My Work Happiness Journey

While my work happiness journey will never end, I understand this and I’m ok with it. I realize that I’m just beginning to have fun with work, networking, and everything that goes along with a career. I began my journey over 12 years ago, but I won’t bore you with all that detail. I’ll take you straight to the important stuff.

I wanted to discover the best techniques to bring me consistent happiness. I started off writing about personal development because I felt a void in my life, but as time trudged on I began to narrow my focus to a particular issue that I struggled with and I knew millions of other people struggle with: the ability to enjoy work. I discovered that throughout my life, working for a company felt “forced,” and it had become increasingly difficult for me to do something that felt forced.

I had always put in long hours to help a company build its market share and income and all I was getting in return was a paycheck. Pretty depressing view.

For many years, every company seemed like a dead end. During high school and college there were the random jobs (K-mart, media buying, telemarketing, etc.). I landed my first full-time corporate job and then I went into teaching, thinking that I could do something that would make me feel good instead of working just making money for “the man.”

Arrrgh! Problem

I got caught in the forced labor again. My freedom felt even more restricted, because I was making less money and the work was still a chore.

My needs weren’t being fulfilled. I responded by reading countless self-help, business, motivational, spiritual, and religious books to help me with depression and general discontent. I also received professional therapy (I had great insuarance). I wrote over 5,000 poems (literally they are in my closet at home. Some of them are quite weird.). Poetry was one of the few only things that brought me joy.

Poetry never felt like work. The words just flowed out, but I knew it was work for other people. They would rather stab themselves with a graphite pencil than write a poem. This began my journey of discovering what made me happy and how I could make money from it.

I wrote a children’s book called “I Wish Flowers Were as Big as Trees.” As many of you know I can’t compete in this flooded market. Even Madonna is writing kids’ books, “c’mon!”

I then tried writing my first novel, which might be a great movie, but not a great book – “Lori Loves to Torture Me.”

After that, I wrote a picture book called “92 Things to do Besides Suicide.” That was a FUN project. I tried selling it on my blog, but it was a little too far ahead of its time. That’s my reason for failure and I’m sticking to it. I sold a couple of copies – to my mother and an old friend. I need more fans like them.

I moved to Austin

I moved to Austin to find myself. It was here that I started blogging. I began the process of figuring out what I would love to do with my life. I looked for ways to align my skills with this passion and get it out to the world.

It was a turbulent time for my career. I arrived in Austin with no job lined up, just a bunch of prayers every single night. My dream was to become a writer – a poet to be specific. But as any smart business man will tell you, go where the money will be. I still write poetry, but it’s just a hobby. All for me.

While trying to find myself I wrote a second novel, “Inside.” A story about a young man struggling to find his true happiness. Hmm, does that sound like anyone you know? Most of us have been there. Ha! Most of us are still there.

And as many of you know or can probably guess, it’s still unpublished. I sent out like 50 query letters to agents and never heard one response back. I researched self publishing. I needed an audience, so that’s why I started my first personal development blog. However, I lacked a clear focus with this first effort, so I really struggled to find an audience.

Blogging

My first blog was MindBodyBlog.com – but I just couldn’t find an audience who could appreciate my wonderful randomness. The problem was my lack of focus. My ADD was manageable when writing a novel because I had to stay on track without straying from the storyline. Writing a personal development blog, however, was very messy. I was all over the map. I noticed that I kept coming back to a main theme – work, career, and personal development. I just wasn’t able to put it all together until later.

My second blog was TheStressCorner.com – the concept was too definitive so I ran out of fun concepts to write about.

My third blog was PostCardAdvice.com (spin off from postsecret.com) – Fun, but didn’t give enough value to my readers.

My fourth blog was KarlStaib.com (still running, but on hiatus as I build Work Happy Now) – I went back to personal development, but I was still too random to build a readership.

My fifth blog was GetHappyNow.org – I felt lost in the sea of happiness blogs.

My sixth blog – Work Happy Now – Success!

The Reason I Started Work Happy Now

I met with Stephen Shapiro who contacted me through my GetHappyNow.org (no longer live) and said he would be in Austin and wanted to meet. Stephen is a brilliant man on the concepts of innovation. He told me that if I were to focus on helping businesses succeed I could really have a good product.

He triggered the entrepreneurial part of my soul and I launched Work Happy Now. The writing and ideas started flowing. I have enough extra posts right now to fill up a whole year. Most of them need editing, but you get my point. The work happiness concept struck a chord with my soul.

* Side note: You’ll notice that ping to your soul too, if you keep on trying new paths.

Experimenting

As many of you know I’ve been experimenting with my words, audio, and video while trying to find the right fit for you and me. Curiosity is a huge part of working happy. That means trying new things, measuring the results, tweaking your approach just a little bit and then trying something that’s just a little bit different.

Present Day

I’m so far from perfect that there are days when I wonder how much I can help you, but then I realize that I’m the best person for the job. Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle. Stress and my expectations can bum me out, but my happiness levels are so much more consistent since I started this blog. It has forced me to find ways to be happy, even when I’m struggling at work.

This blog encouraged me to focus my efforts on my happiness and it worked. Work Happy Now has become my “Happy at Work” Project. It made me realize that I should encourage all of you to make a “Happy at Work” Project. The only way you are going to improve your work happiness is by trying new things and tweaking them until your happiness begins to blossom.

I have to give Gretchen Rubin of “The Happiness Project” credit for inspiring this concept. Check out Gretchen’s blog and see her take on her happiness project.

What this Means for Work Happy Now Readers

I believe so strongly in focusing my energy where I can expect the most return for my happiness. Over the next few months I want to help you create a Happy at Work Project. The only way you are going to truly be happy right now is by making a plan of action that will help you reach your happiness goals.

From now on, once a week, we will focus on building a plan that will help you level up and keep leveling up until your life is so freakin’ awesome that you feel like you might explode. (Just the feeling – I will not take any responsibility for any exploding readers.)🙂

We’ll focus on eight core concepts:

  • Passion – finding the things you love to do and finding a way to make a living from it.
  • Personal happiness – because when you are happy with yourself, it’s easier to be happy at work.
  • Confidence – it’s important to trust in yourself and your choices.
  • Motivation – feeling energetic while working is vital to success.
  • Productivity – getting shhhhhtuff done helps us understand we are heading in the right direction.
  • Relationships – the second most important aspect to work happiness.
  • Leadership – helping other people work happy only makes your work more enjoyable. We’ll focus on how all of us can make the work experience so amazingly awesome that other people maximize their greatness, too.

As we create a work happiness plan together, we will be planting a seed that encourages joy. And like we do on this blog, let’s support and help each other level up. The more we can help each other work happier, the more we can help one another accomplish great work.

This site is about how I can help you be happy at work. If you have anything you think we should focus on then let me know and we can incorporate it into our happiness plan. Please let me know about the things that bother you in your working life.

Also feel free to email me anytime and I’ll be glad to help. If you want a more personal experience please contact me and we can set up a personal Happy at Work Project that will lift your life to a new level. The first session is free. You’ve got to try out the goods before you join my coaching group.

Get Started Today

Email me karl (AT) workhappynow (DOT) come and I’ll send you…

  • Free Work Happy Now Weekly Planner
  • List of resolutions you can use in conjunction with your planner
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I was recently interviewed at Blog Catalog’s blog. No earth shattering thoughts, but I could always use the support, so check it out.
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If you enjoyed this post then try these on for size:

Comments

  1. Wow Karl: poems, novels, a picture book, you’ve done it all 🙂

  2. Nice Karl. I love the enthusiasm. Oddly, I’m going through a similar identity crisis you faced when blogging for personal developemnt. I’ve struggled to find a specific thing I can specialise in, until recently. It only came to be yesterday and I’m completely over the moon.

    I’m working my way up to enabling the specific purpose on my blog at current and I know it will be successful because I’m so happy writing about it.

    Have fun! 🙂

  3. Hi Marelisa, I’m trying to do it all, one piece at a time.

    Hi Craig, it’s finding your niche that will motivate you to dive into the details. Because the details is what separates you from everyone else.

  4. This is a great post. It’s awesome to learn more about your journey. Thanks for sharing it!

  5. wow, I was kind of down-hearted to discover how many blogs it took to get a successful one. I’ve just started up a blog on some random ideas, mostly revolving around personal development. So, I’ll keep my head held high and hope for the best

    Thanks for the entertaining reading!

  6. Thanks for this Karl — I get how much positivity and persistence you’ve been able to maintain and it’s inspiring to me in my own journey.

  7. Cool post and great insight into your history. To sit down and write a novel or story takes tremendous dedication and perseverance. I hope you get it published.

  8. Hi Positively Present, that’s what blogging is all about. Sharing with you, so we can work happier together.

    Hi Chris, creating this blog is one of the best choices I’ve ever made. Without the people I’ve connected with I never would have lasted this long.

    Hi Brandi, the blog you just started may be the one. You never know. Each one of my blogs helped me develop my talent and hone my passion. My hope was to inspire people to keep trying until it clicks. I have a good feeling you are well on your way to working happy. You’ve taken your first step – reaching out to the world with your thoughts and ideas.

  9. I think the real key to happiness is through helping people get what they want, as Zig Ziglar have put it. That means blogging about what the readers want, not just what I want.

  10. Hi Karl,
    The key I’m seeing here: It’s a journey.

    And what a journey it’s been for you so far. What I think really speaks to me is that, along this journey you’ve been on – you’ve tried things. You haven’t idly watched as your life went by. And that’s the real key, I believe, to self-discovery.

    It’s great to be along with you on this journey. Passion is something I feel very much when I visit here. Keep on “keeping on”, my friend…

    You are doing great things here!

  11. Hi Lance, I’m glad you are along with me too. I’ve learned a lot from your blog. That’s what working happy is all about. Learning from other people to make myself a little stronger, happier and able to give more value.

    Hi Charles, helping people with their problems is vital to a successful career.

  12. Rohit Prakash says:

    Great! Nice to read about your consistent effort to make this blog a success. I am adding it to my blogroll.

    At times, success brings happiness but in some other moments it is difficult to remain happy. I am still searching for something like “How to be happy now”.

  13. Wow Karl! That’s quite a feat for going through tons of experimental sites and projects before creating a gem out of Work Happy Now. You’ve tried all things and found one that worked! 🙂