You’ve invested time, money, energy and ego in a business, a project, and a relationship. You’ve done the best you know how to make it work, but… it hasn’t.
I know the feeling – frustration, embarrassment, self-recrimination. If you haven’t been there consider yourself lucky, or in denial!
For years I’ve worked with CEO’s, business owners, experienced professionals and highly influential people to help them align their talents, skills, experiences, and other resources with what they care about most. In the process, I helped them learn to be more open, masterful and self-aware as leaders, partners, advocates and change agents. I helped many of them take the next steps into new, exciting next chapters of their lives.
It was in one of these sessions with Laurie, a successful lawyer, that I first asked, When you look at your options, which ones make you want to shout YIPPEE?
Yippee captures that sense of elation when things are going our way, the pieces are falling into place, you throw your arms up and shout YIPPEE, and it feels like the perfect exclamation.
Many years later when Lisa, a friend and mentor, insisted that I “Go write the damn book” about the processes I’d developed over the years, it just seemed natural that YIPPEE would be in the title. And so it was.
Writing the book was accompanied by creating a YIPPEE logo, registering the trademark, buying dozens of URL’s, designing a website, printing business cards, drafting media pitches, writing blogs, running workshops and webinars and everything in between. To say I committed to YIPPEE is an understatement. Oh, I’d hear the occasional comment from people who didn’t really like YIPPEE – a potential publisher, my mentor Jack Canfield, a client who said she wasn’t drawn to the name – but I was sure they just didn’t get it!
I had invested a TON in creating YIPPEE! The word seemed to connote the feeling my clients and readers had when they worked with me. And people who knew me (my friends and family) had started using YIPPEE in our conversations. Yes, yes, it MUST be right!
And then one afternoon, as I was planning for one of our YIPPEE intensive retreats in Nashville, where I help people take exciting steps into what’s next in their lives, I realized with horror that during my hours of YIPPEE workshops and planning meetings, I never actually referred to my work with clients as YIPPEE work. The word didn’t actually describe the profundity of what we were accomplishing. Yippee couldn’t encompass the enormity of what happened to a person when they went through the process.
And yet: the book was only weeks from going to a publisher; the proposal was waiting for its final touches. How could I possible think of changing? Absolutely everything was resting on that word.
There were two final straws. My editor read the book from front to back – we had been working on it in pieces, but now the whole thing was almost done – and I confessed my concern. Maybe partly hoping she would reassure me and tell me everything was OK, but she didn’t.
Your book is too big for YIPPEE. It invites readers to dig deeper,she said. And I found myself finishing her sentence: Yes! And act smarter and live richer lives.
That same day, having lunch with a client and friend, I shared my concerns that YIPPEE wasn’t conveying the message and attracting the audience I worked with.
She confessed, “I should have told you ages ago. I never liked YIPPEE. It diminishes the work that you (and we) have done together.”
That was the last straw. Now in spite of all that had been done to build the YIPPEE brand, I knew it had to go and immediately.
That’s why I sent out a survey to get YOUR feedback. What is the best way to describe this life-changing work? Some of you are looking for what’s next in your lives, you’ve accomplished an incredible amount, and now you want to break through limitations and take a step into a fresh, new arena using the skills and gifts and talents you have spent a lifetime building. Others of you want to be more self-aware, more effective and more masterful at the work you are already doing. How would you describe this? What moves you to action in uncovering the depth and truth of who you are? What helps you take the next step into the life that’s waiting for you?
If you haven’t seen or taken the survey, here’s a link. Thanks so much for your help! I’ll let you know what we come up…
Until next Tuesday.