What I’m Reading & Doing

Ever interested in continuous learning and engaging with others, I subscribe to Fast CompanyFortuneThe EconomistEntertainment Weekly (for a little fun), Harvard Business Review emails and articles, and The Wall Street Journal. I regularly read Time and The New York Times online and on my cell phone. I also follow blogs such as those by Ezra Klein, Nick Kristoff, and Mashable. Further, I regularly use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Instagram. I also use Google+, Flickr, Stumbleupon, and others, but don’t find them to be incredible relevant.

Delivering Happiness

This summer, I have finally had some time to read for fun!  I love reading, but not enough of it happens while I am at school.  With so much to do for class and everything else, there does not seem to be time to sit down and enjoy a good book.  Now, it may seem that this post’s article is because I finally have had time to read – and in a way it is.  Really though, it is the name of a book I recently read.

Delivering Happiness is by Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.com.  Delivering Happiness is Tony’s story – in business and in life, the story of Zappos, and generally a guide to success in business and life.  It is exciting, informal, intuitive, and instructional.  At times I felt like I was reading a novel, not a book about business.

Tony talks about succeeding in business through profits, passion, and purpose.  He describes Zappos.com’s focus on customer service (that is actually the business he claims to be in) and how it could make every business successful.  His focus on company culture makes sense and influenced my understanding of my experience this summer during my internship.  Build-A-Bear Workshop seems to be very similar to Zappos in many of the topics described in this book.

I would recommend reading Delivering Happiness whether you are involved in business, want a good read, or just want to be happier.  For added incentive, here are Tony Hsieh’s reasons for reading his book:

10 You want to learn about the path that we took at Zappos to go from nothing to over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales in less than ten years.
9 You want to learn about the path that I took that eventually led me to Zappos, and the lessons I learned along the way.
8 You want to learn from all the mistakes we made at Zappos over the years so that your business can avoid making some of the same ones.
7 You want to figure out the right balance of profits, passion, and purpose in business and in life.
6 You want to build a long-term enduring business and brand.
5 You want to create a stronger company culture, which will make your employees or colleagues happier and create more employee engagement, leading to higher productivity.
4 You want to deliver a better customer experience, which will make your customers happier and create more customer loyalty, leading to increased profits.
3 You want to build something special.
2 You want to find inspiration and happiness in work and in life.
1 You ran out of firewood for your fireplace. This book makes for an excellent fire starter.