Happiness delivered by @Zappos

Posted by A. Smith on Apr-5-2010

Last summer I started a bucket list. So far, I have 114 items on my list. It’s a random list. No particular order. Simple pleasures. Crazy goals. But, all things that I believe will contribute to my overall hope in life, which is to be happy. Perhaps this hope is what led to number 14 on my list:

Meet Tony Hsieh.

Tony is the CEO of Zappos, the online retailer that Amazon acquired last year for more than $1.2 billion dollars. He’s a lifelong entrepreneur who has worked hard and reaped the benefits. Big time. But, I didn’t want to meet Tony because of his success in business. I wanted to meet him because his core goal in business and in life is to experience and share happiness.

Yes, I had to meet Tony.

Last month was my chance. I was in Austin, Texas, for SXSW. Tony was, too – riding around town on a bus promoting his upcoming book Delivering Happiness. I took my chance and tweeted Tony on a Saturday afternoon:

@Zappos My goal for today: getting on the @DHBook bus. On my bucket list: Meeting you. Any way to kill two birds w/ one stone?

A few hours later Tony sent me a direct message, followed by an email. He graciously invited my husband Shawn and me to meet the bus at 5 p.m. and join the festivities. I was so excited I was shaking. Literally.

We partied on the @DHBook bus Saturday and Monday nights. We swapped stories with amazing people, wore balloon hats, drank too much, and, yes, met Tony. As I’ve always read, he was incredibly shy but also unbelievably generous and thoughtful. And, although I felt a bit awkward, I did drop back in line at one of the bars to personally thank him for what he does. What can I say? I believe in expressing gratitude.

Bottom line, Tony gets it. The world needs more people like him: People who deliver happiness as a path to profits, passion, and purpose – which is what his new book is all about. On the bus, I was fortunate enough to get a signed, advanced copy of Delivering Happiness. I started reading it a few days ago and already love it. The book is broken down into three sections, and I plan to blog about each. But, let me share three things that resonated with me right off the bat:

First, Tony wrote the book himself. I love this. Way to keep it real, Tony.

Second, my favorite quote in the book (so far): “There was something alluring about being involved in something where the sole purpose was to create an experience and emotional journey for people, and then to have nothing but memories left afterward to hold on to.” This sums up my observation of Tony on the bus. He really seems to garner happiness by spreading it. It’s almost as if Tony sits contently in the shadows and soaks up the aura around him.

Finally, I discovered early on in the book that Tony is the first of three boys. I have three sons, and my oldest, Payton (age 6), already shows the characteristics of an entrepreneur. Last summer, he ran “Payton’s Sea Shell Company,” and he’s currently brainstorming his next big venture. But, what makes me smile the most is not that he shares this trait with Tony; it’s that Payton also has a heart of gold.

I wish the world for my children, but more than anything, I wish them happiness. And to think…they might someday find it in a place as random as a bus. I did.

  1. Kim Said,

    You’ve peaked my interest on the book. Will look for it when it gets released!

  2. Patti Gifford Said,

    Beautiful, Angela. I love your blog. May it grow and prosper. The world needs this.

    Love, Patti PS If you ever come Raleigh way–visit!

  3. admin Said,

    Thanks, Patti! Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Heather S Said,

    This story is the first thing I’ve read on this site. A- you must have the Midas touch. A randon TWEET and then a signed, advance copy of the book?!? How inspiring!

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