Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

I was watching “20/20” the other night and was surprised to learn that I, being a relatively happy person, am not living in the happiest country on earth. The United States, the land of opportunity, ranks only 23rd on the scale of happiness. I also learned that, contrary to popular belief, tax dollars can sometimes buy happiness. Before you throw a stapler at your computer screen, consider this: Denmark, despite having one of the highest tax rates of any country (upwards of 60%), is the happiest country on earth, according to social scientists schooled in the science (and art) of happiness. Denmark is a surprisingly ebullient country despite the fact that the weather can accurately be describes as cold, dreary and the national dish is herring. You’d think Danes would be rather grumpy, but most give themselves at least an “eight” out of ten on the happiness scale. They feel “taken care of” by their government and receive many benefits from their tax dollars. Because citizens are so taken care of, they are able to choose careers they enjoy, rather than the job that makes the most money. For example, the prince in Denmark works as a carpenter’s assistant and loves every minute of it. Garbage men are as happy, and well regarded, as bankers or doctors and Danish society is generally non-materialistic.

The Danes seem to have caught on to the fact that happiness is not determined by circumstance, like how much money you make or what your childhood was like, but comes from within. Research proves that we have the power to make ourselves happy. Happiness is found in gratitude, counting our blessings and enjoying meaningful relationships. Relationships don’t necessarily mean romantic or love relationships—meaningful relationships can be found everywhere. Friends and neighbors as well as colleagues, employees, clients and business associates can all provide the opportunity to form important bonds.

So why not give a promotional gift that strengthens those bonds, promotes good will and simply puts a smile on the face of the recipient? The iconic image of the yellow smiley face represents the joyful expression of pure happiness and the sight of it never fails to bring a nostalgic smile to the most serious face. The Friendly Face Bounce Back Sr is a fun and upbeat item to promote any type of business. The bright smiley face will let your clients know that you take customer service seriously. It will also remind your employees that your company is a fun place to work. Add your logo and the message is complete.

I’m off to prepare for my keynote speech at the National Cynics convention—don’t you just love irony? In the meantime, “Look around, happiness is trying to catch you.”