Mark Rowland was the latest speaker in the E-Web Success series and he was exceptional! Mark is the former co-founder of StyleTread, an online store that sells shoes but most importantly, offers a level of customer service unheard of in the industry. The company’s focus on happiness in the workplace and an earnest desire to provide first rate service to customers helped it grow from Mark’s bedroom into a $20 million a year enterprise. This remarkable growth took him two years and he shared some of his secrets with us.
He spoke of the importance of introducing a happy culture into the company and this helped maintain a level of continuity which ensured the same team was kept together during the initial 2 year period. Mark told us about a remarkable study which showed that a lottery winners and paraplegics had the same level of happiness 12 months after their respective events. This made him realise that there was more to the attainment of happiness than meets the eye.
Mark educated us on the three forms of happiness determined during a lengthy scientific study:
- Pleasant Life – Instant gratification for short-term happiness
- Good Life – Engagement in community activities for medium length happiness
- Meaningful Life – Long-term happiness gained by engaging in activities that are designed to help others
Culture & Service
Mark believes that the success of StyleTread came about because its team members managed to put meaning into their work which led to a greater level of customer service. An open, honest and happy culture was created where staff were not afraid to confess to mistakes and the team were eager to help one another rather than waiting for others to fail. According to Mark, it is up to you to choose whether or not you want to be happy because it is entirely in your control.
We were also very interested in hearing Mark’s thoughts on the difference between self-esteem (a human being), self-confidence (a human doing) and self-efficacy (a human’s ability to do something). Above all, he was adamant that a workplace’s culture should be filled with positive language, smiles and camaraderie. In his experience, this led to a successful company that had a pleasant working environment and was able to transfer this positivity into great customer service. He concluded by admitting that establishing a brand new positive culture can take time but the ultimate results means it is well worth it.
We would like to thank Mark for taking the time to speak to us and wish him all the best on his future business plans.