I was scrolling through Facebook last week when I ran into a video from Gary Vaynerchuk, one of my biggest inspirations and favorite entrepreneurs. I wish I could remember the exact title or where I found the video, but I remember the message: Happiness is the best ROI. Although I kept scrolling down and ended up watching another of his videos, that simple message stuck in my head.
Happiness is one of the most elusive and chased after feelings in the world. I know people making minimum wage who are truly happy. I also know people who are making six figures, or close to it, that are depressed. And we all know celebrities that tragically ended their life, despite fame and fortunes. Everyone these days has social media pages where they market themselves in a certain way, creating an internet persona. They create a perception of themselves that they want the world to see. It is hard to tell who is truly happy or content with their lives. Am I happy all the time? Of course not. Am I happy most of the time? I’d have to say yes, some days more than others. It all depends on your personal values, motivation, and how you perceive yourself and the world around you. Life is like a game of poker: you are dealt a hand and must do your best with what was given to you.
Let’s get back to the concept. A ROI is a common business term for ‘Return on Investment’. Managers, accountants, and other leaders calculate the ROI of ad campaigns and other projects to see how profitable a venture was, or to project how profitable it can be. Gary V speaks about how you can get an ROI in most aspects of your life, such as friends and hobbies. I spent a lot of time thinking about it and it’s pretty simple: no matter how you spend your time, happiness is the most important output. A lot of us work really hard to reach a lofty goal, but to what end? The journey is as important as the destination. You need to make sure that happiness comes first, that is the most important part of your life. We all struggle with it, but it is so crucial that we do things that make us feel good about ourselves. I chase money and work hard to build a better life for myself, but there is meaning in what I do. There is a higher cause, an important mission. The reason I’m so inspired by people such as Gary V and Richard Branson is that they work hard but also play hard. They both have a long list of hobbies that they do when they aren’t working their asses off, and family plays a huge part in their lives. It is important that we all do something worthwhile, whether it is career-related or not. Friends, family, goals, hobbies, work, and spiritual fulfillment. These are the pillars of our foundation.
You must find a good balance, I believe that is the key. Plenty of people are making good money and love their lives. It’s okay to work hard and set high goals, of course, but remember to take care of yourself and have lots of fun along the way. Happiness is the best ROI.