Mike Simonsen | How to Hack Your Happiness

Mike Simonsen is the Founder and CEO of Altos Research, a real estate analytics firm. He founded the company in 2006 and they provide real-time data and insight on the US housing market. He has 15 years of experience in software development, marketing of enterprise applications, and security products. In developing the Altos product offerings, he applied his expertise in analytical systems development to a personal interest in the real estate market. Mike is on the Board of Directors and is the outgoing President of Entrepreneurs’ Organization San Francisco.

Prior to founding Altos Research, Mike was Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at network systems vendor, Nevis Networks, where he led the team from initial product concept through the company’s launch into the market. Before joining Nevis, he led product management at Inkra Networks, and helped build the company’s innovative product line and contributed to the company’s successful sales into the largest data centers in the world. Mike previously founded Potrero Networks and was director of product management at Lucent Technologies/INS VitalSuite division. He has a BS from the University of Nevada and an MBA from Chicago’s DePaul University.

In this episode, John Corcoran will be talking to Mike Simonsen about his company, Altos Research, his work with the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, and his upcoming book about how to hack your happiness.

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Available_Black copy
Available_Black copy

Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • Mike Simonsen’s theme for the year for Entrepreneurs’ Organization San Francisco
  • How Mike balances being an entrepreneur and his work with hacking happiness
  • Why are there grumpy sad people who are outwardly successful?
  • How Mike’s business changed for the better after he discovered the hacking happiness process
  • How being in Entrepreneurs’ Organization and having an accountability partner impacted Mike
  • How to successfully build a company culture 
  • Mike explains what Entrepreneurs’ Organization is, what it does, and why he decided to join it
  • How EO has had to pivot because of the current health crisis
  • Why Mike founded Altos Research and his thoughts on the future of the industry
  • The people Mike acknowledges for his achievements and success
  • Where to learn more and connect with Mike Simonsen

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, where our mission is to connect you with your best referral partners, clients, and strategic partners. We do this through our done for you business podcast solution and content marketing. 

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:14

Welcome to the Revolution, the Smart Business Revolution podcast where we ask today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution. John Corcoran. 

John Corcoran 0:40

All right. Welcome everyone. John Corcoran here, am the host of the Smart Business Revolution podcast where I talk with all kinds of smart CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs and companies and organizations like YPO, EO, Activision Blizzard lending tree, Open Table, x software, and many more. I’m also the co-founder of Rise25, where we help connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects and I’m excited today I have one with me, Mike Simonsen. And Mike is the founder and CEO of the real estate analytics firm, Altos Research. He’s a true data geek. In his words, not mine founded Altos Research in 2006. So 14 years ago now to bring data and insight on the US housing market to those who need it now and now more than ever do people need it given.

We’re recording this at the end of June to 2020. There’s been all kinds of chaos and uncertainty this year with the coronavirus pandemic, and we’re going to talk about that now. The company serves the largest Wall Street investment banks, firms 10s of thousands of real estate professionals all around the country. I know Mike through EO, the Entrepreneurs’ Organization here in San Francisco, where he is ending his term as President, and he gets to lead and learn from hundreds of the most exciting and interesting entrepreneurs in the world. And we’re also gonna be talking about his book which is coming out which is all about how to hack your happiness which is going to be published later this year. But first, before we get into that, this episode is brought to you by Rise25 minutes And now look, I don’t need to tell you the world has changed. We all know that not just Coronavirus wise, but long before that the world was changing. The next question is, what do we do about that the way that companies communicate has changed the media has changed and in this economy is more important than ever to be able to connect and build relationships with clients, referral partners and strategic partners, even when you can’t be face to face that Rise25 we have 20 years of experience in the b2b place space, connecting and building profitable relationships with clients, referral partners and strategic partners. Using a podcast we’ve helped hundreds of b2b businesses to get more clients and referrals and land collaborations with dream clients. To learn more about it go to us at Rise25media.com or email us at [email protected]. Alright, so Mike, I’m excited to talk to you. This was in the works for quite some time. And I love your leadership. It’s been fun watching you lead this community of entrepreneurs in the San Francisco Bay Area over the last year. Your theme for the year because I love it.

Mike Simonsen 3:05

Yeah, our theme for the year was loving magic

Unknown Speaker 3:07

loving magic. Yeah. What inspired that? Why did you decide on that?

Mike Simonsen 3:11

You know, it actually relates to the hacking happiness work that I do and that in the book and the talks that I give on the topic, but really the concept is, you know, love is, is it’s something that can be really hard to express in a work environment. You know, the entrepreneurial environment and other business leaders love can be hard to express in there but love is the intentional wheeling of well being on to another person like it’s that powerful giving out and it creates an upward spiral of positive emotion and positive results. The magic is what results in our lives and our businesses. And you know, that creating a theme is useful for a year, you know, you have one year as a present to lead an organization like this. And so having a theme for people to latch on to and for you to plan around is really a powerful tool. And, and a lot of times they can be though if they’re not very thoughtful, the themes can be ephemeral, and nobody, nobody does latch on to them. And so for me, being able to say love and magic and have people like, like, it’s really an intentional thing that we’re going to do, and then we get to feel the results of it so it ended up working really well for me. I was actually kind of amazed at how well people responded to it. I noticed it. Yeah, 

John Corcoran 4:48

talking about it later on. So absolutely, yeah, it definitely stands out. I mean, part of it, I think is just who you are, which I kind of want to dive into because on the one hand, you’re this guy who’s got your MBA you You studied computer systems before that. So you got this business degree, you worked in the startup worlds. And you’ve got this, you know, very serious job was a software that helps to read the real estate market. And then on the other hand, you’ve got this other end of your personality, which is, dare I say, I’m here in Marin County, so I’m licensed to use this word a little sounds a little woowoo. Right? A little bit loving magic stuff like that. So is that just who you are? And just kind of like the two tensions you got the you got the guy with the Thai side of you, and then you got the woo side of you?

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