Delivering Happiness

July 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

Delivering Happiness delivered just that to me as a reader. It allowed me to peer into someone else’s career path, one to which I could absolutely relate.

In this 1st book from the Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh, he breaks things down into three sections:

1.  Profits

2.  Profits and Passion

3.  Profits, Passion and Purpose.

Part 1: Profits

“Envision, create and believe in your own universe, and the universe will form around you.”

The opening of this book tells Tony’s story and highlights the earliest thoughts of a website to market shoes. In this he threads a theme of connectedness and the importance of community development.

A sample of Tony’s tips to live by:

  • Remember it’s a long-term game
  • Stick to your principals
  • Differentiate yourself
  • Look for opportunities beyond just the game you sat down to play.
  • You never know who you’re going to meet, including new friends for life or new business contacts.

How I relate:

His early endeavours reminded me of my passion to work in sports and volunteer for any and every organization that appealed to me.

Taking risks and embarking on new ventures was also something he touched upon – like creating LinkExchange. This reminded me of when I made the call to leave my first full time job at Molson Indy to join a hot dotcom start-up — Internet Sports Network. One month Internet Sports Network was featured by The Globe and Mail as a Top 5 hottest company in Canada, and within a year, we were out of business completely.

Part 2: Profits and Passion

It is in this section that Tony really spells out the ups and downs of growing a company and tries to tell the reader what makes Zappos so special. As a style twist, this section is full of actual emails and documents provide proof of tests and successes.

The birth of the Zappos Culture Book takes a company mission statement to a entirely new level. Hsieh reveals “The ‘Culture Book” concept and in my opinion, it’s a fantastic tool for gaining valuable feedback from co-workers,  colleagues, suppliers and clients.

Key to this are the Zappos core values;

1. Deliver WOW through service

2. Embrace and drive change

3. Create fun and a little weirdness

4. Be adventurous, creative and open-minded

5. Pursue growth and learning

6. Build open and honest relationships with communications

7. Build a positive team and family spirit

8. Do more with leas

9. Be passionate and determined

10. Be humble

These will be referenced down the road.

Part 3: Profit, Passion and Purpose

It was this section that put the book on my top 10 list.

Tony asks one simple question: What is your goal in life?

Then the reader is taken on a ‘happiness’ tour, where various models are reviewed. Examples and illustrations provide the reader with the ability to dive deeper into the pursuit of happiness.

Favourite Tweet to live by:

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

– George Bernard Shaw

In close,

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