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Survey: Self-Employed Are Happiest Workers
What people have the highest well-being of any occupation? Business owners. These were the findings from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a study conducted during the first eight months of 2009. More than 100,000 people among 11 job segments were polled. Business owners consistently scored well in the six categories in the survey, which included: Work environment, basic access, emotional health, healthy behavior, physical health and life evaluation.

A number of ad specialty distributors, business owners themselves, agreed with the findings. "I get to sell 50,000 different items to different people every day," says Eric Lerner. "The work is always interesting."
The social aspects of the job are what Harry Parrish enjoys. "I love the interaction with the people, both the vendors and the customers. I'm a pretty happy person and I tend to gravitate toward happy people," Parrish says. "There is plenty of chit chat conversation. I know about their kids, families and where they went on vacation. It isn't just how many ballpoint pens do you want? Even if they don't order anything, I leave happy. Life is too short for grumpy people…and slow-paying customers."
The Gallup poll found that even though owners work longer hours than people in other categories, they still exhibited high well-being compared to those who are less engaged in their jobs. "There is a myth that being self-employed is the American dream and the gravy train," says Parrish. "But, I've never worked as hard for a paycheck as I've done working for myself. I never worked until 8 p.m. every night and on Saturdays. But, I happen to love what I'm doing. I love my business."
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