“There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path” Morpheus, The Matrix.
This is how Tony Hsieh, the author of this book and CEO of Zappos, started his piece of art “Delivering Happiness”. He definitely walked the path!
He translated the path he walked in life into this amazing book, where he talked about his life starting since he was a kid up until he became the CEO of Zappos (A company that was ranked number 15 in Fortune’s magazine annual “Best Companies to Work For” list in 2010 and was ‘acquired’ by Amazon for $ 1.2 billion in the same year)
The book has 3 sections, accordingly to Tony Hsieh’s perception of life and business during his journey:
2. Profits & Passion
3. Profits, Passion, & Purpose
When you first read the title of the book, you would think it is some sort of a human development book, well it is not. It is a business book, but according to Tony Hasieh… if you want to run a successful business, you should deliver happiness, first to yourself, then to your employees, customers, & shareholders.
The sections of the book show an exact development of Tony’s perspective about delivering happiness (or success), he thought at first it is only about profits (which will deliver happiness only for the shareholders), then he realized that profits & passion alone would deliver happiness (for the owners & and the shareholders), then he realized that it needs a combination of Profits, Passion, and Purpose to deliver happiness. This combination is what led Zappos into success, a huge one! A happiness delivered for the owners, employees, clients, and shareholders.
The meaning of “purpose” is: to be part of something bigger than yourself! Something that would lead to changing cultures, mindsets, or changing one thing in the world into something better. Solving a problem in your community… this, according to Tony, the long lasting purpose of happiness.
Then comes “passion”, which is to love what you are doing at the moment, to believe in it. To make it something that would make you wake up in the middle of the night to work on it! This, according to Tony, is the second long lasting purpose of happiness.
Finally comes the “profits”, which is the result of the hard work and something that would allow you to run your dream. According to Tony, this is not the core of happiness and would make you live a moment of happiness that won’t last. This is not the thing that would make you wake up in the middle of the night to work on your dream. Yet, it is very important to “feed” your dream and keep it living,
After reading the book, and reading about Tony’s journey.. I realized three things:
- There is nothing called “overnight success”… success requires a lot of hard work, ups and downs, and a purpose!
- Success requires happiness, you cannot reach success if you (your employees, clients, or shareholders) were unhappy!
- Happiness is very important!
I enjoyed the way Tony talked about his life, since he was a kid. His way of writing is very smooth, besides his sense of humor. Among all this he is down to earth, people oriented, and always thinks of any success as a team work not “his” work. He admitted making mistakes, and made the world learn from his mistakes by writing this book. Very interesting journey indeed.
He is a heavy reader, and one of the main things he added in Zappos is having a Zappos Library and putting certain book titles as part the employees self-development plan.
Interesting pieces of information:
- Zappos was about to shut down!
- Other than Tony, investors didn't believe in Zappos!
- Tony spent all his cash and had to sell one of his most lovable possessives to rescue Zappos!
Go read the book now!