What began for me as “quick fix” for my shoe fetish has (MANY stilettos later) developed into loyalty to a trusted brand, and connection with a culture. I am referring to my experience with the online retailer Zappos. They offer
a vast selection of retail (shoes, handbags, accessories and now even apparel) and a great website, but it’s their unmatched excellence in customer service that makes this company stand out in the crowd. They provide THE best customer service experience available on the web…hands down! And believe me, I am more than qualified, to make this declaration (just ask my husband who is on a first name basis with all the local delivery guys). Whether purchasing, returning, or simply seeking an answer to a question, I always receive great customer service from the Zappos team (and I say this with confidence as someone with high expectation who is also in a customer service focused industry themselves and with a memory like an elephant). Along the way, I became interested in this company that always seemed so interested in me. About a year ago, I decided to take a closer look at Zappos. This is when I first learned about the “Zappos culture” and the man behind it all, Tony Hsieh (pronounced “shay”).
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com is on my Top 5 “Would love to invite to dinner” list. I would like to know the man behind this great company and hear his story. So naturally, I was delighted to learn that Hsieh had written a book about his business and his life journey entitled, “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose,” And much to my delight, I was among the lucky ones selected to receive an advance copy of this work! Tony and his team graciously gifted me with not one, but two copies of the book. Great news Society, one lucky reader will receive your very own copy of this release! (More about this a little later). True to my experience with Zappos, the timing was perfect. The day I received the book I had been looking for my next read. Now the question was settled, so I dove right in.
I found Delivering Happiness interesting, entertaining, and overall very real – it was like sitting down to talk with my friend Tony. It’s an easy read, personal and genuine yet, pauses to highlight the lessons, techniques, and ideas that lead a man, a team and a company to success, all the while proving that it takes more than business accomplishment to know true fulfillment. Hsieh tells his story in somewhat of an autobiographical format documenting his thought process, life’s lessons, and personal development, but in a casual conversational manner. The book is divided into three sections detailing memorable moments during his growing years, his financial success, and his pursuit for a greater significance and purpose of life.
The first part of the book takes the reader on a journey through Tony’s childhood, and his early entrepreneurial adventures that began his quest to “make lots of money”. It is evident from the first few pages that even as a young boy Tony was smart, creative, and an independent thinker. One also quickly realizes that Tony has been an entrepreneur for most of his life. His first business venture was in a worm farm at the tender yet ambitious age of nine, and with the exception of a brief stint with an established company right out of college, Tony has always been in business for himself. At a young age (his early twenties), he met his life goal (or so he thought) of obtaining wealth. However, Tony felt something was still missing in his life. His new lifestyle certainly afforded him opportunity to explore new interests, re-connect with old friends and make new ones, take in new hobbies, and learn new skills all of which enriched his life in many ways by their own right, but together led him to the realization of what he had been missing – passion, and his was for experience. Tony focused on his next venture with goals of profitability and passion which consequently introduced him to what would eventually become the e-empire now known as Zappos.
The second section of the book focuses on Tony’s years at Zappos. Fueled by passion and lots of red bull, Tony was determined to help this company succeed. But it wasn’t an easy road. He details the struggles and challenges encountered along the way, and remembers how he relied on some of his past experiences and successes, as resources to help navigate and give insight into overcoming these hardships. He recalled lessons he learned in his climb of Kilimanjaro, time spent figuring out and playing poker (which he credits with providing him the foundation of playing the great game of business), and nurturing his friendships to name a few. Perseverance and creativity combined, with lessons learned from many of his life experiences ultimately formed background that created the “heart” of the Zappos culture which lead to the success of the company.
The final section of the book shifts focus to applying the Zappos philosophy to life in general and to finding and delivering on happiness. Tony Hsieh and the Zappos team deliver happiness to their customers while simultaneously delivering it to each other and also to themselves. In closing, Hsieh encourages and invites readers to adopt this vision and way of life for themselves to create a happier world and a happier you.
Overall the book serves as a reminder to its readers that we are in control of our happiness, to always remain open so that you can grow and learn from every life experience, to never underestimate the value of these experiences to come through with the answer you need of need in a future circumstance, and life is not as much about the doing, as it is about the people – so be sure that when you show up to the party, you bring something that other people will appreciate – bring them love, concern and happiness – take care of those that take care of you.
If you’ve read the book, or plan to read it, please leave a comment below. I love to hear your thoughts and look forward to learning who else out there is a fan of Tony Hsieh.
For a chance to win a copy of the book, visit us on faceboo and register for our giveaway. You will find details under the “sweepstakes” tab. The book is also available now on online at amazon.com.
To learn more about the book and the movement, visit www.deliveringhappinessbook.com
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Wishing you all a happy day!!