Amy Yip ’04

Amy Yip ’04, who graduated from the University of Maryland with dual degrees in computer science and communications, leads the way for ambitious women to succeed. Through her coaching, speaking and writing she has helped women all over the world put themselves first and quiet their inner critic. If you haven’t already, grab a pen and get ready to take some notes, because Yip is ready to translate your professional and personal ambitions into an actionable roadmap for the future. As she says, “My mission is to empower women to boldly grab their fountain pen so they can finally be the author of their life story.” Read on to learn more about her inspiring work.

What is your Fearless Idea?

My Fearless Idea is to live in a world where women are finally prioritizing themselves first (rather than putting everyone and everything else first). And doing so without guilt! So many ambitious, stellar, talented, amazing women play small. They live their life based on the ‘shoulds’ that have been handed to them by parents, teachers, managers and society. Imagine if women could quiet their inner judge, overcome self-doubt and let go of all those ‘should’s.’ What would be possible? My Fearless Idea is to help women see the possibilities and fearlessly pursue those possibilities. As Audrey Hepburn once said, “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible!’”

Describe your startup's mission and why you launched it.

Through Amy Yip Coaching, I help ambitious women quiet their inner judge, overcome self-doubt and let go of all the 'should’s' so they can FINALLY become the author of their own life story (because if you don’t tell your story, someone else will). I lived four decades of my life dictated by the ‘should’s’ of everyone around me: family, school, culture, work and media. I felt unfulfilled, but was crippled by my own insecurities and vulnerabilities. It was a long journey for me to make peace with my own fears and insecurities. To find the courage to pick up my fountain pen and own my story. I don’t want other women to lose any more precious moments waiting for life to start.

How do you define success or determine the impact of your venture?

The shifts in my clients. Each person is a little different and success truly depends on what their initial goals were when we started working together.

For some, it might have been figuring out what truly matters to them and what they want to pursue in the next chapter of their life and career. Success would be them figuring it out and taking steps towards that vision. Many of my clients have started their own ventures or completely shifted their career with a new role in a new industry.

For others, their goal might have been to overcome burnout and stress or to develop their leadership style. Success in these cases might look like having the confidence to say no, set boundaries and find greater balance. Or perhaps feedback from colleagues on their work performance and leadership.

Every client is different and from the start, we partner to identify what the goals are and what success would look like.

What is the biggest problem or challenge you have had to overcome with your venture?

In January 2020, I had sold everything, quit my corporate job at Google, and, with just a backpack, took a one-way flight to Ghana with my husband to volunteer at a Breast Cancer non-profit. Our plan was to volunteer until May 2020, then travel the world (a dream of mine for over a decade!). Then, that little thing called COVID came along and we ended up stuck in Ghana for seven months because they shut their borders.

When we initially decided to leave for this trip, my intention was to keep my business small with a handful of clients so that I could focus on being present to enjoy my travels. With the sudden shifts in the world and the uncertainty of what would happen in the months to come, I had to make a decision of where I wanted to take my business, because I had no idea how long we’d be in Ghana for!

This was a period of a lot of testing and experimentation from figuring out the ideal schedule for myself and clients who were now all over the world, to determining where I wanted to focus my time and attention among one-on-one clients, group programs and speaking engagements. From learning and choosing from all the tools available out there for scheduling, billing/invoicing and contracting, to deciding what to keep in-house versus outsource. It was a lot of trying, falling, learning, getting back up and trying again.

What is the best piece of advice you've received?

Failure is not a failure unless you don't learn from it and try again. We all fear failure. But if you see the world from this perspective, you realize, there isn’t anything that’s a failure if you keep trying!

What is one piece of advice you want to give to fellow Terps about launching a venture?

Your mindset, NOT your circumstance, makes all the difference in your happiness and success. Studies have shown that 80% of what you’re calling your experience comes from your mind. Only 20% of it is coming from the actual circumstance. Your mind is a powerful thing. Oftentimes, we’re allowing our minds to be the master of the show. If you can strengthen your mental fitness, then you can be the one in control of the show and that shift can make all the difference in your success. Mental fitness helped me find the courage to pursue my dreams, to pivot my dreams during COVID and find the gift in every circumstance, to have a stronger relationship with myself and others, to handle the stresses of life and figure out what REALLY matters to me. It’s why I am passionate about helping others strengthen their mental fitness. Everyone’s dream and path is different, but we all deserve to live into that dream.

What is one book you're reading or a podcast you're listening to right now? 

“The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices” by Casper ter Kuile.

What do you do in your free time?

I love experiences and learning. In my free time you might catch me traveling or outside hiking, camping, exploring or on the water in a boat. I’m also an avid cook and baker and love to experiment in the kitchen with new creations. I love food and beverages, so you’ll definitely find me going to new restaurants or wine tasting quite frequently. On an everyday basis, I meditate, workout and read (both personal development books and trashy romance novels!). And I’m constantly learning about something. I picked up learning Spanish and self defense this year! I’m a fan of picnics in the park, BBQing with friends and just bringing people together in community for fun and laughter. 

What is your favorite alumni event or experience?

Homecoming!

As a student, what was one of your favorite memories or spots on campus?

I loved bringing a beach towel and hanging out on McKeldin Mall on a sunny day.

###
 
The Alumni Blog connects you with the latest at UMD. Check out articles on advancing your personal and professional goals, elevating your UMD pride, and celebrating Terp traditions, legacies and accomplishments. For even more content, follow the Alumni Association on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Become a UMD Champion to receive monthly shareable pride points, news and more straight to your inbox.