The Pursuit of Happiness

Tara Hunt is someone thinking creatively about marketing and other business topics, and what I appreciate about her is that she isn’t afraid to relate the world of business to the world of the personal. I loved her recent blog entry Happiness as Core to Your Business Model because it again effortlessly aligns the goals of individuals with the goals of business. She relates the four elements of happiness as defined by the American Psychological Association (autonomy, competence, relatedness, and self-esteem) to the three core concepts of Web 2.0. (openness, collaboration and community). I think it makes sense. I think everyone would like to work at a place where the business goal was to bring happiness to others.

In fact, I may have taken my last job for that reason. I felt good about selling wine because of the experiences I was offering. Family gatherings, social events, parties; all are places where people feel connected to each other and where the pleasure of enjoying our product would enhance (in most cases) people’s good feelings. Of course, I don’t think my employers thought about this directly, but it was a positive that 95% of the people who worked for us were wine lovers (in one or two cases, perhaps a little too enthusiastic in their appreciation) and one of the perks of the job was meeting people at events and enjoying our products at our own company parties.

The barriers, of course, were competence and self-esteem. The world of wine can still seem stuffy and class-conscious and there are enough wine snobs around to make even the most eager student feel stupid. I think this is why so many wine web communities sprouted around the same time. WineLog and Cork’d are great ways to share your drinking experiences with others, and Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library TV video blog makes learning about wine fun.

Now, how do I begin to apply some of these concepts to the new world of accounting I find myself in? 😉

4 thoughts on “The Pursuit of Happiness

  1. I’m glad you can relate! Your wine examples are perfect! I remember working at a boutique wine store and learning about varietals and terroire and feeling really amazing after a point…like I could be that person at the party that everyone is impressed with. 🙂 Now, talk about happiness!

  2. Nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog.

    I see how it can be harder to find the happiness and fun in accounting vs. wine, but I’m sure you’ll get there… or get another job.

    If you are open-minded enough, I’m sure anything can become captivatingly interesting under further study. Though I guess finding folks to share your accounting joy with might be difficult too.

    I can tell you though that running WineLog is tremendous fun. Initially our plan was to build the initial version and hand it off to someone better suited to grow it. But we were having so much fun (because drinking wine is fun and because there are so many of those people in the wine industry who chose their profession out of passion rather than economic need) that we decided to continue to grow the business ourselves. It’s going great.

    Hit me up at WineLog if you have an account there. I’d love to friend you up and checkout what you’re drinking.

  3. Jason — you bring up a very important point. Passion is what gets us through the day, not money, position, authority or any other silly reason we end up taking a job.

    Now can anyone recommend a good accountant to go through my wine receipts? 😉

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