As Seth Godin observes, marketers usually sell pleasure. Think about some of the most popular legal marketing programs. They teach you how to take your law practice to seven figures, or how to run a six-figure practice in a seven-hour workweek and so on. The programs sound great. Some of these programs have worked for your friends, and in fact, may have even worked for you. And yet, six or seven figures later, you still don’t feel as if you’ve made it. And you’re not sure why. They told you that you’d be happier making more money. They told you that if you delegated everything you didn’t like doing, that you’d feel more satisfied.
Seth Godin explains why . Those marketers promised and delivered pleasure. But you were after happiness. Good explains:
Pleasure is short-term, addictive and selfish. It’s taken, not given. It works on dopamine.
Happiness is long-term, additive and generous. It’s giving, not taking. It works on serotonin….
happiness is something that’s difficult to purchase. It requires more patience, more planning and more confidence. It’s possible to find happiness in the unhurried child’s view of the world, but we’re more likely to find it with a mature, mindful series of choices, most of which have to do with seeking out connection and generosity and avoiding the short-term dopamine hits of marketed pleasure.
So the next time you sign up for a marketing program, consider whether it’s what you really want and need. Maybe it’s not the money and the free time that will make you happy. Instead, maybe if you were happy, the money would come.