Book Notes – Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

– Growth is great, but maintain culture
– Keep an eye on funds and limit debt risk
– List the happiest periods in life and you’ll notice that none of them involve money. For me it’s modifying my cars, teaching other people how to do stuff on their cars. Just helping people in general plus reading, sharing neat things. Successfully investing money for other people. Making Mom proud. Playing with dogs. Hanging out with friends. Eating good food. Watching a good movie. Traveling to new or fun places. Racing cars. Driving fast cars. Looking good – physically and in wardrobe. Having sex and making out. Massages. Kicking ass in video games. Making videos. Taking photos. Just being creative, inventive and building stuff. Happiness is about enjoying life and chasing your passion.
– don’t jump into a market if it’s flooded with competitors. Hard for a couple reasons – product becomes commoditized and cutthroat pricing.
– fake it till you make it
– always be prepared with respect to financials
– it’s a long term game so wins or loses in short term don’t matter.
– be flexible and patient in business
– stamina and focus usually wins
– don’t get caught up in hope
– learn by doing. Knowing the path and walking ┬áit are different
– surround yourself with talent
– don’t mistake luck win a skilled win
– live, eat and breathe your business
– there is always someone better than you. Be humble.
– be nice, it’s a small community
– share and teach others what you have learned
– keep yourself open to other opportunities
– HAVE FUN (don’t just do it for the money)
– The size of the market you enter is meaningful. Too small and you won’t get far. Or playing against someone who’s really good at what they do in their market
– it’s a bad idea to invest in industries you don’t understand
– make genuine friends not friends just to help you out in business
– envision, create and believe in your own universe, and the universe will form around you.
– don’t let some 3rd party run the operations of your business
– great companies have a greater purpose and bigger vision beyond just making money or being number one in a market (good to great by jim collins)
– undersell so you can over deliver – think upgraded shipping for free
– a brand is just a lagging indicator of a company’s culture.
– deliver wow through service
– embrace and drive change
– create fun and a little weirdness
– be adventurous, creative and open-minded
– pursue growth and learning
– build open and honest relationships with communication
– build a positive team and family spirit
– do more with less
– be passionate and determined
– be humble
– make daily incremental improvements in yourself and in the business
– character defines the self while culture defines the brand
– treat others as you’d want to be treated
– be nice to vendors
– create a failsafe pipeline in case someone unexpectedly leaves that others in front of and below can pick up their work
– happiness is about 4 things: perceived control, perceived progress, connectedness and vision/meaning(being part of something bigger than yourself)
– the premise behind maslow’s hierarchy of human needs is that once a person’s survival needs are met, then humans are more motivated by other non-materialistic needs such as social status, achievement and creativity
– there a 3 types of happiness: pleasure, passion and higher purpose. Pleasure lasts the shortest. Passion is the second longest lasting and is all about flow and makes time fly by – think being in the zone like an athlete. Higher purpose is about being part of something that is bigger than yourself that has meaning to you and is the longest lasting out of all three types of happiness.

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