4 Sneaky Joy Stealers (& How to Banish Them Forever)

Nov 28, 2017

They creep up on you when you least expect it, keeping you stuck and making membership-building feel extra hard.

They are the ‘joy stealers’. They suck all the fulfillment and reward out of the membership-building experience. When they are around, it’s easy to feel frustrated and confused. You may even think about giving up on your whole membership concept.

The good news is that there are ways to chase ALL of these joy stealers out of your world… and build the thriving community you really want. All we have to do is identify which one is popping up for you, put the fix in place and you’ll soon have everything back on track!

Joy Stealer #1:  THE JITTERS
“I have an idea! … but will it actually work?”

This joy stealer can keep people on the sidelines for a LONG time. You have an idea. You think it’s solid. Yet something in your gut is stopping you. It would really stink to invest a lot of time and energy into something that flops.

But here’s what’s cool… everyone who has ever created a membership-based business, started an association, or added a membership option to their nonprofit has wondered the same things that you are asking yourself.

The only difference is whether or not they took action.

All it takes to chase the jitters away is a confidence-building conversation.
(Oh and I should mention that the jitters aren’t limited to only new memberships. This joy stealer also likes to pop up again when you’re starting anything new… a new program, a new webinar, a new conference idea… etc. He’s a persistent little bugger.)

Joy Stealer #2:  THE KNOWLEDGE GAP

“I want to move forward… but how do I (insert perplexing problem here)?”

This joy stealer can show up in big ways or in small ways.

Sometimes you feel his presence in as a wave of paralyzing overwhelm… other times he sneaks in disguised as procrastination.

However he shows up for you, he manages to keep you stuck in the same place, unsure of how to move forward.

The best way to get rid of a Knowledge Gap is a one-two punch of information, followed immediately by action. That chases this joy stealer away every time.

Joy Stealer #3:  THE HUMP
“This is feeling a lot harder than I expected.”

This joy stealer anchors himself to you, dragging you down and making you feel like you are pulling a thousand pound weight up a huge hill.

You thought you were doing things right. You thought people would join. You thought that it would feel easier and more joyful. You want people to gather. You want to put out programs and benefits that are rave-worthy, but something is clearly amiss.

It’s not always easy to see exactly where this joy stealer is hiding, so we usually have to do a bit of detective work. We’ll typically find him hanging on in one of 3 areas: Mindset, Marketing or Management.
Once we determine where he’s latched himself on, we can eradicate this joy stealer forever.


“I simply can’t keep up this pace.”

I know it doesn’t feel like it, but seeing this joy stealer show up is a GREAT thing. He raises his little horned head when you’re experiencing success.

Your membership is outgrowing you! Pat yourself on the back because you are clearly doing things right!

Of course, you don’t want this joy stealer to stick around, so let’s give him an eviction notice right now.

There are two things that this joy stealer hates: structures and teamwork. Those are the two things guaranteed to get you through the growing pains. 


Joy stealers love to stay and play where we give them free reign. 

The only one who can decide if the culprits should be kicked to the curb is you.  If your 2017 isn't ending where you had hoped, we have a chance to make your new year different.

Making change happen always starts with a conversation. Together, we can create a plan to eradicate the joy stealers for good.

>> Click here to schedule a call – and we'll get the eviction process started  😉



Joy Duling is Founder and CEO of The Joy of Membership.  Since 2005, Joy and her team have helped associations, trade groups and membership-based nonprofits run their programs more easily and deliver exceptional member care.

You can find FREE tools, tips and training to help you run and grow your membership organization in The Joy of Membership Help Hub.

Hey there.  I’m Joy Duling, Founder and CEO of The Joy of Membership.

Clients hire me to help them design and deliver exceptional member experiences. If you lead an association, trade group, or membership-based nonprofit, you can find FREE resources to help you run and grow your membership organization by visiting here: http://joyofmembership.com/help

I look forward to connecting with you there.