzzwords, right. But when I was in those spaces, I was like you have not created a play full environment, a play oriented environment for people to actually take risks. You want them to think outside the box. But you've built the walls of the box so high that they can write even at these innovative organizations. So I created Rediscover Your Play, to combine positive psychology and play to address the bigger issues underlying that they were struggling with, like dealing with toxicity at work through play, how to have hard conversations, how to deal with office politics, how to talk about race and racism at work, how to deal with your inner critic, how to get your staff in flow, like all these issues that could be addressed, serious issues that could be addressed, but addressed through play.

Yong Pratt 5:40
I love this and before we talk about your definition of what play is, I'm curious to know, when you were little and you're in third grade, and you're writing these toy companies, and you're getting responses back? What was your family's response to that? Were they supportive? Did they wonder,

Jeff Harry 5:56
They just thought I was weird. You know, like, like Jeff wants to send more letters. Buy more stamps, you know. It keeps them busy, you know, he's not tearing up the house.

Yong Pratt 6:07
Well, I love that in a roundabout way. They were supportive by providing you with the tools, you needed to send these letters. So I really do like that. I'm always curious to know how people's childhoods shaped the way they are as business owners, because sometimes, you know, it's a direct reflection, reflection, sometimes it's the opposite way that they were raised. So I love that you had that support, and sort of the side by side way, you know, going through life.

Jeff Harry 6:30
Right, right. And don't get me wrong, like, my dad was a cardiologist. My mom is a nurse, like, you know, they pressured me to go into medicine, you know, when I and then I was like, Well, I don't want to go to medicine, I was like, I'll do mechanical engineering. And I probably did that for my father. But the whole time, I was like, I'm gonna be a toy designer, this is what I'm gonna do, you know. And actually, just to tie into this, because I think this is something that's interesting is, I remember, when I finally got the approval of my dad, it was maybe five or six years into building this Lego inspired stem organization. And all of a sudden, I'm making like six figures doing it, which I never thought that was even a possibility. I was getting paid $150 a week before that, right. But I remember, I felt really proud and really excited. And I was sharing this thing with him. And then all of a sudden, because I accepted that, like, I didn't actually need his approval anymore. That's what I felt his tone changed. And he started to talk to me as an equal. And I was like, wow, this is a fascinating thing. I think a lot of times, we're constantly looking for external validation. But really what we're looking for is like, for us to claim our own self worth.

Yong Pratt 7:44
Yeah, and that's such a subtle, subtle shift. And, but a really big distinction, when we can be comfortable in who we are, and be proud of the things we do and aren't always seeking for external validation from parents or from loved ones. That changes everything. So I love that you were able to now see eye to eye he could see what you were doing. Because you deeply loved and were passionate about what you were doing. That energy probably translated to him, and he probably felt what you were feeling. And I bet at that moment, he probably saw you in a whole new light.

Jeff Harry 8:19
Yeah. And I think of the Viola Davis quote, like, you know, with every decision you make you either claim who you are, or you end up chasing your worth for the rest of your life. How many people do you know chasing their worth? I always ask my clients like, Who are you trying to impress right now? Right? Like, if you're trying to impress someone that you won't care about in five years? Why are you trying to impress that person? We did that in high school? How did that work out? We don't care about those people in high school anymore. So what are we doing trying to impress people, when really what we should be focused on is like what impresses us like, what what makes me come most alive. I always reference the Howard Thurman quote, don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes me come alive because what the world needs is for more people to come alive. So like, let's explore that and see where that takes us.

Yong Pratt 9:09
I love those quotes and I'll definitely have to go in and share those what I put together the Show Notes for this episode, because those are things people I think need to print out and put by their computers and look at every single day, because it's so easy for us to lose sight of those things. Getting really wrapped up in in getting stuff done being productive, doing more working longer hours. Tou know, hustling, struggling, doing things the hard way, when you know, you're sharing that when when you follow your passion, things happen. The money happens. This like joy happens. It is like magic and people probably who are listening may not believe that it's possible. However, this season of the podcast is really all about this. What are the different ways that you can show up as yourself the real self all of yourself in your business and really use those quality to propel your business forward.

Jeff Harry 10:02
Exactly, exactly.

Yong Pratt 10:05
So I want to know, how do you define play.

Jeff Harry 10:09
So I define play as any joyful act where you're fully present in the moment, where there is no purpose, there is no result. You don't have anxiety about the future, you don't have regrets about the past. You're just fully in the zone like fully in flow. And play can look like a drastic amount of things. I think a lot of people think like, is it hula hooping? Is it basketball? Is it sports, and it's just like, plays any joyful act, where you're like, I'm feeling like you're creating, right. And I and, and I give the example of a client of I had that was a lawyer that said, um, you know, I don't play I don't play at all, never play. And I was like, Well, what do you do? And she goes, I help businesses that hate each other, and people that hate each other, come to agreements on one thing, and I was like, oh, tell me more. And she was telling me, I was like, that's your play. So like, everyone's play is different. As long as like, you know, you're doing it because you forget about time, you know, you'd like, like, you would you would do this, even if you weren't getting paid to do it. Like that is what I see when I define play.

Yong Pratt 11:19
I love that. So it makes me think that there are literally no mistakes when it comes to play. Because everyone it looks different. Right?

Jeff Harry 11:28
Right. Right. And, and it's this idea that ties into what you said earlier, like my business mentor, Steven Worley says, you know, don't you want to get paid to be yourself? Like, isn't that at the end of the day, what we want to do, not our professional self, not like, you know, like this pretend self, but just you just paid to be you, right? And like, when you are in play, and you're really getting into flow, that is when you're producing your best work. So why, you know, and also, if you just think about, like the importance of play your favorite moments in your life, most of them, if not all of them are play moments. So why wouldn't we be focused on making more play in our lives?

Yong Pratt 12:08
Yes, so true. And again, because I think when we're kids play is a natural thing. But then we reach this, I don't know what it is a magical age, where society says, You don't get to play anymore. And I remember things from my childhood when it wasn't acceptable to play anymore. So I even even though I really wanted to play, I wanted to go do these things, because I enjoyed them. But they weren't realistic. They weren't productive. They weren't leading me to whatever goal I wanted to set. So I kind of neglected that part of myself for a very long time. And when I rediscovered it, it was it was like one of those, those aha moments where all the, you know, the spotlights are shutting down, the sun is shining. It's like, Oh, my gosh, this is this has been missing from my life. So how do you help people who are like me, who had been conditioned to think that place stops when you grow up? Whatever that looks like?

Jeff Harry 13:00
So that's a great question. So there is a moment when you left the playground, and then you never came back. Yeah. And we never even knew that was going to be our last time at the playground. So I first tell people to have a certain level of compassion for themselves, when it comes to the fact that they haven't played in a while. And when adults asked me like, Why do adults not play as much? I always tell them the answer 148,000 No's. And what I mean by that is, by the time you turn the age of 18, studies have found that you've heard the word no 140,000 times. On top of that, maybe you've only heard the word Yes, maybe eight to 10,000 times depending on how you were raised. So you're first dealing with all of that, right? Then you go to school as a kid, right? Where you're told to raise your hand, you're told to ask for permission all the time. And then parents and adults and teachers should on you all the time, like you should do this, you should do that you should major in this. They even tell this to you when you're six years old, and they're like, you know, what you shouldn't do when you grow up. And you're like, I'm six, like, Can I just be an astronaut right now? And they're like, No, I'm telling you what you need to do. You know, finally, you get out of those elementary school years, you get to your teen years, and we may not have had to deal with this as much as this generation. But you know, you're then constantly bombarded with media, or social media that is telling you that you're not enough, you know, and you get more information in a day telling you you're not enough, then people in the ninth 1950s got in a year.

Yong Pratt 14:38
Oh, my gosh.

Jeff Harry 14:39
All of this is happening, that you think about it. It is such a rebellious revolutionary act to play. Because again, people are telling you, you're too mischievious You're too much. You're too weird. Why do you have to do that? Why do you have to start a podcast? Why do you have to create a video like that doesn't make sense. Like it's not logical, right? So you're hearing all of that, that, like anything you do that is play oriented, that is you is really hard to do. So if you're doing that you should give yourself a ton of credit for fighting all of that, because that's all we're fighting, first and foremost. So like, we have to give ourselves a little, you know, a bit of compassion for that, you know, so then getting into the tangibles of like, how do we tap back into that play, is I learned this from my play mentor, Gwen Gordon, who would say, you cannot play while you're in an anxiety ridden state or an anger state, or, you know, you have to actually become you have to soothe yourself to a certain extent. And the way you learn how to soothe yourself is from the person that took care of you the most. So their nervous system and in a way you are adopting their nervous system, like how they took care of themselves is how they take care of you. So if you you know, like, if you have a little trauma, you have to also like, be able to recognize that and let go of that, right.

Jeff Harry 16:03
So first learn how to soothe yourself. So I, you know, I go in the shower, I have a ridiculous amount of ideas. When I'm in the shower. Other people go walking, they go running, other people do morning pages, write three pages in a row, other people dance, something where all of a sudden, you get a surge of ideas, and you're just like, I'm just fascinated, right?

Jeff Harry 16:22
Um, then the second step of that is, is I challenge people to get bored, which is really weird for a play person to say. But this is what I mean by get bored. I mean, block out, stop scrolling on social media, stop binge watching Netflix, and I'm not saying forever, I'm talking about one to two hours. And if you tell me you don't have enough time, I want you to look at your phone, because your phone says how long you've been on your phone that day. And it's the average I think I looked it up recently is, is about five hours, three to five hours. So you do have time, you know, and but you block out that noise because I know when I'm creating when I make I make a lot of tic Tock videos, when I've scrolled and watched a lot of Tik Tok videos. I don't want to create, because I just assume the world has already made everything. Have you ever felt that way you're like, well, everything's already been said. So there's no reason for me to say anything, right. But when you're not consuming when you're able to block that noise out, that's telling you to be someone else besides yourself, and you get super quiet and super bored. Think about when you were a kid, your best ideas came when you were bored, your most dangerous ideas. Also your best ideas. So you get super bored.

Jeff Harry 17:40
And then you start to strengthen the muscle of listening to your own intuition, your inner child, your inner curiosity, and then it's gonna whisper something to you really quietly. But it's gonna whisper something that is both gonna sound really exciting, but also really scary, because you're gonna have to step outside your comfort zone. And it's gonna whisper something like, create a video, start a podcast, email that person you've been putting off for six months, start that side business, you know, like, do that thing that you've been constantly wanting to do, but you're just like, I don't know, if I could do it, you know, you know, do do that. Follow that curiosity. And it takes you to some magical place that you didn't know we would take you to.

Yong Pratt 18:29
So good you, there's so much to unpack in that. And I want to just dive into the point that you made about getting quiet with yourself and hearing hearing yourself and just listening to yourself. Because I think part of the problem, I guess not a problem. But part of what we deal with as humans in society is, of course, the external expectation that we we get so accustomed to, to waiting for clues outside of us to take that next step to get uncomfortable. And those things that get us uncomfortable, are nowhere near how uncomfortable we could get if we just take that time to slow down and listen. So are you recommending that we do this on a daily basis? How often do you recommend blocking everything out? So you can just be with yourself?

Jeff Harry 19:15
Whenever you whenever you want whenever you want to get into that flow state. I mean, again, right, everyone playing with it yourself, see what like resonates with you. The whole point that I'm trying to communicate is we have to practice starting to listen to ourselves. We have not built that muscle up. We've built every other muscle to listen to everyone else.

Jeff Harry 19:37
And like let's learn from the dying. One of the top regrets of people on their deathbed is I wish I had the courage to live the life that I wanted to live, not the life that others expected of me. So people on their deathbed are warning us or telling us how to create our businesses how to do our how to live our lives. You know, let's learn from That right, you know, and then here's another challenge. And people are like, Oh, you know, well, I don't know, I can't get bored. It's too loud, blah, blah, blah, okay, fine.

Jeff Harry 20:07
Let's try another exercise that you can do with your friends, which makes it even more exciting. You know. So here's a challenge. And this is hard. But this is how you find out about your awesome is you reach out to three to five of your friends. And if you're running a business, maybe you reach out to your clients, because maybe you're close to them or your colleagues, but reach out to three to five people that you are closest to, and you're going to ask them these two questions. What value do I bring to your life? Like? And what I mean by that is like, why are we friends? Like, what do I do for you? Because I think a lot of times we don't know the value that we bring to people's lives. So what value do I bring to your life? And then the second question is, when have you seen me most a lot? And, and a different way of asking that would be like, when have you see me most creative, most playful? When if you see me at my most awesome, you know, when have you seen me most engaged most present? All of those fall under the question of what, when have you seen me come most alive? And what value do I bring to your life? And when you get the answers back? Oh, man, it's just so delicious. There's just so many ideas that they give you and they give you drastically different perspectives. When I did this exercise, that's how I got my the name of my organization, rediscover your play. Because people would be like, well, you helped me rediscover, you know, something I forgot about myself or someone else's, like you can be permission to play. And I kept hearing it over and over again, different ones that I was like, do I help people rediscover your play? And then people are like, yes, that's what you do. So boom, so so this is another practice you can do.

Jeff Harry 21:42
And then between you getting bored and listening to yourself, and all of these ideas, now you have like a plethora of ideas. And you're like, well, what am I supposed to do with all these? Well, I recommend the tipsy storm. That is where you hop on a zoom call with your with your really great friends. And maybe you get a little tipsy beforehand, little alcohol, chocolate, little ice cream, whatever you do to get into the zone. And then you brainstorm with your friends, how do I implement all these play ideas, and then you just write all of them down, you don't criticize him, just listen to all the ideas, you write them all down on a huge whiteboard or piece of paper, you know, and then you go to bed that night, you get over your hangover, whatever you're dealing with, right? Your chocolate, your chocolate hangover, you wake up in the morning, and you look at that list. And the thing that most resonates with you, you take action on that. And that is another way in which you can tap back into your play.

Yong Pratt 22:40
This idea of a tipsy storm is brilliant. So for those of you listening, if you can pause, I don't often ask you to pause these episodes. But if you could pause right now, go to your social media, take these questions and post them. I want you to come back to my website and share with us the feedback you get. Because I think you'll be pleasantly surprised or maybe overwhelmed with the amount of people who you probably haven't connected with a long time, they're going to come in voice their opinion. And maybe they've been silently watching you in the background, admiring what you do, and you don't even know it. But the fact that you're opening up this conversation, you're asking them for feedback, you're asking them when they've seen you at your best. People love to share their opinions. So I want you to pause, go to that and come right back.

Jeff Harry 23:25

Yong Pratt 23:25
If you're not gonna pause, make a promise to yourself, at the end of this episode, you're literally going to pop over to whatever favorite platform you're on, go ask these questions. And we definitely want to hear the feedback because

Jeff Harry 23:38
it's exciting. And I'll say this, so so post the question of like, What value do I bring to your life and, and whenever you see me most live, so that you can get the feedback from social media and from those people. But I recommend when you're talking to your three to five closest friends call them. And the reason why I say call them is because you want to hear the energy coming back. And also, it's really difficult. It puts you it challenges you to like, hear all this love that is coming back to you all this great energy. I think you're like, Oh my gosh, you might even cry because you're like, Oh my gosh, this is what I do for people like I can't believe I do this. You know, so definitely call your closest friends. But also go ahead and post that on social media.

Yong Pratt 24:25
Yeah. And I think you know, you'll get a combination of a lot of different things. And I know even just yesterday, I was talking to a good friend and and we were talking about things and she said, Do you realize I've been waiting for years for you to create this thing and you just never have so I'm telling you now that I want this. Could you just do it? And I thought I said I think I've heard it through the years. I just wasn't in a place to receive it yet. But now that I'm receiving it and I acknowledge that she says okay, this is such a gift, use it. Yes. Listen to those close friends. Don't listen to the randos out there, but listen to Those close friends, let them fill you up, let them light you up, let them help you light your way to whatever next great thing that is going to be happening in your life. Yes, yes, yes.

Yong Pratt 25:13
So what did you think? Are you as excited as I am about adding more play and more fun to your everyday? If so, come show your biggest takeaways, and aha is inside the arena of awesome. You can also find there the video version of this podcast, you can see Jeff on camera, and you can check out his cool bow tie, as well as the fun things that he has in the background of this video to ensure that he gets to play every single day. Make sure you're subscribed to this podcast or are part of the arena of awesome so that you can catch part number two of my interview with Jeff Harry, as we dive deeper into tapping into your real self through play. I'll catch you next time. Cheers.

Yong Pratt 26:01
Thanks for tuning in, do the Amplify Your Awesome™ podcast. Let's continue this conversation inside my Facebook community, the Arena of Awesome while it's still free and open to new members, come share your biggest takeaways and ahas. Plus, every week inside the Arena, you'll get access to me and I may even share content I don't share anywhere else. Until next time, my friend go out there today and Amplify Your Awesome™!



Quotes & Images to Share


Tapping into your real self through play - Yong Pratt - Jeff Harry
How to create your most awesome life by recalculating happiness

How to create your most awesome life by recalculating happiness

[0:00] Do you ever wish you could pack up your suitcase, travel the world, and run your business from anywhere? Well, that’s exactly what our guest today did with her family. Jessica Klasnick was living the American dream. However, she wanted more time with her family. So they sold everything, downsized, and traveled in a teeny, tiny RV as a family of five. Over the past five years, they’ve been recalculating what happiness means to them, breaking away from those societal norms of how life should be, and intentionally living life each day on purpose. Jessica doesn’t teach you how to recreate her best life. She teaches you how to discover your own. 

[2:42] Discover what Jessica and her family were doing before they decided to travel with her family

[4:21] How living the same day in and day out, being home with the kids, and not seeing her husband daily were catalysts to traveling with her family 

[6:38] How Jessica’s family reacted when she shared their plans for travel

[8:10] Did Jessica ever think leaving everything behind to travel was a mistake? 

[10:47] How Jessica’s kids reacted to traveling

[12:24] Discovering and becoming a life coach. 

[14:35] The people Jessica loves to work with as a coach

[17:39] How a new perspective is exactly what we need 

[18:09] Attracting the right people into her world

[19:18] Jessica’s favorite ways to create content 

[20:53] The 4-letter word we need to banish from business

[24:29] Jessica’s philosophy on business

[26:38] “I just don’t want you having fun all day, but not making the money you want or having the relationship you want. I want you to have all of that. And that’s when you know you’re really doing it right.”

[27:58] Jessica’s “Thought Drop” morning ritual

[29:47] Connect with Jessica 



[31:43]  “I love that we talk about our own awesomeness because so often, because we live with ourselves, we don’t even realize all of our gifts and all of these really unique things that we have. And so I would say the biggest tip, and this is a challenge is to figure out what you want, decide that you want it, and then not worry how you’re going to get it. But start taking one step in the direction of that, that that dream or that desire. And just really give up on having to have that control of how do I get there.” 

[33:27] “Don’t let being uncomfortable, be the reason you don’t make a change.”

[34:49] Wanna watch the VIDEO version of this episode and ask Jessica your questions?

You can find the video inside the Arena of Awesome, Yong’s FB Community.

It’s THE place to be to share your aha’s, your biggest podcast takeaways, connect with guests and your fellow Content Gold Miners, and discover ways to Amplify Your Awesome!


PLUS, you’ll get access to Yong every single week inside the community!

[35:15] Next week, we’re diving into the importance of play with Jeff Harry

Read Full Transcript

Yong Pratt 0:00
Do you ever wish you could pack up your suitcase, travel the world and run your business from anywhere? Well, that's exactly what our guest today did with her family. Jessica Klasnick was living the American dream. However, she wanted more time with her family. So they sold everything, downsized, and traveleded in a teeny, tiny RV as a family of five. Over the past five years, they've been recalculating what happiness means to them, breaking away from those societal norms of how life should be, and intentionally living life each day on purpose. Jessica doesn't teach you how to recreate her best life. She teaches you how to discover your own.

Yong Pratt 0:45
Have you ever felt like there was something missing in your business, something holding you back from the success you're seeking? If so, you are not alone. For nearly 20 years, that's exactly how I felt as a business owner. It wasn't until I discovered Human Design, that it all became clear. And it turns out that I was the missing piece in my own business. Join me on this journey of discovering the real me and hear stories from other business owners, building businesses program all of their awesomeness. I'm Yong Pratt, and it's time my friend to Amplify Your Awesome™!

Yong Pratt 1:31
You're definitely a woman after my own heart. Jessica. I'm so happy to welcome you today.

Jessica Klasnick 1:36
Yeah, thank you, Yong. This is so great to be able to connect with you like this.

Yong Pratt 1:40
Yeah, and I love this idea of global business and being able to run your business from anywhere. And we actually met through a mutual friend. And you know, we don't live in the same places, but yet we were able to connect. So the magic of the internet, is that work every time I get to hop on interviews like this. So that's super exciting to start with. Yeah,

Jessica Klasnick 1:59
Isn't that true? It's changing everything. And I think now more than ever, because of this global pandemic, people are realizing where they once thought, No, I have to go into an office to do my job. They're saying, No way. I can do this from home. I could do this from on the road. And it's opening up a whole new world of possibilities for literally families everywhere.

Yong Pratt 2:21
Yes, in a few minutes, we'll dive into the story of your family and how you kind of got to where you are right now. Can you take us back though, before you started traveling before you decided you wanted more time with your family, before you decided to give up the American dream that you thought you wanted to have? Take us back to where you were What were you doing, or your husband was your husband doing? And what were your kids doing?

Jessica Klasnick 2:42
Yeah, so that was just five years ago. We lived in a suburb of Denver, Colorado, and my husband worked for a prominent law, financial firm on Wall Street. And he had been there for close to 10 years. It was literally his dream job. When we got married, he told me exactly what he wanted in his career. And he was living that dream out. And we had three young boys at that point, they were two, four and six. I was staying at home with them. I had given up a lucrative career and became a stay at home mom, and we had what most would consider to be a dream life. And we had a sprawling house in the suburbs and a manicured lawn and truly everything we wanted, we would go on vacations we would see our family that lived in Florida at the time. And we were living every day, you know, day in and day out to the typical, I would say American dream.

Yong Pratt 3:43
I think so many people listening can relate to that. Because what they once thought was their dream life or their dream career years later. They're thinking, Wait, how did I get here? Why? Why did I think this was important? And I love that you have the idea of recalculating your happiness, where you and your family literally said, we have these things. But is it really making us happy? And for us to stop and question that I think first of all, that's a huge, huge step that sometimes we forget about in the day to day of just living and just doing and doing the things we think we need to do, rather than doing the things that light us up.

Jessica Klasnick 4:21
And that's exactly right. And for us, we were just kind of living the same day in and day out. And with me being home with the kids. I wasn't seeing Matt, the boys weren't seeing Matt, my husband. And I got to thinking like, this is great on so many levels. We're so lucky. But there's some really big things that were missing. And for us, the biggest was time together and Matt and I had always been such big proponents of family and eating family dinners. And yet, for most of the time, the boys were alive, we didn't get to do that. And somehow we just I overlooked it because so many other things were great about it. Until really, we sat down and said, Hold on, this is not aligning with what's important to us.

Yong Pratt 5:10
Was there a day in time where you just decided you had had enough of this? And you just drew your line in the sand and said, You know what? We're just gonna do it differently.

Jessica Klasnick 5:20
I mean, I would like to say yes, but it just doesn't ever happen. Right? So the first time I brought it up to Matt, I said, you know, we're missing you, babe. Like, he didn't know where the boys went to preschool. Right? That was like a real determining factor. He didn't know where their preschool was, he would, you know, leave Monday morning and come back Friday night. So he wasn't involved in any of those things. And so I slowly started to bring it up with him some of the concerns I had some of the ways I wasn't feeling like we were aligning with what we really wanted in life. And I think slowly, I mean, this took over a year, he started thinking, gosh, this really isn't what we were hoping it to be. And it really wasn't an overnight success. It was, you know, slowly day in and day out thinking, how could things be different? What is it that we're really wanting, and really letting that settle in on our heart. And then once that did, then there was no stopping us. But up until that point, it was a slow roll, it did certainly didn't happen overnight.

Yong Pratt 6:21
So it took you about a year to make the decision to kind of be out there living independently traveling and taking the kids being together. When you made that decision, and you knew it was going to happen for your family. What if the rest of your family and your friends like what was their reaction?

Jessica Klasnick 6:38
Yeah, well, the first step was actually we decided that we were going to travel with my husband. So he kept the job on Wall Street, and we just loaded up our suitcases. The boys and I, every Monday morning, and we'd pop on an airplane and go visit all these great cities. And while he worked, we would homeschool and explore the cities. So when we would tell people about that they're like, Wow, that sounds great. There was there wasn't any big shock value there. But about a year later, when Matt decided to leave that job, that's when we got lots of pushback. I mean, it's against the norm. He was at the height of his career. He was getting awards, taking, you know, big sales trips is, you know, rewards for doing so well. And so for him to step back from that it took a lot it he had to put his ego aside. I mean, you know, you're getting patted on the back every day for bringing in sales and doing so good. And the next thing he knew he was like teaching our kids how to add numbers. I mean, it was a very big awakening as to what that would look like when you leave something that you're good at. And that's providing financially and decide to take a really different step in your life. And so at that point, we, when he left that job, we packed our suitcases, and we took a year and we literally took a trip around the world. We started in New York, and we ended in Sydney, Australia, and made about 20 stops in between with our kids.

Yong Pratt 8:10
Wow. When I think about that, and the excitement that there must have been in this experience, and seeing new places and being able to homeschool your kids and teach them things like history in places where the history took where it actually happened. I mean, that just sounds like such an amazing way to live. However, I do know that life on the road is can be challenging. In the beginning of this adventure of yours, when you were doing the year around the world, were there ever times when you thought, Oh my gosh, what are we doing? We made a mistake, we should go back home.

Jessica Klasnick 8:42
I mean, I would say probably for the first three months, every single day, we're like, what did we do? We left our job, we're never gonna get another job. We were using our savings to travel. You're with your kids day in and day out. And my husband was not used to that he was used to being in corporate boardrooms. So it was shocking on so many levels. And I think it wasn't probably until about our fourth month that we kind of got into a new groove of what our day in and day out was like, we were in a good mental place to deal with that. And that's when we really started to see some big changes within our family dynamic.

Yong Pratt 9:20
And I love that you show that it took some time to kind of find that new rhythm because I think a lot of us, I know me, particularly you set out to make these big changes. And you know, you're excited about them, and you want to do them and you want it you're totally gung ho. And then just a little ways into it. There's that part where it's kind of the schlep where it feels hard, where it feels like oh my gosh. So I love that you shared that it wasn't immediately like you fit in and you started doing all these things. And it was awesome from the beginning. Because I think that's a reality. With so many life changes we embark on that it's going to be different in the beginning because we don't know what to expect. It's not the norm to do the things that we're doing. Mostly even in Entrepreneurship. So I just appreciate you and your honesty in that bit.

Jessica Klasnick 10:05
Yeah, well, and I think who we are as people was, we were the same person doing all of these new things. And we had to change a little bit in the process in order to adapt, in order for those to be fulfilling and exciting. And we had to really work on our thinking about this, right? You're going from earning money to now spending your savings and it's like, Whoa, what are we doing? We don't want to spend money on this. But we're traveling. And so there was a real balance of change that had to happen with not only myself but Matt, in all three of our kids. Right?

Yong Pratt 10:40
What was your kid's reaction when you told them, you're going to go do this big trip, were they excited that they know what to expect?

Jessica Klasnick 10:47
If they, no. We had never really traveled before, I mean, we would go see, you know, our family in Florida for Christmas. But other than that, Matt and I have traveled a little bit, but nothing like this. So when we first told them, they were excited, but they didn't even really know what it meant to travel for a year. They didn't understand that that would mean leaving friends and packing up their house. And that was a real challenge. We rented out our house in the suburbs, when we went on that trip, and for them to put away all of their, you know, favorite blankets and pack away their clothes, if they were sad. There had to be a lot of conversations around why we were doing this and why it was important to our family. And I, you know, I think it was just important that we shared with them that we're not doing this, because we think we're just going to be happier all the time. We're doing this to get a new experience of living. And we should know that it's gonna be hard. Sometimes just like it is hard not to see dad all the time. And you know, everything isn't going to be perfect. So we never went into it with the expectation of it's going to be better on the other side. Because it isn't it never is bad stuff happens all the time. And so does good stuff.

Yong Pratt 12:06
Absolutely. It's so well said. Now, as as you were traveling, I know that you are a life coach now and you have a lot of training in different modalities. Was that something you did before you traveled and then got back into it? Because the travel kind of necessitated that? Or was it something you discovered along the way?

Jessica Klasnick 12:24
It was something I definitely discovered along the way. I think it's always been inside me. Like, if I were to look back at how I spent my free time, you know, in college or as a recent college graduate years ago, it was always reading personal development books, or going to workshops or looking at ways to improve myself and look at things differently. But it wasn't until we were traveling that I heard people saying to me, Oh, that must be so nice. I wish I could do that. Or me and my husband and I have talked about doing things like that, but we could never do it. And I was thinking well, I I'm not special. We we don't have tons of money. We didn't have a trust fund, we we really took the initiative and made this happen for ourselves. You you can too. And so when I started thinking in those terms of how can I help people that really want to make different changes, not necessarily traveling the world, but just their career or changes with their relationships or changes within themselves. This was the most practical way to be able to help and serve and in that regard. And so I got certified to be a life coach through the Life Coach School. And then I took my years of meditation and yoga practices and got certified in that as well.

Yong Pratt 13:38
Well, I first of all want to acknowledge you for listening to what people were asking and then acting on those questions. Because sometimes, I think I know again, me personally, I've done this where people will say something, they'll ask questions like, Oh, yeah, that's cool. Whatever, I kind of put it off, I kind of blew it off. Because it's it's not difficult. It's not hard. It's you know, because my my perspective is, is not where it needs to be to hear those things. So the fact that you were able to say, huh, people keep asking me about these things. How can I use what I know how can I learn more about myself and, and how we can change our beliefs and our mindset and do all these things, and then dive into coaching so that you can now help people? Like you said, not wanting to necessarily travel around the world and live from a suitcase, but really to dive into some of the bigger changes they want to make. So tell me about who you love to work with.

Jessica Klasnick 14:35
I love to work with women that just want to create some sort of change in their life. It's the kind of change that they have on their heart that they think when they make that change their whole life will be different. And for some women that might be losing 10 or 15 pounds, so let's just lose that weight and get on with it so that you can start living your life. Like I feel once we can do that really easily. lose that weight or stop over drinking or get a job that gives you flexibility or love on your kids like you want to, then the world really starts to open up as far as what's available to you. That's like just the start. But that's what always people get stuck on. They can't get past that, like first hurdle, that one thought that keeps them from, from having a bigger expansive life that they really want to live. So I want to show let's just lose that 10 pounds, and then we'll start figuring out what you really want. Because that 10 pounds, it's like no big deal. We'll get that in No, no time, no problem at all.

Yong Pratt 15:37
Yeah, I love that. Because I have a mentor who always asked us, he always tells us to ask ourselves question after question asking, Okay, tell me what you want. And that's the first level. And then he'll keep asking like, hey, well, why why do you want that thing? And why do you want that thing? And typically, the reasons we want certain things like losing weight has nothing to do with that thing. But it has something to do with something that's completely unrelated that you kind of tap into when you do things like work with you. And you're able to ask people questions about, Okay, tell me more about this. And then you can dig in and find out what it is they really want. I think all of us need someone in our lives that can do that for us, or help us do that. Because we sometimes are really bad at asking ourselves those really hard questions.

Jessica Klasnick 16:20
Well, of course, and our brain wants to keep us safe, it wants to protect us and say, You're okay, not having that you're doing just fine. It's okay. If your relationship with your husband isn't quite how you want it, you guys are doing okay. And your brain always will try to convince you to keep things status quo. But when you really start to work and challenge yourself, it's really interesting, what will come up?

Yong Pratt 16:43
Yes. And every time it's going to be different every day of the week, every time, you know, whether it's morning or night or a Monday or a Sunday. Yeah, every time we dive into these things, it's fascinating the way our brains work, and we're not wired to want to create these changes, but to stay safe, like you said, so I think this idea of psychology and really having this guide, or this mentor to help us discover things that are already part of who we are. But we are just, we're just blocking for some reason. Because I know that I've, again, experienced so much of that in my life and finding the right people along the way that I'm asking questions or, or them just saying, Well, you know, tell me more about this? or How come you're not doing this, when everyone's asking you to do this, you know, I had this conversation yesterday with a good friend. She's like, I think I've been talking to you about this thing for like three years now. And I'm glad you're finally doing it. And I thought, Wait, I guess I just wasn't ready to hear it, you know, all these years.

Jessica Klasnick 17:39
And oftentimes, it's just having a new perspective, clients of mine will say, I literally never thought I could think that. It's, I mean, we talk for 15 minutes in their whole mind explodes from just one question or one new perspective that can literally change your life forever.

Yong Pratt 18:00
So good. So tell me how do you attract the right people to you that you love to work with? No,

Jessica Klasnick 18:09
I really don't work on attracting the right person. To me, what I work with is just sharing, this is how I can help. If you think that resonates with you, let's see if we're a good fit. We always start off by having I do a free consultation for any client that wants to work together. Because anybody I work with, I want to make sure we're going to make an impact, I want to make sure that we're really going to have the energy we need to create the change that they want. So we start off there, and then we decide if it's a good fit from there. So I really think it's just somebody having the determination and the wherewithal to say, I think I'm ready to make that change.

Yong Pratt 18:44
Yes, changes. Yes, changes can be difficult and hard. So having someone like Jessica in your corner can definitely help you to tackle some of those things give you this perspective to say, I never thought of that before. And even those little subtle shifts help us to move into the direction we want to head into. So So tell me about this. So you you're sharing your message? How do you share it best? So what I really want to know is when you're out there sharing Do you like to create content that is on video? Do you like to create podcasts? Do you like to write what what is your go to when you want to share what you're doing?

Jessica Klasnick 19:18
Hmm, that's such a good question. Because it changes so much for me. I at first it was through written word like I liked writing these really long posts for social media and we've got a blog and I liked really sharing my heart that way. But then I realized that there's so many nuances that I wasn't conveying that were so much better through like a video. So now I tend to do a lot of video but I'm suspecting that that's going to change and it will be who knows what if what kind of form I definitely have it in my heart that I would like to write a book at one point and I'm starting to sit on that and discover how that can happen, but I think it's ever changing.

Yong Pratt 20:01
Oh, I love that. And I think for a lot of people listening to, you know, we are told by mentors that are really well meaning like, okay to be successful in this, you need to have a blog. So you go and do the blog thing, but then it doesn't really light you up. And then you try to still do this thing, because you set out to do it. But then somewhere along the way, you lose the joy of doing that thing. So the fact that you said that it changes with you that you feel called to do different types of content. I think that's a really important lesson for all of us. Because I always believe that content creation should be about what is the easiest for you to do what is the fastest way it doesn't have to be long doesn't have to be drawn out. You know, if people don't like to write making a video and having the transcription which they can then use for a book. Like, that's how I love to see content, because it really can be as simple as sharing what you do what you love. And then using the tools that are out there to create all the rest.

Jessica Klasnick 20:53
It's so funny that you bring that up, because I always thought like, in order for something to be good, it had to be hard, or order. In order for me to be successful, I had to work a ton in exhaust myself, literally my gauge for how successful my day was in corporate America was how exhausted I was at the end of the day. And now I had to rework all of my thinking about this. And I decide what sounds fun today. I mean, using fun as a gauge is so atypical, who does that. But it's such a good way to not get burnt out in what you're doing, and to really be joyful and have fun, and be able to serve as many people as we can.

Yong Pratt 21:38
Yes, and that word fun. I think so many people are scared by it. Because like you, I thought things had to be really hard and you had to struggle. And you know, we're told that from when we were a little kid, you have to work really hard in school and get good grades. When you get good grades, you go off to a good college, and you work really hard again, and then you go you graduate and you go work hard for somebody else. That's kind of like the cycle of the norm in in North America. Anyway, that's kind of what we're taught from a young age. So yes, I had to do a lot of deconditioning myself, when I started doing things like content repurposing, because it felt easy. And it was really fun to kind of uncover these things that could could do the work for me. And I thought, Wait, I feel like I am cheating? When I published my first book, I literally thought someone was gonna call me up and say you are a fraud. Because I literally took a series of blog posts that I had written. And I published them into a book, I hired an editor, we added some things in and republished it. And I just thought someone was gonna call and say, You did it wrong. You didn't work hard enough, because it was so easy. And I was just afraid I was gonna get found out.

Jessica Klasnick 22:44
Isn't it? Like, it's so interesting? How did we get that? How did we get that conditioning? Because what I found then is when I started doing things that were really fun, I wanted to work harder, because I was having so much fun. Why would I not do it? So it's this complete, like, 360, I wasn't getting burnt out. I was enjoying time with my family. And I was successful to it. It was like too good to be true.

Yong Pratt 23:09
Yes, yes. and fun. Definitely. If you use that as your new guide, or your gauge for how productive or how much you got done in a day, thinking about it in relation to the fun you had, did you enjoy yourself? Was it a struggle that it comes easy, because I think once we find the fun, everything gets really easy, we get into flow, and things just happen in a way that feels like magic. But it's because we're not so stressed out about, you know, making quota, or getting our checklist out or being productive in a certain way. So for those of you listening, I challenge you today, to have your barometer set for your level of fun. I don't know if you want to put it onto a piece of paper from one to 10. Or, you know, rate your day at the end of the day when you reach when you're before your head hits the pillow tonight, on a scale of one to five, one to 10 how much fun Did you have today? Because when you do things like this, like Jessica shared, I think, again, it's a way to pivot your perspective, to get us to see new things that were always there. But we weren't allowed to where we weren't letting ourselves see because we were so caught up in the non fun stuff. But really, when business can be fun, and you take an inventory of that every day, and that's your measure of success. Imagine what your life will look like in just 30 days.

Jessica Klasnick 24:29
It's true. Imagine what that could look like. And I think that that comes into play of do it your own way. Like you were saying there's so many ways we're told to do things and I always kind of like to march to the beat of my own drum. So I like trying and experimenting doing things differently than then how everybody else is doing them. But I would say if you're sitting down because you think you should write a blog post today because you were told you should post three times a week on your website. You You're doing it because you want to connect with your audience. But when you connect with your audience in a way that is truly enjoyable for you, that's how you're going to get a true connection. So if it's not the boss blog posts that day, what could it be? Maybe it's, you know, write writing something out on social media or in having like a quicker interaction with somebody, maybe it's interviewing somebody else and sharing your ideas with them. Think of what what could be enjoyable in that moment. And you get the same result connecting with your audience, but in a way that you enjoy it.

Yong Pratt 25:32
Amazing, such great questions. And that goes along with the idea of fun, and having life be enjoyable and doing things in our day that we enjoy. Because that changes how people are receiving your message. If it's in a way that you're ready to share that day. And maybe one day like because like I said, maybe it's a blog, but maybe the next day, it's a video, or maybe it's a social media post, whatever that looks like for you. Just again, Is it fun? Is it enjoyable? Can I connect easily with my dream audience by doing these things, and so if you have those as your guide, I think it makes business, especially online, feel so much more fulfilling, because we're not doing the things that, you know, we're told to do, we can actually break the rules and do things that satisfy us as humans and satisfy our need for growth and contribution in ways that nobody could calculate or formulate for us, we really have to go discover those things for ourselves. And when we do, again, it's it's really a magical process that starts to unfold.

Jessica Klasnick 26:38
Yeah. And here's the question I always ask is like, why would somebody not do it that way? Like, why would you choose not to do it. And and I think, after working with so many clients, and I'm talking through this, it's because when we have the checklist of all the things we should be doing, we feel certain that we'll get to where we want to go. If we kind of go rogue, and we do it our own way, we don't feel as certain that we're going to get to that point of success, or the clients that we want or the amount of money we want. And we have to trust ourselves and trusting ourself is really hard to do. So if you can cultivate that trust in cultivating that certainty that you know where you want to go. And you're not exactly sure what that chest look, check list looks like. That's when you can start taking that that action from a fun point and an enjoyable point, and then still get the result you want. Because that's the thing is I just don't want you having fun all day, but not making the money you want or having the relationship you want. I want you to have all of that. And that's when you know you're really doing it right.

Yong Pratt 27:47
Such a good point. Are there activities or exercises or things that the listeners can do to start leaning into a place where they're trusting themselves more, so they can do things their own way?

Jessica Klasnick 27:58
Yeah, absolutely. I think the very first thing is what I call a Thought Drop. And a thought drop is just where every morning you sit down and you write down everything you're thinking in, it'll be interesting, when you first start doing this exercise, your mind might go blank, and you're like, I don't have any thoughts. But it's those little thoughts that are scampering across your brain that you don't want to pay attention to that might be my husband frustrated me when he didn't take out the garbage this morning, or I don't feel good in my pants I ate too much. Or it could be anything great every single thought down and really put into the physical form what's happening in your mind, because oftentimes, those thoughts are affecting our life in so many ways that we don't even know. So just being able to start by saying, Hmm, I can't believe I just listed 30 things I was thinking about and 25 of them were about how I hate my life. I mean, just to you can get a really good perspective on it. And that's, that's a great starting point is to really see what's happening up there.

Yong Pratt 29:05
That's such a great exercise, I'm going to start doing that. Because I know, inevitably, throughout the day, all these thoughts that I could have just put on paper in the morning, are going with me throughout the day interrupting other things I need to get done. So I think that productivity also can be benefited by getting rid of all those things. First thing in the morning, maybe when you have your cup of coffee. I definitely know that I'm just start this. So if you're out there listening, and you want to start doing thought drops in the morning, reach out to us for sure. And Jessica, I want to make sure that people know where to find you because this idea of thought drops. And I know it's just one of the many tools that you use to help your clients make some really big changes in their lives. where's the best place to connect?

Jessica Klasnick 29:47
Well, the best place to connect with me directly as a coach is my website. It's www.JessicaKlasnick.com. But if you want to read more just about our family and what we've done in some of the changes we've made and how that happened. You can go to www.RecalculatingHappiness.com and that's our website that just shares our family story. And what's interesting on on the website is my husband puts in his two cents because his perspective on all this is very different than mine. It's so it gives you like a he said, she said perspective on some of these changes, and in some of the things that we had to go through individually to make it happen.

Yong Pratt 30:26
Yeah, so good. And when I went to go check out that website, I was actually surprised cuz I was, I was thinking that the video was going to be you. Because I think you started at the beginning of the video, you were talking, and then your husband narrated the rest of the video. Oh, that is really super interesting. Because often when people that have a business in their in a family work together, you only hear the one perspective. So I love that you're balancing that out as well. And you're bringing him into this mix. And he can share from his perspective what things are like, because it is just nice to hear it both sides of the story.

Jessica Klasnick 30:58
Isn't that true? And to just not hear how great it is, but to hear some of the challenges that we've had to overcome. And some of the challenges we're still facing on a daily basis. I mean, making big changes, although it gets you to where you want to be, in the end, obstacles come up, problems come up. And you have to be able to work through those and really figure out a way to navigate some of those instead of just giving up.

Yong Pratt 31:24
So good. So can you give us your best advice for people who are listening who are who are building this businesses, and they really want to build it around everything that makes them awesome, but maybe there's a little hesitation there. What is your best tip for helping them to create this business that is a reflection of everything that makes them awesome.

Jessica Klasnick 31:43
I love that we talk about our own awesomeness because so often, because we live with ourselves, we don't even realize all of our gifts and all of these really unique things that we have. And so I would say the biggest tip, and this is a challenge is to figure out what you want, decide that you want it and then not worry how you're going to get it. But start taking one step in the direction of that, that that dream or that desire. And just really give up on like having to have that control of how do I get there. And the steps just take one step that's headed in that direction. A good example for us is we knew that we wanted more time together. And when we decided that as a family, we brainstormed about doing an RV trip for a month. We brainstormed about maybe Matt getting another job and me starting to work. So maybe he would earn less money, but he could be home more. So we knew what the end goal was more time together. But we didn't plan out exactly how that was going to happen. we brainstorm do we marinated on that until we came up to the decision of, oh, let's just travel with him. And he can work his job. And we'll see him while he's traveling. So give I think though, just setting that goal and not worrying about the how gives your brain a space to think of a lot of different options.

Yong Pratt 33:09
Such good advice, not worrying about the how giving up that control of the end result. But knowing where you want to go. such amazing words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing that. Before we wrap up. Is there anything else? We haven't covered that you really want to make? sure you're you're sharing with the audience?

Jessica Klasnick 33:27
Yeah, I love this question. Because there's at least things when you ended up podcast interview that you're like, well, I wish we could have talked about this. I think you know, one of the big things to always keep in mind is that when you're making changes, just know that it's going to be uncomfortable. Don't let being uncomfortable, be the reason you don't make a change. I've heard so many people say well, I got uncomfortable and so I just figured that wasn't right for me. Know, when it's uncomfortable. That's the very cue that says you're moving in the right direction. Staying comfortable is what's kept you from getting where you want to go. So are you willing to sit in that?

Jessica Klasnick 34:10
So good! Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. So Well said, Jessica. I am so grateful that Rebecca connected us and we were able to spend time together to dive into all the good topics we dove into as far as making changes living your life, your own way, building a business around, you're awesome. I so appreciate you for saying yes and for sharing your wealth of knowledge and just for showing up as your awesome self today. Thank you.

Jessica Klasnick 34:34
Thank you Yong. Thank you for all the work that you do and for putting this out there so people can see like, we are awesome. We are in in sharing that is our most important thing that we can do.

Yong Pratt 34:45
Oh, thank you. I really appreciate you.

Jessica Klasnick 34:48

Yong Pratt 34:49
So what did you think? Did you have some big ahas listening to Jessica share her story of selling everything and traveling across the world to live a life have their dreams? I know there were so many aha moments for me. And I'm looking forward to connecting more with Jessica and seeing how their story unfolds because I am so inspired by everything that she and her little family are doing.

Yong Pratt 35:15
Next week. Stay tuned. We talked a little bit about play in this particular episode. And next week, I have a special guest, who we're going to dive deep into this idea of play and how it can help you to become more of your awesome self. Stay tuned, and I'll catch you next time. Cheers.

Yong Pratt 35:37
Thanks for tuning in, do the Amplify Your Awesome™ podcast. Let's continue this conversation inside my Facebook community, the arena of awesome while it's still free and open to new members, come share your biggest takeaways, and Aha, plus, every week inside the arena, you'll get access to me and I may even share content I don't share anywhere else. Until next time, my friend, go out there today and Amplify Your Awesome™!

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