In today's hustle and bustle of fast rising and falling markets, public offerings, venture capital investments and other equations of valuation, we often forget about one of the most important aspects of value in our lives, fun. Walt Disney knew this, Steven...

In today's hustle and bustle of fast rising and falling markets, public offerings, venture capital investments and other equations of valuation, we often forget about one of the most important aspects of value in our lives, fun. Walt Disney knew this, Steven Speilberg knows this, every parent preparing for Halloween or a birthday party knows this. Fun is the thing of untold riches. Fun, if harnessed correctly, can offer a reward no monetary investment can guarantee - a wonderful memory.

Ironically, the logistics of organizing fun are often the short-fallings of achieving the fun we seek. It seems, if fun is what we seek, we suddenly treat the process much like a first time cake baking class comprised of first graders focused on eating nothing but frosting, easily whipped into an anticipatory sugar feeding frenzy and fixated on nothing more than pure, uncut, fun. How shall we deal with the crazed masses?

True fun is often the result of careful and calculated planning, usually by the organizer, who is sacrificing their own hopes of fun for the greater good (think party planner, wedding planner, etc.) This "planner" must choreograph the event to ensure fun is had by all who participate, be they a sugar craving 8 year old or an insecure middle aged office worker. And I thought my job was challenging!

Often the ideas that we know deep down might be fun, also will propose to place us in a situation we aren't comfortable with. This is the key to having fun, it's part of the scary part where we get outside of our normal habits and let ourselves play. This used to be natural to us all as children, but we have grown to be much more rigid and self deprecating as we age. We have to assume that part of a truly fun experience might involve some level of discomfort - that should be a goal!

To achieve fun, we have to treat the planning for the fun much in the way we plan for a normal event or project. There are target audiences, goals, barriers for entry, etc. If we leave it up to the universe, chances are the fun will sputter out, be isolated, and ultimately not be fun. However, if we treat it like a job, and if our goal is fun, we can succeed. If we find ways to gently nudge the participants into a situation they might be uncomfortable within, but is well planned out and has solid objectives in place - fun can be achieved! Here are my rules for achieving fun:

  1. Keep the barrier of entry low
  2. Ensure the pain is worth the pleasure
  3. Don't ask. Tell.
  4. Leave something to the unknown - "Let's see what we come up with!"
  5. Don't leave room for critics in the process
  6. Trust your gut
  7. Test it out, if it's not fun for you, move on
  8. Don't be afraid of silliness, part of "fun" is letting yourself go
  9. If you aren't a little bit scared, you probably aren't having fun
Share on Twitter or Facebook Published July 12th 2010