3 Tips on Pursuing “Happyness” – A Business and Life Lesson

The Pursuit of Happyness

If you haven’t seen the movie you really have to.  The Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith (which earned him an Oscar nomination, well deserved) is an incredibly moving film based on the true story of Chris Gardner - a poor man who attempts to make it on Wall Street.

Paul brought it up in one of our Monday Meetings as a great example of how we should be.

This blog post is about how to pursue happiness as a life and business lesson.

Father and Son HappyThe Pursuit of Happyness

If you’ve seen the film, you’ll know I did not just spell “happiness” wrong twice for no reason.  If you haven’t, you’ll have to see the film.

I took 3 points out of the movie that really inspired me.  Here’s how to pursue “happyness” or success.

#1 Be Goal Driven

Chris Gardner, Will Smith’s character in the film, is extremely goal driven.  His wife leaves him and he takes sole custody of his son (played by Will’s son Jaden), loses his home, and has spent all his savings on some outlandish medical contraptions he was certain he could sell and make a fortune on.

At the bottom of his luck, he bumps into a man getting out of a flashy sports car, dressed in a nice suit.

“What do you do for a living?” asks Chris.

“I am stockbroker,” the man says.

Gardner applies for a highly-competitive brokerage internship, and for the rest of the film, struggles to do whatever it takes to make it.

About a year ago I took the reins of our SEO (if you don’t know what that is, click here to find out).  We were on page 4 for most of the keywords related to our business.  I was determined to get some business leads out of our website.  That was the goal.

Me and Poe#2 Be Resourceful

I set to work revamping the blog, not first of all, but that was a major step.  (See my blog post about why blogging on your company website is so important for SEO.)  I set out to write at least one new post a week and got this mail-order gnome to help me out.  He started as a reminder for our Associates when it was their turn to write the blog and we ended up making him our mascot and social media impetus (which also greatly helps our SEO, read about that here.  They named him Poe.  The rest is history (watch the video here).

In the film, Gardner is constantly jumping through high hoops to obtain his goal of becoming a stock broker.  The things he struggles through to provide for his son are tear-jerking and exceptional.  I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

#3 Never Give Up

Simple, but never easy, the last piece of advice may be the most important.

I’m looking at my SEO dashboard now and we currently have 4 keywords in the top 3 Google rankings, 12 (out of 25 I track) on the first page (top 10)!  This didn’t happen overnight; in fact, as is typical, it took 3 months of labor with no results to see any movement at all!  But we persevered.  And SEO brought in half a dozen new accounts since the first of the year and is almost tied with the #1 source of new business for our agency!

The ending of The Pursuit of Happyness is one of the only ones in film ever to get my eyes to water and get the tear to come down my face.  (It was just one tear, don’t laugh or anything.)  That’s all I’m gonna say about that.  (I hate spoilers.)

CrySee It!

You just have to see it; and if you did, you know what I’m talking about.  The film is one of those rarities in Hollywood: it is both entertaining and inspirational.  I highly recommend not only as a good film, but as a life-changer and a model for your business.

In these trying economic times, we at Cowley are still here – after 37+ years of Paul & Gail’s tireless efforts it out to make this place a better one.  As many of you know, sustaining local business is not easy; but it’s attainable, if you pursue it – if you really do.

Enjoy the movie.

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