DH Named One of Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies in 2020

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Break out the bubbly; it is time to celebrate. DH is honored to be named an Inc. 5000 company. 2020 has been a challenging year for businesses and individuals, both physically and emotionally. For this reason, we considered postponing the celebration. However, at DH, we live by the methods and values we teach, so we know acknowledging the positives and celebrating wins is an integral part of a sense of progress [one of the happiness levers].  


You may be wondering, “What is Inc. 5000?” The Inc. 5000 list is a “distinguished editorial award, a celebration of innovation, a network of entrepreneurial leaders, and an effective public relations showcase.” 


I sat down [via Zoom] with DH’s fearless and courageous CEO Jenn Lim to discuss DH’s place on the Inc.5000 fastest-growing companies list. She also reflects on DH’s 10th anniversary and shares a small tidbit about her latest book that is currently in the works.


How does it feel to be named one of Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies in 2020? 


It was emotional; I actually cried when I got the email. We submitted for the list before COVID, in a space where DH was growing in ways we always hoped. Then fast-forward several months to now, in COVID, and we are having to make some hard decisions about how to maneuver DH as a company. We talk about happiness heartbeats all the time, the ups and downs, and how they reflect on our lives. That up and down happened in the span of the minute before I got the email and the minute after. I was flooded with emotions. We have done so much, and we have gone so far, it is because of the contributions by everyone [on the team] that we even got on this list. It made me really root and reground myself in my values, to think about and focus on what is most important.” 


This year, DH is celebrating 10 years in business-how has this idea transform into a sustainable, successful company? 


“If you think about the stats for new companies and startups, the odds were against us, and I believe in the 7-year itch. It doesn’t just apply to relationships; it applies to companies as well. There are those itches that make us dig deep to ask ourselves hard questions. When I hit reset on DH four and half years ago, it was me diving deep and asking myself, is this what I want for my life? Is this what I am supposed to dedicate my time on earth to? I know I would live with regret if I didn’t ask myself these questions. It was that level of deep down perseverance that allowed me to accept that we are going to lose some, but in the end, there are things we are going to win. DH is worth fighting for because it is so in tune and aligned with everything I believe in. I am lucky to be in that seat, and I let that permeate throughout the organization." 


You often speak about the adaptive age; how do you see DH adapting so that we can continue to grow and thrive?


“The irony is that I started talking about the adaptive age a couple of years ago. And low and behold here we are in 2020, and everyone needs to adapt. I have a fundamental belief that we must be adaptive, not only as an organization but as individuals. This goes hand and hand with our approach with the ME, WE, COMMUNITY model. With DH, I want everyone’s input on what they would do differently if there were no boundaries, no past, and no future. I believe this is what it truly means to be adaptive: letting go of the past, not knowing what the future holds, but being able to be present in the moment. Gandhi said, Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.For me, this is the most significant impetus to move on, to go forward, because there is so much to learn, and that is why I believe in the adaptive age.” 


To learn more about the Happiness Heartbeatsthe ME, WE, COMMUNITY model, download our free Employer Toolkit. 


When was the moment you realized DH was going to work? When did you feel like it was a success?


"I am probably my own worst critic, so it took at least 7 years for me to fully believe that we tested and experimented enough, that we had enough clients for me to say okay, we got this. At that point, we had all our content together, our amazing team of coach|sulting®, all of the client success stories. DH started as just a little dream to change the world, it was just an idea, who doesn’t want to change to the world? It was when all of that came together shortly after the reset when I double-down and said let’s do this, we have a lot [to offer] let’s make it happen."


How has company culture evolved since DH began? 


"DH was born out of happiness, and we were born out of culture-this is what we are known for. But it doesn’t mean this is what we are going to evolve and adapt into, which is what the book I am writing explores. I still believe in the science of happiness and culture, but we have all seen the world change, especially in the last 8 months. Aspects of culture are fundamental; culture is an anthropological term. Everyone has culture, everyone lives in culture, but I believe elements of culture are evolving into something more significant like humanity. This is the first time in our lives that the world has experienced an immediate reset, in which everyone is thinking of one thing, the same thing-survival in COVID. There are so many things that divide us, but there is so much more that unites us. We all share a basic sense of being a human, the constant reminder of our humanity. As a society, we lean towards the negative, but there is a positive that transcends us to another place where we can celebrate and appreciate being alive."


With so many businesses experience a financial downturn, tightening purse strings, and slashing budgets, why should organizations still invest in culture?


"Given where we are at today, and not to be morbid, but I believe that there is beauty in death because it reminds us what it means to be alive. So, we go to work and we spend most of our waking hours with those people in work mode. If that is not something you want to wake up for, it is unfortunate to have to be in a place and be part of something you don’t want. This is hard because lots of people are struggling with the economy, with jobs so, not everyone has a choice in their work, but we all have choices within ourselves. We can choose to be in a place, around people, or in a company that we want to be a part of. I can rattle off all the stats [retention, engagement, productivity, etc.] we know these to be true about positive, meaningful workplace culture. Still, the biggest reason to invest in culture is that we want to live our best life within ourselves, and we want the people around us [those we love and care about] to live their best lives too. When you invest in people, you create a place that people get out of bed for, a place people are excited to be part of and then couple this with profits-- why would you not want to invest in culture? It is the biggest win-win-win for employees and companies." 


Investing in people creates happier employees, more satisfied customers, higher profits, and more meaningful lives. DH not only teaches this; we live it, and that is why we are a Great Place To Work®-certified.


You mentioned you are working on another book, what can you tell us about it? 


"With this book, I think it was a serendipitous way for me to articulate what the next 10 years will look like for DH. Knowing we were born out of happiness and culture, they are our table stakes, but what is next? What do we want to grow into? What do we believe in? Well, we believe in humanity, we believe in connection. So, that is what I am exploring in the new book." 


are you ready to invest in culture?

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About the Author

Amanda Marksmeier

Amanda is the Growth Content Driver at DH. She has been writing and creating engaging content for nearly five years. She loves to use words to inspire and connect with people. Amanda thrives on helping and serving others through the power of the written word. She is always on the search for new and inventive ways to reach and educate others.


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