I stumbled across a new term recently… “happytalism”, have you heard of it? 

After seeing a recent Forbes article headline “‘Happytalism’: How to Inject Greater Purpose into Your Business”, I was curious…

Words are important to me. Although, after seeing this one for the first time, I’ll admit I wasn’t convinced. 

The word “happytalism”, initially, seemed like more of a marketing tactic to further push the idea of the “pursuit of happiness” onto consumers, rather than a concern for genuine employee wellness. It seemed to be a play on words that actually enhanced the advertising that we’ve already been bombarded with – “you’ll only be happy once you purchase…”

But, I might have judged “happytalism” too quickly. 

Essentially, “happytalism” is an economic system and socio-political philosophy that puts happiness and well-being at the center of economic development. 

“Happytalism” is meant to encourage a world with less judgment and more wisdom. Inspiring greater meaning behind the work of employers, employees, and consumers alike. As the article mentions, nothing brings greater authentic happiness than a life of meaning through contribution to others.

Ultimately, the intent behind “happytalism”, is to:

  • support individuals who dare to make positive social impacts;
  • inspire institutions to embrace the principle of collaboration;
  • embolden businesses to live their purpose.

“A purposeful life and creating wealth are not mutually exclusive strategies.”

– Ernest Ross, Forbes

Over the last few years, consumers are now thinking in terms of who they want to be, rather than what they want to have. With this shift, businesses should be following suit. Rather than evaluating what they have or what they do, businesses should start to look intrinsically to determine who they want to be.

As consumers become more purposeful with their purchases, it is imperative, now more than ever, that companies reinvent themselves as “happytalists”. But, how do we do this?

How do our businesses become one’s that our employees are proud to belong to?

How do our businesses become one’s that our consumers are proud to purchase from?

We do this by developing, understanding, and sharing our corporate purpose. 

What is especially exciting is that “story”, “purpose”, and “happytalism” all go hand in hand. Purpose, for most of us, isn’t a singular thing that we happen to stumble upon one day, rather purpose is a journey of experimentation and self-discovery. Simply put, it is the process of getting to know ourselves better. So, when faced with important life decisions, we know who we are, making it easier to decide where to go from there. 

Businesses, like individuals, have their own hopes, dreams, goals, etc. 

And like our individual purpose, a business’s purpose is much of the same. Our business purpose helps us understand our impact and identify ways in which our work can make a difference. Purpose can also help us to stay grounded, in turn, simplifying challenging business decisions that are thrown our way. 

In finding our business’s purpose, we can narrow down and understand exactly “who” our business is, allowing us to then tell our story to the world. This not only gives us a point of reflection but allows the “happytalistic” mentality to be one that can start to feel a little more tangible.

What do you think, do you “buy into” the “happytalistic” philosophy? In what ways might you embrace “happytalism” in your business?