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?
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.
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* Nadia of the Happy Lotus wrote a piece called Passion…It’s A Way of Life. It's what I am all about.
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Image courtesy of http://icanhascheezburger.com.