This is the advice I often give to others – yet I struggle with doing so myself.
Over the last 11 months, I have shared very openly the struggles of operating a small business during this pandemic – especially for those in hardest-hit industries like our Sport & Social Group. I’ve done my best to be open, honest, and vulnerable – and I have so appreciated the supportive feedback and notes received in return.
I recently publicly shared my experience of having to lay off more amazing teammates and what a challenging time this was for them, for me, my team, and our business. Many people commented sharing my frustration and asking how they could help. Many others messaged me privately offering to help in any way they could. And a handful have offered to help find my teammate’s new jobs. Amazing!
Having given it some thought, I realized it is time that I take everyone up on their offers of help – my goal in asking for help today is to try to avoid future layoffs and keep the SSG / JAM afloat.
Since March 2020, the SSG has been unable to connect people through the playing of team sports, and in May we pivoted to offer online remote events like Name That Tune Bingo, Trivia, Scavenger Hunts, Survey Says, Escape Rooms, Cooking Classes, and more. In August we launched our new brand JAM (www.workplayjam.com) – we have hired and trained out of work actors and comedians as our amazingly fun and engaging JAM hosts and since inception, we have now connected over 25,000 people through play all over the world.
While corporate teams have been our main focus (with over 65% booking multiple repeat events), we are also providing remote games and events for schools, family and friend groups, conferences, sororities, alumni associations, summer camps, and more.
Today I realized that every single person I know, living anywhere in the world, knows a company or a family or a group of friends, that might enjoy a JAM event and likely hasn’t heard of us yet.
So my ask today is simple – I am going to swallow my pride and be completely vulnerable here – if you genuinely would like to help, then I ask that you please consider doing one of the following:
1. Please consider introducing me to a decision-maker at your workplace in the HR department or on the culture or social committee so we can tell them about JAM and the benefits of connecting corporate teams through play.
2. Please consider giving the gift of a JAM event. Many b2b companies have started giving the gift of a JAM event to their corporate clients (instead of yet another gift basket) and many family groups have been giving JAM gift certificates to older parents unable to see grandchildren, so they can connect through playing in a custom JAM event.
3. Please consider introducing me to a friend or family member who might enjoy a fun remote event (a friend recently booked an escape room and scavenger hunt for his 12-year-old daughter and her group of friends so they could connect and have some laughs as they cannot do so in person and next week we are hosting a birthday party for 80-year-old twins as their family is spread across the country.)
4. Please consider introducing me to a journalist (newspaper, digital, radio, TV) who may want to share our ‘pandemic pivot’ story about how JAM came to be – in order to help us build awareness.
5. Please share any other ideas you may have to help my team and me to grow JAM.
Any help we can get to grow JAM – will help us reduce our risks and cover our monthly SSG overhead costs that government subsidies don’t cover. Thank you in advance for offering to help in the past and considering doing any of the above. And to the many of you who have already booked a JAM event for your own company – thank you so much for your support!!
Keep playing! Let’s JAM!