Just recently I changed my answer to that ubiquitous networking question, “What do you do?” My new answer, “Play”. I haven’t had many chances to use it yet. So far the reaction has been a slightly startled pause, a smile and an invitation to tell the questioner more about it. Perfect!
Perfect in a couple of ways. First, because play really does describe what I currently do to make a living. It’s also at the heart of what I’m developing for the future. Second, because it is such an unlikely answer in a business setting that it breaks the conversation out of its usual rut. That has to be a good thing, right?
Why play? How else could you describe a business based on sneaking into people’s yards in the middle of the night and planting flocks of plastic flamingos, herds of tiny Holsteins, or hoards of mini-dinosaurs? It’s the “grown up” version of TPing houses, with the same thrill for the perpetrator (me) and none of the ire from the home owner.
My other business is play as well. I make signs. Big signs. The kind of signs that hang in front of shops. I get to use power tools, and spray guns. I get to paint and gild and etch glass, and glue together miscellaneous pieces of material, and create big pieces of simple art that delight my customers. I think it’s great fun.
There will be more about the role of play in future posts. In the mean time I want to know, how do you incorporate play in to your business? Leave me a comment. I really want to know.