Every now and again, I like to bring you short interviews to give you a new perspective on work happiness. During my study of work happiness I have found that there are many paths to the same goal. Some people believe that loving what you do is a must, while other people believe that relationships are vital to enjoying the work that we do. Interviews are a great way to get out of your own perspective and see what other people are doing to develop their strengths and live their passions.
If you have never visited I Can Has CheezBurger you are missing out. It is simply one of the funniest websites around. People add comments to pictures of cats doing something weird. I borrowed one from the site. It’s in the upper left hand corner of this post. It’s a wonderful break from a tedious task. Ben Huh is the brilliant mind behind this website. I was lucky to have met him at SXSW this past month and he agreed to do an interview.
Karl: Do you believe that you must love what you do to be successful? Why?
Ben Huh: The world is filled with accidents and chance events. It's possible to be successful doing something you don't love, but why would you want to take that risk of being successful in unhappiness?
How do you cultivate work happiness in your company?
The most important thing we cultivate is a culture of listening. If you can't hear what your employees are telling you, then you've become deaf to the world.
What do you do to help your people stay motivated and productive?
We focus on goals, not hours worked. We set team goals and measure our ability to get there. People can't be forced into productivity for long, the only way to sustain motivation and productivity is have it come from within.
How do you maintain harmony between your working and non-working life?
I don't. I love what I do, and I don't see working long hours as much of a sacrifice.
If you are feeling down, what do you do to lift your spirits?
I have a guilty pleasure and cheat a little... I visit our sites like http://icanhascheezburger.com or http://failblog.org
What is your biggest detriment to work happiness? How do you deal with this issue?
I sometimes deal with unhappy users, for one reason or another. It sucks to know that we've disappointed them in one way shape or form. I dealt with this by delegating the everyday task to customer service people who enjoy solving their problems and I get to work on helping the team learn about customer service, which makes me happy.
If you could give work happiness advice to someone just starting their own business in 140 characters or less (Twitter style) what would it be?
Do wht U luv & luv yr customers. Spend less than U earn. nevr, evr, compromise quality & hire & keep the best ppl. Win slowly, fail quickly.
* Join over 700 people who have already subscribed to the FREE Happy at Work 10 Week eCourse. It will arrive in your inbox every Monday morning, when you need it the most. (Sign up is in the top left corner)
* Nadia of the Happy Lotus wrote a piece called Passion…It’s A Way of Life. It's what I am all about.
If you enjoyed this post then you will probably like this one too:
> The Myth of Discovering Your One True Calling
Image courtesy of http://icanhascheezburger.com.
14 thoughts on “Why Take the Risk of Being Successful in Unhappiness?”
Great interview Karl!
Ben had some great tips on happiness in the work place. If I only had this mindset months ago, work would have been much easier for me. But we live and we learn! Great post, this resonates with me!
I have taken due notice of Ben's advice to people who are just starting their own business. I agree that you wouldn't want to start a business or work in a job doing something you absolutely hate--even if you're good at it. I'd say the chances of success probably increase quite a bit if it's also something you do well and there is need for this particular skill or product in the world--what Dave Pollard at http://howtosavetheworld.ca refers to as "the sweet spot".
I loved the photos and captions on the "I can haz cheezburger site", they were good for a chuckle.
Have a great day.
I visited that site a few times, and was referred by people who LOVE it. What a fun interview to read!
I admire people who have found a way to monetize their passions. They inspire others simply by being.
> why would you want to take that risk of being successful in unhappiness
Now that's one to grow on.
> We focus on goals, not hours worked.
That is the essence of a great workplace ... it's a measure of results, not a metric of "arse-in-chair."
It sure sounds like you had a great time at that conference. I loved the 140 characters for beginners. How true and how fun is this?!?
Hi Sue, I like how Ben looks at his business. He found something the world needed, made it easy for users to generate content and work happiness is his.
Hi Megan, I never would have thought of such a business, but with 15 million monthly visitors it looks like it's a big niche. Makes me feel happy about my own direction.
Hi Jarrod, I know there are a lot of lessons I wished I learned earlier too. We can't go back so we just need to go from here. Glad you enjoyed the interview.
Hi J.D., If only we can get other companies to buy into the results style measurement instead of "arse-in-chair" methods, we would have a happier work force.
Hi Tess, The 140 characters is a great way to get people to focus on what's really important. I'll be tweeting Ben's message out later.
Doesn't look like Ben's methods are working... At least not for all his employees:
Hi Karl - what a great interview and picture for this article!!!!
I have never heard of this site, so thanks for the intro. It sounds very funny and I am heading over to check it out now.
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