Tuesday, October 06, 2009

An Unexpected Happiness Project…

I decided a while ago that I would only work with clients whose products or services in which I really believed.

If I couldn’t be intrinsically passionate about some aspect of the project, I wouldn’t do it. Besides, if I truly believe in it, I feel comfortable asking others to spend their hard earned money on whatever it is.

After talking to Gretchen Rubin almost a year ago, I knew that there was something special about her vision (and judging by her FB fan page, I’m not alone).

Gretchen is an amazing woman. She clerked for Sandra Day O’Connor, went to Yale Law School, and was chief adviser to a former FCC chairman. You got it, she’s not that bright ;-)

At some point, however, she decided that her life’s calling was to be a writer.

She is the author of Power Money Fame Sex: A User's Guide, Forty Ways to Look at JFK and the bestselling Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill.

Next up, and coming to a bookstore near you in the December timeframe, is The The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun (go ahead and pre-order it :-) .

Her blog is a daily dose of inspiration as well.


Gretchen asked me to just help her figure out a few things.

Obviously, she wants to sell books (and there’s nothing wrong with that since it enables her to do what she loves and help other people), but what makes Gretchen special is her sincere, genuine desire to, as she says, “start a movement,” where people are focused on improving their own Happiness through tangible, concrete actions.

In particular, she was looking for

  1. some different ways to connect with her (ever-growing) community of fans and readers in ways that would help them.
  2. advice on how to harness the new tools of the internet

One of the things on which we collaborate is supporting and nurturing the close to 40 groups (around the world!) which have sprung up based on the information she’s shared in her Happiness Project Toolbox.

So, when a group started in the DC area, I will admit, I was first motivated to go in the interest of “client service.”

I was already a believer in the idea, of course, but the first two meetings have fueled my passion for her mission.

Dani, our group leader, is tremendous. Her blog is quite inspiring as well, and she goes to great lengths to make the meetings valuable.

The centerpiece of our discussion is where each of us makes a public resolution of what we will change (in a concrete, measurable way) over the next month.

clip_image002Then, we each live with the fact that we have to face the rest of our group members the following month to announce success or failure.

Mine was around diet/nutrition and let me tell  you, I had the faces of the women in my group when I was thinking about deviating from my plan.

Did I make 100%? No, but I did A LOT better than I could have because I had a support group, a great leader, and a framework from Gretchen.

I just found it very cool and, really a blessing, to be in this position.


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