What is Happiness?

When I first started SWIRE, I did it because I wanted to have control of my happiness. Not to say I wasn’t happy at any one of the many jobs I had leading up to this, but I knew something was missing. It was a job. It wasn’t where my heart truly was. Not to mention I had just about every job known to man-big rig truck cleaner guy for my Grandpa’s company, Starbucks shift supervisor, 2 week stint at Burger King, pager salesman for my brother’s company, waiter at Angelos & Vinci’s, night-shift distribution manager for Rain Bird, internship office coordinator, medical device salesman, direct mail agency director and more. Believe me, I could go on. When I think back about why, I guess it was that I was searching. And, it probably had a little to do with the fact that I loved challenging each job with new ideas and felt I could constantly improve. That’s what made me happy. So when the opportunity arose, I moved on to a greater challenge.

In January of 2007, what would become one of my greatest sources of happiness came my way; my wife, Gwen, was pregnant. Less than a month later, I was on my way to opening an office location for the company while at the same time finding out that we weren’t having a child, but instead three children. As I sit here tonight kicking off our new blog, I’m left to wonder what is happiness and how is it truly reached? Maybe you can help.

Recently, I read Tony Hsieh’s book, Delivering Happiness. I love the fact the he doesn’t subscribe to everyone elses way. Instead, Tony made some gut decisions against the advice of his advisors that grew Zappos to over a billion dollars in revenue while creating an environment that both his team and his customers love. That’s not easy to do. After reading it, I had to test it out and see if it was for real. I went online but knew that the magic happened from the call center, so I called. Within moments, I was on the phone with a young girl who sounded absolutely pleased to be doing her job. First test, passed. You should know it was 11:30pm on a Saturday. The girl had trouble locating a size for me so she immediately offered to search other shoe websites to help me find it. But, concurrently was searching deeper and quickly found what I needed. Then, she proceeded to invite me (free of charge) to be a VIP member and get free shipping for life. I was sold. Super friendly, super helpful, she went out of her way, in every way. That was true customer service. She was happy to do her job and I was happy to be her customer. The end result, I’ll be back and I’ll share this story over and over again.

I’d love to hear what makes you happy?

I’ll kick it off with a list of my own…

  1. Getting home to my three beautiful kids running to greet me at the door with big, giant hugs, saying “I love you daddy!”
  2. Having a wife who has believed in me since day one and now does an amazing job raising our kids.
  3. New challenges from our clients-ones where we get to break out of the mold and create inspirational work.
  4. Working alongside team members that truly care about and love what they do each day.
  5. Pecan pie, my grandma’s apple butter, my mom’s holiday rumballs, and any number of delicious sweets that satisfy my raging sweet tooth.
  6. That I’m blessed with the opportunity to work with a team in building something different. Something we truly care about.

I could keep going on and on, but I’d love to hear how you define happiness…

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