The United Nations was onto something when they declared March 20, as the first International Day of Happiness. Aimed at encouraging countries to "better capture the importance of the pursuit of happiness and well-being in development with a view to guiding their public policies", #happyday has certainly struck a chord.
Our in-house social media expert tweeted feverishly in both Australia and US on consecutive days about #happyday with great results. People from around the globe retweeted, shared and commented. People simply want to be happy.
I asked a few people in our office what makes them happy.
While luck may play a role, and serendipity certainly cannot be ignored, very few business people have succeeded without having a good product or service, knowing how to market it and working incredibly hard with the right team in place.
Listening to veteran public speaker Shep Hyken at the recent EO Miami University, reminded me that more than ever, hard work, understanding the customer and their needs is part of the parcel of building and sustaining a company that is profitable, industry leading and competitive.
"Be better than average," Shep spruiks.
The past few years has seen us as marketeers witness the tip of a technological iceberg.
In a world where the word ‘Facebook’ is now as internationally recognised as the ‘Coca-Cola’ and ‘OK’ of yesteryear, we can conclude that social media and with it, social media campaigns, are the order of the day. Businesses won’t maximise business without an effective social media presence - it is essential to play in today’s extremely competitive business environment and create long-lasting communications to build brand image and trust.
It’s been five days of the best Miami has to offer coupled by discussing entrepreneurial topics, life and success (or in some cases, lack of) with some very versatile, uninhibited entrepreneurs who all seem content to share stories and experiences while enriching each other’s lives through old-fashion mateship.
Social media is powerful - undeniably so. It has the strength and depth to make or break a brand. It can cleverly make a company or person appear more successful than they really are. It can make you famous, rich and powerful.
Out of the wood work, names that were not known just five years ago, are now ranked in the top brands online in the world.
But is this 'social media' thing all that its cranked up to be?
There are ways to improve your chances of landing that dream job - and it's not as hard as you think.
Being an engaged employee means that you know a thing or two about the business. You have definitely learnt the art of listening to those at the top of the pyramid and those who are just starting in the mail room. You read every memo from management and you participate at every level in the organization without complaining that "there are too many internal memos" or that "the social club puts on crap events". You listen, learn and comprehend the value of engaging people around you and having them remember who you are.
Contrary to popular psyche testing on how to be the best employee in the office, a little bit of competition is healthy. If you are looking to spearhead your career and take that top job or a dream job in the Executive team, then you need to have a competitive spirit to be the best. That doesn't mean stomping on the person beside you to "win" nor does it mean that you need to spruik your successes from the rooftop. What it does mean is that you need to set benchmarks for yourself and your team, and ensure that you are reaching it and you have the drive and competitiveness inside that won't stop until you reach the goal you have put in front of you. Some people fear competition and some misuse it. The trick is to compete with yourself and the benchmarks that have been set before you.
Have you seen an increasingly large amount of those quirky, square-shaped, two-dimensional graphic images floating around recently? QR codes probably started popping up noticeably in 2012 and have since been a prominent marketing tool used by tech-savvy whizzes and consumers alike.
QR code, an abbreviation from ‘Quick Response Code’, is the trademarked matrix barcode that originated from the automotive industry in Japan. The code is made up of numerous black dots that are subsequently arranged in a square grid on a white background. The information encoded within this matrix may be made up of four standardised kinds (“modes”) of data- numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary, Kanji- or through various supported extensions, virtually any type of data.
Everywhere I go, people say “are you crazy… you left the sunshine, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, kangaroos, koalas and the great barrier reef for this.
I always pause, almost second-guessing what I am doing. But every single time, I come to the same conclusion.
I have a dream and that dream is to build a global small business firm that helps businesses realize their full potential.
"I would like a double mocha grande with a dash of skim milk, and a bit of vanilla. Oh, and I would like some sweetener with that. Make sure it isn't too hot. Actually, I don't want a grande, I want a tall. So that will be..."
I waited patiently for her to repeat her order over and over again until it was my turn.