Why So Serious? 5 WILD Ways to Generate Money-Making Ideas

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Louis: Bonjour, bonjour, and welcome to another episode of Everyone Hates Marketers. com, the no-fluff actionable marketing podcast for people sick of marketing bullshit. I'm your host, Louis Grenier. In today's episode, you will learn how to make changes. That actually sticks and makes more money with something that kids do, but adults don't tend to do that much anymore.

My guest is the Brain Lady. She has a hat to prove it. She's a coach, consultant, keynote speaker, and facilitator, that you call to make changes that last, she helps individuals as well as brands. And she has this kind of blend of applying your science with psychology, behavioral psychology, behavioral science, storytelling, all the good stuff I like as well.

So Jocelyn Brady. I'm very happy to have you on the podcast.

Jocelyn: Thank you. Thank you. Featuring the brain hat.

Louis: Yes. The brain hat as we call it. So if you are listening to that episode, you've, you've missed it. That's a shame. If you're watching that episode on YouTube or wherever, you haven't missed it. So that's good.

But you were wearing the hat as I was saying it anyway. What do you say to people who believe that business is serious, right? You need to be professional. You need to be wearing a three-piece suit and it's all serious and that's how you make money and it's all rational and serious shit.

Jocelyn: I mean, according to who?

It's all, all the rules are made up and you know, if you want to put yourself into a box and decide that not allowing yourself any levity or only being very serious and very buttoned up is the way that you want to live your life, well, I mean, good luck. Go read what the deathbed regrets are. And some of those, you know, oh, I wish I had the courage to live a life that was true to me, not what other people expected.

I wish I had realized that happiness was a choice, that I had let myself laugh and be silly, to play more, and to connect with my friends and people who are important to me. I wish I hadn't worked so hard. And be in the office so much. And I wish I had expressed my real feelings and I don't, I mean, no, no shade on people who do like to, to be very buttoned up and wear suits, but it's also just, you know, that is one flavor of showing up and if that's true to you, great, but if you're trying to fit into something, likely that there will be a day that you fundamentally regret not being true to who you are.

Louis: And those deathbed regrets come from, is it a nurse in Australia?

Jocelyn: Yeah, the main one is, Yeah. The main one, her name is Bronnie Ware and she was a palliative care nurse. I forget for how many, I think 12 years or something like that. There's been a few, but she's the, the, the featured, the star.

Louis: I wrote about this a few months ago, but those, those are the regrets and they are so profound, and yet they're so simple, right?

You're like duh, but it's, it's interesting that no one's, no one really regrets the, oh, I wish I had made more money or I wish all of that stuff. It all goes back, to basic human needs. So to kind of repeat what you said. it's fine if you think business is serious and that's your worldview and that's okay.

But clearly, some people are doing things slightly differently, like you, you don't take yourself too seriously and yet it seems to be working. So when usually I hear those objections or this person saying, you know, you can't be, you can't do this in that industry or whatever. What I hear is they want to do something different, but they're afraid that it won't work.

They're afraid that they'll be, you know, chastised for it or whatever. So what do you say to that? When they are, you feel that they are ready to change and behave differently and take some more risks. What do you tell them?

Jocelyn: I mean, that's like, you know, one of our favorites, I think everybody's favorites now, if it's not, I don't, we were, we don't belong in the same conversation, but Brene Brown, who talks, you know, her main thing is vulnerability.

Right. And that involves showing up as you truly are. And if you're not doing that, you're going to have a lot of neurobiological problems. Right? Your brain is going to be computing that there's, there's some disconnections here. It's going to transpire in, you know, whether it's anxiety and symptoms of depression and things like that.

It will show up. And I think it's just like a lot of letting yourself as the biggest, the biggest unlock always for me is allowing yourself to play, even if it's just a little bit, just like allowing yourself the courage to show up just one step closer to, to what you want to be. If, if it feels too big to just jump off the cliff, you know, assembling the parachute, then.

Then try one thing, like wear your hair a different way, wear a sweater that you would never normally wear. Just try something on that gives you that one little boost that proves to you you're not dead by trying this new thing.

Louis: Okay, a lot to unpack here already. So I want to go back to these, neurological issues you just mentioned.

But what you just said there is something I say as well. A lot of people will say. Oh, I wish I could be like you. I wish I could stand the fuck out as well. And they think it's a binary choice, whether like they stay there or they go all the way to the other side, which is like taking all the risks and whatever.

But as you said, you didn't say it exactly like that, but it's a spectrum, right? Like you don't have to do all the things you can start. And even the first step is great, right? And then you realize that this first step wasn't that bad after all, wasn't that scary. Nothing bad happened. And you get addicted to that in a sense that, yeah, you could do more and then, you know, so it's a, I don't want to go into the cliche of the cliches of the cliches of business, but it's a journey.

It never stops. I think that's what I think. So you mentioned neurological issues. I never heard that before in terms of linking between, you know, trying to play the person that you think others expect of you versus. What you want to do right at a deeper level. So. Are there, is there research that proves that this actually creates what you describe, like those neurological issues, like anxiety and depression?

Jocelyn: Well, I do know there's research that, shows the opposite, or what I should say is it shows an unlock, right? So there's a really good, pretty recent, I'm trying to think of Mary Di Michele who studies improv and she was studying it on adolescents with traumatic issues, deep childhood trauma, and depression and anxiety.

Louis: Okay.

Jocelyn: And that engaging in improv activities. Which is a, it's a novelty in the context of safety. It's allowing you to play in an area that you're, you're taking kind of those baby steps, right? It's like yes and is a fundamental improv principle. You agree with the people who are with you and you build on it.

And that's understood in that, in the realm that you're playing in. And these kids had far greater, really amazing improvements. And one of them is, is what's called coherence. And coherence is something that you see across studies. So Pennebaker is really, another researcher who looks specifically at language and narrative and how that relates to our well-being and likewise when you are getting things more coherent for yourself.

So you're telling yourself true stories about things that happen and things that might be possible for you. You experience that increased coherence, which is just a story that creates meaning and understanding for you. So therefore your symptoms of anxiety and depression and all kinds of other things.

So people who are suffering from even cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, and all kinds of chronic illnesses, report reduced symptoms or severity of symptoms. It's not going to magically wand all of this stuff away, but you become more in harmony with yourself.

Louis: Wow. That's really interesting. I never heard.

You know, research being done on that, the linking the two, but you know, at a fundamental level, it makes sense. Right. And I think a lot of, this is why people report, like, I feel funny myself and feeling very like relieved that they've said their truth. You know, when it comes to maybe folks who are like coming out or folks who are like, you know, quit the career that they hated and do something better, like this, this deep sense of relief that people report.

But the fact that it goes deeper than that is, is really cool before we go into this. Kind of a step-by-step or like the way you approach play, because that's what we're talking about in the big sense of the word. Like how to like allow yourself to be creative and try shit out and whatever. I want you to tell me that story that started with your raging case of hemorrhoids.

Um, yeah, I'm dying to, to, to hear it.

Jocelyn: Yes. As you would nothing like a bleeding butt story. Um, so yeah, basically what I have, I've had growing up severe social anxiety, generalized anxiety, terrified of speaking to humans, especially in classroom settings or anywhere where I felt like trapped, I would do anything to avoid it.

And at the same time, a perfectionist, right? Like, and putting my handing over my worth to somebody else say like, give me, give me straight A's. That means I'm good. Right. But just don't talk to me and ask me to talk eventually. So like, fast forward, I started my agency in 2008, scribe, and I'm just obsessed with words and stories and language and how can I, you know, earn enough to eat a sandwich and pay my rent and it's sort of that, watch what you get good at.

And so I got really good at it and I was, you know, a lifetime of being obsessed with language. I also, at the same time was pursuing my MFA in creative nonfiction writing. So when I wasn't writing copy, I was writing essays and narratives and stories in that respect. And I got so proficient that the. It started to blow up.

I had to hire a team. I got to hire a team. And the CMOs of these companies would say, Jocelyn, we want you to not only write our brand voice guidelines and like copy guidelines, but we want you to come in person and train our teams on how to tell stories and how to write better and all this. I'm like, wait a minute, like in person, like, like to humans.

Oh God, I can't hide behind my screen. And, when I started doing that, I just, got so sick. I was just full, my talking about how you, your issues can transpire, physically. My migraines were just constantly going. Eczema was really breaking out bad all over the place. My hair was falling out and raging case of hemorrhoids.

And that was really, I was like, okay, I'm bleeding from my butt. Maybe I should do something about this. It's a literal pain in the ass, the stories I'm telling myself. And that's when I thought, okay, the scariest thing I can imagine is going up in front of people, and not knowing what to say is the worst thing.

It'll just freeze and look stupid. So I want to face that. Okay. That's what you do in improv. So that's when I signed up for improv. Immediately regret that. Because I was like, oh no, now I have to actually show up, even like thinking about it was like shaking, you know, and it was really I was trying to, I was coming up with excuses to get out of it.

Just like tell them your dad had a stroke, which was true. It's just 10 years before that. Oh, things like, yeah. And I couldn't bring myself to do that. So I just like driving up to do do do do, do do. Oh my god, I'm going to get through. I'm going to die. I'm going to die, I'm going to die. You know, it's a brain does.

And then it was really a few minutes after walking into that class and it's starting all of that stuff like vanished and the time just flew by and I had fun. Like I lost myself and became something new in that period and was like, Oh my God, what? How all of this, all the time, more please. Thank you. And that's when I just signed up.

I started doing it for four years of performance. And that's when I started my stand-up comedy and storytelling show. And realized how much I loved, because I've always loved stories. And watching the creative spark that people feel. Realizing that they are creative people. They are storytellers. You're born that way, right?

It's just like skills you can develop and get better at. And now I could fully own that. Like being in person and playing with that instead of being scared to the point of hemorrhoids.

Louis: So was it truly a transformative moment a few minutes into the first session? Or is that like marketing storytelling to embellish the truth?

Jocelyn: Yeah, it was, it was a catalyst, right? Like it wasn't magically better. It wasn't, I just, I felt when I felt those feelings, I was like, Oh wow, I can feel joy in this experience. And I knew that it would take some time because it, you know, it's like, yes, I'm a fan of brain stories. I like to call them storytelling and how the language we use affects our behavior.

That doesn't work in isolation. You have to act and you have to prove to yourself over and over and over and over that there is a new reality and then you can buy into it and believe it. Right. So thus the four years were like intensive training and performance until it became second nature.

Louis: Right. What do we mean here by intense training for four years? We're just talking about improv class after improv class and studying the art of it and reading books about it and doing shows. What did it actually look like?

Jocelyn: Yeah, exactly that. I signed up for as many classes as I could take. I was doing it back to back when one class ended, I would join another.

Sometimes I would take workshops alongside existing classes. So those classes might last eight to 12 weeks or something like that. Everyone wants to get to a certain level. Everyone was involved in performance every weekend, and then you can join like open improv and at the time there were much more open stages you could just kind of jump onto or sign yourself up for.

Louis: So if you had to select to think about the number one specific thing you've learned from that experience, maybe not the cliched stuff that, maybe the caricature that you hear from like in TV shows or whatever, but, maybe something surprising that you've learned, that you've seen apply today from this experience, from learning improv.

In and out, what would it be?

Jocelyn: I mean, I don't know if this is surprising. It's if you've, you've looked at my stuff, so it won't be to you. But one of them is that play is truly magic. It even feels weird to say it, but it's true. Like you, you have no idea, if you haven't experienced, how transformative play truly is.

And when you really engage, because it's, you know, it's not just a form, it's not like you just have to get out some dolls and pretend they're, they're pirates or something. It's just like, it's allowing yourself that levity and connection and, and flow. So it's like, it's an immersive experience. I guess the other surprising thing is, if you get too far, it can feel like a cult.


Louis: Yeah. One of my older brothers, he's, we don't have parents in common, but we have a stepdad in common. Anyway, long story short, he's an improv guy in France who is quite well known in the circle of improv and whatever. I mean, we were talking about this and that's what exactly it was saying. And then I remember listening to a podcast from Jenna Fisher and Angela Kinsey from The Office.

And Angela Kinsey, who plays, Angela in The Office, who's like a mean, plays a very mean lady. She comes from improv as a background, and that's what she would, she would be saying in almost every episode, how much it, it is like a cult and like those weird group of people just fucking improvising in the street and just not caring at all about what others were thinking and whatnot.

So I'm not into that world, but I've, I've heard enough of it to know that, yes, it sounds very true. You don't want to go too far. So let's go, into the detail of what we are, and why we are talking today. You mentioned it a few times, you mentioned the wordplay, right? So can we maybe define it? You started to define it, but maybe like really define it now.

What do you mean by play?

Jocelyn: If you ask people like Stuart Brown, Dr. Stuart Brown is considered kind of a pioneer in play science. Who, by the way, got into it by studying mass murderers and realized there was a connective thread that was lack of play. So it's not murdering people. It's the very opposite thing.

It's a lot. It's uh.

Louis: What's the opposite of murdering people? I guess keeping them alive.

Jocelyn: Spreading joy?

Yeah, giving life. Yeah. I mean birth is pretty, seems, sounds pretty murdery when people are doing it.

Louis: It is murdery.

Jocelyn: It's a very bloody activity. Yeah, engaging in an activity that doesn't have to have a point or an outcome.

You are discovering that as you go. And there are different forms of play, right? Like you can, you can playfully move your body. And you can get up and kind of, even that is very regulated. There's this, I know you can't, some of you can't see me, but there's standing up and doing a real gentle turn like this is really calming. It tells your body to calm down and there's rough and tumble play. That's like Louie's got it.

Louis: That sounds spicy.

Jocelyn: Spicy play, rough and tumble, you know, it's which could be R-rated or not. And, and playing with, in the context of business, so you could, you know, playing with ideas where so one of my favorite exercises is called shit storming and the idea because brainstorming can cause a lot of blocks right shit storming is the purpose of it is, you come up with like the stupidest idea that you can imagine kitten mittens is one of my favorites go tos and then you start brainstorming like what is the worst idea now let's talk about why is this work how can we sell this worst thing and the point is like get silly get creative the worst thing is the best thing, which melts away people's resistance to be like correct and serious.

And I need the right answer, you know?

Louis: So play is doing its activities that are, have no end goal in mind. You're doing it for the sake of doing it. Like you're in the present, you're enjoying what you're currently doing. Is that the gist of it?

Jocelyn: Yeah, it's, it's related to flow and some people will put parameters.

That play because you know you could play at a thing that does have a goal like I could be playing with how I am Crafting a chapter to a book if I could be like really irritated by it right and then go okay let me just turn this into a play activity where I just want to see what happens if I arrange things this other way And maybe, like, just throw ink at a page, just experiment.

And you could argue that the outcome there is, the desired outcome would be to unlock some new idea or path forward, right? But when you're engaged in it, you're not going, I need the answer now! Right. It's just, you're fully engaged in it while it's happening.

Louis: Okay.

So maybe we can do a bit of a do and don't, uh, not do and don't, that's a stupid fucking thing.

It's not do and don't that I mean, what is play? What is it? Right. So let's say in a business setting in like a, in a more like to go back to the marketing world in general. So shit storming that's play, right? You just try to come up with the shittiest idea possible. That's play. Okay. Brainstorming with a very serious goal in mind where everyone needs to really like, they really need to think hard about the best idea.

Like it, that's not play.

Jocelyn: Not play because there's pressure to be a certain correct thing.

Louis: Right. Okay.

So. Play then involves the absence of judgment.

Jocelyn: Yeah, I think so. And, you know, as you're saying this, I'm thinking about like professional sports, right? You get started because you love, you love it. You're so engaged in it.

It's fun. You're enjoying it. And even when things are frustrating, you get through it because of your love for the sport. And then it turns into a very serious thing. And a lot of the play melts away.


Louis: Interesting. So play would be playing football with your friends in the backyard, having fun. Not play would be playing football professionally, it's work, right?

You go to train and you have to wake up every morning early enough and whatever. And yes, you get rewards like money or whatever, but you're missing the sense of play. Okay. Maybe another example from the business marketing world. From your experience, what is kind of a playful activity?

Jocelyn: What else would be playful?

Sending each other funny gifts. Like I think we get this idea that play has to be some big grand gesture, but it could just be, I just want, this is funny to me. I want to share it with you.

Louis: Okay. That's interesting. So that could be small enough. Like sending a gif and what's the opposite of sending a gif?

What's like a very much not a playful thing to do?

Jocelyn: Oh, the long, you know, the, the emails that you just want to just slit your wrists when you see them come in. Cause it's so long. Oh, they have like 37-word sentences followed by another, like a 50-word sentence. And they're just like, we're making this impossible for you to read it, let alone know what to do.

Louis: That's not play. I mean, That's not play. It's play for me when I receive emails that tell me, you know, you need to invite this person on the podcast and it's the shittiest email on. Yes. It's play when you try to look at every email and compare them. Is it the shittiest email I've ever received? Yes or no. And then you put a ranking together and you know, that's play.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Right. Yes.

Louis: I think we've defined it pretty well. So as I started, like the intro, we were talking about how to make changes that actually stick and how to make more money at the end of the day. That's what people care about when they listen to marketing stuff and whatnot that aligns with themselves.

So you already mentioned an example, like the shit posting, shit storming, not shit posting, shit posting on LinkedIn. I do that, but shit storming, that's your thing. Let's, play here, actually. That's very meta, but let's play. Let's pretend that you are helping me do those things. Let's pretend that maybe I have a team or something like that, you know, your best type of customer or your best type of work.

And. Talk me through what you would make me and us do in order to make changes, I think, and, and have more fun and, and use play in the right sense of the word.

Jocelyn: Another activity example is the 11-star experience.

Oh, no.

Louis: So, I mean,

Jocelyn: No activity.

Louis: I'm not saying that. I'm just trying to think in terms of the method behind it.

Right. So the activity is fine. I mean, we can, we can talk about this one, but I mean, more into like into the, the step by step, let's say we have a, a engagement, I hire you to work with me and my team to do all of this. You know, what is the first thing that you do?

Jocelyn: The first thing I ever do with anybody is just ask a lot of questions, right?

It's kind of, you have to get to the actual problem, right? It's like, what is it that you're actually trying to solve?

Louis: Okay, so ask me.

Jocelyn: What is it that you're trying to solve?

Louis: We just merged with another company and we have two marketing teams. We had two marketing teams, but now it's only one. And they don't really know each other very well.

And we need to generate some fucking results fast this quarter. And they need to get along. They need to get rid of preconceived ideas or whatever. And we need to get shit done. So I need you to help me.

Jocelyn: What do you mean by results?

Louis: I mean, the board has set up those quarterly targets about getting 25 percent more leads compared to last year.

To be honest, I feel like my job is on the line a bit because of it. I have a bigger team now because we merged with this company, but I can sense that it's not gonna be that easy. So yeah, 25 percent more leads for the year on between us, not making my, not getting fired, please.

Jocelyn: Not getting fired, more leads and.

And when you say get shit done, is that all wrapped up in that?

Louis: Yeah. I mean, like losing, like losing the politics of those two teams joining was going to judge each other and shit like that. And, and, and working as a unit. Towards that goal.

Jocelyn: Working as a unit. So I'm going to ask you a cheesy question, but it has produced good answers and that question is, we're going to wave a magic wand and you tell me the most ideal outcome.

What does that look like?

Louis: So it's in one year's time we've reached our targets. The team is getting along. We went to an offsite event and we had a lot of fun. No one got too drunk. There's no like extra, extra marital affairs. Going on, no cheating, everything went well, I got a raise, I can sleep because we got the goal and the ball is happy.

Jocelyn: Alright, so we have a lot of fun together but not too much fun, nothing too spicy. No, nothing R-rated, and nothing too, no, no drunken escapades, good sleep, people are getting along, you reached your targets. How would you, this is a year from now.

Louis: Yes.

Jocelyn: What would you headline this? If you were to name this, this is like a Netflix show, or the name of a book, or something that, like an album, what would you call that?

Louis: Mission Impossible.

Marketing edition.

Jocelyn: Mission impossible.

Does it come with a soundtrack?

Louis: I was hoping you would do the soundtrack.

Jocelyn: Bam, bam.

Okay. All right. Marketing edition. Does that feel clear to you when you say mission impossible marketing edition? Does that feel clear based on the goals that you talked about?

Louis: I mean, the first part, yeah, Mission Impossible Marketing Edition is a bit stupid, maybe something more specific for the second part of the title, but no, I think, I think I know what it means. Like it's, it definitely sounds like a Mission Impossible type thing. And it definitely sounds like we're going to, yeah, we need, like, we need to do what we need to do.

We need to get those fucking leads. Right. That's it. That's the title. Mission Impossible. We need to get those fucking leads.

Jocelyn: Can I make a suggestion?

Louis: Yes, of course.

Jocelyn: So because we're doing a headline about something that's happened in this exercise instead of get we need to get, yeah, you get, you get where I'm going.

Louis: Yeah.

So mission impossible, how we got those fucking leads.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Nice. How are you feeling about that?

Louis: Yeah. It's, it's all good on paper.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Okay. So the point of this exercise is you just try to get some clarity narratively. Right. And this is. Also a tiny little form of play. So we're just playing with the outcomes that you want to get and then from here I mean we could use the whole call if you want to but I would go through and map out a strategy So I would say what what are the chapters to this and we think about this in a chronological order It doesn't have to be perfect.

We just think about from zero where we are now right to mission impossible What got those fucking leads? What are the major high-level steps that, we took to get there?

Louis: So for this, you would still use the movie story analogy. Like in terms of the moments of the movie, is that it?

Jocelyn: Mm-hmm.

Like the major chapters.

So each chapter, think of a chapter as a step-in, in a strategy. So it encompasses lots of little things that happen.

Louis: So I, I know why, but I want to ask still. So why do you ask those questions this way, like with this movie setting rather than in a more rational, bland way?

Jocelyn: The answer is in that question.

Cause it's fucking boring. Cause brains will not stick with, we think narratively, we think in stories. That is how brains are wired. So when you help people construct a narrative for the thing that they want to achieve and doing so kind of, you know, you can allow them to play with it a little bit. So if you say mission impossible, got this fucking leads like that feels fun, right?

Instead of achieving the target of it, you know, and that, and then you can think of like, okay. I've seen a million movies. I know how stories work. Intuitively, we know how stories work and you think, okay, there are major things that happen to achieve that outcome. And then you can, that like makes sense to you and it feels achievable.

So you're toeing the line of what feels achievable and a little bit like it's always going for that stretch, right? Like you don't want it to be boring and low-hanging fruit. You want to be achieving something important to you.

Louis: How do you approach this type of exercise with skeptics? So let's say in my team, I know I'll have a bunch of skeptics or like maybe a bit burnt out and they always challenge whoever we hire to help do something.

What's your, what's your way of breaking that? The barrier.

Jocelyn: It's always contextual. But in a case like this, I might say, listen, if different strokes for different folks, right, we want to give you something that works for that works for brains period. That is a narrative, right? And then also, if you're feeling, you know, squeamish about it, you want to have some harder metrics, let's give you something to choose from.

So we have this overarching mission impossible got those fucking leads. And then we can have the more like, what does that mean to you in a more granular sense? Or if you're afraid to show the CEO because he's going to say, what's the P/L ratio, whatever. Let's plot those out too. So now you have something that makes sense to you, that feels inspiring to you.

And then you have this boring shit that you need to use when you need to use it.

Louis: Okay, nice. Okay. So let's say we've done that kind of movie, that storyline, every chapter. We know how we want to get there. It's agreed. We've played with that.

What's next?

Jocelyn: So we get to those chapters and it starts plotting out those, the, the scenes or the actions, like the tiny things that come next.

Right? So if you have a chapter, let's say what would be the first chapter of Mission Impossible got those fucking leads. I mean, what would be the first big step, strategy step?

Louis: The first big step is to put everyone in the same room to get to know each other, I'd say, because we need to merge those two teams, right?

Jocelyn: Getting to know you. Would that be, would you name that chapter?

Louis: Yeah, exactly like that.

Jocelyn: Yeah. You got to sing it out. Let me get you to sing on here yet. All right. So then what is involved in that? What are the tiny, tiny little steps? How do you get people in the room? Like, walk me through that process.

Louis: Well, we are a fully distributed team.

So first we need to set a date in the future and agree on a location that is close enough to everyone. Pick a venue. Send the invite. Reminding people to fucking book their tickets. Blah, blah, blah. Okay, let's make things easier. I'm making things very complicated for no fucking reason. Let's say we actually are not distributed at all.

We are actually all in the same office. Because that's easier to describe. So yeah, we're in the same office. So it's as simple as setting a date for maybe in two weeks' time in the big meeting room with some sort of a meet and greet with food or whatever, where like everyone gets to know each other without expectation of any seriousness.

Jocelyn: Okay, great. So get everyone in the same room in about two weeks.

Louis: Yeah.

Jocelyn: What would be, what's the exact date?

Louis: 23rd of January.

Jocelyn: What time?

Louis: At 9 a.m. sharp.

Jocelyn: So January 23rd, 9 a.m. sharp.

Louis: Sharp.

Jocelyn: You have everybody getting together.

Louis: Sharp.

Jocelyn: Sharp. I feel like I need some gusto in there. Sharp. Sharp. I can't do it. Okay.

And everybody's in the room. January 23rd. 9 a.m. Sharp.

Louis: Sharp.

Jocelyn: Did you say two hours?

Louis: Nope.

Jocelyn: How long are you, how long are you together?

Louis: Yeah, probably, probably an hour or two.

Jocelyn: And what is your ideal outcome of this? What do people walk away thinking and feeling and doing?

Louis: Well, they walk away with a sense of, you know, the other team is not that bad.

Their anxiety over the fact that, oh, I heard this one is a dickhead or I heard this one is an asshole, or whatever is kind of removed. They feel already a sense of belonging in terms of, you know, we are part of the same group now, instead of looking at each other, looking at each other like you're competing against each other.

Jocelyn: Right. Sense of belonging. Great. Well, that sounds like a plan. How would you, how do you think you can create that kind of outcome?

Louis: Well, I think one of the best thing to do is probably to pick an enemy, a common enemy, not, not a person, but a monster, right? Pointing the finger at something that we all need to rally against.

In order to do something together.

Jocelyn: Mm hmm. What else?

Louis: That's it. That's what we're going to do.

Jocelyn: Is that your, your hour, what'd you say, hour and a half activity?

Louis: Yes. We're going to pick a, we're going to choose what we're going to fight against.

Jocelyn: Nice. Okay.

Louis: So to like unpack what you've started to ask, because I think those questions are quite interesting.

So you've started to ask about, so breaking down the chapter of the movie into smaller parts again, right? Like what do you actually need to do? And, you ask. questions that are, you want, you wanted me to go very specific in terms of the details of it, right? So it's not like, Oh, we'll meet with the team someday.

It's because you're asking for specific details about this particular meeting. Why do you do this?

Jocelyn: Well, I want you to have a very clear imagination of it happening. So like, when we go from this bigger picture, you're thinking like, More aspirational, right? So-called North Star, this big headline, but that can still feel fuzzy.

It's like, oh, that feels exciting, but what the hell does that mean? So when you get down to this more granular, it's like, okay, we don't want to overwhelm you with all of the details that go into this entire plan at this moment, because we're just getting started. What is the exact next thing that feels like?

You're extremely clear, right? So you, what the brain is always looking for is certainty. There's a caveat to this, but basically it wants extreme certainty. So you're like, I gave you, brain gave you a date and you have a time. So you know exactly what your next steps are. So because there's going to be uncertainty involved in this, you're getting people together.

You have all these feelings about it. Maybe you're a little excited, but you're like, there's some reticence. You're like, Oh, I hope this works. But at least you have this very clear foundation of like, Hey, I know what I'm doing after I walk out of this meeting.

Louis: Nice. Okay. And then you ask about it at the end of the meeting.

What are people doing feeling, and thinking that's kind of roughly what you asked. So is that based on, is there a specific reason why you asked that question that way?

Jocelyn: Well, a lot, if you're working in marketing, you're probably familiar with those kinds of questions. They make sense. And they, and they're often sorely under-asked, if you ask me all of the campaigns and things I've worked on, like when that isn't clear, people are like, we want them to think by our stuff, you know, so many words, but just because you're, you have clarity on the outcome and there and you're getting into what people are, which are feeling creatures that think so you're tapping into like, Oh, right.

I have this ideal outcome. that I want some kind of shift or spark that I want to create in these people as a result of this experience.

Louis: Ok. Let's keep going. Cause I think we can, there's a few things that we can extract every time you ask me stuff. So yeah, let's say we have all like most of the steps laid out in an extremely.

Certain way, right? We know exactly what's going to happen. So we're removing certainty from the aspirational kind of talk. We merged the two, right? We have the inspirational side as well as the actual certainty that this is precisely what's going to happen in that order. What do you do next? What do you like to do?

Jocelyn: Once you have everything mapped out, then it's coming together with the person or the team, because here's what usually happens, you get excited and clear about something you're like, yes, we can do this. I know my next steps. But just like when you said, you know, did, did that one day of improv really change everything for you?

Or is that kind of marketing bullshit, right? It's like the story, the story bullshit, because, likely, unless you want to be gotten some big aliens arrived or something huge, hugely different came, you're going to slide back into old habits, fears are going to come up. So it's working with that person and say, okay, how is this thing going?

Are you achieving the things that you said that were important to you? And it's not so much of a why or why not, but it's looking at what is the thinking behind this. So let's say you had this all mapped out, you're super excited. And then you're like, fuck this. I don't want to do this meeting. I'm just going to send an email.

And then it'd be. Okay, let's dig into that. Did this original thing feel important to you? What was your thinking going into this? Do you notice any patterns in these habits of thinking? Has this shown up in other ways in your life and career? Because likely there's a pattern and behavior here, is this something that you would like to change?

And that's like the real work of like getting people, you know, that's like more coaching work versus more of a consultancy blend.

Louis: So that's, that's quite interesting. So you really dig into the coaching side of it. So talk me through all of those questions you asked. It's all about the way they are thinking.

You're trying to understand the reasons why maybe the way they see the world, their worldview, the way they think about stuff that leads them to act or not act. Is that, is that right? So maybe, can you repeat briefly? The questions that you like to ask, you mentioned quite a lot quickly, but like, what are your favorite questions to ask to uncover those blockers?

Jocelyn: One of the most important, I don't know if I even said this, but just like, what are you noticing about your thinking? And it's usually, you know, you see people taking like what, and then you just start pulling, right? Like, what are you, what are you feeling right now? What are you feeling when you think about that?

What is your rationale for this? Doing X, Y, and Z? Is this something that is important to you? Is this something you would like to change?

Louis: So, so this type of question helps to kind of dissociate yourself from your thoughts, right? Like to try to take a distance out of it and see them from a different perspective, right?

To see like, Oh yeah, it actually makes me actually think of those things. And now that I'm saying it out loud, it sounds silly. It sounds whatever. Is that, that's right?

Jocelyn: Exactly. Yeah. Just like being a. Why, like, being a scientist of your own mind and your own life.

Louis: Right.

Jocelyn: Kind of like, oh, yeah.

Louis: Noticing the thoughts, the stream of consciousness, and stuff like that.

Okay, cool. Okay, we're going quite deep. So let's go back up a bit. Talking about play to make changes that actually stick. And so tell me, let's talk about that a bit more. Right. So we started, you've given a few examples of activities that anyone, can do. Right. We talked about the, the, the shit storming.

You mentioned one, you started to mention one and then I cut you off. What was the one you mentioned 11 stars or something?

Jocelyn: 11 star experience. Yeah. It's a, it comes from, what's his name? I think it's from Reed Hoffman. Don't quote me on that. Anyway, it's the 11-star experience, the Airbnb guy. I'm recorded.

Oh no. So the point of this is if you listen, there's a, there's an excerpt of him talking about this and then the gist is. You want to come up with the total mindfuck of the experience because you can always come back from there. And when he gave the example, originally it was before Elon Musk was thought of as the way, he was still kind of like cool to some people.

So he is kind of giving this example of that, the 11-star experience in an Airbnb, you can walk up from a 1, 2, 3. Those are like you showed up and the door didn't unlock and nobody answered, right? A five star is you got in, everything was nice. So you had a good experience. Maybe they even had some tips on what to do in the area.

And then you step up from there. They knew that you were a surfer, so they dropped off their favorite surfboard and gave you. the wetsuit and up and up and up until you get to like the 10-star might be the Beatles arrival in the 1960s. Everyone's cheering your name. You get a private jet. The 11 stars, Elon Musk says, you love space.

We're going to take you on a trip to the moon. So the point is exactly playing with your imagination to exaggerate it to a point where you're like, that's amazing and hilarious. And it's totally impossible. But now, you know, Setting up, giving them the surfboard because, you know, they love to surf doesn't feel so out of balance.

Louis: Nice. Give me another one.

Jocelyn: One of them is, one of my favorites is a more, I don't know that it's necessarily considered playful, but I, but I love it so much. And that's just thank you notes. And that's getting people. So in your scenario of getting people together in a room to create some connection, this is extremely incredible to watch.

When you have people come together, you just say, all we want you to do is you can have, you know, give them cards. And say, write a thank you note to somebody who is really important to you that made a really big impression in your life. Maybe somebody that you haven't gotten the chance to thank enough or at all.

Could be a professor, a friend, or an animal. And give them a few minutes and then ask if they would like to share. And that's when people often share the most incredible stories. It was like at this super corporate event and people were sharing about you know, a teacher who said, you can, I see you going to college and graduating.

She never thought she would. And then she ends up, you know, getting summa cum laude or whatever, another one who had, lost a limb and war. And these people had worked together for years and never once heard these stories.

Louis: I love that. That's such a great example. I can tell how quickly it becomes very emotional and very raw, like, and almost everyone is fucking crying.

Pretty fast about those stories. And that's the power of it, right? And I know storytelling and stories are such a fucking cliche term in the marketing industry, but it shouldn't be because that's what humans can do together, right? Like, it's connected at such a deep level. I think it's in the book Sapiens where it says that humans are the only animals that can tell stories to each other, right?

And so that's why we're able.

Jocelyn: As far as we know.

Louis: Yeah. As far as we know. Yeah. Yeah. Although like they're talking about dolphins and shit like that, that it, they might be quite close to being able to do this, but as far as we know, yes. And this is such, such a powerful thing. Give me another one. I'm addicted to it.

So you mentioned the shit storming, the 11-star experience, the thank you notes. What else do you like to do in, in this type of environment?

Jocelyn: Hmm.

This one is more of an. There're like excursion-style activities that I recommend to people. So for example, if you're trying to get more, you know, customer-centric, which every brand should be doing this, especially in like B2B and FinTech, but it's just go together to a, like a kid's science museum, or you can go to it like a normal museum and just go there.

Like, like a scientist, like an observer and just see, like, look around at these, take notes, take your little field note. Journal and just look at the placement of things, look at the color, look at the lighting, and then come together and talk about it. So like things like that, just going on these excursions and also an excuse to get out of the office and do something interesting.

Louis: So why do you ask them to look at the color placement of things?

Jocelyn: Think about all of the deliberate choices these people, the designers or curators of this experience made for your benefit.

Louis: And it's one of the curses of being a curious person is that like, this is the type of stuff I force myself not to do because I'm so fucking obsessed about the stuff we're talking about, like marketing and understanding people and why people do stuff that, you know, you tend to notice those things like a lot.

So I have to stop myself in supermarkets or whatever to like, look at people. Buying and stuff. And I'm just looking at how what they do and stuff. It's interesting to do like when you're curious, it's fulfilling, but yeah, it's a bit weird sometimes.

Jocelyn: Especially if you're taking notes.

Louis: Yeah.

Yeah. Like the note-taking put in your head, don't take a notepad.

It's a bit, it gets weirder. Okay. Give me a last one, like a last activity, something that you find. Incredibly powerful, playful thing.

Jocelyn: Let's see.

There's like, you know, things like empathy mapping. That's, but you can make them more, more fun and exciting than the traditional, but that's not what I want to talk about.

What do I want to talk about? I think there's this is the simplest, silliest thing. But, we do not celebrate enough as people, and celebration, especially in creating some kind of behavior change, is extremely powerful and highly underrated and a lot of us will get in our heads about it. Well, I only did, I just put on my running shoes.

I didn't go run a marathon. I don't deserve it. So getting in the habit of going like, no, you want to tap into your own reward circuitry to create a change. So here's how you do that. You learn how to celebrate the little things. And when you have a, like a group of people, this is, this is so silly, but I love it so much.

You have people walking into the room for a meeting, and every person applauds, so just like, as loud as you can. You're just like, cheering the star who just walked into the room. And you do that for everybody. Again, super silly, but you have no idea. Like, when you walk into that room, you're like, oh, oh, I'm like You can't help it, but smile and feel a little bit like I am important.

And what a great way to start a meeting.

Louis: Nice. I like that a lot. So the excursion, looking at color placement, understanding why things are here, the gratitude, like a celebration, 11-star experience. And we talked also before that about breaking down those chapters, the movie chapters into like steps with extreme certainty.

You talked about shit storming. We talked about how play, the definition of play is, something without a goal in mind, necessarily something that is more like to be in the moment, present. That's why kids do it, right? I mean, to go back to the start of the intro, like, I mean, my daughter, you met my daughter early on through screen, but you still, saw her.

Play is a lot, right? She wants to play with the dentist and she wants to play doctor and she wants to play fucking farmer and play, play, play, right? Non-stop. So why do kids do that actually?

Jocelyn: Well, I think. Almost all mammals, I'm not sure which ones don't, so I'll say almost all, play to learn. And we are, and because of the brain, there's all kinds of cool stuff that happens in your brain when you're playing, right?

So you're, you're exploring. new thinking, new algorithms in your brain, new scenarios. Often, too, when we're playing, especially as kids, we're playing at, like, disaster situations. Like, somebody, oh, we're gonna murder you! Or, like, oh, no, she's the, the princess is getting taken by the evil frog. It's like a vast majority of kids play is horrible things happening.

Because we're practicing the inevitable hard and horrible things that will happen in our lives, even if we're not really aware that we're doing that right, play is teaching your brain about your nervous system, and how you might be able to respond to different situations. It feels so fun. It's like the point of play being around evolution didn't drill it out of us.

So there must be a point sort of some of the evolutionary psychologists or behavioral scientists might say that something like that and even these like young creatures. So look at a mountain goat. They will jump around and play on a mountain to their death sometimes. So it could be super dangerous, but we still it's like necessary for our learning and growth.

Louis: Any other example from the animal kingdom?

Jocelyn: Rats, play, and giggle, which I love.

Louis: Okay. Give me another one. Now, like I'm gonna, I'm not satisfied. What other mammal, yeah, do play like apply this kind of play principle just for the, for the sake of it.

Jocelyn: Yeah. I mean, you could look at, look at dogs and cats, puppies and kittens, especially, but throughout their entire lives, they'll play unless something's wrong with them, right?

They're, they're getting sick. Okay. My favorite story is about the huskies and the polar bear. Do you know this one? Okay. So, there's a dude named Brian, and he lives in the Arctic, or near the Arctic. And he has, he raises these huskies, like sled dogs. During the winter, there's a period when it's not cold enough for the polar bears to make their crossing, to do whatever hunting and things that they need to do.

I don't know what they do, what polar bears do to go feast. And there was a period of time where, there wasn't, yeah, the tundra hadn't yet frozen over, so the polar bears are kind of roaming around. And Brian had this, particularly rambunctious husky, he's just super playful all the time, very bold, and just do do do do, goes out and does whatever he does.

And one day, a very, very, very, very hungry polar bear walks up to where the huskies are hanging out. And rambunctious one goes, Oh, friend time, runs up to the bear and Brian's like, fuck, like he's, he's a goner and you know where this is going, what happened next? The polar bear like rolled over, exposing his belly.

This is a classic animal kingdom sign of I'm ready to play. I'm vulnerable.

Louis: I do it all the time with my wife, showing the belly and I'm ready to play.

Jocelyn: That's how you got ready for this podcast I heard. And, yeah, they engaged in rough-and-tumble play for about 15 minutes. And then every day after that for, I forget how long, every couple of weeks or something, even people would start to gather around just to watch these phenomena where the, the polar bear would come back for his playtime with this dog until it was cold enough for him to wander out and go on his mission.

And eventually, it invited more friends and it turned into this sort of like tradition of the polar bears coming to play with these dogs. And, you know, they needed to play more than they needed to eat at that moment.

Louis: Yeah, we have a, there was this example as well of a dog with a sea, how do you call them?

They look like seals, right? I mean, they go, they can go outside of the water, right? They can, yeah. Anyway, there was a story of this dog that just went every day to play with that fucking seal or whatever it's called for years. It's fun how every mammal or, you know, almost every mammal has this kind of sense of play and stuff like that.

That's a good way to end this conversation. I mean, I have a couple of questions to ask, but it's a good way to end this conversation that has been going on for 57 minutes. That's what happens when you have fun, right? Going full circle. So is there anything that I didn't ask you? about what we mentioned that you'd like me to ask you.

Jocelyn: I can't think of a missing question. This is really, I've just been so engaged in the moment. I can't think of anything missing.

Louis: That's okay. So maybe if something comes up in the next few seconds, let me know, but what are the top resources you recommend to listeners about this concept of play or even about other stuff that we discussed?

Jocelyn: Oh yeah. The book Play by Dr. Stuart Brown is brilliant and I would definitely recommend that. The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge is excellent also and it shows you just the power of neuroplasticity and these really incredible stories of you know people who went blind and then learned how to see by electrodes on their back and things like that because your eyes don't see your brain is seeing your eyes are just organs that are supposed to send the signals and go see some comedy like go watch local comedians or the comedians that come to town because comedians are, they pick up on so much stuff that in and deliver it in such an interesting and authentic way, especially the really good ones are really good truth-tellers and can be phenomenal storytellers.

Louis: I'm going to forget the name, her name, but she did, she's a standup comedian. She, I think, did a lot of improv. She was a guest actress in The Office, just one or two episodes. You're going to know who that is. She did this standup thing unbeknownst to everyone else where she mentioned that she had cancer, right?

And she announced that she had cancer. She got diagnosed with cancer in front of that crowd. No one else knew at the time that she had it on. She just mentions it and has a way to describe it that makes people laugh. While also, you know, sharing that thing for the very first time. It's a fucking it's such a beautiful thing.

And that's why I love comedy. I agree with you for that. It's I think it's one of the only art forms where you can really go as deep as humanly possible into the, in terms of how you feel and what you think of others and stuff. So I agree with you on that.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Yeah.

Louis: All right. Where can people connect with you, learn more from you, and send you shitty comments?

Jocelyn: Shitty comments, shitty comments, it belongs on LinkedIn, I think, or I don't know where else people go now. Facebook. I never checked Facebook. Send them there. I am. Jocelynbrady. com. Find me on LinkedIn, Jocelyn Brady. Where else am I? I'm also Jocelthem, J O C E L T H E M on Instagram, where any of those places you probably can find me putting on the brain hat, talking about neuroscience or something ridiculous or interesting.

Louis: Well, Jocelyn, you've been a pleasure. Thank you for playing with me today and I'll talk to you soon.

Jocelyn: All right. Thank you so much.

Creators and Guests

Louis Grenier
Louis Grenier
The French guy behind Everyone Hates Marketers
Jocelyn Brady
Jocelyn Brady
"The Brain Lady" Brady - Coach, Facilitator and Keynote Speaker
Why So Serious? 5 WILD Ways to Generate Money-Making Ideas
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