Most people say that business isn’t personal, however if you’ve ever owned or currently run a private business, you know that statement is completely false… your business is a reflection of you and all your values. Your business and your life are inevitably intertwined.
Marc Miller, Owner and Chief Happiness Officer at Imagine IT, has made happiness his life’s work after experiencing a tragic family event. Even though life threw him a very challenging curveball, he is on a mission to figure out “what it takes to be happy” even if it comes from an unlikely place.
If you listen, you will learn:
- How to keep running a business when you experience a family tragedy
- Four principles of happiness
- How to use your business to teach your values
- How to make happiness actionable in the workplace
A Family Tragedy
Over two years ago, Marc’s son, Gunnar, was in a fatal accident. Gunnar had issues with substance abuse and depression, but that is not what took his life. He was over 14 months sober and wiped out on a skateboard and died.
After this tragic and devastating accident, Marc wanted to do something to honor his son. He started a non-profit, The Gunnar Project. He didn’t want to create another youth addiction non-profit so decided to go another route with it.
“Gunnar had this unique ability to make people happy,” explains Marc. Marc decided to focus on the idea of happiness for the non-profit. The mission of the Gunnar Project is to inspire young adults and others to wake up every morning and pursue happiness.
What Makes Us Happy?
Happiness is an intangible thing. It is a buzz word in our society today. Marc has read tons of books and research articles on happiness and outlines the four main principles of happiness in the podcast which can also be found on the Gunnar Project website:
- Healthy people find more happiness than those who are sick or unhealthy.
- People who learn, create, teach, grow are happier than those who are bored.
- People who are closely connected to others find happiness more than lonely people.
- People who are “good”, who have a relationship with a higher power are happier than those who are bad, who lie, cheat, and steal.
Marc urges listeners to plan to intentionally do things every day that make you happy. Outline your day in the morning and avoid doing things throughout the day or talking to people that will make you crabby. Plan and choose to be happy.
“The investment you have to make to be happy every day is a 3-minute investment. If you don’t have 3, 4, or 5 minutes in your day to pursue happiness, you are screwed.”
People may think happiness is this big thing or event. It isn’t a milestone or pot at the end of the rainbow. In talking about happiness being more about the journey, not the goal, Marc says, “Happiness can be found in the little spaces in between the milestones, because that is where the action happens.”
Culture of Happiness
Marc has created a culture of happiness at Imagine IT. After Gunnar died, Marc changed his title to Chief Happiness Officer to further his mission to drive happiness with everybody he meets day in and day out.
Talking about happiness at work isn’t a “normal” thing in most companies. Imagine IT puts happiness at the forefront and therefore have a vocabulary around the subject which makes it easier for employees to talk about happiness.
Happiness is actionable within Imagine IT’s culture. It is talked about in weekly and quarterly meetings, sit-down conversations with employees and partners, as well as in day-to-day conversations.
Imagine IT’s mission, even as an IT company dealing with mostly problems and issues daily, is to expand their circle of happiness into the world. Marc is fortunate enough to spend his time pushing this agenda in his life and business.
Contact Information and Bio for Marc:
Personal LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marc-miller-3b06ba100/
Gunnar Project Website: http://www.gunnarproject.org/
Gunnar Project Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gunnarproject/
Gunnar Project YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHn2snqQQ6xuJG14jEyvtqQ
Imagine IT Company Website: https://www.imagineiti.com/
Imagine IT Company Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ImagineITInc/
Marc is one of Imagine IT’s Owners and is responsible for education and business development, spending a large portion of his time adding amazing new clients to the Imagine IT family. He is also very focused on delivering positive, exceptional experiences for the business owners, employees and customers of our clients.
After earning his BA in Computer Science at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN Marc enjoyed an extremely varied career as both a tennis and golf professional, the Owner of Dogleg Indoor Golf Centers and Vice President of Sales at Intellifeed, Inc. To date, Marc has 20 years of industry-related experience, making him the ideal boss to lead us on to even bigger and better things!
When not working with technology, Marc works to connect young adults to happiness through his work with the Gunnar Project. By lecturing on college campuses, in high schools and other youth community groups Marc shares the latest research and findings on happiness and teaches young adults the importance of intentionally pursuing happiness every day.