Last week the enterprise value specialists at Ceibass challenged landscape business owners to write down what success means to them. This prompted many responses about what success means, its criteria and standards, and, what makes owners happy, especially as they experience retirement or consider cutting back from their business obligations.

“There were wonderful responses around happiness and how important it is to take the time to reflect on what makes one happy. It is essential to think about how to live a good, happy life because, generally, it does not happen by accident,” said Tom Fochtman, Ceibass CEO. “It takes planning and being intentional about what a person does and does not do, about the outcomes a person aims their thoughts and actions at.”

This got the team at Ceibass thinking and they came up with some things to consider around building a happy life:

  • Charity and service is truly a gift to the giver. Consider volunteering, giving time, energy and money to charities, and being of-service to others.
  • Be a lifelong learner. Eat well. Exercise. Get regular health checkups. Physical and intellectual fitness are key to a happy life.
  • Know how much is enough. Money can’t buy happiness, but it is a great help to take care of your concerns. More isn’t the answer. Figure out the number that would provide the level of care you would be satisfied with in your life. Again, remember that more is not the answer. Materialism and vapid consumption can lower well-being and cause depression.
  • Love your family. Yes, you bring home the bacon, but do you give your time, your energy, your listening, and your empathy to the ones most important to you. 
  • Resist social comparisons. There are people with more money, better homes, fancier cars, better second and third homes than you. Find your lane.
  • Be thankful. Be gracious. Be gentle. Humble yourself. This takes work for successful business owners.
  • Be merciful. Cut people some slack. Learning to forgive and move on can be a source of immense joy. Hate the sin. Love the sinner.
  • Seek peace … with yourself, with others, with Democrats, with Republicans, with government, with your bad habits, with people who disagree with you, with difficult customers. Be the one to work it out.