The past couple of weeks‚ I have had the benefit of picking up my son from school (he is a high school sophomore) from his after school practices. The benefit being that I have had some extra time to just talk on our drive home. Also‚ we started listening (audio CD) to Tony Hsieh’s (the founder of Zappos) book “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits‚ Passion and Purpose”.
I highly recommend this book on both a business level and personal level. The book offers some incredible insights into Tony Hsieh’s business experiences (including how Zappos came to be) and Tony’s insights into success and what it takes to succeed. For Tony‚ to truly succeed you must first be ready to put everything on the line and‚ if necessary‚ be willing to lose everything (economically that is).
From a business and personal standpoint‚ two points raised by Tony really stuck with me:
“Money alone isn’t enough to bring happiness…happiness [is] when you’re actually truly ok with losing everything you have.”
“Without conscious and deliberate effort‚ inertia always wins”
Being ok with losing everything? The point being that you need to be committed to a mindset focused on achieving “extra”ordinary goals and building an organization and company that makes a difference for your family‚ your loyal employees‚ your customers and clients (a company where the sum equals much more than its parts). In doing so‚ you must be steadfast in your goals and the path that you have selected – so much so that you are prepared to put everything on the line. If you are not ready to “put everything on the line” then‚ chances are‚ you have set the bar too low and you may waiver during the inevitable times when things may get difficult.
As to the second quote from Tony Hsieh‚ well this one is obvious but something that many (including myself) need to be reminded of. That is‚ you need to make a conscious decision about what success means to you‚ set a plan and take action. If you fail‚ well…your “failures” will take you a couple of steps closer to your next big success.
Although Zappos is an internet powerhouse today (it was acquired by Amazon)‚ it was interesting to learn just how close (a matter of days) that it came to bankruptcy. What if Tony Hsieh wasn’t willing to risk everything and invest everything he had to keep Zappos running?
(By the way‚ my son was a big fan of the book. I highly recommend it for any teenager).