Here’s a question to ponder: Are successful people happy because they are successful? Or are they successful because they are happy?
If you need a moment to pick your mind up off the floor, that’s okay.
The answer, as with any good philosophical question, goes far beyond the question. Many successful people are unhappy. Many happy people are unsuccessful (by most common measures). You can be filthy rich and have a medicine cabinet full of pills you need just to get through the day. You can be dirt poor yet also be the sunshine in the lives of everyone around you.
No matter what you think, everyone agrees that happiness is a good thing. Happiness certainly can’t hinder you on your journey to success. In fact, it can make the road a lot easier. So how can you be happy as a business owner?
Give of yourself – Many people find great happiness in serving others. Many great companies were built out of their founder’s desire to improve lives. Research has proven time and again that helping others trigger the reward centers in our brains. When we make other people happy, we make ourselves happy. In the business world, that’s commonly known as a “win-win”.
Watch the company you keep – Negative energy might sound like something hippies talk about, but some people definitely darken the moods of those around them. Constant complainers and criticizers can make any room unpleasant. The solution is simple: avoid them.
Follow your passion – Bill Gates didn’t start working with computers to get rich. He loved computers and the promise of a brighter future that they held. The list of people who were doing what they loved and turned that passion into riches could go on for days. The road to success will be easier to navigate if you are a willing passenger.
Don’t worry about the things – People often equate material wealth with success. However, a large house that remains empty because you forgot to make friends or family is worthless. Parties that are actually just networking opportunities are enjoyed by no one. A fancy car with an empty passenger seat is a depressing sight. Let go of the desire for the “things” and focus on the people that matter, including you.
Bring some friends along for the ride – As you climb the ladder of success you will meet some great people. Don’t just use them for their talents and then forget about them. Reach down and pull them up with you. Not only will you ensure that you have talented people around you, you will also have good friends to spend time with.
Remember that you can’t control everything – Bad things are going to happen. Unexpected things are going to set you back. It does no good to get angry at fate. You accomplish nothing by arguing with the past. Just pick up the pieces and go on. If you have followed the advice of the previous step, there will be plenty of people around to help pick up the pieces.