Focusing Exclusively on the Client’s Progressive Expansion of Happiness

There’s been a lot of buzz about the gig economy and interestingly, it’s become politically polarizing. I’m in the camp that believes business, no matter your role, employee or founder, can be a vehicle for personal development and societal advancement. And, because I’m concluding a transitional time from Corporate America to Entrepreneurial America, I started to write a post about the five or so things you need to successfully make that transition, and I still might. Not today though, because it’s feeling a little old news, which perhaps is a sign that I am truly over the hump, or put more eloquently, it likely signifies I’m more invested in my future than my past, which is a significant indicator of progress and also, amazing.

So instead, today, I thought I’d share what I did on the startup front and two key ideas that I’m processing.

First, I wrote my Home and About pages for my new website. Man, what a humbling bumbling experiment. It forces you to revisit your mission and vision and then simplify them to clarify and communicate your business in the context of your site’s value proposition, to give visitors what they are looking for, and to build trust. Ideally you know who you’re talking to — your prospective customer — and what they need to know to be persuaded, to determine if your values are aligned, and to understand what you can do for them. And, it’s supposed to provoke emotion too. Piece of cake.

So, I’m giving myself a high five for getting a workable draft done today.

Second, I found myself rereading two quotes today (sidebar…I have thousands of incredible quotes and can. not. wait. to discover how to package and share them in a meaningful way) that aren’t necessarily linked, except that I found them at the same time, and they showed up for me during this particular time in my startup journey when I’m in the process of defining what success looks like to me, and what it will mean for my company.

1) True success is the progressive expansion of happiness. It is the ability to express spontaneous joy and share it with others.

2) When you find your special knowledge and skills, you must develop a point of view, and then you must articulate that point of view. Your opinions and hard-earned knowledge should be valued and help solve problems and build opportunities.

I think in a synchronistic way, the concepts showed up now to challenge or maybe expand my notions of success. True success is the progressive expansion of happiness. It is the ability to express spontaneous joy and share it with others. No references to money, compensation, or net worth. I’ve been thinking about the company’s success in very financial terms to date. It’s astounding how linked the concepts of success and financial success can be and yet, money is not the most important thing to me, so wouldn’t it follow that it also doesn’t have to be the most important thing to my business? Boom. Follow me for a minute if you will. I get it, I think a robust business is the end-goal, but what if I were to focus exclusively on the benefit of the customer in the launch phase, and measure success by my client’s progressive expansion of happiness? Too woo-woo for you or am I on to something?

Secondly, I think if you are bold enough to assume you have the credibility and credentials to launch a business, you also are assuming you know something that someone else doesn’t know. You’re either a chapter ahead or have some special sauce or both. I love the challenge presented in #2 to develop and articulate a point of view to solve problems and build opportunities. Again, no references to money, comp, net worth, or even success, but aren’t you already successful to some degree if you’ve defined your special knowledge and skills? There are a lot of products and services out there that seem to be knockoffs of something else also out there, with a layer of “my version is more clever, sophisticated, or niche” or some other validation for charging a premium. And it may be, but again, what if you looked at your role as founder not just as bringing forth the idea to market, but as expressing and representing a point of view that was meant to solve problems and build opportunities. Potentially powerful and grounding, right? Or maybe you are already doing that?

Food for thought on a Thursday night.



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Kristi Andrus

Kristi Andrus is a life coach for women in business (corporate and entrepreneurship). She writes about happiness, success, family, and travel.