I just started reading Delivering Happiness, by the CEO of Zappos.com, Tony Hsieh. Right from the start I love this book! He begins by going back to his early childhood, and goes through the trials and errors he experienced in his pursuit of money. This took me back to my childhood and my childhood experiences with the newspaper route gone bad, the lemonade stand in 100 degree heat, and the dreaded door to door selling experience.
One of his first examples is a newsletter that he created and attempted to sell, ad space included. It reminded me of how much confidence we had in our ideas, how readily we put all our effort into those ideas, and how quick we were to try something new, back when everything was new.
He then shares is his experience selling Christmas cards door to door in August, and is made to feel a bit silly about it by his first customer, since Christmas is months away. He promptly walked back home after this one conversation, and moved on to his next pursuit of money. While we may not remember each of these examples in our own lives, I think they taught us not only to give up at the first sign that someone doesn’t agree or laughs at our ideas, but it also taught us the safety of staying within our comfort zone. Are we giving up too soon, not giving our ideas a chance to succeed, and are we listening too much to the many critics out there? Are we scared to try something new because we don’t want to be laughed at, or do we simply think it is a waste of time? As adults, how often do we really try something totally new and outside of our area of expertise or comfort? I know for myself, the answer to this question is – not nearly enough!
I am really looking forward to learning more about Zappo’s and Tony Hsieh as I progress through this book. I like that he writes it in his own voice, shares a lot about himself and his family, and I already get a clear sense of his personality, and his passion for greatness. It is already speaking to me about how staying true to your ideas and sticking with it was hard, and still is hard. I also like how his pursuit for money is also his pursuit for happiness, and have to agree that ultimately, happiness is really what we are all pursuing.
- How Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh Will Change Las Vegas (businessinsider.com)
- Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh On Building A Virtuous Business In The City Of Sin (fastcompany.com)
- Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh Explains Why The Word ‘Leader’ Makes Him Cringe (businessinsider.com)
- How Tony Hsieh Pivoted Zappos Into A $1.2 Billion Amazon Acquisition (fastcompany.com)