We’re taking a long break

I started Woohoo Inc back in 2003 so we have been spreading happiness at work for over 16 years. Our keynotes, workshops, articles, conferences, videos and books have reached millions of people all over the world.

But something is wrong. For the last couple of years I have been unhappy at work and that won’t really do for someone in my business :)

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why work stopped being fun for me, but here are three reasons that have played a role:

  • For a long time we’ve been working on the same level, i.e. the same number of clients, the same number of readers on our articles and books, the same number of views on our videos, the same number of participants at our events, etc. I’ve tried many things to develop the business to reach more people but little of it has worked and when things stand still, I get bored.
  • There are too many people in this field who attract attention by saying either platitudes or unverifiable nonsense. For instance, some recent bestselling books have claimed that positive feedback is bad for you, that we should resist growth and development, that we should ignore emotions at work or that work should be duty – not passion. It’s frustrating to have to refute dumb claims like this over and over again.
  • My previous longest stint in the same job was 5 years, so this has been 3 times as long. Maybe 16 years doing the same thing is simply enough for me.

Simply put, it’s time for me to take my own medicine and do something to become happy at work again so from January 1st I’m shutting the company down for 6 months to go traveling. What will happen after that? I have no idea :)

Fortunately we have built a fantastic international partner network over the last 3 years who have all been trained in our methods and  who are doing amazing work around the world. They are ready to step in while we’re gone.

So if you’re looking for a speaker or consultant to come in and make your organization happier and more profitable, don’t hesitate for a second to book any of them.

11 thoughts on “We’re taking a long break”

  1. Great move Alex. It takes courage to step off the treadmill but you’re doing the right thing as you know better than anyone what feels right. Excited to see what happens next -if anything :) Sending lots of love your way.

  2. I’ve been following your work for about ten years, and I’ve always enjoyed it. You deserve a break, and I hope it goes well for you.

  3. Dear Alex,
    Sad to hear that you havent been enjoying things(hope we didnt break you during our session in September) – but glad to hear that you are going to explore the world and that you will follow a pursuit of happiness.
    Best of Luck and thanks for your contributions to the Happiness at Work agenda.

  4. Understand all your points, I’ve been at it for 17 years with my company and can empathize with your 3 points. However, we need leaders like you in business and I’m just getting started to support your vision. I’ve bought into your concept 100%, it’s the right approach for me and my company. Your lessons and insight will remain a core focus in our company. Please check in with us so we can help restore faith in your mission. Enjoy the break, if your travels take you to the Atlanta area, please allow me to treat you to some Southern Hospitality.

  5. You’re doing the right thing for all of the right reasons! I have followed you since you were a key speaker at the Service Desk Institute conference in Birmingham. I was there with the man who was then my immediate manager and we were both quite sceptical about who and what was the Chief Happiness Officer – that changed within minutes for me but, more importantly, my boss waas very reflective and more cautious. However, after a period of reflection he could see the point of what you are doing and adopted your philosophy completely: this made a huge change to the working environment for me and dozens of others so, quite simply, thank you!

  6. Dear Alexander,
    Its been years since I went in Copenhagen for Woohoo conference. I follow you and your inspiring work. I am again inspired by your choice and thank you for sharing the main reasons for it.
    May you both enjoy this time and may it lead you to exciting avenues and places!

  7. Happy for you Alex! Thank you for continuing to be a role mode about the importance of finding work which brings joy and where you can be your authentic self. We continue to grow our Happiness culture 7 years after our session with you and are reaching over 2500 colleagues with weekly Happiness Highlight emails. And Im super happy to share that one of our four new company values is Joy, which feels amazing. Enjoy the travels. All my best!

  8. OMG, point #2! I have been following you for 12 years, the last six of which I have working in the field of ending homelessness. Social scientists have long reached a consensus on what can end this crisis. However, we have to deal day to day with ignoramuses and charlatans that refuse to acknowledge this simple fact.

  9. I want to echo many of the statements already shared by others. You have been a source of inspiration to so many. I hope you are able to find joy in yourself again and shine that light in the way that radiates for you. Thank you for sharing Woohoo with others. If you decide to move on completely, please know the mission will carry on with those who firmly believe in choosing happiness! If you are ever in the Sacramento area (two hours to San Francisco, Napa, and Tahoe), please feel free to reach out and make a new friend!
    – With much appreciation and gratitude.

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