When you start a new business, you are making a serious commitment. You’ll be living, breathing, thinking and talking about it ad nauseum for years to come. So, be sure it’s a fit with what makes you happy.
Speaking of which, ever stop to think about what truly makes you happy? One person who has done a lot of thinking about happiness is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow. His last name may be rumplestilskinesque, but his ideas are clear as a bell.
For example, he argues that the way to be happy is to find things that make YOU happy while you are experiencing them, instead of measuring happiness based on societal metrics, like how much you earn or what kind of car you drive.
He also explains how you know when you are doing something that is intrinsically rewarding:
1) You are challenged, but have a good chance of being successful because you have the right skill set
2) You can concentrate on it completely. Your mind isn’t wandering; you are totally engrossed in what you are doing.
3) You have clear goals – you know exactly what you need to do.
4) There is immediate feedback – you can tell how well you’ve done.
5) When you do it, you are deeply involved, but in an effortless way. You become unaware of the worries and frustration of everyday life
6) You exercise control – that doesn’t mean you are in control, or that the outcome is obvious – it’s that the outcome is unclear, but you manage to make it happen. You use your skills to take the margin of error as close to zero as possible.
7) You lose yourself in it. You don’t scrutinize yourself while you are doing it. You are not self-conscious.
8) You lose track of time when you are doing it.
Find a startup that you find intrinsically rewarding and lucrative, and you’ve got a recipe for happiness.