Juicers! Welcome to this hilarious episode of Onion Juice, where I sit down with my good friend Jason Kotecki, the guy who learned that being an adult can have serious side-effects, so he created a company called Escape Adulthood. Their mission? Annihilate Adultitis. He’s not talking about using Monopoly money or signing everything in finger paint, although that would be fun to witness, but escaping the mundane, joyless person that takes themselves too seriously. On this episode, we talk about how you can attract people to your business by being yourself, several creative ideas you can use to bring fun back to your workplace, why you should take your job seriously, but not yourself and the dynamics of working alongside a spouse. I have no doubt this episode could be the reason you are smiling today!
Jason Kotecki has many titles, but he is most proud of the fact that he, along with his wife, has started a movement to eliminate adultitis, an illness that causes a lack of imagination, a play-it-safe mentality and general lack of fun in life and work. “I am a professional permission granter and reminder-er” he laughs, “I basically remind people of what they already know but have forgotten.” He’s talking about a sense of curiosity, the ability to delight in the little things and be passionate about life. Adultitis is the opposite. Think the grinch, or Ed Rooney, the principle from the movie “Ferris Bueller's Day Off.” When he mentioned the term “Adultitis” to Seth Godin (yes, THE Seth Godin...I guess they were pen pals or something), Seth said “that literally means “The swelling of Adult,” a phrase Jason says perfectly describes the dilemma, aka too much adult.
For real estate agents struggling to market themselves and attract more customers, Jason says the key to success is to be your unique, authentic self. Instead of only thinking of yourself as an agent, remember that you are also an artist, and artists use their art to attract people. You’re thinking “dude, i can’t paint, and singing is an ABSOLUTE NO,” so how does that work? Jason reminded me that being yourself, allowing your personality and humor to shine is the best way to build relationships. “If you are watching and copying another person’s approach, chances are you are a second-rate version of the person you are copying, instead of a first-rate version of yourself,” he says. Take your JOB seriously, but don’t take YOURSELF so seriously.
Do you love what you do but hate where you work? What would happen if you loved your work AND your workplace?? Is this even possible? As a retro t-shirt wearing author and speaker, Jason has been in lots of different work environments and shares his wisdom on how to bring back the fun and bring people together. From office Olympics to playing spoons while interviewing potential employees to renaming normal spaces to things like “the awesome room,” Jason said in all the places that there was a sense of whimsy and fun, there seemed to be a certain buzz or energy, and the people really enjoyed working with each other. Jason gives permission (so you’re off the hook) to all the juicers listening to be whimsical and ridiculous while working. Super fun.
Staying true to what makes you tick is a super important part of being an entrepreneur or real estate agent, regardless of the external pressure to grow or scale a company or change jobs just to make more money. “I have to care about it, I have to, at the heart, be making things” explains Jason. How does he make sure he’s living each day according to a plan? He recommends spending a lot of time thinking about what makes you happy, what your ideal day looks like, then try and create a life backward from that. This approach provides clarity on what needs to be done so that “normal days” are always exceptional. For Jason, his ideal day includes time with his family. Like many real estate agents and entrepreneurs, his wife Kim works alongside him every day. Jason shares how to balance working together, how to operate within your strengths and how a mutual passion towards work is critical for success.
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