Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jackson Kerchis, Partner at Happiness Means Business, located in Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We work at the intersection of happiness and business. We work with leaders who are facing challenges with recruiting/retention, employee engagement, and organizational performance. We provide a plan of science-based tools and training for happier work to bring out the best in people and organizations.

Tell us about yourself

I had a minor existential crisis as a sophomore in college (classic). I decided that what I really wanted out of life was not success but happiness. So I left the management consulting track and the fintech startup I was running. I decided to major in happiness. I created the first bachelor's in happiness and the first happiness course at the University of Alabama. As I progressed, I found that working with leaders in businesses and organizations had the greatest impact on the greatest number. The study of happiness is my life's work. And it's a privilege to share this work with people every day.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Our biggest accomplishment to date is beginning a cultural transformation with an entire state brigade of the US Army National Guard. We will directly impact nearly 7,000 service members in the next year with this project alone.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

The hardest thing about being a business owner is ambiguity. You don't only have to do the work, you have to define what work to do.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Find an accelerator. This is someone who has "been there and done that." You can spend a lifetime figuring it out yourself or skip all that by learning from their lifetime.
  2. Start before you're ready. It's like going off to college or having a kid - you're never going to "feel ready." Anything in life worth doing will create discomfort, so just feel the pain and do it anyway.
  3. Look for something where you don't have to create demand. Ideally, people will be asking you for something or to do something. That's when you have a business. Don't jump into something that people don't want to pay for already.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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