Does happiness drive success?

Some of us will be embracing the start of the new week with unstoppable energy and positivity, posting “motivational” messages on Facebook. You know the ones I’m talking about. Monday Funday everyone! On the other hand, some of us will be wallowing in the gloomy Monday fog of doom and pining for the weekend.

As much as I love the fresh start a new week can bring, I think it’s safe to say I sit in the latter of these two camps. It’s not that I’m a negative person, its just often Mondays in the studio can often deliver a sharp kick to the teeth. Deadlines brought forward, rush jobs needed for the end of the week – you get my drift. 

So anyway, its pretty obvious I’m not one for posting motivational messages like some of my fellow social media addicts, but in the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen a couple of posts that have got me thinking.

The first:

“Your job is to make your client successful – not happy.” – Josh Clark @bigmediumjosh at the An Event Apart

The second was a Facebook post by a friend.

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Buddha

I can’t confirm it was actually Buddha who said this. Googling it brought up many different owners of the quote, but that’s neither here nor there. It’s the quote that’s interesting to me.

 Photo of a cat smiling happy

Now both these posts connected with me for different reasons. The first made me question our new company messaging, right slap bang in the middle of our new website.

“We’re a straight-talking design agency whose goal is to make our customers really happy.”

Arrrrghhh! Are we wrong? Should we change it? It took ages to get to the essence of what we really strive for, don’t tell me we’ve got it all wrong?!

Ok, it was a moment of madness, because actually it’s not wrong, it’s what we want to do and its a message that we stand by.

We are here to make you happy, because happiness is a great thing. Happiness brings smiles, and laughter and fun and good times. Without those things, we’d be stuck in Monday fog all the time.

But does happiness bring success too?

I believe it does, and that’s from my own personal experience.

A few years ago I was not a happy girl. The end of 2010 and the whole of 2011 were absolutely horrendous, both personally & in business.

We took on our first team member and then 7 months later, we lost our biggest client, which we didn’t see coming. Then the recession hit us. I left an unhappy relationship and needed to move back to my Mum & Dad’s. We struggled, we took pay cuts and we thought about shutting up shop. We had a lot of sleepless nights, and in the midst of this, I got divorced.

If you want to read more about this story and how we overcame it, then it’s in this great book from Joel Hughes, creator of The Business of Web Design conference.

Fast forward to now, 4 years later.

I am genuinely the happiest I have ever been. I made tough changes to my personal life back then that have been the making of me. I’m healthier, I’m in a very happy relationship (newly engaged to this amazing guy), have made great new friends and life is bloody good.

And you know what, business is the best it’s ever been. We have a great team, amazing clients and we’re on track with our 5 year plan. There’s been a lot of hard work put in to get it there granted, but we’ve all been happy to do it.

This is not a sob story, I’m sharing this because I genuinely believe that my own personal happiness has had a direct influence on the success of the business.

So, if we as an agency solve a problem, which in turn makes our clients happy, aren’t we giving them what they need to make their business a success?  And who defines success anyway? What does success mean to you?

As Buddha says (or whoever you find this quote attached too):

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success”

I couldn’t agree more.


Image credits: daysoftheyear.com.

Paul Wright.
Kelly Molson Managing Director

Host of the popular Skip the Queue Podcast, for people working in or working with visitor attractions, she regularly delivers workshops and presentations on the sector at various national conferences and universities including The Visitor Attractions Conference, ASVA and Anglia Ruskin University.

Read more about me

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