Spotlight: Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

by Minority Fortune

delivering_happinessWe were graciously given an advanced ready copy of Tony Hsieh’s, the CEO of Zappos, new book. It’s in stores today, June 7th, so we’re happy to review the book for our readers.

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh infuses the idea of happiness with life and business. As the CEO of a company that recently was acquired by Amazon for an estimated $1.2 billion dollars yet still remains in love with his company, Tony certainly has unlocked something profound. Instead of focusing solely on the one aspect that garners the most attention, the author takes his readers down the road of his life, his company, and his theories on happiness. Reading through the book is like having a conversation with Tony himself. Most importantly, you’re sure to learn a thing or two. A common thread should interlink your life, your work, your purpose, and your happiness. Once you can strike a balance amongst these areas, you’re sure to create a synergy that makes your life much easier.

Ownership

The book opens up with Tony’s earlier trials and tribulations in entrepreneurship. From the young age of nine, he had begun his pursuit of ownership from starting a worm farm to button making. His propensity for knowledge and curiosity led him to explore various hobbies from theatre to computer programming. Some of those hobbies would stick with him for a lifetime. The ones his parents had pressured him to do, such as learning how to play four instruments, would not. The difference? He followed his passions and left the rest behind.

All the way up to the point where he sold his first company for $265 million, Tony had excelled in taking risks in the pursuit of doing something fulfilling. While one may think he would stay within the computer programming field, he would prove it wrong by taking odd jobs involving restaurant management and later, as we all know, a shoe company. He didn’t expend his time on things that had little meaning and spent his life putting little effort into things that didn’t matter, i.e. homework, attending useless classes, doing things of no interest. It’s evident from a young age that Tony had already figured out something valuable that people three times his age have yet to discover.

Zappos

Tony spends a considerable portion of the book discussing his reputable company Zappos. As glorious as the company is today, it’s evident that the company encountered many battles from its infancy. The most notable being where the CEO was close to putting his entire savings into the company in order to save it from catastrophe. Through the constant change and risk taking, Zappos would morph into a workplace of envy. The secret was to focus on brand, culture, and development. The book also shares e-mails, their ten core values, and countless stories. Once these ideas were mastered, profits followed, and the rest is history.

Pursuit of Happiness

The last section ties everything together. Why do we work? Why do we live? Tony firmly believes that it’s all for the pursuit of happiness. While brief, there is some insight into the process. We all desire to feel like we live for a higher purpose. However, most of us don’t really know our purpose and vision. We spend so much valuable time pursuing quick highs. Much is lost by not understanding our passions. Once that happens, Tony insists that life becomes much easier and, obviously, happier.

The stories shared by the author resonate because the words are real. Tony admits that the book was not written by a ghostwriter but by himself. However, it seems better that way. Told through humor and humility, it makes for an easy read.

Overall, the book brings refreshing insight into entrepreneurship and happiness. It’s nice to hear of a company with a moral and social compass surpassing $1 billion in revenue and being acquired by Amazon. The masses would love to start their own Zappos. The masses would love to be happy. For that journey to getting there, there’s only one thing to say: this book delivers.

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