Self-Made Billionaires Do This; Grit Camp for Students; Facebook’s Surprise KPI; Where Should Leaders Sit
February 5, 2015
7 Best Markets; Chinese New Year Predictions; Automatic Customers; Mumbai Feb 27
February 19, 2015

Key to Happiness; The Second Decision; A Mother’s Decision; Free Screening Hyper Sales Growth

"…keeping you happy"


The formula of materialism is: worship yourself, love things, and use people. The right formula for a happy life, a non-materialist life, is: worship God, love people, and use things.
  Arthur Brooks, author, Gross National Happiness

Jack Daly's New Sales Presentation register for a free screening of Jack Daly's "Hyper Sales Growth" one-hour video presentation on Feb 17 and 18 — more details below, but first…

The Second Decision (by Randy Nelson) — launching a business is an entrepreneurs' first decision; knowing what role to play as it scales is the second decision: Leader, Role-Player, or Creator. Randy Nelson, serial entrepreneur and former nuclear navy officer, has created The Entrepreneur Qual Card described in his just released book titled The Second Decision. Qualify yourself as a leader of a growing firm (applicable to all the leaders, not just the CEO), and then set about crafting a personal development process to fill in the gaps.

Secret to Happiness — I'm just back from a lecture at IESE this morning by Arthur Brooks, author of The Road to Freedom, Gross National Happiness, and several other books. His topic was happiness, sharing research that indicates happiness is 48% tied to genetics (yes, you're like your relatives); 40% tied to circumstances (fleeting anyway); and 12% tied to your decisions. It's the last factor where you can exert your free will. In the end, happiness is tied to deciding to take time to enjoy little things (playing cards, watching FC Barcelona crush Athletico, etc.) with friends and family — agreed.

Happiness Portfolio — the research goes on to suggest there are four areas of your life where you can make decisions that impact your happiness: Faith, Family, Friends, and Work – aligns nicely with the 5F's of the One-Page Personal Plan (OPPP). Men, in particular, have the most difficult time maintaining close relationships with friends (you need at least six to carry your casket!). In fact, men in their 60s suffer mainly from loneliness and report that their best friend is their wife 60% of the time while women only see their husband as their best friend 30% of the time! In fact, women in all circumstances (single, married, young, old), except divorced with children, are happier than men. Even widowers, after a short grieving period, are happier!! Ouch. So men, go get some friends (or get a dog).

One Mother's Decision — Daniel Kish lost his first eye at age 7 months; he lost his second eye at age 13 months. However, his mother chose not to treat him as blind, letting him climb trees, ride a bike, etc. Surprisingly, Daniel adapted to his (unfortunate?) circumstances and taught himself echolocation and can "see" in the same way bats can. Notes Chip Bartlett, Climax Metal Products, who alerted me to Daniel's story:

This story has stuck with me like a good movie you can't stop thinking about. It strikes me that the story of Daniel Kish is analogous to that of an entrepreneur. He has incredible determination, embraces failure as key to learning and disregards social expectations (as did his mother). Following his inner drive, he redefines the market – in his case what it means to be blind. Later the academics follow and confirm his intuition that humans can see without their eyes.

So what's the lesson for the rest of us? For me I come back to Daniel's mother. How many mothers would give their blind son a bike and allow him to keep riding it after smashing into a bar and knocking out his front teeth? If my blind son had knocked out his front teeth riding his bike, I would have tossed the damn bike away and encouraged him to pursue other avenues where he could have more success. Firms are by their nature paternalistic, safe and protective which is probably why entrepreneurs tend to avoid them as Daniel did the care-for-the-blind establishment.

What limits are you placing on yourself and the people (children) around you? Are you allowing them to fail as a way to learn a better way and find their own happiness? Here's a link to a 4 minute piece on Daniel. If you want the entire rich and moving story, take 32 minutes to listen to this NPR Invisibilia podcast titled "How to Become Batman" – perfect while doing email – or enjoying a cup of tea with a friend or spouse!

Hyper Sales Growth — save $99 and register for a free screening (three times on Feb 17-18) of Jack Daly's keynote presentation, based on his book Hyper Sales Growth, at our last Fortune Growth Summit. Warning, Jack uses some colorful language (a little too much, he admitted later). However, the lessons, including the 3 Major Sins of Sales Management, are worth it. Register here.


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Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” and WEO’s “Advanced Business” executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 150 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine. He’s the author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0); Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times," for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. Verne also chairs FORTUNE Magazine’s annual Leadership and Growth Summits and serves on several boards including chairman of The Riordan Clinic and the newly launched Geoversity. He is an investor in many scale-ups. A father of four, he enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.