Harvey Mackay Academy's Blog

I learned years ago that one of the most powerful and effective things you can do to sell successfully is to smile at prospects.

People like smiles a lot more than frowns. Many careers have been enhanced because of the presence of a bright smile. It should be standard equipment for all people. You shouldn’t come to work without a smile. And be sure to take it home with you at the end of the workday!

Smiling is so important that there is a National Smile Day (May 31), a National Smile Week (second week in August) and a National Smile Month (May 15-June 15).

My mother always told me that a smile is an inexpensive way to improve my looks. She also told me, “If you’re happy, tell your face.”

I continually ask our employees at MackayMitchell Envelope Company to answer the telephone with a smile. Why? You can hear a smile in a voice.

So I took special interest when recently reading a story in “The New York Times” about a smile teacher in Japan and how her business is booming. After three years of wearing masks during the pandemic, a lot of people forgot how to lift the corners of their mouths and smile. Her motto is “More smile, more happiness.”

Keiko Kawano, the smile coach, said: “People have not been raising their cheeks under a mask or trying to smile much. Now they’re at a loss. People train their body muscles, but not their faces. And you can’t just suddenly start using these muscles. You need to work on them.”

All people smile in the same language.

That yellow smiley-face icon is everywhere, but where did it come from? It was born in 1963 in Worcester, Mass., when State Mutual Life Assurance Company approached graphic designer Harvey Ball to create a morale booster for employees. It only took 10 minutes for Ball to create the icon and was paid a whopping $45.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Ball said, “I made a circle with a smile for a mouth on yellow paper, because it was sunshiny and bright.”

Everything seems much easier with a smile. Smiling makes you feel good, and it can actually improve your health and life. Consider these facts:

  • Smiling makes you happier. Studies show that the act of smiling can actually trick the brain into feeling happier. Smiling can’t fix all your problems, but it can make you feel a little better at any moment.
  • Smiling can drastically reduce stress. Research shows that smiling has the power to reduce stress and increase our ability to deal with trying situations. Smiling calms people down and increases their coping abilities.
  • Smiling helps you live longer. Smiling decreases blood pressure by releasing endorphins to improve your immune system, helping fight infection and disease.
  • Smiling improves your chances of work promotions. People who smile at work are more likely to be promoted. Smiling conveys happiness, approachability and confidence, all traits that managers look for in employees.
  • Smiling can boost morale. This is especially true in difficult situations or fields such as medicine, hospice and home care. A smile is a light in the window of a face which shows that the heart is at home.

You should never underestimate the value of a smile.  I have always loved this poem attributed to Bob Bertram:

“A smile costs nothing but gives a lot.

It enriches those who receive it without making poorer those who give it.

A smile takes only a moment but the memory of it can last forever.

No one is so rich, or so mighty, that they can get along without a smile.

And no one is so poor that they cannot be made richer by a smile.

A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in business and is the counter sign of friendship.

A smile brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad and is nature’s best cure for trouble.

Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is of no value to anyone until it is given away.

Some people are too tired to give a smile so give them one of yours, as no one needs a smile so much as he who has no more of his own to give.”

So get back into the habit – smile today!

Mackay’s Moral: The world always looks brighter from behind a smile.

About the Author

Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.