Happiness is the driving force behind everything Americans do. It is the key to determining their wants, needs and desires. It is the essence of the American Dream and is as important as the air you breathe.
Even our Declaration of Independence calls for the pursuit of happiness. And yet a 2006 study by the Pew Research Center found that only 34 percent of Americans consider themselves "very happy," 50 percent "pretty happy," and fifteen percent report that they are "not too happy."
One of the most popular courses at Harvard University teaches happiness and creating "a fulfilling and flourishing life." In fact, the course on "Positive Psychology" outdraws "Introductory Economics." That scares me. Have we have gone so far down the road of work, power, and greed that we need to be taught about happiness?
This information points to an untapped market your business can penetrate. At least 65 percent of all Americans want great business experiences that will help make them happy. Even the "very happy" folks can be moved to a higher happiness level, creating even greater customer-conversion opportunities for business.The savvy business person will do everything possible to ensure that his or her business is people-centered and not primarily focused on the bottom line. My belief is that if you do good, your business will do well.
Happiness as defined in my fifth book, Lead With Your Heart, looks like this:
- Business is people-centered. People come before profit in every instance.
- Its values talk to making the world a better place to live and work.
- Business understands the wants, needs, and desires of it employees and its customers.
- It creates products, services, value, prices, and most important, experiences that meet or exceed people's wants, needs, and desires.
Ultimately, your fate as a business person be it entrepreneur, executive, owner, middle manager or lower-level employee comes down to the "who" not the "what." So it only makes sense to spend most of your time thinking about what makes people happy and what doesn't.
NOTE: Excerpted from Lead With Your Heart.