9 Lessons from Delivering Happiness

I was fully prepared not to like this book. In fact, I only read it because there was a copy lying around. I really couldn't see what the CEO of a mult-million dollar internet retail corporation would have to say that would be relevant to me. 

Which is why you should, literally, never judge a book by it's cover.

There were far too many "aha" moments and lessons to include them all. These are 9 of my favourites. 

Funny that. So many people are in pursuit of money, when really it is only ever a means to getting us to our goal. What if we chased our goals instead of the tools to get to them? 


See my sentiments above on money. It shouldn't be a goal, it should be one of the tools to achieving the goal. Which means it is important, and necessary, but it is not the ultimate destination.

People don't believe this. But I have seen it happen over and over again, things which "on paper" or "in theory" shouldn't work, shouldn't succeed but they do because they keep the focus on their people.

This is one of the best pieces of advice you can give to an business owner who has got stuck and can't move forward. Stop trying to make the big leaps and start focussing on taking the small steps. When you look back, you will be amazed at how far you have come. 

There are so many industries in which this is applicable. If you are building a business in your own vision, then you are walking the unexplored path. You may not feel like the expert, and that's ok. Because you are becoming the expert. You are the trailblazer. 

Which is why Simon Sinek told us to Start With Why. At the core of everything, we want to be happy and everything that we do is about achieving that. Ask yourself, why do you what you do? For the money, for the prestige, for your clients? All of that is rooted in bringing you happiness. 

Which is an interesting perspective to reflect on your client needs from. If they have everything that they need in order to survive, what is next on their list and how can you be part of providing that? 

YES! Yes it would. Imagine, if every business put happiness at its centre, not just providing client happiness, but employee happiness, community happiness, personal happiness. Where would that take us? How would your business change if the impact you were aiming for was happiness? 

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh is available from your preferred bookseller.

10 Lessons from "A Year of Yes"

There are books that linger long after you've read them. For me, this was one of them. I took so much from this book that it was hard to narrow it down to just ten lessons. But I did. If you want a concise, viewable version of the book then make sure you watch Shonda Rhimes TED talk "My Year of Saying Yes to Everything".

YES! Yes, it absolutely should. Yes should feel like being bathed in warm sunlight. If yes makes you feel cold or alone, you've said the wrong thing. 

Say YES to: Making every yes you say feel like the sun, especially when it involves other people.

To put this in context, it refers to the brilliant Amy Cuddy TED Talk "Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are". If you haven't watched it yet, you should. I am not ashamed to say that I power pose in the bathroom before every talk I give. Yes, I do.

Say YES to: Power Posing in the bathroom whenever you need a boost of confidence. 

Running a volunteer organisation, this one hit home. I see far too much "social helping" and only a fractional amount of actual hands on deck help. Fortunately, those who do put actual time into supporting causes they believe in are some of the best people you will ever, ever meet.

Say YES to: Picking a cause, and genuinely donating your time. 

My so called Facebook life. The curse of the social media generation. Everyone's life looks better on the internet. It's rare that we are posting about the whole, unvarnished truth of our multi-faceted lives. 

Say YES to: Holding out a hand to a friend who is struggling with any part of their life and saying "me too".

And if we're lucky, we never will. Parenthood. It is a fabulous leveller. No matter what you think you know. You don't know. But that's ok, because none of us do. So let's work it out together.

Say YES to: Recognising that you are no better and no worse than any other parent. We are all doing the best we can.

Oof. So true. And really this is the stuff that even if you are told before parenthood hits you, you can never truly understand what it means until you are living it on a daily basis. 

Say YES to: Setting your heart free.

losing yourself.png

I found this quote powerful and painful in equal parts, because this is exactly how it happens. The shift from a place of vibrancy in the world is a slow, imperceptible retreat. One day you realise, you're lost and have no idea how to get back. 

Say YES to: Remembering how easy it is to lose yourself and keep saying yes when you are able to. 

All too often we dismiss hard work and tenacity as "luck". It's true that some of us come from a more privileged starting point than others but that doesn't mean that our hard work should be written off as luck.

Say YES to: Being a badass, and acknowledging the hard work of other badasses.

At points during this book, the words were so striking that I had to remind myself to breathe in and out. This was one of those points. 

Say YES to: Watching for those who are disappearing and help them find their way back. Make it easier from them to say yes again, instead of no. 

As a parent, somehow it is so much easier to say yes to everything except stopping and being in the moment with our children. Even if you don't have children, with all the pressures of life often we forget that playing is a valid and necessary way to spend our time. 

Say YES to: Playing and having FUN! Whenever the opportunity arises, say YES!

A Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes is available from your preferred bookseller.

3 Lessons from "What the Most Successful People do on the Weekend"

Do you, like me, you find yourself in a weekend "rut"; doing the same things every weekend? Are you mostly in your pyjamas and often not leaving the house? Then Laura Vanderkam's e-bookette (mini e-book?) is just the thing to jolt you out of your cosy routine.

These were my three favourite takeaways from the book....

what the most successful people do on the weekend 60 hours

There is nothing like cold, hard numbers to make you realise what you are wasting. A whole working week? I would never have guessed that. 

what the most successful people do on the weekend 1,000 Saturdays

Ooof. As a mother, this one hit me hard. I only have 1,000 Saturdays with the light of my life. Quick! We need to do stuff. We need to be making memories.

what the most successful people do on the weekend meaningful things

I am tired. I am a mother, a wife, a business owner, a daughter, a friend, a curiosity seeker. Frankly, I'm exhausted. But Vanderkam is absolutely correct in order to replenish your depleted energy you must draw it from meaningful things. It takes very little to do so. After all, how much better do you feel when you know you have achieved something, even if it is just one thing rather than being asked on Monday "What did you do this weekend?" and answering "I have absolutely no idea."?

What the Most Successful People do on the Weekend by Laura Vanderkam is available as an e-book from your preferred online retailer.