Meet Hans who makes people laugh!

We are on the quest to interview business owners over the age of 60. This week we visit Sydney Australia and chat with Hans Schwedler who is founder of  Laughing Life which runs fun sessions to bring the community together through humour. 

Can you tell me a little bit about your business and what you do?

In 2006, I started a Laughter Club which has been running for over 11 years and have helped to start two other Laughter Clubs. These clubs are community based which means they are free to the community. During this period, I have donated my time to Aged Care Homes, Retirement Villages, Corporate Organisations and Community Service Organisation such as Probus to promote the value of Laughter.

One of our members who is a Registered Nurse at an Aged Care Home suggested that Laughter was badly needed for patients and staff in Aged Care. The idea resonated with me and so I have been working on how to make a living from what I do with Laughter Clubs and my experience in training, as Mental Health is such an issue in our community.

I have rebranded what I do with Laughter Clubs as FUN sessions. The FUN sessions consist of Laughter with gentle exercises or should I say gentle exercises with Laughter. Laughter is the universal language as it knows no culture, gender or race. Laughter brings people together, relaxes tense situations and enables total engagement. Our sessions consists of deep breathing which helps to release stress in the body, with visualisation, music and meditation which have similar effects on the brain. We help our participants to enjoy the moment and clear the internal head noise, creating relaxation.

My aim is to run fun sessions that help to build positive communities with an emphasis on the link between mental and physical health.  

Fun sessions in work group situations whether short sessions or workshops (such as Team Effectiveness, Manage Work Priorities and Professionalism), help to break down communication walls which encourages a more relaxed work environment for Aged Care, Retirement Villages and Corporations.

What motivates you to keep working after 60?

It is my passion and purpose for getting up each day. I have met so many wonderful people through this journey and will continue to meet. I would love to leave a legacy of some sort through the work I do.

What do you like most about having your own business?

The challenges and opportunities that are presented to me.

What have been some of the struggles you have faced with running your own business?

Trying to convert a community based endeavour to a commercial endeavour. The struggles include overcoming the problem of not knowing what I don’t know. In addition to sourcing funding and marketing.

What are some of the most important lessons you have learnt in life?

Test the market for your service or product to see if it has consumer appeal

Be wise on where you spend your funds

Attend as many free business forums and meetings to build your knowledge of managing a business

Find a good business mentor

What advice would you give to the younger generation?

Find your passion and purpose for your life and go for it. Join the University of Life as there are no HECS fees.

If you could jump into a time machine what era would you visit and why?

I prefer to live in the present as it is so exciting with all the innovative things that are occurring and make the most of each day.

Anything else you would like to add?

Don’t live regrets as it will be engraved on your tombstone.