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Did you set up your business to be miserable?

I believe the most important measure of your business success is how you feel.  And, the irony is the more joy you feel the more profitable your business will be. 


Which KPI comes first, Profit, Impact or Joy?

Most people will say they will feel joyful when they’ve increased profits and they will then be able to make more impact.  Most people’s mindset is “Have-Do-Be”.  “If I had X, I would do Y, and I would be Z.”  They may say:

“if I had more money, I would relax more and I’d be healthier.”

“if I had more training, I would love to be a keynote speaker and I’d be more confident.”

“if I had more free time, I’d do more business planning and I’d be more successful. 

But, consider the counter-intuitive concept of “Be-Do-Have” mindset, which also applies to feelings of joy and happiness.  If you say “if I had more profit, I would make more of an impact and then I would be happier” you are leaving a fundamental human emotion of happiness to the end.  And, here’s the thing… you will always want more and will always put the having you may never get to the end. 


Here’s the insider-secret to success

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Albert Schweitzer.

Success = joy + impact + profit


Let’s break down the concepts


Does your business make you happy?  Does your business make your life better?  If you don’t feel joy from your business, then what’s the point in you doing what you do?

Being a business owner can be a 24/7 job.  If it doesn’t make you happy, your life will be unhappy.  Your heart will feel heavy, your smiles will not light up.  There is no fun and that’s not joyful!

You are the centre of joy in your business.  Your joy barometer extends beyond you to your employees, contractors, clients, investors, suppliers, community members.  And, it extends beyond those people too.  Your joy can influence so many people’s lives.  Joy is like leadership… you can’t fake it. 



Impact is the difference you and your business makes in the world.  Impact relates to your purpose, as in, why does your business exist?  In some way, your business exists to solve a problem and in so doing you make people’s lives better.  When you make people’s lives better you and they can make the world better. 

You may feel your impact is small, and that is perfect.  Remember you don’t have to be on the world stage, saving endangered species or rescuing stranded people to make an impact.  But, in the 21st century, to be successful you and your business do need to make a positive impact. 

Why?  Because impact creates meaning and meaning is today’s world currency.  More and more people want a reason to do business with you over your competitor.  Your clients, your employees want to be part of something meaningful.  They want to know “why are we doing what we’re doing?”  If you can’t answer this question, take some time out to ponder on your purpose.  I promise your profits will thank you for it. 



As savvy business people we know what profit is!  But let’s look at the relationship between profit and happiness.  Profit comes from creating value for your clients and from your clients appreciating the problems you solve for them.  In some way you have made their life better and they are happy to show their appreciation by paying you money. 


The Key Performance Indicators

Perhaps your advisors encourage you to use purely business or accountancy focused measures of success.  And, yes of course they are needed.  But, for me and the businesses I work with, prioritising, creating and measuring joy and impact significantly increases profit.  And that means all the other KPI’s improve too. 

Joy, Impact and Profit are the true indicators of success. 

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