Jeff Bezos' big mistake ... and other lessons in 'career self-care'

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Published Jun 18, 2022, 5:12 PM

In many ways, Jeff Bezos would seem to have it all. But when is enough enough?

In the new book, "Career Self-Care: Find Your Happiness, Success, and Fulfillment at Work," Inc. magazine columnist and Seattle-area author Minda Zetlin points to the Amazon founder's push for financial incentives in the company's search for a second headquarters as a prime example of "the dirty little secret about success."

After Amazon's choice of Queens, N.Y., backfired due to objections over financial incentives, a report by Bloomberg News revealed that Bezos and Amazon had originally been motivated in part by envy over the incentives that Elon Musk and Tesla were getting from Nevada for building their gigafactory there, despite much different circumstances.

Zetlin sees in this anecdote a lesson for the rest of us.

"We spend our whole lives pursuing success. But where is that spot, exactly?" she says. "If you're the richest person in the world, which he was at that time, and you're still not satisfied, you're still not happy, you're still jealous of somebody else, it just seems to illustrate that there is no there there."

Zetlin's book draws on her reporting, interviews and experiences to examine self-care with the underlying assumption that, for many of us, work and the rest of our  lives are now inevitably intertwined. she joins us on this episode of the GeekWire Podcast to talk about these topics and more from her book.

With GeekWire co-founder Todd Bishop. Audio editing by Curt Milton. Theme music by Daniel L.K. Caldwell.

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