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The Happiness Secret

b2ap3_thumbnail_woman_happy_web.jpgA recent article I wrote left you with the thought: “Imagine if we put the same effort into imagining positive outcomes and dreaming up solutions to negative situations”. In a nutshell, I was talking about creating happiness and a positive environment for you and your staff.

So how do we create happiness in our business?

Most ‘happiness experts’ will tell you that the first step is to be grateful. Look for aspects of your business, your circumstances and your prospects that you can be grateful for. Make a point of listing at least three things and add to this list regularly. If you have staff, ask them to do the same exercise once a week, so that the focus is not on fear, worry, anger or other negative emotions.

But of course, this isn’t enough! It also takes action. And one of the best ways to do this is to give. There is now research confirming that acts of altruism and generosity actually change the brain, increasing our peace, happiness, health and even intelligence. In the context of your business, this might be achieved by giving great customer service that is beyond expectations, or taking the time to assist a colleague without expecting anything in return. Or it might be donating your time, money or resources to a local charity. Doing any of these acts of giving fills you with a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

And finally, if you want to be happy, start pretending to be happy. This might sound like strange advice! But have you ever tried genuinely smiling and being angry at the same time? Your physical state influences your emotional state and vice versa, and being mindful and purposeful about ‘being happy’ actually causes you to be just that!

Enacting these three steps regularly and authentically will alter your happiness levels and teach you that happiness is a choice. Life and business will still have its ups and downs, but ‘practicing happiness’ will lead to happiness being your default state.


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

 

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Happiness

There are some recent studies which show that female entrepreneurs are happier than their male counterparts. Not only that, they are generally amongst the happiest people in the world. Speaking from my own experience, I know that I only have to imagine working for an employer, and I immediately realise how satisfied and happy I am with my current circumstances!

The happiness of female entrepreneurs overall may be due to some practical reasons, such as the average ‘salary’ being much higher than those in traditional employment. But I think there are some more compelling reasons that this.

Although I have written a number of articles relating to the difficulties of ‘work/life balance’, the fact is that ultimately you are in control of the hours you work and can adjust your schedule to suit. Last year I was able to attend all my children’s special events and activities, despite working an average of 40 hours a week. I am fully aware of how valuable this is and this benefit was one of the motivating factors to starting (and now continuing) my business.

Many female business owners and entrepreneurs start their enterprise because they want to ‘make a difference’. This might be directly via business products/services or as an ‘offshoot’ of business profits (for example, donating money, time or resources to supporting social enterprises). Brain scientists agree that the more ‘good’ you do, the happier you are. It stands to reason that having the opportunity to incorporate rewarding work into your everyday activities will increase your happiness.

If what you do does not make you feel a high degree of happiness, perhaps it’s time to question why you do what you do?

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

 

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Don’t Worry, Be Happy

If you are a business owner who started or bought into your business in the pursuit of greater happiness, are you actually happier? Or has your happiness been dampened and you feel tense, anxious and unhappy?

The success you are seeking (in business and life) won’t come if you are not happy. Your level of happiness has a direct correlation to your confidence, energy and goal achievement. So how do you become a happier business owner? Try these tips:

  1. Don’t be scared to fail: you learn infinitely more from failure than you do when everything is smooth sailing. Write down the worst case scenario and most often you will realise that the worst case is not as bad as you might expect.
  2. Most business owners and entrepreneurs are perfectionists, which if left ‘untamed’ can result in missed opportunities. Change occurs quickly in business and in reality, perfection is not achievable. ‘Good enough’ is often the best goal in order to move your business forward.
  3. You most likely became a business owner because you are passionate about what you do. Which means that it is hard to deal with negative feedback or set backs. But you need to train yourself not to dwell on it or focus on the negatives when more often than not, they are outweighed by positives. Find a way to learn from negative feedback and use it to your advantage.

 


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

 

 

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Coming Second

Richard Glover recently wrote a fantastic article in the Sydney Morning Herald titled ‘I’d rather be a second-class citizen’. The premise of the article was that while coming first is fantastic, it essentially requires you to be obsessed and to sacrifice many things for your goal. He wrote it in response to the focus on winning a gold medal at the Olympics and how “suddenly everyone has a problem with people who come second. It has to be gold or nothing”. His personal preference is for coming second in everything because it signifies a much more balanced and therefore happier life.

Does this also apply to running a successful business? At the risk of sounding like I’m suggesting that you aim low, I think it does apply. In a previous article, I wrote about someone who said that she is “a slave to her business”. Although she appeared to be talking about her business in a positive light, I was horrified at the thought of being trapped by my business. My aim is for my business to work for me, not the other way around.

So in business, if achieving ‘gold’ means sacrificing time with my family then it is silver I choose. If it means I have no interests outside of running my business, then silver seem like a much better option.

I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t aim high and achieve the best you can. But ‘the best’ should mean that you are not forsaking everything else in order to reach your goals. Are you really successful if in the process you’ve lost everything else?


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

 

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Contact Us

Shel Design
PO Box 8142, Glenmore Park NSW 2745
0412 701 147
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Mon-Thurs 9am-4pm
ABN: 88 695 161 542

Contact Us

Shel Design
PO Box 8142
Glenmore Park NSW 2745
0412 701 147
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
ABN: 88 695 161 542

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