I recently read “Deliverying Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose” by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, Inc.
This book showcases a dramatically different approach to building a business than most business books.
In fact, I find Tony Hsieh’s approach absolutely refreshing.
By not making money their number one focus (what most businesses do) they’ve been able to create a much more financially successful business than most. They’ve also created a whole lot more in the process.
I think what you’ll find if you choose to read the book is that this is not ironic, it actually makes a lot of sense.
Just in case you’re not familiar with Zappos.com, it’s a billion dollar company (yes, that’s billion with a “B”) that started out selling shoes online (something no one thought would work), that reached the billion dollar mark in just 10 years.
In an interview about the book, Tony shared how he started out like many entrepreneurs, just chasing profits.
Until he realized that money alone isn’t enough to bring happiness.
He realized if you instead focus on making your customers and your employees happy (even sometimes at the expense of profits), it’s actually good for business. He discovered the best businesses are those that combine profits, passion, and purpose.
I couldn’t agree more!
He also came to the conclusion that true happiness is possible when you discover it’s less about what’s external and more about what’s internal.
Hmmm, could it be the things most business owners are chasing on their way to success are the wrong things?
As someone who has gotten caught up in the craziness of always striving for more and bigger (and I know I’m not alone), I would say YES!
One of the quotes from the book I loved most was when Tony wrote:
“I thought about how easily we are all brainwashed by our society and culture to stop thinking and just assume by default that more money equals more success and more happiness, when ultimately happiness is really just about enjoying life.”
Enjoying life and business comes from within.
It’s just as possible today, right where you are, as it is when you hit that big business growth goal you’ve set.
Tony has done a lot of research on the subject of happiness (since he decided to make it the driving force behind Zappos.com) and he says he discovered most people are happy when they have the following four things:
- Perceived Progress
- Perceived Control
- A sense of being a part of something bigger
How about you?
What’s driving your pursuit of success? More money, more clients, more respect or admiration from your peers (external stuff)? It’s okay to admit it, I think we’ve all been there. I know I have.
The real question is, are you willing to place being happy, and making your clients happy, at the top of the list, even if it sometimes costs more to do so?