Business Bookworm: ‘Profit from Happiness’

The board is all set up.

All your pieces are ready for play, the cards are split, and the moderator has gone over the rules again. Once around the board, try not to get behind, keep all your pieces, and you win. Isn’t that the whole reason for the game of business? Maybe — but read “Profit from Happiness” by Jake Ducey before you roll the dice.

Centuries ago, when various economies were created, there were “secrets to winning” them. The goal was wealth, and you worked for it. Climb the ladder, work some more, “the bubble burst,” you work harder, then you work again. Jake Ducey says that “three-quarters of us are spending most of our waking hours doing something we do not like or care about” just so we can win.

Shouldn’t games be fun?

Yes, says Ducey, but instead, “We are doing ourselves a disservice by perpetuating a society where the majority… would like to quit their jobs.” He offers “six creeds” to fix this problem; use them, and you won’t have to worry about money.

First, offer more value to the people around you. Exude “positive energy” and understand that a paycheck isn’t based on per-hour pay; it’s based on “the value you put into” each hour. Be more valuable, less replaceable, and you’ll be successful.

Secondly, don’t be too busy that you don’t appreciate people. Smile at them, even if you’re not feeling it, and make them feel appreciated. That could make you happier… and besides “What’s the worst that can happen?”

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes; be present for them, reach out, and ask how you can make their life better. Listen with your whole brain; practice that superpower by starting a conversation with a total stranger and pay attention. Understand that things aren’t always about you; the grump you’re dealing with may have a legitimate issue that has nothing to do with you. Remember that “it is not what a person says or does [to you] that affects you but your reaction to what is said or done.” And finally, be genuine and open. Don’t build walls. Don’t be afraid.

Sounds a little new-agey-huggy? Yeah, I thought so, too; absolutely, there are things in this book that may be just too much for button-down C-Suiters.

Then again, maybe “Profit from Happiness” isn’t for them…

Someone who’s in a less-formal position, perhaps, or a newbie in business might find plenty of usefulness in author Jake Ducey’s words. His ideas and advice should be easy to implement — it’s all low- or no-cost — and his personal, unique success is hard to argue with. The payout could be big: for the properly-attitudinal employee, this book could result in a huge paradigm shift personally, if not professionally; and habits readers might build could be invaluable.

Like most business advice books, there are things to discard here, and things to embrace but if you’re willing to try it, “Profit from Happiness” might slide you over into the winner’s circle.

It’s your move.

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