My Path Once Again Goes In A New Direction

The Path Ahead

Six months ago, I joined a group of some of the most talented and inspiring people I had ever met with the shared vision of helping solve the global youth unemployment crisis. Today, I’m here to say that I have resigned as Chief Marketing Officer for YSN.

It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was most certainly the right one.

There is always more than will ever be shared in public, but I wish the team the best of luck and urge them to continue pushing forward because we need the solution they are trying to make happen.

What does this mean for me?

I don’t know.

A friend asked me what I wanted to do when he heard the news and my reply was simply, “I want to do work that matters.”

I find myself completely available and open to any and all opportunities. I’m at cc.chapman @ if you want to chat.

I do know that I’m going to continue working on my next book, have at least two new ebooks coming out before summer and there are a few new commitments on the horizon to keep me inspired.

My path seems to refuse to go straight even for a little while. I’d like to change that.

  • Quite honestly, I’m glad you’re back out there. I like you as an entrepreneur who makes his own path. Good luck. We need to catch up very soon.

    • This made me smile more than you know. See you soon I hope.

  • CC, you’re a special person. Let me know how I can help to accelerate your next charge!

    • Thanks Max! Feel free to tell everyone you know that your special friend is looking for paid work. Talk soon. We are LONG overdue.

  • Awesome C.C.! You know….doing work that matters probably doesn’t lead to a straight path. Now, if you could smoothe out the revenue peaks and valleys, it wouldn’t really matter, because it’s the work that…matters.

    (It sounded so much better in my head. Honest!)

    • You hit the nail on the head.

      It saddens me a bit that it feels like you have to either be rich or starving to be able to afford to do work that truly matters. There is something wrong with that and I’m determined to figure out a way to make the money I need to live AND improve the world around me.

  • chrishambly

    Good on you Dude. Something will come along that wets your whistle, it always does.

  • Jennifer Pipe

    I love that you blaze trails, zig-zag, and follow your heart. No chance of you ever becoming stagnant and staid. Keep inspiring…it’s one of the things you do best.

    • Thank you, but while it may look like fun from the outside it can be rather scary from this side.

      • Jennifer Pipe

        Oh, I’m feeling ya. I run the gamut from nervous to petrified every single day. 🙂

  • I smell a podcast episode or two brewing here.

    • You think? There will definitely be one shortly I promise.

      • We’re all struggling to find meaningful work in order to have a meaningful life, some of us are actively pushing though while others are not. Keep pushing, “Amazing Things Will Happen” 🙂

  • Decisions like this are always hard. I’m sure you didn’t make the choice lightly, but in the end, your reputation and passion will see you through.

    • They most certainly are NOT easy to make, but I have no doubt that it was the right decision.

  • Seeing you follow your passion, even when it’s not entirely clear to you, is incredibly inspiring. You are influencing and changing others in a very positive way and that’s work that matters too 🙂

    • Thanks buddy. I’m sad because I had no plans to ever leave YSN, but things change I guess.

  • You’ll turn up an amazing opportunity, I’m sure. Something that will inspire and entertain.

  • Pamela Slim

    These choices are hard, but we always know what the right answer is. As you think about next steps, I suggest creating a frame of what your ideal work would be. What would you be doing (even the general nature, if you don’t know the specific content, like “speaking,” “writing” or “coaching.”). Who would you love to be surrounded by? What structure brings out your best work? (in an office with a tight team, flexibility to work remotely, etc). How much do you want to make? By getting really clear first on this, it tends to focus the search path. And when you share your vision with others (me included!) that can help us all keep on the lookout for the perfect opportunity. Hugs.

    • I appreciate you saying this and I’ve begun doing that for sure.

      The end goal has always been to end up teaching, writing and speaking. Funny that I can’t seem to find a job as a professor since I don’t have a Master’s Degree, but the old model is broken anyways.

      I might need to reach out to a friend like you for some guidance if you don’t mind. Sorry again our hug was missed this week. Besides seeing a friend’s face you now know why I could use that hug.

      • CC – I’ve followed you since the MoU days when I worked with Reuben. The world we live in is changing faster than we realize. Teaching is a passionate profession, and with MOOCs, you can extend what you know to many. We currently enable middle and high school students the ability to program satellites in low earth orbit, introduce microcontrollers and 3D printers to teachers that want to shake up there current pedagogies, and are exploring what it takes to introduce desktop genomics into high school. Not sure if it would go anywhere, or if you have an interest in getting involved, but I’d love your take on what we are up to at

      • Wow did you ever get my attention with all of this! Off to check it out right now and yes let’s talk more.

  • postable_mark

    All the best with whatever you choose next.

  • I’m sure it was a difficult decision, but I’m also certain that, if you made it, it’s the right one for you. You are a natural teacher in so many ways, but as you say in your reply to @pamela_slim:disqus, the old model is broken anyways. I actually just posted a talk by Sir Ken Robinson over on google+ that attests to that.

    And like @justinmwhitaker:disqus, I don’t believe that the path to doing work that matters is a straight one, nor one that ever ends. Those of us who are on a quest to be of service, do work that is meaningful and make a difference in the lives of those we touch are on an ever-shifting, never-ending path of discovery and re-discovery. I wish we could sit and chat over a cup of coffee one day…with the mug from your desk that I so love, haha! Just keep taking one step at a time. Warm regards, Kaarina

    • His books and talks have been an inspiration to me for a long time. He is one of the ones who GETS IT.

      Coffee sounds great. I hope somehow our paths cross and that happens.

      • I’m also a HUGE Sir Ken Robinson fan, and I am confident that one day our paths will cross:)

  • kimbagareen

    You WILL land on your feet! I have faith in the world to see what you have to offer. Hugs!

  • pgillin

    Early in my career I faced a similar situation and took similar action. It was the right thing to do for me then, and I’m sure it’s the right thing for you now. Cut your losses and move on. Life is too short. You’re a smart, talented and popular guy, and you’ll have no shortage of opportunities.

    • As I told a friend a few minutes ago in an email “it was the easiest hard decision I ever had to make.”

      Thank you for your vote of confidence. It means a ton to me.

  • Love what @pamela_slim:disqus said below. Can’t say it better, so I won’t even try. You’re an extremely talented human being C.C., don’t settle and don’t do just anything. Do work that really matters to you. I think I speak for everyone leaving a comment here: Don’t hesitate to reach out!

    • Thanks buddy. I preach to people all the time to ask for help and I know it is harder to do than some would say, but you know I will ping you.

      Hope your road trip is going well.

  • Someone once told me about how ***Amazing Things Will Happen*** when we trust our gut and commit to doing work that matters.

    Keep being you, C.C. I proudly count myself among the many that you have inspired over the years.

  • JD

    Looking forward to your next act.
    In the meantime how about bringing back the Home Fries with a new episode of Accident Hash? I miss your overflowing enthusiasm for new artists..

    • I miss Accident Hash more than most people realize, but I wouldn’t hold your breath for a new episode anytime soon.

      • I’m not holding my breath, C.C., BUT, I haven’t canceled my iTunes Podcast subscription either… 😉

  • Decisions such as these are indeed hard. That said, doing what is right is always the right thing to do. I’m proud of you for listening to your inner voice and following it. Unfortunately there are many folks who choose to ignore it and eventually they pay a price that is far greater than financial. Remember that list that AJ and Melissa wrote on their honeymoon? Now is the time for you to do the same or to update an old one that you may have developed a while back. Plus of course do all the great things Pamela is suggesting. You have so many talents and I know opportunities are going to unfold. No question. I can’t wait to see you in Fargo. Bring the list.

    • Fargo is going to be an amazing time. THAT I know for sure.

      That many world changing Misfits in one place? I can’t wait!!

  • May the next thing be the best (amazing) thing.

  • Katherine Bull

    Good for you! Risk is a hard, C.C., especially with a family. I left jobs/took more risks and then I had a child and it became harder. But, certainly not impossible! “I always have choices,” I tell myself. So do you. There are loads of great organizations that desperately need your talents. You’ll find the right one. I know you will.

    • Well said and this wasn’t a decision made lightly, but me and my family know it was the right one.

  • Hey CC! I applaud you and send warm hugs your way. “Not easy but right” can be tough slogging. But the focus on right, even if it is a crooked path, often involves work that matters. Im just thinking out loud, but sometimes that linear path is a little too straight and forward — and as a result, not always about work that matters and changes things. I think your work goes beyond “matters” and includes change. You know I am thinking about you and rooting for you from way down south

    • I know you are and I’m going to make sure that something on this new path brings me to Texas so I can see you.

      All of this caused me to miss SXSW this year and I’m still bummed about that and seeing you and all the other people there that are so important to me.

  • It’s never easy to shift gears, but it’s the only way we can really keep going forward the best way we possibly can. Sometimes that even means leaving something somewhat secure.

    You’ll continue to do amazing things, and amazing things will continue to happen as long as you stay true to yourself, C.C. – I have no doubt about that.

    Cheers, buddy!

    • Thank you my friend. Hope to get back up to your neck of the woods. I need a good cocktail right about now 🙂

  • kellytirman

    What inspiring is that you continue to live the life you preach and won’t settle for less.

  • annhandley

    You always do work that matters. Anyway, straight paths are boring!

    Big hugs.

  • You always land on your feet and any brand (or any entity) would be lucky to have you on their team!

    • That saying always makes me giggle. Must be because I’m a dog person.


  • Mark

    Maybe not a popular idea, but how about doing nothing for a while? Why do we always feel the need to travel everywhere at 100mph. For me, if finances would allow id coast for a bit, do something completely different, expose myself to new people, places, learn to play the ukulele. Starting to sound like a hippynow 😀

    • Nothing is great if the finances are there, but after the sacrifices made for the last six months they certainly are NOT there.

  • Adam Bloom


  • Your source of inspiration is unending. Your supply of new ideas is unlimited. Your willingness to share is unbounded. So, it makes no sense to me to then conclude that this is all hard and you have to be poor. Not buying and ppl should stop selling. You have not changed. Your ability to do all that you do has been freed to be redirected, that’s all. Carry on CC. All will be well and we all know it. Have no fear and keep being awesome. What great lessons your kids will learn from this.

    • Thank you my friend. Means the world that people continually call me inspiring. Always feels good.

  • Dustin Main

    I think I can speak for many others when I say this CC. We’ve got your back.

    Can’t wait to see what comes your way next.

    • Thanks!

      Glad you are healing up and I hope we get to go on another adventure again. Spain feels like forever ago!

  • Be thankful you figured out what you didn’t want sooner rather than later. Time is previous. You’ll be successful at whatever you decided to do next. Good luck with your new books. Such an accomplishment to finish those!

    • Thanks.

      Time is the most important thing without question.

  • I’m sorry to hear things didn’t work out. However, I know the road forward is always the better one. The road can also be scary and is definitely unpredictable, but we get smarter and stronger along the way.

    I know things will be good in the end. They always are for the good guys.

    • You know how excited I was about this, so it is sad that it didn’t work out, but onward and upward.

  • I am really excited for you. As a new entrepreneur for the past year after spending more than a decade in corporate/agency roles, one thing that took me some time to appreciate when I left was the uncertainty of every day. But now I love it. So I hope you resist the temptation to jump too fast into your next thing (which is undoubtedly waiting for you given the many supporters commenting here). Instead, write those ideas you’ve had on your list for too long. Reconnect with people you like. Support things you believe in. I am surprised every day at just how often real money and the perfect projects seem to find you once you stop looking for them.

    • Glad to hear YOU are loving it. That is awesome.

      Don’t worry, I’m super selective about anything before I’d jump into it. That is what kills me about everything with YSN is that I had finally found THE thing that was a perfect fit for everything that I wanted. Guess things are rarely as perfect as you think right?

      No jumping here. Life is too short.

  • jackiehuba

    I’m sure it was hard to make this decision but kudos to you for following your gut/heart. I know your next adventure will be awesome.

    • Thank you Jackie.

      Sad we didn’t get to see each other a few weeks back. I need to get back out to Austin and fix that!

  • Melanie Notkin

    Keep going!

  • I’d love to hear you podcast more! Podcasting needs more smart, good content driven talent. Oh and going straight isn’t nearly as exciting as taking blind curves going fast. Just make sure you’re buckled in safely. Wishing you all the best.

    • Published a new episode this morning because you nudged me. Thank you for that.

      • And I listened to it as soon as you let us know it was there. Happy to hear you behind the mic again. Seriously hope you find the perfect fit.

  • Stephen Smith

    Wishing you the best of luck…. I hardly doubt that you’ll stay unemployed for long. There’s tons of people out there that’d snatch you up if they could. The right path will present itself soon enough. Enjoy some time to breathe and things will work out as they always do. 🙂 Looking forward to seeing where your story takes you next.

  • Best of luck! I like to think that decisions based on following our gut always turn out OK in the end.

  • Sorry to hear but I am impressed by your openness about your thoughts. Regarding your interest in a teaching career and the “old broken model,” you should know that you are already having an impact in classrooms, albeit indirectly. For example, I see the road-tested relevancy of works such as Content Rules that you wrote with @annhandley:disqus as extremely practical and valuable to students who increasingly are expected to “hit-the-ground-running” in a tough job market. Seeing both you and Ann speak has also served as inspiration to me personally. While I still see a role for universities to develop theories also in an applied “science” as marketing/business, we certainly also have to work harder than ever to deliver practical relevancy to students, on and offline, to avoid becoming the next record industry. Good luck and let me know if you’d like to chat about various paths you could embark on as a teacher.

    • I appreciate your kind words.

      I do know that teaching will always be part of what I do and while universities pass on me for not having a certain piece of paper I do know there are other routes. What I’ve done with and CreativeLive are perfect examples.

      Some of what I have brewing will take things to the next level I hope.

      • Sure thing and if I were a dean, I would put your name at the top of the hire pile. Also, experimentation with various online platforms is (finally) at the top of the agenda of most universities so if you gain experience there, you may soon find universities begging you to join them, not the other way around 🙂