Are You Ready to Take Your Business “Beyond Happiness”?


Beyond Happiness is a book that provides readers with tools, exercises, and best practices to follow in order to create a happy and thriving work environment.

beyond happiness book review

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Which is better; making customers happy or making your employees happy? While you noodle on that, I’ll mention that this has been a push-pull conversation at least since the late 1980s and maybe longer.

Most often, this has been a corporate conversation more than a small business conversation. When Tony Hseigh launched Zappos with a focus on employees and then wrote Delivering Happiness where he shared the power of his philosophy with contemporary businesses, he brought the conversation back to the fore.

In her new book, Beyond Happiness: How Authentic Leaders Prioritize Purpose and People for Growth and Impact, Jenn Lim, CEO of Delivering Happiness, takes the next step in her mission to teach businesses how to create workplaces led with happiness and humanity to generate more profit.

What Can Small Business Learn from Beyond Happiness

Every time I get one of these books that cover really big, philosophical topics that seem to apply more to larger businesses than small ones, I roll my eyes.

This time, I stopped my eye-rolling and asked myself the question, “What can small business owners learn from Beyond Happiness? When I thought about it, the answer was… a lot!


Well, for one thing, small business owners are stressed out. Obviously, their main focus is on getting and keeping profitable customers so they can pay employees. And, no matter how hard they try, this stress trickles down to employees.

If you’re a small business owner who sees yourself in this paragraph, then you have to admit that your focus has been on making customers happy and sacrificed your employees’ wellbeing in the process.

Here’s what you’ll learn in Beyond Happiness:

  • How to get to the core of who you are as a leader and what your purpose is for the business.
  • How to share and use your purpose to navigate the future of your business.
  • How to create “people ecosystems” that cultivate happiness embrace wholeness and nurture new ways to feel happy and human at work.
  • Help you and your employees answer the question of “What’s in it for me?” and “What’s in it for everyone?”

About the Author

Jenn Lim, CEO of Beyond Happiness, has been working to build workplaces cultures that benefit both their employees and their bottom line. She got her start at Zappos, where she learned the power of happiness and sharing her purpose to guide businesses.

Beyond Happiness Starts Where Delivering Happiness Ends

In the introduction to the book, Lim opens up about her relationship with Tony Hseih and how they struggled running Zappo’s while doing the Delivering Happiness. What struck me about this is the utter lack of ego as they delved into what was missing from that book; it was about Zappo’s, but NOT about other businesses. As Lim started implementing the Delivering Happiness philosophy across a variety of organizations, she started pulling together specific data that provided an explanation of WHY focusing on people is a surefire way to futureproof your business.

In Part One Lim reviews her findings and the trends that are driving the need for modern businesses to embrace the “Greenhouse Model”. The Greenhouse Model posits that the job of true leaders is to build greenhouses for others to grow, rather than having themselves be the tallest plant.

The next section of the book is focused on the “Me”, that is YOU, the leader. The key message of the two chapters in this section is to inspire you to do the most important work in your life.

Finally, the third section re-presences the need for leaders to revisit their purpose and their vision and then to see how to communicate and share that vision in a way that inspires employees to connect the corporate vision to their own purpose.

Not Written for Small Businesses – But Relevant for Small Businesses

As I said before, this book was written for businesses with employees or teams. So, if you’re a solopreneur, you might think there’s nothing in it for you. You would be wrong.

If you’re a solopreneur, you’ll have the opportunity to rediscover your purpose, your passion, and discover new ways to recenter your business around your purpose. Not to sound “woowoo” about this, but doing this one thing will show in how you show up to your customers. You’ll have a shiny new perspective and actually get excited about the work that you do.

This shift in perspective is a powerful way to craft a personal brand and it will inspire clients and future employees to want to work with you and for you.


Beyond Happiness shows how companies can build cultures that benefit both their employees and their bottom line–with less employee turnover, greater engagement, and higher profits.

Business owners and team leaders will get powerful tools to make work meaningful again while driving organizational success. Beyond Happiness will show you how to stop chasing happiness at work–and get started on making it real instead!

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Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."