Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

I had the pleasure of meeting a very successful and influential person on Thursday the 7th of October at Rocky Mountain Pizza close to the Georgia Tech campus. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com and serial entrepreneur was sitting at the bar sipping on Grey Goose Vodka. Mr. Hsieh was dressed in jeans and  a white tee shirt. It was not what you would normally expect from someone who had accomplished all that he has in his short life. He was sitting alone enjoying his Grey Goose without a body guard, publicist, or entourage. I introduced myself and we spent a few minutes talking about life, Zappos, and our mutual respect for Seth Godin, who was also in Atlanta that night for a Friday morning speech. I enjoyed our short time together but it was not until this afternoon that I understood why. Mr. Hsieh was in Atlanta as part of his Happiness Tour. He bought a luxury bus and was traveling from town to town sharing his vision of what true success means. After touring his bus, I thought seriously about joining the movement and riding the bus to the next stop in Miami. There was also a little too loud band and a snow machine created a ski slope which was available for the attendees to slide down. The first official slider was the Honorable Kwanza Hall, Atlanta City Councilman, and I believe future mayor of Atlanta.

In addition, he brought cases of his New York Times and Wall Street Journal #1 best seller, Delivering Happiness. I was prepared to buy 4 or 5 copies to read and share with others. To my surprise, the book was being given away as a gift from Mr. Hsieh. I brought the book home over the weekend and planned on starting it after all the ball games on Saturday. I opened the book after the UGA game and was not able to put it down until the entire 244 pages were devoured. My wife was amazed. I currently have 7 or 8 half finished books sitting in my office, study, and by the bed. As an full blown ADD/ADHD person, I have a hard time staying interested in a book long enough to finish. That was not the case today.

I can not do justice in a blog post to the power or insight of this book. I highly recommend it to anyone regardless of your job, personal interest, or goals. You will read a story of failure and great success told with honesty that few are willing to display when telling their own story. 

Finally, I discovered why I was so taken by my meeting Mr. Hsieh. Humility is his strong suit. Although more successful than 99% of planet earth, I met a young man sitting in jeans and a tee shirt by himself content with who he is. At first I thought he was painfully shy and was avoiding the crowd. That was not the case as I watched him greet each new person who discovered his “hiding place”. Again, he was not shy, he was content and very humble in every thing he said and did that evening.

Buy the book, www.deliveringhappinessbook.com. It will have an impact on the way you think and hopefully in the way that you live going forward. It certainly has had that effect on me.

Ricky Steele

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