What better time than Spring to remember the joy of dreaming about, playing around with, and launching your own business?! Bringing your ideas to life; gathering supporters behind you; launching your social media and website; creating "buzz"! And then the challenges began:
- Constantly keeping your eye on sales numbers, client contacts, social media posts... that “hard data”... that daily grind.
- Being vigilant with social media, networking, and any other new ways to market your business.
- Neglecting opportunities to pause and remember the joy of having your own business?
Now that the topic has been mentioned: what role does joy play as a significant component of, and influencer on, your work, life, and balance? As researchers talked to entrepreneurs, they discovered that joy does, indeed, play an important role in the success of entrepreneurs:
(1) When David Idestrom interviewed entrepreneurs to find out what they appreciated most about being an entrepreneur, their number one answer was the joy of creating something out of nothing, that all the hard work led to a tangible sense of accomplishment and pride.
(2) According to research, joylessness makes you less empathetic as a person and less effective as a leader. Joylessness makes you a miserable colleague, friend, and family member - it is counterproductive to success. In her book Joy, Ingrid Fetell Lee challenged thinkers to consider the contradiction of this reasoning: if “joy is what makes life worth living,” then “why do we see joy as superfluous – the icing on the cake, rather than an integral part of the cake itself?”
(3) Erik Severinghaus encourages entrepreneurs to “give yourself permission to feel joy again today, even as you continue to wrestle with the challenges” of work, life, and balance. He offers four ways to re-gain and support joy: separate yourself from your business; stop fearing failure; commit to stillness; and join a peer mentoring group.
(4) In How Full is Your Bucket? (2004), Rath and Clifton challenge us to engage in actions that are positive and supportive for ourselves and for others. These opportunities can be scheduled or impromptu. They can be random or part of your business's social corporate responsibility. The goal is to fill your metaphoric bucket with the joys gained from your business and your life.
Joy plays an important role in both work and life. When people have joy - the emotion of well-being, success, delight - they are more empathic, more productive, and welcome changes as opportunities and possibilities. Keeping joy in one's business and person lives is attainable and worth the effort. As you ponder the research and consider the suggestions, make a plan that enables you include joy as you move forward with life and work. Perhaps a daily gratitude – a journal entry at night – a note of appreciation to a colleague – a Snoopy dance each Friday at 5:00. Identify what works for you and fills your bucket of Joy!
Fetell Lee, Ingrid (2018). Joyful: The surprising power of ordinary things to create extraordinary happiness. NYC: Little Brown Spark, Hachette Book Group.
Fetell Lee, Ingrid (June 11, 2018). Where joy hides and how to find it. TED Talks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_u2WFTfbcg.
Idestrom, David (December 28, 2017). “Finding joy and excitement in entrepreneurship”. Entrepreneurship: Means and Opportunities: https://medium.com/entrepreneurship-theory-to-practice/where-is-the-joy-and-excitement-in-entrepreneurship-d0911e10aa3b
Rath, Tom, and Clifton, Don (2004). How full is your bucket? www.bucketbook.com
Severinghaus, Erik (March 11, 2020). “4 Tips to rediscover the joy of entrepreneurship”. INC: https://www.inc.com/erik-severinghaus/4-tips-to-rediscover-joy-of-entrepreneurship.html