Delivering Happiness

October 3, 2010 Leave a comment

For Centuries people have been asking the questions ‘What is true happiness?’ This is a question that I have asked myself many times. I have read a great book “Delivering Happiness A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose” by Tony Hsieh CEO, Zappos.com, Inc. His book is more designed around how he found his happiness and how it helped him create a ‘world class business’ by focusing on customer service.

Tony talks about how he became a multimillionaire when he sold LinkExchange to Microsoft and part of the sell agreement was that Tony would receive millions more if he stayed with Microsoft for a year. During the first few months he realized that he wasn’t happy and that money does not bring happiness, so he decided to leave Microsoft and the millions he would have received (he didn’t need the money so why stay and be miserable). He found happiness through the people he surrounded himself with, the experiences they shared, and believing in something bigger then himself. This concept became the corner stone of Zappos.com, which he helped build. Zappos.com is build on Customer Service and creating a positive experience for all involved (Customers, Employees, Distributors, etc.)

I borrowed a copy of ‘Delivering Happiness’ from my work and I personally wanted to experience the Zappos.com experience. I called Zappos for the first time and asked how I could get a copy of my own. The representative I spoke to with out any hesitation said since she worked in the call center and had access to the book she would mail it to me at no cost to me. What a great first experience with Zappos.

I would highly recommend reading this book. It made me think about my own life and what I was doing to create happiness. I know my happiness comes from my family, my friends, serving other, and the peace I receive when I am right with God.

I do agree with Tony Hsieh that money cannot buy happiness. Happiness is created by ones own actions and mindset.

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How to Win Friends

August 19, 2010 1 comment

Nathan Shoell | How to Win Friends and Influence People

Lately I have been on a book reading kick, and it is my goal to read at least one good book a month. If any body has some book suggestions, please leave a comment.

Recently, I have read “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. This is one of my favorite books I have read it a number of times and I would highly recommend it. This book was originally written in 1936 and has been revised since. It amazes me that the principles found in this book still holds true today.

The principles found in “How to Win Friends & Influence People” are not new and in my opinion expound the “Golden Rule” (“Treat others as you would want to be treated”). Here are 10 of the 30 principles taught in the book:

  • Don’t criticize, condemn or complain
  • Give honest and sincere appreciation
  • Arouse in the other person an eager want
  • Become genuinely interested in other people
  • Smile
  • Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves
  • Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
  • Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely
  • Ask questions instead of giving direct orders
  • Let the other person save face

As you can see, the principles aren’t new but are principles I personally tend to forget to apply.

Not only is it an interesting, engaging, easy read, but also a great self reflection book. It is my goal to be able to master the principles Dale Carnegie taught. I know as I do, my relationships will be stronger and deeper.

If you are looking for ways to improve your relationships, or just looking for ways to improve yourself. I would highly recommend picking this book up. As you start to apply the principles, you will find out more about yourself, and as you apply the teaching your relationships will enhance. I know because this is what it has done for me.

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What Is your Personal Brand?

July 15, 2010 Leave a comment

The internet has changed the way we do business. In the past, people would chose a business by personal referrals, yellow pages, ads, etc. Then the person would call the business and gather additional information. With the internet those days are almost a memory. At a click of a button people can find what they are looking for, and research the companies reputation. Companies spend thousands if not millions a year on branding and hire people whose sole purpose is to maintain its name.

Just like a business brand, personal branding is very important. Anyone can search for individuals and find out almost everything about someone (where they live, family members, marital status, how many kids, income, their last post on facebook and twitter, etc). I have talked with different employers and they have admitted to searching potentiality employees names online, and  have turned down candidates because of how they represented themselves on facebook, twitter, myspace, and other social media sites. It is important for us to be ourselves but not let our emotions get in the way when we are tweeting or responding to a facebook comment. A practice I use before I publish anything online is I read over what is being published to make sure it is not misrepresenting who I am (this holds true to my tweets as well).

The question I ask myself is this: what are people seeing when they search my name? My name is very important to me and I try to be the best person I can (rather it is on the internet or in person it doesn’t matter).   I challenge anyone who reads this to search their name and find out their personal brand. To some it may be shocking to others there may be nothing, regardless what you find I would suggest to start today to create a positive personal brand.

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The Person Inside

July 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Nathan Shoell | Self Perception

Many years ago I was at a conference for work, and at the conference they talked about giving it our best regardless what we are doing in life. During this time they did an exercise and handed out the poem “The Man in the Mirror” and a little mirror and asked us to take a good look at ourselves.

“The Man in the Mirror”

By Dale Wimbrow, 1934

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you King for a day
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn’t your father, or Mother or Wife;
Who judgment upon you must pass.
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He’s the feller to please; never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear up to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend

You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,
And think you’re a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass!”

When I did the exercise I looked in a mirror and waited for my deepest feelings to surface, and wrote down what came to mind (with no reservations). During this time I asked myself some questions:

Who am I?
What have I done?
What do I want to become?
What do I want out of life?

This exercise was a life changing experience. The person I saw in the mirror was not the person I wanted to be, and I knew I needed to make some changes. Over the years I have made major strides as I continually work on who I want to become. I am always reminding myself, life is about consistently striving to improve oneself by overcoming our weakness.

In the end nobody cares how much we made, what we owned or where we lived.  We will be remembered for the person we became.

“We can often fool the person beside us, but never the person inside”

By Joel S. Goldsmith, 1892-1964

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