Use Joy Not Stress to Find Business Success with Geneviève Pépin

Stop boring your team with bland wellness programs and lame investments in your company culture. A happy team is a productive team!

In this episode, I explore Genevieve’s journey to becoming a playful coach, helping leaders and teams be more productive with less stress. We dive into the idea that play and productivity can coexist and discuss the importance of creativity, clear thinking, and strategic thinking in leadership roles. We also examine the balance between order and chaos in our lives and how play can help create an environment for these skills to emerge. We explore the power of play in applying new concepts and fostering creativity, and how small changes in thinking can lead to significant improvements in productivity and overall happiness. Join us in this engaging conversation and discover the power of play in our lives and businesses!


0:03:01 – Making a Living Through Music (128 Seconds)
0:09:14 – The Changing Nature of Professionalism (117 Seconds)
0:14:16 – Technology & Humanity Balance (85 Seconds)
0:19:12 – Playful & Unique Business (65 Seconds)
0:24:25 – Questioning the Model (75 Seconds)

Geneviève Pépin is an accredited life coach (IAPC&M), certified mindset specialist, productivity and leadership development coach (Fortune 500 companies), improv facilitator, and podcast host.

Since before the pandemic started, we are facing unprecedented levels of depression (up 53%), and anxiety (up 55%) in the workforce (Oracle). In fact, $300 Billion is lost by US businesses each year as a result of workplace stress. Plus, 86% of employees and executives cite a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures (Salesforce).

Yet the market is flooded with training on “stress management” and “work performance”, the vast majority of which are bland, and boring and cite basic tips and strategies that can be found on Google in 10 seconds or less. 

That is why we need to focus on Joy Not Stress! Geneviève brings humor, music, and play into the workplace in an impactful and healthy way. She has coached hundreds of professionals and leaders helping them alleviate the pressure they feel from external and internal sources, so they can pursue their high ambitions while staying sane and happy.

Find Geneviève at and search for the Mint Green Ukulele podcast to listen or watch Mike Montague’s Play Your Way Out of Burnout episode here:


Making a Living Through Music
0:03:01 – 0:05:09 (128 Seconds)

“Well, here’s the thing. I’m outside of all of this, I’m a singer, and I sing in bands, and I sing in a funk cover band. So a lot of the songs that I bring there are songs that I actually know very well because I’ve done covers of them and I rehearsed them, like, a million times. So that’s it, a lot are, you know, older songs. Like, I think it was Play That Funky Music. So there’s a lot of old songs, old classics, and I think that it came from I just wanted to challenge myself to do some musical post, and I thought it’s just very fun to pass try to pass a message through thirty seconds of a song and play the ukulele and why not? So I love this. I love how you are playing for a living. You’re having a ton of fun and doing cool things. But I wonder how you got here. This is always kind of my first question for guests. Tell us where in the world you are. How you ended up there? But also, did you ever have, like, boring office jobs and stuff? And then you had a mid-life crisis and you freaked out and you’re like, no, I have to go make parody music videos on the Internet. Or have you just always been playful? And how did you find a way to make a living doing that? Option A. Option A is you just said that perfectly. Maybe I don’t usually Now, so I’m originally Canadian, French Canadian, that’s all the origin of my name and the accent.”

The Changing Nature of Professionalism
0:09:14 – 0:11:11 (117 Seconds)

“If I’m asking you what is professional? Right? Like, people think that a professional is not laughing, not being outstanding except for having outstanding results. Right? But, not speaking more than you need to be, like, wearing gray just like everybody else’s suit and all that stuff, you know? And I think that also just the fact that when we were young at school, we had to be in a class of thirty, which is the model, but I don’t understand why. The teacher said you need to be quiet. And when it was playtime, and when it was work time. They were very, very separate. So I think that it comes from there and also just the whole industry has changed and what is asked of us has changed. Now creativity depends on your line of work, but creativity is clear thinking, and strategic thinking is extremely important in most leadership jobs. And this is not something that you just you can force. This is something that you plant the seeds for to kind of emerge and you create the conditions for it to be able to happen. And play is part of those conditions, having fun and being able to relax and take a step back as part of those conditions. But I think that is just that the world has changed drastically in the last fifty years. And I think that what is asked of us is different, but the way that we think about professionalism and work is the same.”

Technology & Humanity Balance
0:14:16 – 0:15:41 (85 Seconds)

“I think you hit on two things that I think are interesting. One is the balance between technology and our humanity. I think we need to constantly reevaluate what’s helping and what’s hurting and our relationship with it. Technology is not bad. Technology has got us here, where you and I can do podcasts for a living and have a lot of fun and connect with humans all around the world. So we wouldn’t wanna get rid of all of it, but they’re all also things like streaming feeds, doom-scrolling, and stuff that is not helpful, that’s not making us happy. It’s not making us more successful, either. With what we do in our podcast and your creative content, the algorithms are not helping you. You’re helping them get more eyeballs on their advertisements. And so it’s really hard to understand what’s fact and what’s fiction when it comes to technology sometimes, but I think it’s both. The answer is right behind you on your wall. “Yes and” — YES, we want technology, AND we want our humanity.”

Playful & Unique Business
0:19:12 – 0:20:17 (65 Seconds)

“I wanted to talk to you specifically about making a living, playing for a living. So you mentioned in your work that you help people be more productive with play and stuff. And I think sometimes people struggle with that, but I think they could conceivably grasp that being playful, being unique, doing your song parodies, and your comedy makes you different from everybody else, and that’s really good in marketing. So could you talk a little bit about maybe the play benefits that you’ve seen specifically in business? Play is extremely helpful in order to apply concepts. And that’s how I use it and what I do. Right? Obviously, I like to make entertaining content so that people wanna watch. But the playful element is how we learn, right? Do we learn by being told what to do? If that were the case, go to and grab any book, and therefore, you’ll have all the information you ever need. But that’s not how it happens. Is it? We need to apply. I always say, if it was only about knowing what to do, we’ll all have a six-pack. I don’t, and not many people do. So using play as a tool to connect and collaborate and also practice some concepts and also allow ourselves to be creative just creates a space where we, again, let go of the judgment.”

Questioning the Model
0:24:25 – 0:25:41 (75 Seconds)

“Change the way you think about time, for example. When I need to convince people that I need to take time out of the week to plan their week, then I’m finding out that it’s not a waste of time to actually plan your week. It’s way the opposite, you know? It same thing with creativity. Let’s just change the way that we think about it. It’s not about needing to be creative now. I’m gonna judge everything you say, and then I’m gonna tell you that you need to be more creative. More creative now! Question the model that we’re using because it worked back in the day, but it doesn’t work anymore. Play and having fun and using judgment strategically are more sustainable than using all the allotted time.”