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#SEJBookClub: Four Takeaways from Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

#SEJBookClub: Takeaways from Delivering Happiness | SEJ

Want to see what other books SEJ has covered? Read our other reviews in the SEJ Book Club archive.

In his book, Delivering Happiness, A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose (affiliate link), Tony Hsieh, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Zappos, an online shoe company, has given us amazing insights on how he was able to grow his business through a strong business philosophy.

He aims not just to earn profit alone, but strives to deliver happiness to his customers, employees, vendors, investors, and ultimately to himself. Here are interesting lessons we all can learn from his experience:

Be a Team Player

Tony Hsieh says the combination of physical synchrony with other humans and being part of something bigger than oneself (and thus momentarily losing a sense of self) leads to a greater sense of happiness.

It is not possible to have a successful business without a great team. And a good team is not complete without each individual. Realizing how important your role is, no matter how small or big, can have a huge impact in achieving your end goals.

Passion is just as important. How passionate you are in what you do and what you believe in, together with a harmonious relationship with your team, gives you a feeling of fulfillment, where your contribution is more than you can ever imagine.

According to Tony, being a team player is beneficial for both the individual and the brand.

Stop Trying to Network

Tony also shared that “networking” in the traditional business sense, with the end goal of gaining something from a prospect, is not really a good idea. Instead, he suggests to just trying to build up the number and depth of your friendships, where the friendship itself is its own reward.

In the long run, you will establish partnerships and collaborations with those friends whom you have made naturally.

Get Your Company Culture Right

If you get your company culture right, then building a brand dedicated to the best customer service will happen naturally.

Zappos has been known for its extraordinary customer service. In fact, the call center is called the Customer Loyalty Team, and team members are trained to go above and beyond to satisfy callers without trying to close a sale! This is a great contrast to what other companies have been doing, where they try to limit the length of the call, upsell, and generally use a service call to get more from the customers.

Zappos has established a strong company culture, and this naturally results to great customer service. Everyone is so passionate at what they do that it shows in every interaction they have. They have made customer service a responsibility of the entire company – not just a department. They also offer perks like free shipping, free returns within 365 days, and 24/7 customer service to their customers!


From being a small start-up to a very successful multi-billion dollar company, Zappos has established a great culture amongst its employees, strong relationships with its customers, and has evolved to continuously pursue growth.

They reached a point where it led them to share their knowledge and expertise. Instead of just taking everything in, they have learned how to give back, by sharing what worked for them, and how other companies, especially start-ups, can learn from them.

They have opened up their office to public tours, have engaged in public speaking, and have provided multiple tools and insights of learnings to other people.

In Summary

The book is a very easy, and fun read, with lots of powerful insights for small businesses, and even big ones!

Instead of always focusing on earning profits, this book teaches us to focus on the essential elements of providing happiness to the people around you – your employees, your vendors, investors, and partners. In so doing, this will ultimately provide for your own happiness as well.

Next Month on SEJ Book Club: Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts–Becoming the Person You Want to Be

January’s book club post will by written by Kelsey Jones, SEJ’s Executive Editor. Grab your copy of  Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts–Becoming the Person You Want to Be (affiliate link) on Amazon or at your local library so you can read along. It should be an interesting read!

Want to see what the SEJ Book Club has read or is planning on reading next? Check out our GoodReads profile.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Image Credits

Featured Image by Paulo Bobita

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Meg Cabrera Sales Operations Analyst at Search Engine Journal

Meg is part of SEJ’s team based in Manila, Philippines. She is responsible for managing sales operations, order fulfillment, and ...

#SEJBookClub: Four Takeaways from Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

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