Relationship Between Business and HappinessJan 12, 2022
Is there a connection between business and happiness? I’ve been asking this question ever since I was a kid. Are successful people happy? Are happy people successful? Does owning a business, even a very successful one, make people happy.
Science of Positive Psychology says happy people are successful. Does that apply to you? I know many unhappy people, even miserable folks highly successful in business. To answer these questions, allow me to take you to my childhood.
It was 8:45 AM Monday, August 4, 1969. I was nine years old. I looked through the window of my third-floor apartment and saw children across the street waiting to get into the used bookstore. Other kids were playing on the street while holding books in their hands. Some children had a backpack. My father used to take the same kind with him when hiking. I assumed they filled up their parent's hiking backpacks with the books they were trying to sell.
Fifteen minutes later, the gentleman opened the door, and the kids went into the used bookstore. Shortly after, most children left the store holding the same books in their arms. Some would walk across the street and into my building. A few minutes later, I saw them coming out of the building without books. What was going on? They were trying to sell the school books from the last year to help them buy the books for the upcoming year. Since the used bookstore already had enough of these books because other kids came earlier, right after school to sell them, they didn’t need them anymore. So the children would simply dump the books. I saw the opportunity.
Every morning I would look through my bedroom window, eagerly waiting for the children to dump their school books into my building hallway or leave them in front of the store. I would simply go down, take the books and bring them to my room. I was doing this at least three to four times a day until August 15, which was the first-day children would start buying the books for the upcoming year. By then, I had books for every grade from first grade to senior high school and almost every subject available math, geography, history, biology. You name it; I had it.
Children were allowed to stand close by the store and sell their books, and many kids did just that. Even if they sold their books to the bookstore, they wouldn’t make much. But if they waited and tried to sell them on the street, they would get a lot more money for it. Persistence was the key. Usually, they couldn't sell all the books in one day. Some kids would leave the books they did not sell, which was another opportunity for me. Persistent children would keep coming till they sold them all. The money they get for the used school books would help the parents by the current yearbooks.
But your sales position was the key to success. Closer to the store, and more books you had for sale increased your chance of success. I was always the first seller. That allowed me to take the steps next to the store - the best spot available - and showcase my books there. When looking for books, most folk would stop first by my stand. I had so many books that I needed help with. I would loan the books to other kids. When they made the sale, they would pay me. I did not even ask for money upfront. :). This was an actual win-win situation.
I was making so much money that I could buy all the new school books every year. But that’s not it. I’ve had as many ice cream’s as I wanted and was able to buy ice cream for all my friends who worked hard like me. Rain or shine. Yes, my shop was open all day long from 8 AM to 6m Monday through Friday and from 9 AM till 2 PM on Saturday. When I took a lunch break, I would pay someone I trusted to care for my books.
1969 is the year the idea of business success and happiness was born. I had my very first business. I was successful. I was happy. Since then, I have often had a business in addition to my full-time job. From the bookseller to Christmas card seller, wholesale and retail computer business, consulting, real estate, and more.
Was I happy because I had a business? Was I happy because I was successful? Was I happy because I had a great time running some of these businesses? Was I happy because I enjoyed what I did? There are so many questions. For some, I have an answer. For others, I don't.
We can be successful in business, be successful leaders, managers, employees own the small business and be happy. But happiness is not just about business success. It is about your relationships, friendships, family, job, spirituality, resilience, habits, meaning and purpose, and overall life success.
You can have it all. But how?
It would help if you focused not only on the business and success but also on balance among all the life aspects. If you do that, you will have a successful life. I guarantee it.
Here is to your life success.
Braco Pobric is an Internationally Recognized Positive Psychology Expert, Executive Coach, and Corporate Trainer. He is the bestselling author of Habits and Happiness: How to Become Happier and Improve Your Wellbeing by Changing Your Habits. Braco is a founding member and Chief Happiness Officer of the Life Success Academy, Certified Positive Psychology Master Trainer, and former globally Certified Trainer and Business Coach for Dale Carnegie Training. He trained over 60,000 Students in 172 countries.
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