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Measuring Growth - A Happy Seed

Posted by Zoe Smiles on


"Measuring progress is often like watching grass grow. While it’s difficult to detect movement on a daily basis, it’s simple to see growth over time."
- Frank Sonnenberg
   The Basic IDEA
Measure your growth over years instead of weeks. 
-Zoe Smiles


Digging Deeper

Small steps are just as powerful as big leaps because they are still steps in a direction.

When I was 11, my favorite teacher Mr. Burger (yes, that was his name) suggested I should start a new club on our middle school campus. Clubs usually met at lunch and he offered to be the club advisor.

I thought about what kind of club I would want: a place where people could learn, there had to be fun activities (craft workshops would be best), books must be involved, being weird/nerdy/different had to be ok, interesting lectures that taught us about new concepts or perspectives, fooooooood!!!, bullies weren’t allowed, and kindness would be the cornerstone of our foundation.

The whole point was to have fun, while learning interesting things, in a kind environment, that honored everyone’s uniqueness. I thought it was brilliant! And I got one member. Since we needed at least three the new middle school club was never to be.

22 years later, and millions of steps along the way, I realize I created this club in Happy Goods. As a business owner who does most of my sales face to face, I’ve encountered over 1,000,000 people in my little 10x10 happy space booth.

We currently have over 10,000 email subscribers (I was verrrrry late to the digital party - shoutout to the OG’s who forced my social media avoidant self to finally open an Instagram). And there are 1,300 of you who regularly open my happy Monday newsletter within 24 hours of me hitting send.

I appreciate you!

Thank you for making the desire of a little 11 year old girl come true. All I wanted was a cool place where people could be themselves and have fun learning together.

And I didn’t even realize I got there until today.

That’s the power of a small step when you have a vision in your back pocket.

I write a lot of lists. On these lists are a breakdown of my goals, visions, and ideas I want to execute. I found a few of these lists today, all written between 2020 and 2024.

I’ve completed some of the things on these lists, I’m closer to achieving others, and a few I recognize no longer serve me.

A list, vision, or plan offers you a sense of direction. You take steps in that direction and you hope the steps taken help you to achieve the end goal.

Sometimes, the direction you’re going in is the right direction.

Other times, you’re walking right … but you really should have been going left all along. Time to take a different path.

Other times, the small step you need to take in your life is really about taking a pause and making sure you don’t take any steps at all. Time for a long break.

Other times, you’re walking in circles, feeling like you’ve accomplished so little and yet in reality you actually completed a ton of action but you just consider it inadequate. Hey, at least you got some great exercise. Give yourself more credit.

No matter what situation you’re in, what you need to do is keep on stepping.

These small steps are big, they mean something. And if you don’t like where these steps are taking you, then you can make the most important and powerful step of them all.

A step in a different direction.



 Two Things for You to Try This Week

1. Get simple and detailed. Take a big goal and break it down into doable steps. Now, recognize those steps may need to happen over a long period of time depending on the goal. It took 8 years for me to learn how to maintain a lifestyle in which I consistently workout. These biceps weren’t built in a day! But, it only took 2 days for me to learn how to rock climb. Different goals, different time frame.


2. Forgive yourself for failures you’ve made in the past. Failing is part of the journey. You can’t succeed without it because within failure is growth - and the steps of growth and nurturing are important steps to take. The first time I displayed my wares, I didn’t make 1 sale. I learned, forgave myself for my mistakes, and continued stepping. Don’t let a stumble create immobility - keep moving!

Have Fun Out There!


A Quick Note from Zoe

Welcome to The Happy Seeds monthly newsletter.

I send you one quote to read, a thought message, and one or two action steps to take at some point during the month.

The goal is to offer you a happy perspective to look forward to and some creative opportunities for you to add joy to your week.

It's easy for me to get caught up in the day to day and I've learned happiness is a muscle. You have to BUILD and then MAINTAIN a happy mindset.

If the content or action steps in this email make an impact on you this week - whether it's as simple as re-watching your favorite show series, as joyful as connecting with an old friend from 2012 or as big as finally having the opportunity to go skydiving, please send me an email and let me know.

Talk to you again soon!