Alexia’s Legacy: Lesson #49 – Ask for Help

She was tragically taken from us, but her legacy lives on.  Every few weeks we will share excerpts from the book.

 

Ray,

Sorry for no email last night. By the time I was done with on call stuff, I passed out!

Monday while at work, I talked to my boss about being overwhelmed with everything going on, and he was very helpful. He said that school comes first and if I ever need to take a half day or day off, not to feel bad about it.

Yesterday, with classes being cancelled, I took some time to sleep in and decompress in the morning. Then I went straight to studying and was productive most of the day, taking breaks to keep myself from wearing out.

Today, the world has cut me some slack! I talked with Rachel and she told me to miss after hours next week and the career fair the following week. She also suggested that during the last hour of presentation each week I step out and study since they are all topics I have heard before. In addition, I found out one of my exams that was scheduled for tomorrow is getting pushed back to Tuesday since we didn’t have class yesterday. That takes a little more pressure off of tomorrow!

On a side note, scorecards are due next Wednesday so I will take some time this weekend to get mine up to date and email it to you to see what changes you would make to it.    

Thanks and talk to you soon!

Alexia

Ray,

Today, in addition to all my other daily activities and schedule, I met with Professor Ellis and got her perspective on my future career path. We will have a lot to talk about come Monday! Hope you have a great Friday!

Alexia

Ray,

Today I talked to Rachel and the remaining SDs about the new SD situation. It looks like we are headed toward bringing them on board fully!

Also, today was the career fair. We got an early start on recruiting and even gained some new possible mentors/sponsors for the program!

I just finished an assignment due tomorrow at noon and, ironically, when I opened my email, I saw my professor emailed me that there have been some issues accessing the online assignment and we now have 24 extra hours to complete it… I may have stayed up longer than planned to complete it but at least I am ahead now!

Overall it’s been a good day!

Have a wonderful night and I will talk to you tomorrow!

Alexia

 

Ray,

This morning I slept in a bit, did a little workout, and then headed off to class. During office hours for PLP, Rachel, Billy, and I had a good conversation about some issues that need to be discussed with the Student Directors. We will be having that conversation tomorrow so hopefully we will see some improvements moving forward! Otherwise, I have just done some homework and worked desk this evening. I’m now off to bed!

Talk to you soon!

Alexia

Ray,

Since I saw you last today, I had a great meeting with Roy and learned a lot about the structure of the GMAT and how to go about tackling it, and I also got some advice for looking at which schools to consider. It was extremely productive!

I got home just in time for the GA at the hall and then had some friends time with Suzanne watching one of our favorite tv shows to watch together. We haven’t had much time for the two of us this week so we got to hangout a bit and catch up! It was a great way to end the night!

Thank you so much for everything you have done to help me out both personally and professionally. I can’t imagine this semester without you as my mentor!

Talk to you soon!

Alexia

 

Lesson: Ask for help.

Unfortunately, as much as we would like to, we can’t do everything ourselves. We need others to listen, give advice, and help. As a leader we are tasked with using all of our resources to accomplish the team goals, and that especially means reaching out to the people around us. You will be more successful as a leader if you can get outside input and advice. Seek out other leaders, mentors, and experts in various fields. Keep an active list of people you can call and turn to when you are facing difficult challenges. Match their expertise to the challenge. Find out what they know about the situation or how they have handled similar situations. Listen to their advice. What kind of perspectives can they offer that differ from yours? The wider your group of advisors, the more success you will have. Seek out mentors and advisors. Share your challenges and ask for their advice. They will usually be pleased to help.

 

Opportunity: Make a list of friends and advisors you can reach out to for help and wisdom.

 

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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Happiness Hack #64 – Send Yourself a Happiness Email

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Take 15 Seconds to Create a Memory

Spend around 15 seconds each day sending yourself an e-mail about something that made you happy.  Keep it quick and easy, but do it every day so it becomes a habit.  You can keep it to 15 seconds or spend more time if you have it. Type your memory into the subject line of the e-mail.  Start your subject line with “Memory:” so you can quickly separate it from other e-mails, and then add your happy thoughts.  You can manually or automatically move the emails into a memories folder so you can go back and review them at your leisure.  If you have more time, you can add a picture or spend time describing your experience in more detail.  For fun, you can share with the people who were a part of your happy memory.  Over time you will create an electronic journal of happiness.  Any time you are sad or need a boost, just review some of your past happy memories.

This activity combines three different areas of happiness research.  First, remembering three great things that happened during your day makes you happier.  Second, writing down your thoughts and feelings and especially writing your personal stories also helps you be happier.  Lastly, remembering the small events in life can make you as happy or happier than focusing on just the big events.

Send yourself daily happiness e-mails and you can create a reservoir of happy memories you can access whenever you need them.  Plus it will make each day a little happier.

You can also use the MyHappiness App to track your daily happiness and keep a history with pictures and recommendations for happiness.  You can access it on iPhone or Android in the app store by searching for MyHappiness or on your browser at MyHappiness.io

 

 

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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Practice Autonomy

Success Tip: Focus on the Choices You Do Have

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“You are who you choose to be.” – Hogarth in Iron Giant

Create Success by Focusing on the Choices You Do Have

People who feel like they have autonomy are more productive, show more persistence at a task, and experience less stress and burn-out.  You and your employees feel more motivated when you have autonomy over how something gets accomplished. There are many things you can’t control. They key is to focus on what you can control instead of what you can’t control.  Successful people differentiate themselves by focusing on the choices where they can make a difference and have an impact rather than complaining about the things they don’t get to choose.

Quick Tip:  There is a difference between not having choices and not liking your choices. Take a moment to acknowledge you do have a choice even if you don’t like the outcomes.

 

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MyHappiness App

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Alexia’s Legacy: Lesson #7 – Take Time to Appreciate When Things Go Right

She was tragically taken from us, but her legacy lives on.  Every few weeks we will share excerpts from the book

 

Ray,

I will definitely take a look at this over the break and let you know what I think!

This week has been amazing so far! Nothing has been too stressful, nothing has been too pressing, everyone has been incredibly nice, and I have been getting to sleep earlier than normal!

We had a PLP SD holiday dinner tonight so I didn’t get home until after ten but I have gotten all settled in and am already curled up in bed ready to fall asleep!

Talk to you soon!

Alexia

 

From Alexia’s Journal:

I am thankful for:

  • The McKinsey Consulting Meeting
  • Time to call my parents
  • Such beautiful weather

 


Lesson: Take time to appreciate when things go right.

Celebrate your small successes. Take a few moments to stop and appreciate the things that are going right. As leaders, we are often caught up in all the challenges and problems we need to solve. We have long to-do lists that seem like they will never be completed. So as a leader, you have to consciously stop and appreciate what is going right and what you have accomplished. Celebrate small successes, personally, and with your team.

Opportunity: Every day, email a friend with a list of things that went right for you personally and for your team.

 

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MyHappiness App

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Happiness Hack #63 – Don’t Wait for the Weekend

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Be Happy Today!

It starts when we are young; sitting in classrooms dreaming about how much fun we will have on the weekend. The sheer anticipation of no class and no homework makes us happy. Then recess starts or we go to lunch and talk to our friends and find additional reasons to be happy. But as we get older and our lives and the week become more stressful, anticipation turns into expectation.  We look at our crummy day at work and expect that we will be happier when the weekend comes. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work.
The difference is subtle but important for our happiness. Anticipation makes us happier today as we think about positive outcomes in the future while expectation puts off happiness in the hope that something will change and we will find happiness in the future. Anticipation leaves us open to happiness today while expectation gives up today’s happiness because it will come later. The challenge is that happiness really doesn’t come later.
New research is showing that for many of us, we actually become less happy on the weekends. We build up our expectations of happiness to such a high level that we end Saturday disappointed.   Then on Sunday, we start worrying about what challenges we will face next week. It creates an unhappy cycle of not enjoying today because the weekend will be happier but then the weekend can’t make up for all the happiness we missed during the week.
The solution is to be happy today.  Anticipate happiness so you can enjoy today more.  But don’t give up your happiness today by expecting happiness in the future. Certain aspects of today will be stressful and crummy; so what can you find to enjoy today? Can you take a moment to be grateful for something or focus on a great memory? There is something good about today.  Find it and focus on it.  Do the same thing for weekends. Enjoy and be present in your weekends. Don’t think about the coming week and what you will miss or how bad it will be. Think about today and what is great about today.
Don’t wait for the weekends to be happy. Find reasons to be a little happy today and every day. Happy moments create happy days.  Happy days lead to happy weeks.  Happy weeks build happy years and lots of happy years create a happy life full of wonderful memories.  Create a happy day!

 

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MyHappiness App

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

7 Things Every Entrepreneur has to Learn About People to Accelerate Growth

Managing people is tough; they don’t come with a manual and they are even less predictable than profit and cash flow. Even worse, you are may be the most important and yet the worst employee you have. Here are seven ideas to help you navigate the people challenges associated with growing your company, including managing yourself.

  1. Your Health and Personal Life are important to the company – The company needs 100% of your focus to succeed. In order to make that happen, you have to be available both physically and mentally. If you come to work tired and run down with lots of personal challenges occupying your thoughts, you can’t provide your best leadership. But if you come to work energized and excited, with new ideas to solve the most recent challenges, everyone else will do the same. Take time to exercise. Allocate time in your schedule to nurture your closest relationships and also to relax and do nothing. Manage your finances or have someone you trust manage them for you. In order to master the many challenges of growing your business, you need to come to work with a clear mind and healthy body.
  2. Invest in an executive team – growth brings more clients, more employees, more technology, more products, more financials, more decisions, and more pitches to name a few. You need an executive team you can trust with various parts of the business as you focus on the areas with the most strategic importance. You will need a team that you trust to keep all aspects of the business running, who understand your vision, and who have the business acumen and knowledge to continuously be improving company performance. An executive team will make the hard decisions and will help you learn and grow as a leader. If you have to make all the decisions, constantly check-in, or continuously train and teach, you don’t have the right team and you need to make changes in yourself and your team before you can accelerate your growth
  3. Trust your team – Hire good people and let them do their jobs. If you can’t trust them to do their jobs, you have to let them go. To successfully grow a company, you have to let go of more and more areas of the business which you would really prefer to continue owning. If you can’t trust the people you hire, then the growth of the company will be limited to your bandwidth. Many entrepreneurs struggle with micro-management and trusting their team to do as good a job as they would. No one is as good as you, no one is as committed as you, no one has put as much of their blood, sweat, and tears into the company as you have. But if you want to grow the company, you have to trust that they will be good enough and can do a better job by focusing 100% on the task than you can do by focusing only 1% on the task. The more of your team you trust, the bigger the company can grow.
  4. Give clear direction, again and again – “If you have said it once, you have said it a thousand times…” but they still don’t seem to get it. That is why you have to tell them 1,000 more. The ideas are crystal clear in your head because you have been thinking about this business every waking hour of your life for the past however many years. Unfortunately, everyone else is behind. They need your vision and your clear direction so they can deliver your dream. Hopefully they got the big picture right away, but it will take a while before they understand all the nuances and details like you do. Keep telling them and keep clarifying. In order to grow your business, you need a mass of people who understand enough to keep everyone else going in the right direction. The more people who eventually “get it”, the bigger your company can grow.
  5. Your people will fail – there are no perfect companies, perfect employees, perfect partners, or perfect entrepreneurs. Sooner or later someone on the team is going to fail at something important. How you handle that failure and that person will resonate throughout your company and your culture for years to come. Do you want to create a culture of risk takers who are always willing to push the envelope, or do you want a team that is careful and deliberate about never confronting any unknown outcomes? If you want to grow your company, know that failure will exist and prepare your team and yourself to create the atmosphere that will best support the kind of culture you want to live and work in.
  6. You are not alone – Friends, family, advisors, and employees are all on this journey with you and most will sacrifice significantly to help you succeed. More than likely they helped you get to this level and they will become even more vital to getting you to the next level. You need people to humble you, challenge you, and to bounce ideas off of. You need people to pick you up when you are down. You need someone you can go to when you run out of ideas or when you run into that huge problem you have never faced before. Don’t suffer and struggle when you can reach out to others and get their support. Don’t waste your time trying to prove something when you can accelerate your growth by reaching out to your network of support. Most of your network will welcome the opportunity to help you succeed in whatever way they can. You are not alone, reach out and ask for help if you want to successfully grow your company.
  7. Enjoy the ride – Nothing stops growth faster than a disengaged leader. If you are not having fun and not feeling like you are accomplishing something and making a difference, than you can’t push the company to the next level. For many people, their best years at work are while they are working crazy hours, creating unexpected results, and making a difference for their team, their company, and often the world. If you don’t still feel that passion, if you are not ignited by the thought of waking up every morning and changing the world, then you won’t be able to successfully grow the company. Leadership and success are hard. Building great companies is even harder. Make sure you are having fun and enjoying the ride, or your results will eventually suffer. Don’t sacrifice your time for money. Have fun! Make a difference. Change the world; and most importantly be happy. Enjoy the ride and you will find that growth and success can be sustained for a long, long time.

 

Check out our previous list of what you have to learn about your business before you can grow successfully.

Hopefully this list is helpful and you are on a path for profitable growth. What else would you add to the list?

 

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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

6 Things Every Entrepreneur Has to Learn to Accelerate Growth

Starting a company is tough, but sometimes entrepreneurs find that growing their company is even more challenging. Here are 6 areas you should learn about to help you be more successful as you grow your company.

  1. Manage the big vision instead of the details – When you first get started, you are responsible for every little detail of the business. In order to grow you have to turn those details over to other people and trust they will handle them. This is more painful and difficult than many people realize. You have invested your heart, soul, and life into the business, you are often operating on a razor’s edge, and you don’t want anything to go wrong. But to grow and expand you have to let others handle the details. You can still confirm they are on the right path and do spot checks to ensure your big vision is still on track. But to grow, you can no longer do or know everything about the business.
  2. Build a revenue machine – There are many aspects to a business that you need to manage; from operations, technology, and hiring to product development and profitability. But the one thing that differentiates a business from a hobby is revenue. Is someone willing to pay for what you provide? In order to grow, you don’t just need one client, you need a system for continuously finding prospects and turning them into customers. A system that can scale and a system that you can turn over to other people in your company. We call this a revenue machine. You may always be involved with landing the big clients and overall revenue growth, but you need a revenue machine that continues to function even when you have to focus on one of your other 15 jobs within the company. In order to grow your business; build a consistent predictable revenue machine.
  3. Understand your financials – Are you profitable? Which products are generating the most margin? Which geographies? Which channels? What is your cash flow and run rate? What are your biggest expenses and how can you manage them? Can you afford to hire new team members or to invest in new technology and equipment? Clients and employees may be your focus, but your financials are how you measure your results and make key decisions about where you company needs you most. Without good financials, you will eventually grow your company into failure. If you want to successfully grow your business, make time to take a basic business financials course and hire someone you trust to not just “do the monthly books”, but to provide you with the financial insight that will ensure you grow successfully.
  4. Cash Flow is king – An often overlooked part of any business growth plan is cash flow. A simple way to look at Cash Flow is do you have enough money in your checking account to cover your payroll at the end of the month. Lots of companies have accounting profits and empty bank accounts. Without cash flow, you can’t hire more people, open new geographies, invest in new technologies, or even pay for travel to pitch new partners and clients. Many companies survive years without making a profit, but they all fail the day they run out of cash. So, to grow a company successfully you have to be vigilant about improving your cash flow. Whether that is customer growth, accounts receivables, loans from banks, or new investors; as the leader you have to ensure the company exists long enough to take advantage of the next big opportunity that is coming around the corner.
  5. Some clients are more important than others – It is a common refrain “every client counts,” and that is extremely true for the first few clients and maybe even the 10th or 15th But eventually, if you want to grow the company, you have to choose where you will focus your efforts. It may be because of size or for strategic reasons, but some clients will need to be at the top of your contact list while others drop down towards the bottom. If you can’t prioritize your clients and your time, you will not be able to grow your business.
  6. Always be looking for that next big deal – If you want to grow, you always have to be on the lookout for that next big deal. It could be that new giant client that doubles your size overnight, a new and lucrative distribution channel, a new product, or a new partnership. Whatever it is, you have to be diligent and focused about looking for and preparing yourself and the company for that next big deal. You can’t grow if you don’t get it, and you can’t grow if you are not prepared to handle it when it finally happens. If you want to grow, start looking and preparing for that next big deal right now.

Next we’ll share 7 ideas for helping you navigate the rough seas of managing people and yourself to accelerate growth.

Hopefully this list is helpful and you are on a path for profitable growth. What else would you add to the list?

 

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MyHappiness App

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

15 minutes prioritized me time

Success Tip: The U in Success

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“Don’t be so busy making a living that you fail to make a life.”

You are the key to success for yourself, your family, and your company.  If you don’t take care of yourself, stay engaged, and make sure you are physically and mentally available, then the great things you can do won’t get done.  If you are resentful because you never get time for yourself then you won’t be as productive, you will lose interest, and you will eventually become over stressed and burnout.  Your success at your career is dependent on you making time for yourself and doing the activities that interest you and keep you healthy.   Make time for you, and you will come to work refreshed, excited, and full of new ideas to help the company grow and prosper.

 

Quick Tip:  Take baby steps.   Make changes in small increments.  Don’t start with a marathon, walk around the block every day until it becomes a habit, then expand from there. Set aside 15 minutes for 30 days, then grow that to 20 minutes.  Make small changes and turn them into habits.

 

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MyHappiness App

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Alexia’s Legacy: Lesson #38 – Leaders Fight for Their Team

She was tragically taken from us, but her legacy lives on.  Every few weeks we will share excerpts from the book.

Six Flags Student Director Trip

In October, the Student Directors of PLP planned a trip to Six Flags. We all felt it was important to build relationships outside of “work.” We had purchased passes to go to the Fright Festival events; however, when we tried to enter they wouldn’t let us in. There was some confusion about the wrong kind of tickets and needing extra tickets. Naturally none of us were okay with that response since broke college kids have little money and the tickets were $20 each. The security guard mentioned a customer service booth back at the main entrance. So we had to turn around and walk 20 minutes back to the front of the park and most of us assumed we would just leave then and go home. But as we got near the customer services booth, Alexia looked at me and said, “Oh no! We didn’t pay $20 each to drive out here and leave.” We began discussing how we were going to “nicely” persuade Six Flags to exchange our tickets for the ones we thought we had bought. I used my iPhone to do some research and could not find any fine print on the ticket or website suggesting that what they were saying was accurate. So we all waited in line with Alexia at the front. Alexia, wanting to be a lawyer, approached the “judge” of Six Flags and the court was in session. She was passionate for us, but gentle. She became very passionate in her defense because she cared about our not wasting our time and money. She wanted what was best for us.

Fortunately, her gentle approach and the lack of evidence from Six Flags to support their position, led to our all getting the correct tickets. Credit is also due to the very nice person working at Six Flags. The point is Alexia cared about us and was willing to fight for us. I tell this story to show that, even though we weren’t best friends with her, friendship meant something to her. She fought for us with gentleness, despite her passion, showing that grace may abound in frustration.    Austin Hatcher

 

Lesson: Leaders fight for their team.

Leaders fight for their team and for what is right. Great opportunities to show your qualities as a leader arise when your team is not getting what they deserve or when you want to help get them something a little extra. Nothing brings a team together quicker than a common enemy or the feeling that being part of that team means something special. Step up when the time is right, and make sure your team gets what they deserve. Use your resources and energy to defend their honor or to make sure they are rewarded for their hard work and sacrifice.

Opportunity: Consider what battle you could fight to help your team get the recognition and success they deserve.

 

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MyHappiness App

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Happiness Hack #62 – Is Your Thinking Stinking?

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What Do You Spend Your Time Thinking About?

Do you spend your time thinking about what went wrong and why your job or your life are not what you want them to be?  Do you ruminate about a list of people who have treated you poorly and how you will eventually confront them and set them straight? Are you worrying about the things that could go bad in your future? These are all signs of “Stinking Thinking.”

You can fill your head with thoughts about how great life is, what you appreciate about people, and what you are going to do to create a great future or you can fill your head with negative thoughts.  The choice is yours.  “Stinking Thinking” leads to stinky results and positive thinking leads to positive results and more happiness for you and those around you.

It is natural to have negative thoughts, but you don’t have to let them overwhelm your thinking. You can create the habit of replacing those negative thoughts with more positive thinking or at least with possible solutions, rather than just focusing on the negative impacts of your problems. Try to catch yourself thinking negative thoughts and find more positive things to replace them. Replace your “Stinking Thinking” with more positive and productive thoughts and you will become happier.

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MyHappiness App

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.