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Famous Failures

Author: Ozan Varol

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On Famous Failures, I interview the world's most interesting people about their failures and what they learned from them.
60 Episodes
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Scott Harrison is the founder and CEO of charity: water, and the New York Times Bestselling author of Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World. In 13 years, with the help of more than 1 million donors worldwide, charity: water has raised more than $400 million and funded more than 44,000 water projects in 28 countries. When completed, those projects will provide over 10 million people with clean, safe drinking water. If you would like to help bring clean water to the world, consider joining charity:water’s monthly donation program, The Spring at thespring.com. If you sign up, forward your receipt to rocket@ozanvarol.com and I will send you a free, personalized, and autographed copy of my forthcoming book Think Like a Rocket Scientist. In this episode Scott and I discuss: How Scott transformed himself from hard-partying nightclub promoter with substance abuse problems to a global humanitarian organization founder How Scott’s first humanitarian mission in war-torn Liberia inspired the creation of charity: water Why being a philanthropic outsider was an advantage for Scott when he started charity: water Scott’s three key elements to great storytelling Why Scott celebrated the workers who crashed a million-dollar well drilling rig What Scott would say to his younger self who founded charity: water Resources mentioned The Spring Video about charity:water’s work in India My book, Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life, is now available for pre-order (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound). I’ve been ecstatic about the early reviews. The book was named a “must read” by Susan Cain (NYT Bestselling Author of Quiet), “endlessly fascinating” by Daniel Pink (NYT Bestselling Author of Drive and A Whole New Mind), and “bursting with practical insights” by Adam Grant (NYT Bestselling Author of Originals). If you pre-order the book, you’ll get digital access to the book to read on your favorite device within seven days of your pre-order. That means you can start reading it months before the book is released to the public. You’ll also get pre-order bonuses worth at least 10 times the cost of the book. You can check out the bonuses at rocketsciencebook.com. I’m personally donating my royalties from the pre-order sales of the book (up to $10,000) to charity: water. Every 10 pre-orders will bring clean water to 1 person in need.
BJ Fogg is a behavioral scientist with deep experience in innovation and teaching. At Stanford University he runs the Behavior Design Lab and also teaches his models and methods in graduate seminars. On the industry side, he trains innovators to use his work so they can create solutions that influence behavior. The focus areas include health, financial wellbeing, learning, productivity, and more. BJ has a new book, Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything, which came out today, on December 31st, 2019.  To learn more about Tiny Habits, visit tinyhabits.com.  In this episode BJ and I discuss: How Greek philosophy inspired BJ to study persuasive technology Why BJ’s early theories on the future of technology earned him poor grades and puzzled looks What common modern practice will be seen as low-status behavior in the near future How people can adopt new behaviors even when they lack the motivation to change The three strategies that add up to BJ’s Tiny Habits behavioral change method How BJ learned to get over failure and keep trying new things How overcoming compulsive snacking taught BJ empathy toward others How you can the tiny Habits to untangle your own unwanted behaviors Resources mentioned Rhetoric by Aristotle Mobile Persuasion: 20 Perspectives on the Future of Behavior Change, edited by BJ Fogg and Dean Eckles My book, Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life, is now available for pre-order (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound). I’ve been ecstatic about the early reviews. The book was named a “must read” by Susan Cain (NYT Bestselling Author of Quiet), “endlessly fascinating” by Daniel Pink (NYT Bestselling Author of Drive and A Whole New Mind), and “bursting with practical insights” by Adam Grant (NYT Bestselling Author of Originals). If you pre-order the book, you’ll get digital access to the book to read on your favorite device within seven days of your pre-order. That means you can start reading it months before the book is released to the public. You’ll also get pre-order bonuses worth at least 10 times the cost of the book. You can check out the bonuses at rocketsciencebook.com.
Laura Vanderkam is the author of several time management and productivity books, including Juliet’s School of Possibilities, Off the Clock, I Know How She Does It, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, and 168 Hours. Her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Fortune.  If you’d like to keep in touch with Laura, you can check out her short daily podcast, Before Breakfast, to start your morning with productivity advice that will take your day from great to awesome. In this episode Laura and I discuss: How Laura became interested in studying and writing about time management Why Laura focuses on weeks instead of days The first step you should take if you want to improve your own productivity What surprising insight Laura discovered about successful people’s schedules by reading their time diaries How anyone can create extra hours in their week How you can stretch out the good moments in life What Laura learned after her first book flopped and didn’t find its audience. My book, Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life, is now available for pre-order (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound). I’ve been ecstatic about the early reviews. The book was named a “must read” by Susan Cain (NYT Bestselling Author of Quiet), “endlessly fascinating” by Daniel Pink (NYT Bestselling Author of Drive and A Whole New Mind), and “bursting with practical insights” by Adam Grant (NYT Bestselling Author of Originals). If you pre-order the book, you’ll get digital access to the book to read on your favorite device within seven days of your pre-order. That means you can start reading it months before the book is released to the public. You’ll also get pre-order bonuses worth at least 10 times the cost of the book. You can check out the bonuses at rocketsciencebook.com.
This is a short, solo episode of Famous Failures. Instead of doing an interview, I speak about what you should do when you make a mistake. The episode is based on a blog post I wrote a few months ago, which you can find here. If you enjoyed this episode, you’d love my forthcoming book, Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life.  The book was named a “must read” by Susan Cain (NYT Bestselling Author of Quiet), “endlessly fascinating” by Daniel Pink (NYT Bestselling Author of Drive and A Whole New Mind), and “bursting with practical insights” by Adam Grant (NYT Bestselling Author of Originals). If you pre-order the book, you’ll get digital access to the book to read on your favorite device within seven days of your pre-order. That means you can start reading it months before the book is released to the public. You’ll also get pre-order bonuses worth at least 10 times the cost of the book. You can check out the bonuses at rocketsciencebook.com. You can pre-order any edition of the book from any bookseller (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound). After you pre-order the book, please forward your receipt to rocket@ozanvarol.com, and your bonuses will land in your inbox.
Rene Denfeld is the author of the acclaimed novels The Child Finder, The Enchanted, and The Butterfly Girl. Her literary thrillers have earned glowing reviews from the New York Times Book Review, among other venues. Margaret Atwood, who is the renowned author of Handmaid’s Tale (among other books), has described Rene’s work as “astonishing,” and Rene’s latest novel, The Butterfly Girl, a “heartbreaking, finger-gnawing, yet ultimately hopeful novel.” Rene was the Chief Investigator at a public defender’s office and has worked hundreds of cases, including death row exonerations. In addition to her advocacy work, Rene has been a foster adoptive parent for twenty years. She was awarded the Break The Silence Award in Washington, DC for her social justice work, and was named a 2017 hero of the year by the New York Times. You can get Rene’s new book The Butterfly Girl at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Powell’s.  In this episode Rene and I discuss: How living on the streets as a teenager inspired her latest novel What helped Rene overcome feelings of shame over her past trauma How she preserves the dignity of her fictional characters who survive trauma and abuse How a librarian and a broken typewriter steered her towards careers in social justice and writing The unexpected inspiration she found working with death row inmates Rene’s biggest challenge in writing stories inspired from her personal experience Why it’s never too late to start writing (Rene didn’t become an author until her 40s) What advice Rene has for older aspiring writers My book, Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life, is now available for pre-order (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound). I’ve been ecstatic about the early reviews. The book was named a “must read” by Susan Cain (NYT Bestselling Author of Quiet), “endlessly fascinating” by Daniel Pink (NYT Bestselling Author of Drive and A Whole New Mind), and “bursting with practical insights” by Adam Grant (NYT Bestselling Author of Originals). If you pre-order the book, you’ll get digital access to the book to read on your favorite device within seven days of your pre-order. That means you can start reading it months before the book is released to the public. You’ll also get pre-order bonuses worth at least 10 times the cost of the book. You can check out the bonuses at rocketsciencebook.com.
This is a short, solo episode of Famous Failures. Instead of doing an interview, I go on a riff on why the popular “fail fast, fail often” mantra is misguided. I offer an alternative that produces better results and explain how you can use it to your advantage in your personal and professional life.  The discussion is based in part on my forthcoming book, Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life.  The book was named a “must read” by Susan Cain (NYT Bestselling Author of Quiet), “endlessly fascinating” by Daniel Pink (NYT Bestselling Author of Drive and A Whole New Mind), and “bursting with practical insights” by Adam Grant (NYT Bestselling Author of Originals). If you pre-order the book, you’ll get amazing bonuses that are worth 10x the cost of the book(s). What’s more, if you pre-order the book in any format, you can download and read the digital version NOW, before the book is released to the public.  You can learn more about the book and the bonuses at this link. Why am I running a pre-order campaign? First, pre-order bonuses are my way of thanking you for supporting my writing. Second, I’m donating 100% of my royalties (up to $10,000) from the pre-order sales to a non-profit called charity: water, which is on a mission to create a future where everyone has access to clean and safe drinking water. My goal is to sponsor an entire water project, which will cost $10,000 and bring clean water to a community of roughly 300 people. By pre-ordering the book, you’ll help bring this goal to life. Third, pre-orders carry tremendous weight in book promotion. Major bookstores use pre-order numbers to gauge public interest in the book. If the pre-order numbers are high, they’ll stock more copies of the book, which, in turn, means more readers will see it. You can pre-order any edition of the book from any bookseller (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound). After you pre-order the book, please forward your receipt to rocket@ozanvarol.com, and your bonuses will land in your inbox.
Whitney Johnson is a leading business thinker and expert on disruptive innovation and personal disruption. She covers the framework for personal disruption in the critically-acclaimed book Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work.  Originally an award-winning stock analyst, Whitney chose to leave her Wall Street career behind at the height of her career. This bold act of personal disruption and the following years of entrepreneurial exploration led to her new career as a business coach, writer and speaker.  Whitney is the host of the popular Disrupt Yourself Podcast. You can gain special insights into her seven-point framework for personal disruption by listening to Disrupt Yourself episode #120, “Play to Your Distinctive Strengths” at https://whitneyjohnson.com/distinctive-strengths/. In this episode Whitney and I discuss: How she went from secretary to award-winning Wall Street analyst Why taking a step backward was Whitney’s slingshot forward on Wall Street How disrupting yourself sets you up for greater success Why Lady Gaga is the perfect example of personal disruption The three factors that helped her develop the confidence to make big leaps The importance of grieving failure Resources mentioned Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail by Clayton Christensen Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller  My book, Think Like a Rocket Scientist, is now available for pre-order (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound). I’ve been ecstatic about the early reviews. The book was named a “must read” by Susan Cain (NYT Bestselling Author of Quiet), “endlessly fascinating” by Daniel Pink (NYT Bestselling Author of Drive and A Whole New Mind), and “bursting with practical insights” by Adam Grant (NYT Bestselling Author of Originals). If you pre-order the book, you’ll get immediate digital access to read on your favorite device. That means you can start reading it NOW, months before the book is published. You’ll also get pre-order bonuses worth at least 10 times the cost of the book. You can check out the bonuses at rocketsciencebook.com. Why am I running a pre-order campaign? First, pre-order bonuses are my way of thanking you for supporting my writing.  Second, I’m donating 100% of my royalties (up to $10,000) from the pre-order sales to a non-profit called charity: water, which is on a mission to create a future where everyone has access to clean and safe drinking water.  My goal is to sponsor an entire water project, which will cost $10,000 and bring clean water to a community of roughly 300 people. By pre-ordering the book, you’ll help bring this goal to life. Third, pre-orders carry tremendous weight in book promotion. Major bookstores use pre-order numbers to gauge public interest in the book. If the pre-order numbers are high, they’ll stock more copies of the book, which, in turn, means more readers will see it. You can pre-order any edition of the book from any bookseller (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound). After you pre-order the book, please forward your receipt to rocket@ozanvarol.com, and your bonuses will land in your inbox. 
In this special episode of Famous Failures, I read a never-before-released excerpt from my forthcoming book, Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life. If you pre-order the book, you’ll get amazing bonuses that are worth 10x the cost of the book(s). What’s more, if you pre-order the book in any format, you can download and read the digital version NOW, before the book is released to the public. Click here to learn more.  I’ve been ecstatic about the early reviews of the book. Here are a few: "When the stakes are high, the unknowns are threatening, and the problems seem insurmountable, you need a superhero — which means you need Ozan Varol. He’ll show you how to master the cognitive skills of a rocket scientist. And by the time you finish reading his endlessly fascinating book, your thinking will be bigger, better, and bolder." — Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of WHEN, DRIVE, and A WHOLE NEW MIND “Thinking like a rocket scientist is not rocket science! Packed with witty writing, insightful advice, and invigorating stories, this must-read book will change the way you see the world—and empower you to change the world itself.”  — Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author of QUIET.  “This is not just an engrossing read—it’s bursting with practical insights. Ozan Varol’s dazzling debut might change how you approach problems. Houston, this book has solutions.” — Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of ORIGINALS and GIVE AND TAKE, and host of the TED podcast WorkLife “The rocket scientists I know are technical, of course. But they are also among the biggest dreamers the world has ever seen. Ozan Varol has written a fascinating, practical, and mind-expanding book about how we can all benefit from thinking like a rocket scientist. This book will make you look at the world with a different lens and will help you make your own seemingly crazy moonshot a reality.”  – Julian Guthrie, New York Times bestselling author of How to Make a Spaceship Head over here to grab your copy. - Don’t want to miss future episodes? Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review on iTunes or Google Play. As always, thanks for listening. 
Tim Urban is best known as the writer and illustrator behind the incredibly popular blog Wait But Why, which has garnered millions of unique page views and famous fans like Elon Musk. His deeply researched long-form posts on everything from artificial intelligence to procrastination buck the conventional wisdom that internet writing should be short or SEO optimized to be successful. A former film composer and professional tutor, Tim has parlayed his conversational writing style into a sideline of speaking engagements. His 2016 TED talk on procrastination has been viewed more than 30 million times. You can subscribe to the Wait But Why Newsletter at https://waitbutwhy.com In this episode Tim and I discuss: Why he wrote a 90 page college thesis in only 72 hours Strategies for overcoming procrastination What motivated Tim to give up his music career to become a professional blogger How Tim developed his writing craft in the sandbox of blogging The value of experimentation, having fun, and drawing stick figures Why Tim ignores the ‘short and sweet’ blogging format and writes long, book-length posts What he learned from failing to take advantage of a big opportunity in Hollywood  What exciting trends in technologies and psychology may end up in future Wait But Why posts And in this episode Tim also answers a couple questions from Inner Circle members: “Where do you get ideas for your blog?” “How do you pick a popular topic but avoid repeating someone else’s rants on the same issue?” Resources mentioned: Tim’s TED Talk: Inside the mind of a master procrastinator Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal The story of Odysseus and the Sirens is from the Odyssey by Homer - Get your FREE copy of my e-book. Text OZAN to 345345 or navigate to weeklycontrarian.com to download a free copy of my e-book, The Contrarian Handbook: 8 Principles for Innovating Your Thinking. Along with your free e-book, you’ll get the Weekly Contrarian — a newsletter that challenges conventional wisdom and changes the way we look at the world (plus access to exclusive content for subscribers only). Don’t want to miss future episodes? Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review on iTunes or Google Play. As always, thanks for listening. 
In 2012, eighteen-year-old soccer player Lindsey Horan defied conventional wisdom when she turned down a scholarship from soccer powerhouse University of North Carolina. UNC is almost a guaranteed path to the big leagues for talented and hardworking women, but Lindsey decided to skip a step and move halfway around the world to sign with Paris Saint-Germain. She was the first American woman to go pro directly out of high school. Today Lindsey is a National Women’s Soccer League player with the Portland Thorns. She led her team to the championship in 2017 and was named the Most Valuable Player of the entire league for the 2018 season. She’s the heartbeat of the US Women’s National Team and played in her first World Cup in 2019.  Follow Lindsey on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LindseyHoran, and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/lindseyhoran10/. In this episode Lindsey and I discuss: How she made the difficult decision to skip college and turn pro in France What it was like landing in France at the age of eighteen with no language or cultural compass How she overcame humiliation in the locker room to become the best player she could be Why chipped fingernails and short hair got players sidelined in France How she talks herself through tough times and failures How she supports her team on the field when things go sideways during a game How she bounced back from being benched for most of the 2016 Olympics Why taking risks on the field boosts her self-confidence and makes her a better player - Get your FREE copy of my e-book. Text OZAN to 345345 or navigate to weeklycontrarian.com to download a free copy of my e-book, The Contrarian Handbook: 8 Principles for Innovating Your Thinking. Along with your free e-book, you’ll get the Weekly Contrarian — a newsletter that challenges conventional wisdom and changes the way we look at the world (plus access to exclusive content for subscribers only). Don’t want to miss future episodes? Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review on iTunes or Google Play. As always, thanks for listening. 
Nadya Okamoto is the Executive Director of PERIOD (period.org), an organization she founded at the age of sixteen to provide menstrual hygiene products to those in need. PERIOD is now the largest youth-run NGO in women’s health, and one of the fastest growing in the United States.  In 2017, Nadya ran for office in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Although she did not win, her campaign made historic waves in mobilizing young people both on the ground and at the polls. Nadya’s debut book, Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement, made the Kirkus Reviews list for Best Young Adult Nonfiction of 2018. Earlier this year she made InStyle Magazine’s The Badass 50: Meet the Women Who Are Changing the World list along with Michelle Obama and Ariana Grande. Today Nadya is also the Chief Brand Officer of JUV Consulting, a Generation Z marketing agency based in New York City. Keep in touch with Nadya on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nadyaokamoto/ In this episode Nadya and I discuss: Why receiving a lifetime achievement award made her feel inadequate How she stays true to herself while in the media spotlight How she handled pushback from family, peers and trolls during her city council campaign How Nadya found success in a political campaign that she ended up losing What Nadya does to avoid spiraling into self-doubt and getting lost in negative thoughts How Nadya finds balance through late night workouts and Netflix Resources mentioned Follow the national campaign to repeal the Tampon Tax on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/periodmovement/
Christine Carter is a sociologist, columnist and speaker. She’s the author of the books Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents, as well as The Sweet Spot: How to Achieve More by Doing Less. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Greater Good Science Center where she explores the science of happiness and researches how to thrive in our stress-filled, fast-paced modern world. Christine has appeared on the “Oprah Winfrey Show,” the “Dr. Oz Show”, the “TODAY” show, the “Rachael Ray Show,” “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” and many others. She has been quoted or featured in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and other media outlets. You can subscribe to Christine’s monthly newsletter at christinecarter.com/free-updates/. In the episode, Christine and I discuss: Why Christine began to fantasize about being hospitalized What drove Christine to cancel a keynote speaking engagement at the last minute  Why the opposite of busyness is not laziness How the first industrial revolution created our notions of workplace productivity which we still mistakenly believe today How you can schedule rest in your day to increase productivity How a multitasking brain consumes energy and ways to retrain ourselves to stick to one thing at a time The importance of experiencing stillness and how it improves brain function Why Christine began leaving her phone in the car when she went grocery shopping The one personal failure Christine continues to experience Why we should allow our kids to experience boredom and disappointment Christine also responds to Inner Circle member Cathy Cheng’s question: What are the one or two most consistent attributes of organizations where workers are happiest, most productive, and least likely to leave? Resources mentioned In a land of workaholics, burned-out South Koreans go to 'prison' to relax The Art of Noticing by Rob Walker Click here to see our step-by-step guide on subscribing, listening and reviewing the show!
Tiago Forte is one of the world’s foremost experts on productivity. He writes and speaks on how knowledge workers can revolutionize their personal effectiveness using technology, and has taught more than 20,000 people around the world through his online courses and live workshops. Tiago’s online course Building a Second Brain has been taken by more than 1,000 people from more than 60 countries. You can learn more about Building a Second Brain at https://www.buildingasecondbrain.com/. In the interview, Tiago and I discuss: How Tiago quit his consulting position to pursue a career as an entrepreneur What you can do to prepare for being an entrepreneur  Why Tiago’s first business venture was a massive success.  How that massive success was followed by a colossal failure and the lessons Tiago learned from that failure How Tiago validated his next business idea, the Building a Second Brain course, before launching it Why showing your failures and vulnerability can make you more appealing Resources mentioned: Tagging is Broken How to Use Evernote for Your Creative Workflow The “beautiful mess” effect
This is a special episode of Famous Failures. Instead of doing an interview, I recount the story of the first three failures that SpaceX experienced on the launchpad, which brought the company to the brink of collapse.  You’ll learn how SpaceX leveraged these failures for later success and how you can implement the same strategies in your own life.  The content of the episode is based on the following sources: Tim Fernholz, Rocket Billionaires: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the New Space Race (2018); Shane Snow, Smartcuts: The Breakthrough Power of Lateral Thinking (2014); Chris Bergin, Falcon I flight – preliminary assessment positive for SpaceX, Spaceflight.com (March 24, 2007) https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2007/03/falcon-i-flight-preliminary-assessment-positive-for-spacex/; Tim Fernholz, What it took for Elon Musk’s SpaceX to disrupt Boeing, leapfrog NASA, and become a serious space company, QZ (Oct. 21, 2014) https://qz.com/281619/what-it-took-for-elon-musks-spacex-to-disrupt-boeing-leapfrog-nasa-and-become-a-serious-space-company/; Max Chafkin, SpaceX’s Secret Weapon Is Gwynne Shotwell, Bloomberg Quint (July 26, 2018) https://www.bloombergquint.com/businessweek/she-launches-spaceships-sells-rockets-and-deals-with-elon-musk; Elon Musk, Falcon 1, Flight 3 Mission Summary, SpaceX (Aug. 6, 2008) https://www.spacex.com/news/2013/02/11/falcon-1-flight-3-mission-summary; Dolly Singh, What Is It Like to Work With Elon Musk?, Slate (Aug. 14, 2013) https://slate.com/human-interest/2013/08/elon-musk-what-is-it-like-to-work-for-the-spacex-tesla-chief.html; Tom Junod, Elon Musk: Triumph of His Will, Esquire (Nov. 15, 2012) https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a16681/elon-musk-interview-1212/. - Get your FREE copy of my e-book. Text OZAN to 345345 or navigate to weeklycontrarian.com to download a free copy of my e-book, The Contrarian Handbook: 8 Principles for Innovating Your Thinking. Along with your free e-book, you’ll get the Weekly Contrarian — a newsletter that challenges conventional wisdom and changes the way we look at the world (plus access to exclusive content for subscribers only). Don’t want to miss future episodes? Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review on iTunes or Google Play. As always, thanks for listening. 
Ryan Levesque is the CEO of The ASK Method ® Company, and the #1 national best-selling author of Ask: The Counterintuitive Online Method to Discover Exactly What Your Customers Want to Buy, which was named by Inc. as the #1 Marketing Book of the Year. Ryan’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, and Entrepreneur and over 250,000 entrepreneurs subscribe to his email newsletter offering business advice. His latest book, Choose, helps readers avoid making the single biggest mistake when starting a business and guides people through answering the all important question: What type of business should you start? You can get a free copy of Choose (just pay S&H) plus over $200 in bonuses (including the audiobook) by visiting http://choosethebook.com/famousfailures. This isn’t an affiliate link—if you choose to buy Ryan’s book, I don’t make a dime. In the interview, Ryan and I discuss: How Ryan quit his dream job at AIG Insurance to pursue a career as an entrepreneur Why people are afraid to give up “good” to go for “great” (and what to do about it) The one advice Ryan would give to an aspiring entrepreneur Why one of Ryan’s earliest businesses flopped and what he learned from that failure How Ryan found the idea for a massively successful business centered on growing orchids Why Ryan ended up in the ICU in 2012 after overworking and how he bounced back to write a bestselling book. - Get your FREE copy of my e-book. Text OZAN to 345345 or navigate to weeklycontrarian.com to download a free copy of my e-book, The Contrarian Handbook: 8 Principles for Innovating Your Thinking. Along with your free e-book, you’ll get the Weekly Contrarian — a newsletter that challenges conventional wisdom and changes the way we look at the world (plus access to exclusive content for subscribers only). Don’t want to miss future episodes? Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review on iTunes or Google Play. As always, thanks for listening. 
Khe Hy is the founder of RadReads, which is a community of 20,000 professionals seeking to reexamine their relationship to money, ambition, and ultimately themselves. Khe has been called Oprah for Millennials by CNN and the Wall Street Guru by Bloomberg. He spent the first fifteen years of his career in the financial services industry researching hedge fund investments. He was one of the youngest Managing Directors at BlackRock where he oversaw the New York Research Team. You can sign up for Khe’s newsletter, RadReads, at https://radreads.co/. In the episode, Khe and I discuss: Why Khe did the unthinkable and quit his job at a Wall Street investment firm without a plan How Khe coped with the self-doubt and fear of failure in leaving a prestigious job and strike out on his own What advice Khe would give to people contemplating a similar career transition How he grew his newsletter, RadReads, from 0 to 16,000 subscribers How you can stop caring about what other people think What the scarcity mindset is and why more isn’t necessarily better Resources mentioned How to overcome the “scarcity mindset” An Instagram star with 2 million followers couldn't sell 36 T-shirts, and a marketing expert says her case isn't rare - Get your FREE copy of my e-book. Text OZAN to 345345 or navigate to weeklycontrarian.com to download a free copy of my e-book, The Contrarian Handbook: 8 Principles for Innovating Your Thinking. Along with your free e-book, you’ll get the Weekly Contrarian — a newsletter that challenges conventional wisdom and changes the way we look at the world (plus access to exclusive content for subscribers only). Don’t want to miss future episodes? Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review on iTunes or Google Play. As always, thanks for listening. 
Tali Sharot is a professor of cognitive neuroscience and a leading expert on the neural basis of emotion, decision making and optimism. She has been featured in numerous media outlets,including The New York Times, Time magazine, The Washington Post, CNN, BBC, and more. Her TED talk on the optimism bias was viewed over 2 million times. Her latest book, The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others, tackles the neuroscience behind influence -- what we so often get wrong about it, how we can learn to influence others, and how to understand when we are being influenced. In the interview, Tali and I discuss: How our brains are wired to look on the bright side, and why that tendency can both help and hurt us. Why stress can diminish our bias toward optimism How we can remain optimistic in the face of failure or fear of failure Why a failure in Tali’s own life ended up giving her the idea for her research on the optimism bias Why facts and data don’t tend to change minds once we form a belief. When hope can be a better influencer than fear — and the other way around. How Tali would advise the Democratic party leading up to the 2020 presidential elections. - Get your FREE copy of my e-book. Text OZAN to 345345 or navigate to weeklycontrarian.com to download a free copy of my e-book, The Contrarian Handbook: 8 Principles for Innovating Your Thinking. Along with your free e-book, you’ll get the Weekly Contrarian — a newsletter that challenges conventional wisdom and changes the way we look at the world (plus access to exclusive content for subscribers only). Don’t want to miss future episodes? Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review on iTunes or Google Play. As always, thanks for listening. 
SUSAN CAIN is the author of Quiet: The Secret Strengths of Introverts, and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in A World That Can’t Stop Talking, which has been translated into 40 languages, is in its seventh year on the New York Times best seller list, and was named the #1 best book of the year by Fast Company magazine, which also named Susan one of its Most Creative People in Business. Susan’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. Her record-smashing TED talk has been viewed over 20 million times and was named by Bill Gates one of his all-time favorite talks. You can join Susan’s newsletter at this link, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. In the interview, Susan and I discuss: Why Susan left a high-powered career as a Wall Street attorney to become a writer What advice she has for others who are contemplating a career transition How she decided to write a book about introversion Why all literary agents, except one, Susan approached turned down her book idea What Susan did after her editor told her that her book was terrible and advised her to start over from scratch   How Susan copes with the demands of publicity as an introvert How introverts can survive and thrive in networking events and conferences How to move beyond small talk to deeper conversation - Get your FREE copy of my e-book. Text OZAN to 345345 or navigate to weeklycontrarian.com to download a free copy of my e-book, The Contrarian Handbook: 8 Principles for Innovating Your Thinking. Along with your free e-book, you’ll get the Weekly Contrarian — a newsletter that challenges conventional wisdom and changes the way we look at the world (plus access to exclusive content for subscribers only). Don’t want to miss future episodes? Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review on iTunes or Google Play. As always, thanks for listening. 
Rob Walker is an author and journalist covering design, technology, business, the arts, and other subjects. He writes the Human Resource column for Lifehacker, and has contributed to The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Atlantic, TheNewYorker.com, and many others. He is on the faculty of the Products of Design program at the School of Visual Arts. His new book is called The Art of Noticing: 131 Ways to Spark Creativity, Find Inspiration, and Discover Joy in the Everyday. If you live in New York City, you can attend free event on May 7th where Rob will discuss his book (details here). You can sign up for the Art of Noticing newsletter at this link and follow Rob on Twitter. In the interview, Rob and I discuss: How a broken coffee mug sent Rob on a creative path to launch the Significant Objects project Why a meaningless object purchased on average for $1.50 can sell for $36 on average on eBay if it has a story attached to it Where Rob’s creative ideas come from How Rob bombed a news interview with Steve Jobs and why this failure was a blessing in disguise Why we fail to pay attention to the world around us and the dangers associated with the war against seeing How you can awaken your senses and see the world anew What three strategies Rob uses most regularly from his latest book on the Art of Noticing Resources mentioned: Significant Objects Project Jimmy Breslin, Digging JFK Grave Was His Honor Rob Walker, New York Times Magazine, The Guts of a New Machine (based on Rob’s personal interview with Steve Jobs) - Get your FREE copy of my e-book. Text OZAN to 345345 or navigate to weeklycontrarian.com to download a free copy of my e-book, The Contrarian Handbook: 8 Principles for Innovating Your Thinking. Along with your free e-book, you’ll get the Weekly Contrarian — a newsletter that challenges conventional wisdom and changes the way we look at the world (plus access to exclusive content for subscribers only). Don’t want to miss future episodes? Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review on iTunes or Google Play. As always, thanks for listening. 
Julian Guthrie is an award-winning journalist, New York Times best-selling author, and all around adventurer who loves underdog stories. Her new book, due out April 30, is Alpha Girls: The Women Upstarts Who Took On Silicon Valley's Male Culture and Made the Deals of a Lifetime. Julian has interviewed some of the world's most dynamic leaders and loves improbable stories and contrarian thinkers. You can say hello to Julian on Twitter or on her website. In the interview, Julian and I discuss: What attracts Julian to the stories of underdogs, ordinary people doing extraordinary things How Peter Diamandis, the entrepreneur best known for being the founder and chairman of the X Prize Foundation, was rejected over 150 times in raising funds for the X Prize, yet managed to keep pursuing his goal. The surprising strategy Julian used to get an interview with Larry Ellison, the co-founder and former CEO of Oracle The critical difference between rejection and failure Why infiltrating a system can be the best way to changing it How adopting multiple identities can help you cope with failure The common denominators of the four pioneering women whom Julian featured in her latest book, Alpha Girls, and how they managed to take on Silicon Valley’s male culture and make the deals of a lifetime. Resources mentioned: How to Get Ahead by Diversifying Your Identity How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight The Billionaire and the Mechanic: How Larry Ellison and a Car Mechanic Teamed up to Win Sailing's Greatest Race, the Americas Cup, Twice
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