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The Business of Happiness: 6 Secrets to Extraordinary Success in Life and Work Hardcover – February 9, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


“As Ted shows, the happier the company, the more successful it can become.”
—Maria Shriver, author, journalist, First Lady of California

“A happy team can be a winning team. It is all about following Ted’s belief in happiness and success. I buy into it completely, and it really works; I believe Ted’s book can help you become MVP in your life, at work, and at home.”
—Alex Ovechkin, two-time NHL Most Valuable Player—Washington Capitals

“Ted Leonsis has one of the most creative minds in business. His insights on business, career planning, and how to succeed in today’s 24/7 environment reflect the wisdom of a renaissance man. . . and in The Business of Happiness, he is your personal guide.”
—Ken Chenault, CEO and Chairman, American Express Company

“Ted’s successful path to happiness in life, from the mean streets of Brooklyn to AOL executive to philanthropist, moved him to share his story and his way. Do yourself a favor: read it and be inspired.”
—Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corporation and the Mozilla Foundation, which created the Firefox browser

“This wonderful book is as bouncy, ebullient, energetic, and likeable as its author.”
—Don Graham, CEO and chairman of the board, The Washington Post Company

“Read this book. You may not end up with his life. But there’s a good chance you’ll get something even more valuable—his outlook on life.”
—Chris Wallace, FOX News

“Ted Leonsis is absolutely correct that money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you Ted’s book, which will bring you happiness—and success.”
—LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

From the Inside Flap

What’s Your Plan For Happiness?

When the plane he was on prepared for a crash landing, Ted Leonsis asked himself the crucial question, If today is my last day on earth—will I die happy?. . . and realized the answer was no. Despite having achieved massive business success—he was a self-made multi-millionaire at the age of twenty-seven—he realized he would die unfulfilled. He told God that if he survived, he would turn his life around, give back more than he took, and pursue happiness. After walking off that plane, he got to work.

In The Business of Happiness, Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitals and former group president and vice chairman of AOL, shares the six secrets of happiness he discovered since that fateful plane ride. Treating happiness as a goal like any other, he made a list of what he thought would make him happy, and made a plan to achieve his goals. Along the way he discovered an incredible truth—business or financial success doesn’t bring happiness, but happiness can bring you business and financial success.

Inside The Business of Happiness, you’ll learn, as Ted did:

* How success follows happiness (not the other way around)
* The importance of having a “double bottom line”—and how you really can do well by doing good
* The key to finding your own higher calling
* Why you should have a life plan for happiness, just as an entrepreneur has a business plan to launch and sustain a business
* The six essential secrets that lead to happiness and success
* How Ted lived his journey from a Brooklyn kid to sports team franchise owner—and the lessons learned along
* What was on Ted’s list—and what should be on yours

Nothing is more universal than the desire to be happy. Ted Leonsis has made a lifetime’s study of that desire and how to achieve it—and now he wants to share what he’s learned with you. The Business of Happiness will show you how to become the happy, successful, and generous person you’ve always wanted to be.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing (February 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596981148
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596981140
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ted Leonsis is an Internet industry pioneer who helped build AOL into a global phenomenon. He is a serial entrepreneur who has built and sold multiple successful businesses over three decades, culminating with the recent sale of Revolution Money to American Express. He owns the NHL's Washington Capitals and other sports properties. He is an award-winning producer of documentaries, and the founder and chairman of SnagFilms. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, and later, Lowell, Massachusetts, he now lives in McLean, Virginia, and Vero Beach, Florida, with his wife and two children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Washington-Cohen on April 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For more than a decade, I have read books on success, fulfillment and happiness, and this is the first time I have come across a book that approaches happiness from an entrepreneurial point of view. Ted Leonsis can easily convey what he believes to be the principles for living a whole happy life because he does business with an open mind and an open heart, and his outlook on life is based on his commitment to his happiness, as well as the happiness of all involved..
The book is composed of two, equally important parts.
The first part of the book consists mainly of anecdotes about Ted’s life and his successful, creative businesses where, among other things, he stresses the importance of a company to be loved, rather than being needed. Part one sets the tone in a way that fills you with enthusiasm, prompting the reader to start a journey of his/her own quest for happiness.
The second part of the book is more of a hands-on segment, where you start by writing your own Life List of goals which you believe, when achieved, will contribute to your fulfillment and happiness. I found that in the very process of sorting through what’s really important to me, I was able to have clarity of purpose, and realized that some items on my list were already accomplished – and this made me happy. I was also able to acknowledge unconscious desires that would have not come to light otherwise. Ted Leonsis carefully , dissects and explains each of the 6 tenets he credits to be the essential building blocks for happiness: 1) Goal Setting; 2) Communities of Interest; 3) Personal Expression; 4) Gratitude; 5) Empathy Expressed by Giving Back; 6) Higher Calling.
A key concept, that success is a natural byproduct of being happy, and not the other way around is repeatedly acknowledged in this book.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Yanik Silver on February 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a 20+ year Caps fan, serial entrepreneur and voracious business book reader, I immediately pre-ordered the book when it was first available...and it was one of the best books I've read this year!

There are 2 main parts to the book. The first starting with Ted's story and the second with the 6 principles outlined and dissected. Following Ted's blog I've read parts of his story but never the whole thing and found this really insightful and inspiring.

I loved the journey and how each new endeavor (business or charitable) lead to more insights and distinctions for Ted towards happiness. Starting with a list of 101 items it was instructive to see how `business-like' Ted started with this journey to happiness or what he thought would make him happy. I really like how he pointed out buying a Ferrari (which was on the list) was like an empty calorie and didn't have much meaning afterwards. But other items on the list had a tremendous impact on his happiness.

The life list is the first of 6 tenets of happiness as identified by Ted. 1) Life list. 2) Multiple Communities of Interest. 3) Finding Outlets for Self-Expression. 4) Gratitude. 5) Giving Back. 6) Higher Calling.

It's a great list to focus on and this was the first business book I've seen to mention "Higher Calling" and "Finding Outlets for Self Expression" to help with your happiness. I love that and totally believe in it!

Ted repeatedly warns readers that `over-indexing' in one facet of your life - business success - prevents you from being happy. It's in the variety and living a full life that happiness occurs as a by-product. And this is certainly a good roadmap for anybody who wants to get there and take a shortcut.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Okie Expat on February 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While I'm not quite done with the book yet, kudos to Washington Capitals owner and former AOL exec Ted Leonsis for a terrific book based on this simple premise: Happiness leads to success, not vice versa. Ted does a nice job of mixing personal experiences with "life lessons," both as a business owner and executive and lead owner of the most exciting NHL franchise in recent history. He makes a compelling and inspirational case for his premise.

It starts with the proverbial life changing event -- an "almost" plane crash that forced him to confront the fact that had he died that day, he would not have died a happy man. Using tried and true business techniques (building a "bucket list" of sorts, although he doesn't call it that), he created a personal metric to both largely define and measure his progress towards being happy. He shows that happy people are successful people, not vice versa.

It's a delightful read, chock full of common sense. As one who took Ted's "Happiness Survey" on his blog ([...]), I couldn't wait to order his book, and have not been disappointed. Ted is honest, open, transparent and inspiring. You'll discover why Ted's been a huge success as the transformational owner of the NHL's leading hockey team. And for those of us in business, we will discover some not-so-secrets of his success, including humility, transparency, and respect for all. A must read for hockey fans and business leaders, especially aspiring ones.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James H. Nobil Jr. on March 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book that many in the workforce should be able to relate to: it describes one very successful entrepreneur's path to self-realization and fulfillment beyond the mere size of one's bank account, and provides concrete examples of how that actualization has actually resulted in more success in business. And, it does so without shamelessly promoting any particular religious philosophy or morality. Not only does it provide extensive details to serve as a blueprint for others, but it goes into considerable discourse about the reasons for the various components that make up that blueprint. Unfortunately, it does detour somewhat extensively, (the middle portion of the book), into more detail than is needed into the rise and fall of America On Line, (and a pre-occupation with the potential negative effects of short-term financial performance over long term goals). That portion reads more like a condemnation of public companies and wall street analysts generally than a book about why and how to be a happy businessman. It's the only distraction from an otherwise outstanding manifesto.
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