Meet Robby Aihn, the newest star in the self-help universe and author of the runaway bestseller, Realizing You, now struggling with his first taste of fame. Though his five principles for good living are changing other people’s lives, his own life is starting to fall apart. When Robby stages a lavish self-help conference in Dallas, he attracts others with their own secrets: his estranged wife and unhappy teenage daughter; the businessman pursuing his own agenda; the all-star pitcher facing the end of his career; and the shy co-author Robby never acknowledged, who is searching for meaning in her own life. Join Robby and the others on their journey toward understanding and fulfillment, in this truly novel approach to changing YOUR life.
The Robby she had trouble admiring had emerged as the book shot up the bestseller lists. Always neat and well groomed, he’d now become fanatically clothes-conscious. He’d recently begun to order custom-made suits and add monograms to his expensive English shirts. While she decided how many new computers they needed for the office, he flew to New York for fittings with the city’s most exclusive tailor. She hired and trained new staff, and he consulted a professional colorist and lightened his hair.
When Robby solicited her opinion afterward, Liz asked, “What about the people who were fans before, some of our biggest customers? Won’t these flashy changes bother them?”
“You’re not looking at the big picture,” he said patiently. “These people are coming to me for answers. They expect to see someone who has them.”
Liz chose her words carefully. “And someone who has the answers is—attractive? Youthful? Using a facelift?”
“Stop it.” He glared at her. “The spa people I talked to said weekly facials were a good idea. They said it would make my skin softer and make me seem more approachable.”
Liz couldn’t think of any polite answer to that.
The current Robby had shown up after Marie moved out. It didn’t help that Liz knew why. But what did his wife expect him to do, now that he was finally creating a national impression?
It’s difficult seeing him humbled, Liz thought. Robby had worked a long time for success and done whatever was necessary, cheerfully and willingly, to achieve it. Yeah, he’d gone overboard with the glitzy success guy. It was still hard watching him hurt—not because he’d failed, but because he’d succeeded, after years of striving. And seeing him hurt over his family’s defection upset Liz. It wasn’t right, but there was nothing she could do about it.
Liz thought all these things while she watched Robby stare out the window. Sad that things hadn’t been good for him personally since the publication of Realizing You.
Professionally, things were fantastic. The book was a runaway bestseller, the website hits had gone crazy, Robby’s online presence had gone viral. One month after the book shot to number one, Liz arranged joint ventures, after five years of trying, with three of the top personal-development people in the country, all who eagerly endorsed Robby’s work and sought his endorsement as well.
They’d taken a huge step forward. Robby’s plan, scrawled on a piece of paper torn from a dime-store notebook, was starting to come true, in a big way. He’d been aiming at this success for a decade, and he’d brought in Liz five years ago to set up the structure and foundation while he set about becoming the persona in whom people could put their faith.
Both of them had succeeded, but now Robby was failing in all the important areas of his life.
RON DOADES is president of Ronald Doades & Company, a consulting firm that, since 1977, has helped the people of large and mid-size energy companies improve their individual and corporate performance results by learning from the best-practice experiences of others. A popular speaker on the topic of managing change for optimal results, he holds an MBA from Columbia University and an MS in Psychology from The New School in New York City. Visit him at www.realizingyoubook.com
Author of STEALING FIRE (#2 Amazon bestseller and Quarter-Finalist in 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest), co-author of FORWARD TO CAMELOT: 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION and REALIZING YOU. 2003 edition of FORWARD TO CAMELOT, a time-travel thriller, was a finalist in 3 book competitions: 2004 IPPY Awards, 2004 Arizona Authors Assn. Literary Competition and 2008 Beach Read Competition. It was also a #6 Amazon bestseller in Sci-Fi/Fantasy, optioned in 2005 by Fast Carrier Pictures for film. Also author of 17 published young-adult books (fiction and non-fiction, sports, biography, romance, etc), which includes Silver Medal/2007 Children's Moonbeam Awards, for RAY CHARLES: FIND ANOTHER WAY! from Bearport Publishing. MYSTERIES UNWRAPPED: THE SECRETS OF ALCATRAZ (2008, Sterling Publisher) led to author appearance on MYSTERY QUEST: ALCATRAZ, a special for The History Channel, summer 2009. Playwright of two produced plays, screenwriter (2 screen properties optioned), sportswriter (major-league baseball and power volleyball). Founded and chaired the East Cooper Authors Festival in May 2007, a program that brought together published authors with students from primary schools through high school outside Charleston, South Carolina in programs designed to excite students about reading. Inaugural program reached more than 8,000 students in one day.