Happiness is more like profit than joy. Strange comment. Well, let’s start with profit. It’s the result of how you run your business, including externalities.

It can’t be manufactured. It’s the result.

Happiness is like profit

Activities like serving your customers, designing good products, or creating a good culture will put you in a better position to be profitable. But make no mistake, profit is the result of all those activities plus externalities.

A massive external event can affect profitability just like a massive event can affect happiness. The government may introduce a massive tax or tariff on your industry. Customers may go off the boil (buggy whips) or a million other things could happen.

Just control the things you can control and let go of the others. As in life, put yourself in the best position to absorb the shocks or open opportunities. The profits will/may follow.

That’s where customer service and the millions of other activities are important.

They are the things you can intentionally do, like being joyful.

What does joy have to do with anything?

Girl in sunflowers with bubbles representing Joy, which is not to be confused with happiness.

Like with profit, joy and happiness are very different things. I don’t agree with how they get conflated as in Wikipedia.

Joy is manufactured.

You can be joyful at any time.


You can choose to book a vacation, go to dinner with friends, walk on the beach at sunset. Joy is your decision.

Sometimes you can’t be joyful because you’re at work, but you might still be happy in life.

Alternatively, you may be unhappy in life but still be in a joyful moment. e.g. a prisoner who is visited by their child.

Happiness includes all the inputs in your life. Those inputs include everything, including externalities. Sure joy may contribute to your happiness, as will career success, a profitable business and personal development.

But your happiness is also driven by external factors such as the whether you are made redundant, lose a family member, or win the lottery. You can’t control the billions of events that affect your happiness, but you can control ‘some’ of the inputs, and those inputs do have huge leverage.

For example, you may choose to practice meditation as an action to help self-control and therefore block out negativity to contribute to happiness.

So we shouldn’t be going through life thinking we can’t control happiness, just accept that you can steer it in a certain direction. It’s the same with profits.