During our childhood years, measuring success was as simple as counting gold stars and smiley face stickers. In high school and college, we relied on report cards. But how do we determine success now, as entrepreneurs?
In Southern California’s bustling startup scene, known as “Silicon Beach,” many professionals leave the comfort of a steady paycheck to pursue the American dream of starting something they can call their own.
After numerous conversations with like-minded entrepreneurs, we found that many of these entrepreneurs measured their venture’s success not in dollars, but by their own satisfaction or happiness.
It’s no secret that money can’t buy happiness. In fact, according to an oft-cited study by Stanford University economist Angus Deaton and psychologist Daniel Kahneman, once you’re pulling in a salary of $75,000, any additional dollar earned does nothing more to increase personal life satisfaction.
So if happiness cannot be bought — and yet we use it to measure our business success — what can we do to attain it? Over the last decade, researchers in Positive Psychology have discovered a number of behaviors that boost happiness.
As we begin another new year, these four behaviors can function as resolutions for all of us.
1. Create a social circle of like-minded entrepreneurs.
Two heads are better than one when it comes to problem solving. A team of entrepreneurial peers can see what escapes our own attention, point out pitfalls ahead of time, and become a sounding board for critical decisions and actions.
Commit to creating a circle of like-minded entrepreneurs in which no money is exchanged between members.
2. Give your time away.