Every year in May, Warren Buffett holds his annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders' meeting in Omaha. It's really a three-day, three-ring circus of presentations, marketing, schmoozing, shopping...extreme capitalism at its best. Many people know about this annual meeting and Omaha is host to so many people representing many cities and countries.
What a lot of people don't know about is BIGOmaha, a three-day event with a focus on entrepreneurs making their dreams and passions come true. The list of speakers is astounding and the stories and presentations that they share with everyone are inspirational. We're truly lucky to have such an event exist in Omaha and to watch it grow into something even bigger.
This past year BIGOmaha had some really noteable speakers, one of whom was zappos.com CEO, Tony Hsieh. If you're a woman, you know about zappos. When I was an accessories editor, I knew a lot about zappos.com since a lot of our featured items were credited to them so that our readers could go and buy the shoes from the ease of their couch!
What a lot of people might not know is that Tony Hsieh became a multi-millionaire only a few years after graduating from college. Not from zappos but from another company called Link Exchange that he co-founded with a college buddy. At the age of 24, he sold Link Exchange for $265 million to Microsoft. Not bad for someone a couple years out of college.
At BIGOmaha, Tony not only gave a very moving presentation but in a true Oprah-like fashion, gave everyone in attendance a free advance copy of his new book, Delivering Happiness. He also created a blogger program that allowed people who had blogs to request an advance copy with the caveat that you had to write an honest review of the book sometime during the week of the launch. The blogger program also included a second copy for us bloggers to use as a give away promotion.
On June 7th, Delivering Happiness arrived at stores nationwide. Already, it's become #1 at Barnes and Noble and is on a slight back order on Amazon.com. But of course, if you want a FREE advance paperback edition, keep reading to find out how you can enter to win. The book is a true personal account of how he went from a elementary school kid with ambitious plans to make money to a grown up kid with ambitious plans to create something he was passionate about with the money he was fortunate to have.
Whether you're a woman who loves shopping from zappos.com, a woman who wants to climb the corporate ladder, a guy who wants to know how a 24 year old kid became a multi-millionaire or a guy who wants to know the meaning of life (ok, maybe that's a stretch), Delivering Happiness is a book that is an easy read and full of inspiring stories about how Tony Hsieh turned his passions into profits. (And I love the title; shoes make women extremely happy and therefore, you definitely can say that Tony delivers happiness everyday to men and women and children all over the world!)
I related on so many levels and laughed along with his very familiar stories. Tony writes about being the child of immigrants from Asia, the dreams that they had, the stereotypical strict upbringing (school, musical instruments). I loved reading about all his successful and failures in being a young entrepreneur and also loved that along the way, he picked up the game of poker and found the table talk and camaraderie in the Vegas rooms to be inspiring and fun. I know that in my own memoir that I am working on that the game of poker really helped shape me to become who I am today.
Delivering Happiness is written in a language that is conversational, as if Tony's sitting with you on your back porch, drinking some beers, telling you about his adventures in middle school and beyond. It's a fun, easy read and I definitely recommend it as a summer beach read that you'll want to pass along to friends. It's appearing to be sold out all over the place, but as a reader of PFO, you can enter to win a free advance paperback copy of the book by commenting below about what your passion is and how you would want to turn it into profit.
So tell us what your passion is in our comment box, we'll pick the winner and put it in the comment section of this post at a latter date.