For this article, we used Facebook data to study entrepreneurs worldwide. Our question was simple. What makes entrepreneurs happy?  Of 2 billion Facebook users ages 18-65, Facebook data categorizes 610 million as interested in happiness. An elusive state for many of us, we set out to understand the types of interests that commonly drive entrepreneurial happiness. Bottom line? Money is not enough. If you want to be a happy business person, round out your pursuits. 

Our root audience for this study consisted of 300,000,000 Facebook entrepreneurs globally, ages 18-65+. To be classified an "entrepreneur," Facebook interests needed to reference entrepreneurial endeavors such as real estate entrepreneur, female entrepreneur, Female Entrepreneur Association, Young Entrepreneurs - or related descriptors such as small business owner or job titles owner, founder or co-founder.  

Facebook data reveals 190 million entrepreneurs as interested in happiness. Here are some interests common to happiness-motivated business people. Data suggests pursuing these endeavors yourself means you'll also pursue happiness.

  1. Music and Sports: At a whopping 180 million people each, music and sports interests show up in 95 percent of happy entrepreneurs. Additional segmentation is easily gained in category. For instance, 43 million users are interested in The Chainsmokers (the music duo) and 32 million dig the Houston Astros.
  2. Physical Exercise: 110 million of our happy business movers are interested in physical exercise. Working the body is intrinsic to many areas of health. It's no surprise working out is a driver of entrepreneurial happiness.
  3. Do it yourself (DIY): Yep, a proclivity for personally tearing into DIY home projects is a powerful marker for entrepreneurial happiness. A whopping 75 million users or 61 percent of our core group identify as weekend workshop warriors.
  4. Gambling: Hmmm, so data says happy entrepreneurs are risk takers. Vegas and blackjack to off-track betting and thrill seeking, 59 million of our studied business Facebook users are open to roll the dice in life and business. 
  5. Mindfulness: 47 million happiness users in our study also seek mindfulness.  Google defines mindfulness as "a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique."  For business happiness, steady your mind. Observe, describe and participate. Operate in wise mind.

Interestingly, data also illustrates having a truckload of money doesn't get the happy dance done in itself. Big money, certainly a component of entrepreneurship, is a low indicator for happiness interests. Only 0.22 percent or 410,000 of our study group boasts net worth topping $3 million. Moreover, happiness signals are even bleaker among users earning $500,000 a year at 270,000 and a paltry .014 percent.

Don't get me wrong, entrepreneurs can and should chase the business payoff. It's what we do. However, happy entrepreneurs look to a rainbow of interests in the pursuit of zen-like happiness. Feed your inner love of tech early adoption or escape to favorite episodes of Game of Thrones. Try veganism if that's your thing or immerse yourself in family. In short, stack the deck by pursuing happiness-nurturing interests. More joy in life might make you a better entrepreneur.

Published on: Nov 17, 2017