Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh.

Concept: Profit, Passion, Purpose
Book: Delivering Happiness
Author: Tony Hsieh
Category: Entrepreneurship
Rating: 7,5/10

Concept: Profit, Passion, Purpose
Profit alone is not what makes companies and its employees successful and happy. An element like in-depth relationships and strong human company values creates necessary passion. Next to that,a differentiating higher purpose makes you feel part of something bigger than yourself. Answering one simple question can help you finding that higher purpose: why?

After several failures and almost-bankruptcies, author Tony Hsieh managed to build one of the most innovative companies of the new Economy (Zappos, LinkExchange). Based on years of trial and error, Hsieh proposes a simple framework for happiness: Profit, Passion and Purpose are the necessary ingredients to a successful company. (An interesting link can be seen with the personal happiness framework Pleasure, Passion and Purpose by Merriam-Webster)

Watch how Hsieh explains his framework himself including some funny shots at Zappos.

BooksinBusiness comment on Profit, Passion, Purpose
When I launched my first startup together with a friend (www.launtree.be), the plan was to make money by selling advertising space on ecological cloth hangers. I was passionate by the idea of creating something new, something for myself. Foolishly the idea of earning quick and loads of money was an aspect that drove me as well. After a couple of years things weren’t running smoothly and money didn’t come quickly and certainly not in packages of 6 figures. Was the purpose of money that important? I started to realize that I didn’t really know why I was doing all this. I decided to make a kiting trip to Brasil to sort things out, covered by Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits. It was the start of an intense exercise that lasted more than a year; I tried to find out why I was doing what I was doing. It was probably the most confronting and valuable exercise I’ve ever made. After more than a year, I started to see things more clearly, no more nervous and reckless management in the pursuit of money. I had a master plan for happiness. Reading Tony Hsieh a couple of years later helped me to remember how starting a business should be fun, how important it is to not take myself and business too seriously and how serving a higher purpose is one of the most important sources of happiness.

In one of the following blogs I will talk about an interesting parallel with Simon Sinek’s Start with Why; a biological explanation why asking you the why question is so powerful and extremely helpful for startups, mature companies and individuals.

BooksinBusiness take-away: starting a company only in the pursuit of profit will not make you happy; create passion and find a higher purpose.