Many people go into business to make money, so they can use it to do things that make them happy. The problem is others go into the same line of business because it makes them happy, and yet they kick the crap out of the people who are just doing it just for the money. I’m not talking about kicking the crap out of them in a violent way. I mean they’re actually making more money than the money focused guys.
Happy guys just have it all over miserable, pissy guys because they’re happier. The key is this…. if it makes you happy, if it plays into your passion…. if it makes you want to get out of bed in the morning that’s what will keep you going in a good way, for a long time. Big money, huge, ball busting, cover of BusinessWeek and Forbes Magazine money is created by entrepreneurs who have a passion and drive for what they do, and who go about it smartly and with a smile on their face. Here’s how they get there:
1. Happiness first, money next. Stop focusing on the money. Focus on your business, your clients or customers, your employees and your systems. Make sure everything is running smooth and everybody is being treated well and feeling good. Then look at your money. Chances are very good when your happy ducks are in a row, so are your financial ducks. Quack, quack my friends. Quack, quack.
2. Turn off the news. That means news feeds, TV, radio, and whatever channels you are attached to daily that stream in fear, terror and the apocalypse. Leave the “if it leads it bleeds” media mentality. The more you feed that junk food crap to your mind, the more you’ll believe the world sucks and the more unhappy you’ll be. Remember, what you feed, grows. Stop feeding fear.
3. Sleep. Sleep isn’t just something you do so you can function. It’s a part of your business strategy, or it should be. Sleep is a need you have to refresh and energize you. Did you know you can actually DIE from lack of sleep? It is the only way to survive the marathon of growing a business… to be rested and ready. So see your business as a long marathon and allow yourself to move forward more slowly and more deliberately… and give yourself the sleep you need. Being well rested, by the way, makes you happier.
4. Relationships. As a general rule, people feed off of other people, in good ways as well as bad. Focus on the good feeders—the people who give you energy just by being around them. Pick the business relationships you surround yourself with – happy people will make you happy.
5. Share. Share whatever you have with at least one person (more is okay) every day. That might mean offering them a stick of gum, a piece of the several pieces of fruit you brought to work, or a ride somewhere. You’ll figure it out. Your parents and kindergarten teacher didn’t pound this skill set into you for naught.
6. Express your gratitude. You probably didn’t notice that people do stuff for you all day long right? There’s the old guy, or the young girl who held the door for you at some store or restaurant right? Or what about the guy at the grocery who let you cut in front of him because you only had one item and he had 27? Don’t just nod and say, “Thanks.” Stop and actually look the person in the eye and say, “Thank you, I appreciate that. I needed a kindness today.” You’ll not only wow them, but you’ll inspire them to repeat their kindness the rest of the day.
7. Random Act of Kindness. This is not me getting in touch with my feminine side. It’s me getting in touch with my practical side. Random acts of kindness not only make other people feel good, they actually make you feel good, empowered, in control, confident and happy. Studies show that giving and receiving causes our bodies to release endorphins—which are the body’s natural happy hormones.
8. Connect with friends. People, relationships and family are what make most of us truly happy. Take time to significantly connect with at least one friend a week. Go to lunch. Talk about something besides work. Send them a handwritten card expressing appreciation for something they did for you lately. Share a favorite book or audio book with them—gift them something through Kindle. Share something you know will make them smile—a photo, cartoon or video you’ve found.
Be happy. The success of your business depends on it.