A lesson in smiling
A man and woman are sitting down in a wooden crate they are laughing and holding mugs of hot drink. They are wearing jackets. The woman is wearing a large wooden scarf and has a pug (dog) sitting on her lap.
#smile #teeth #genuine #business #kawasaki

I would love to tell you that Guy and I had a sparkling conversation during a break at a TED conference. But that was not the case. We have yet to meet, but knowing his business success and strategy, I knew this was someone I wanted to learn more from.

To learn from him, I bought one of his books. My mission: to find out how, where, why he succeeds. What is his strategy? What does he do that I need to do?

At the time I was setting up my business, I was making classic mistakes with my time and my money, which is all part of the learning curve for any new business. But I needed advice, so I turned to books. Guy’s book Enchantment threw me because I had always associated him with the analytical and mathematical. I did not expect a section on the humble smile but that is what he addresses in the second chapter of the book.

A lesson in smiling
A male athlete is sitting crossed legged on the floor he is laughing.
#smile #teeth #genuine #business #kawasaki

Smile muscles

Did you know that your zygomatic muscle is being used when you fake smile? And that flight attendants on a certain airline had a reputation for this smile because they were unhappy?!

Lesson learnt—be genuine.

Did you know your orbicularis oculi is that genuine warm smile that creates crow’s feet around your eyes? So these are lines worth earning. And something you want to look for in colleagues and business partners.

A lesson in smiling
A man driving a car is smiling at his passenger.
#smile #teeth #genuine #business #kawasaki

Lesson learnt—look for those whose behaviour creates genuine smiles.

And a genuine heartfelt smile is a Duchenne, named after French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne.

A lesson in smiling
Angkor Wat Statue from Cambodia. Smiling head carved into blocks of rock.
#smile #teeth #genuine #business #kawasaki
Obviously this is not the image of George Clooney referenced in the text. This is the Angkor Wat Statute situated in a temple in Cambodia.

Smile culture

Guy told me all of this (via print on the page). He even made me smile by including a photo of a laughing George Clooney.

Clooney is laughing at something. His bottom set of teeth are not visible and he looks a little vulnerable. His orbicularis oculi muscles are in action, and his crow’s feet are visible. It’s a natural look that is open, friendly and authentic.

His choice of photo helped me appreciate why Americans are so invested in their smile currency (teeth). It encouraged me to think about how the British relationship to teeth has evolved over the last two decades—and what impact this has had on our global outreach as we’ve set out to build our businesses and maintain them. We talk, we pitch, we smile.

A smile expresses our friendliness. It reassures others because we look less likely to bite even though we are showing teeth. What Guy Kawasaki taught me about smiling is to do it wholeheartedly and to skip the allure of Botox. Not what I was expecting as advice, but it made me smile.


Kawasaki, G. (2011) Enchantment How to WooInfluence and Persuade. Penguin, London. ISBN 978-0-241-95365-5

#smile #teeth #genuine #business #kawasaki

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