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Business
Education
Society & Culture
Self-Improvement

Famous Failures

Updated 7 days ago

Business
Education
Society & Culture
Self-Improvement
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On Famous Failures, I interview the world's most interesting people about their failures and what they learned from them.

Read more

On Famous Failures, I interview the world's most interesting people about their failures and what they learned from them.

iTunes Ratings

89 Ratings
Average Ratings
86
0
2
0
1

Brain food !!

By Itzelive - Sep 05 2019
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Absolutely helps you see the world differently . I love listening . Ozan is a great intelligent guy and he’s does a great job in having successful captivating interviews that I can learn from . I can finish an episode and feel empowered , it’s brain food !! Thanks for your work !

Best Podcast

By KMarie65 - Jan 10 2019
Read more
I love podcasts and have listened to so many different people. But Famous Failures is the best. Ozan interviews cover business as well as personal failures, and his guests open up easily to him. This podcast provides me with both lessons and encouragement to pave my own way through life; contrarian-like!!

iTunes Ratings

89 Ratings
Average Ratings
86
0
2
0
1

Brain food !!

By Itzelive - Sep 05 2019
Read more
Absolutely helps you see the world differently . I love listening . Ozan is a great intelligent guy and he’s does a great job in having successful captivating interviews that I can learn from . I can finish an episode and feel empowered , it’s brain food !! Thanks for your work !

Best Podcast

By KMarie65 - Jan 10 2019
Read more
I love podcasts and have listened to so many different people. But Famous Failures is the best. Ozan interviews cover business as well as personal failures, and his guests open up easily to him. This podcast provides me with both lessons and encouragement to pave my own way through life; contrarian-like!!
Cover image of Famous Failures

Famous Failures

Latest release on May 19, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 7 days ago

Rank #1: Lindsey Horan on Winning the Women’s World Cup

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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

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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. 

Sep 10 2019

37mins

Play

Rank #2: Caroline Webb on How to Build Resilience in the Face of Failure

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Caroline Webb (Facebook and Twitter) is the CEO of Sevenshift, a firm that shows people how to use insights from behavioral science to improve their working life. Her book on that topic, How To Have A Good Day, was published in 16 languages and more than 60 countries. The book was hailed as one of the "top must-read business books of 2016" by both Inc. and Forbes and described by Fortune as one of their top "self-improvement through data" books. 

Caroline’s work has been widely featured in media outlets, including: The Financial Times, Forbes, The New York Times, The Washington Post, BBC Radio, The Economist, WIRED, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and many others around the world.

To learn more about Caroline and her work, please go to howtohaveagoodday.com. You’ll find a list of free resources as well as information on how you can sign up for workshops designed to help you be your best at the office and beyond.

In the interview, Caroline shares her diverse career path and why the quality of her day-to-day experience didn’t necessarily improve as she moved up the career ladder; how she decided to write a book on improving our professional lives; why focusing too narrowly on long-term career goals can backfire; why she sings Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” before client workshops; the strategies that she uses to teach corporate leaders how to build resilience in the face of failure; and how she unintentionally ended up in a professional dance audition that failed spectacularly and what she learned from it.

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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. 

Aug 14 2018

38mins

Play

Rank #3: Matilda Ho on Revolutionizing the Chinese Food Industry and Learning from Failure

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Matilda Ho is the founder of Yimishiji, one of China's first online farmers markets to bring organic and local produce to families. She’s also the founder and managing director of Bits x Bites, China’s first accelerator and venture capital fund that invests in purpose-driven startups to shape the future of food.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Matilda filled leadership roles at IDEO and BCG (The Boston Consulting Group) in both Shanghai and Washington DC. She holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She currently serves as an advisor on the board of Shinho, China’s first and largest organic condiment company.

Matilda and I discuss:

  • What Matilda learned from working as Taiwan’s first female dove magician
  • Why she enjoys jumping into danger and uncertainty
  • How she decided to work on organic food in China, a country that’s had an epidemic of food safety issues
  • Why finding an early investor for her company was a blessing and a curse
  • The questions that she likes to ask in interviewing employees and startups
  • How she creates an environment in her companies for encouraging her employees to share their mistakes and failures
  • Why being a CEO is a lonely job, and the strategies that Matilda uses to cope with that challenge

Resources mentioned:

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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. 

Dec 18 2018

47mins

Play

Rank #4: Susan Henderson On How to Deal with Failure & Critique

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Susan Henderson is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the recipient of an Academy of American Poets award. She is the author of the novels, Up from the Blue (HarperCollins, 2010) and The Flicker of Old Dreams (HarperCollins, 2018). She blogs at litpark.com, which is a supportive community of writers and artists who are in this game for the long haul.

Sue grew up in a family of overachieving scientists and engineers yet created her own path as an author. We talk about how she navigated that journey; why she stopped writing for 10 years; how she deals with failure and critique; how a janitor in her high school taught her how to give good feedback; and why you should read the 1 and 2-star reviews of the artists you admire. She also shares great practical advice for aspiring writers.

Her latest book, The Flicker of Old Dreams, is about the death of small-town America as told by a mortician.

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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. 

Sep 11 2018

36mins

Play

Rank #5: BJ Fogg on How Tiny Habits Can Spark Big Life Changes

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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.

Dec 31 2019

34mins

Play

Rank #6: Laura Vanderkam on Why You Have More Time Than You Think

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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.

Dec 17 2019

34mins

Play

Rank #7: Susan Cain on Overcoming Failure and Unleashing the Power of Introverts

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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

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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. 

May 21 2019

38mins

Play

Rank #8: Julie Zhuo on Becoming a Facebook Manager at 25, Overcoming the Impostor Syndrome, and Staying in the Discomfort Zone

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Julie Zhuo is the Vice President of Product Design at Facebook. As one of Silicon Valley's top product design executives, she leads the teams behind some of the most popular web and mobile services used by billions of people around the world. She writes about technology, design, and leadership on her popular blog The Year of the Looking Glass and in publications like the New York Times and Fast Company.

Her book, The Making of A Manager:What to Do When Everyone Looks to You, was published last week by Penguin.

You can say hello to Julie on Twitter.

In the interview, Julie and I discuss:

  • How she became a manager at Facebook when she was just 25 years old
  • The most valuable failures she experienced as a manager and what she learned from them
  • Three strategies she uses to deal with imposter syndrome
  • How managers can create an environment where team members are willing to share their mistakes and failures
  • The importance of saying “I don’t know”
  • What you should consider in building a support network for yourself
  • How to stay in the “discomfort zone”
  • Why the best results don’t come from fear

Mar 26 2019

37mins

Play

Rank #9: Jessica Kriegel on How You Should Ditch Generational Stereotypes

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Dr. Jessica Kriegel is a researcher and expert in generational dynamics. Her insights and solutions offer a roadmap for how you can most effectively transform your culture to attract, retain, and engage all generations in the workplace.

Jessica’s book, Unfairly Labeled: How Your Workplace Can Benefit From Ditching Generational Stereotypes, challenges the very concept of "generational differences" as an unfair generalization, and offers a roadmap to intergenerational understanding. She also speaks on the topic of generational dynamics nationally and acts as an adviser and strategist in matters of cultural alignment across all generations.

Sign up for Jessica’s mailing list at http://www.jessicakriegel.com/.

In this episode Jessica and I discuss:

How being the youngest person in the room led Jessica to study generational differences

Why older generations complain about millenials

Why the established literature on generational differences is wrong

Why the public is so eager to buy into generational stereotypes

Jessica’s technique for showing how inappropriate generational stereotypes are

How stereotypes about different generations lead to poor leadership decisions

What companies can do to foster better intergenerational relations

The personality trait that Jessica considers a personal failure

Why it’s so difficult to project our true selves into the world and what we can do about it

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.

Mar 10 2020

35mins

Play

Rank #10: Dina Kaplan on Finding Her Path and Overcoming Failure Through Meditation

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Dina Kaplan is Founder of The Path, which teaches meditation for the modern mind. The Path has taught thousands of people to meditate around the world.

Before founding The Path, Dina was co-founder and COO of the tech start-up Blip. Before Blip, she was an Emmy-award winning TV news reporter for local NBC stations. Prior to reporting, Dina worked as an associate producer for MTV News and at the White House as Director of Research for the Office of the White House Counsel.

Dina was named one of Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs and Fast Company’s Most Influential Women of Web 2.0. She has taught classes at Columbia and NYU, and spoken at TEDx, SXSW, the World Economic Forum, among many others.

You can learn more about The Path here and apply to attend Mela, a weekend meditation retreat in Mexico, at this link.

Dina and I discuss:

  • The secret that Dina was hiding when it seemed to the rest of the world like she had it all
  • The challenges she experienced as a female tech founder in a male-dominated world
  • Why she decided to leave her job and travel for over two years in Asia
  • How she came upon the idea of starting The Path
  • Three strategies you can use to overcome the tendency to people-please
  • How you can build more play into your work

Resources Mentioned

The Disease To Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome by Harriet Braiker.

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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. 

Jan 01 2019

43mins

Play

Rank #11: Maren Kate Donovan on Zirtual's Meteoric Rise to Overnight Failure

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Maren Kate Donovan is an entrepreneur and writer. Her first venture-backed startup, Zirtual, grew to over 400 employees before she turned 30, but then, due to the perfect storm of missteps, was forced to shut down overnight. She now uses her unique experiences as Managing Partner at AVRA, a firm dedicated to creating a world where good help isn’t hard to find.

In the show, Maren and I discuss:

  • How a haunted cane launched Maren’s entrepreneurial career
  • Why she decided to start her own virtual assistant company and how she overcame the mental hurdles in making that leap
  • How she grew Zirtual to 400 employees and $1 million/month in revenue
  • Why the company failed overnight and the lessons that this public and painful failure taught Maren
  • What strategies Maren used in coping with the fallout from the company’s demise
  • Why she decided to become a founder again by starting a new company called AVRA Talent Partners
  • How Maren used the lessons learned from Zirtual’s failure in starting AVRA

You can sign up for Maren's newsletter, We Love Work, at the bottom of this link and receive all the news that's fit to email, from the world of work.

Resources mentioned:

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

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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. 

Feb 12 2019

33mins

Play

Rank #12: Chris Kresser on Challenging the Status Quo in Medicine and How Failure Can Be a Blessing in Disguise

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Chris Kresser is the CEO of Kresser Institute, the co-director of the California Center for Functional Medicine, the creator of ChrisKresser.com, and the New York Times best-selling author of The Paleo Cure. He is known for his in-depth research uncovering myths and misconceptions in modern medicine and providing natural health solutions with proven results. Chris was named one of the 100 most influential people in health and fitness by Greatist.com, and his blog is one of the top-ranked natural health websites in the world. He recently launched Kresser Institute, an organization dedicated to reinventing healthcare and reversing chronic disease by training healthcare practitioners in functional and evolutionary medicine.

In the interview, Chris shares with us his personal experience with the chronic illness that led him to pursue his current path. We talk about how functional medicine can benefit patients by focusing on unrooting the underlying cause of a problem, as opposed to simply attacking the symptom. We then switch over to Chris’s failures and his experience with being hit with what he calls a “cosmic 2x4” that ended up being a blessing in disguise.

If you’d like to follow Chris’s work, I encourage you to sign up for his emails at chriskresser.com, where he shares his insights on health, nutrition, productivity, overcoming technology addiction, and living a full and rewarding life.

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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. 

Jul 03 2018

42mins

Play

Rank #13: Rachel Simmons on Helping Girls and Women Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success

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Rachel Simmons is the author of Enough As She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Healthy, Happy and Fulfilling Lives, and the New York Times bestsellers Odd Girl Out and The Curse of the Good Girl. As an educator, Rachel teaches girls and women skills to build their resilience, amplify their voices, and own their courage so that they—and their relationships—live with integrity and health.

Rachel was the host of the PBS television special, “A Girl’s Life,” and her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Atlantic, Slate, and The New York Times. She’s is a regular contributor to Good Morning America and appears often in the national media.

You can follow Rachel’s work at this link and get a copy of her latest book Enough As She Is, just released in paperback, here.

In the interview, Rachel and I discuss:

  • Why Rachel dropped out of a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship program to pursue her research
  • How women and girls struggle with an acute fear of failure
  • How parents can build resilience in their children
  • What educators can do in the classroom to help students overcome their fear of failure
  • What you can do to stop overthinking after a failure
  • How you can exercise your failure muscles to build up your resilience

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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. 

Feb 26 2019

36mins

Play

Rank #14: Think Like a Rocket Scientist

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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.

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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. 

Oct 08 2019

14mins

Play

Rank #15: Tiago Forte on Building a Second Brain

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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

Jul 30 2019

32mins

Play

Rank #16: Ryan Levesque on Giving Up "Good" for "Great"

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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.

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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. 

Jul 02 2019

42mins

Play

Rank #17: Jessica Bennett on Becoming the First Gender Editor of The New York Times & How Failure Furthered Her Career

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Jessica Bennett is an award-winning journalist and author who covers social issues and culture through a gender lens. She was recently appointed the first-ever Gender Editor of the New York Times.

Jessica is the author of the bestselling book, Feminist Fight Club: A Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace (HarperCollins), which has been translated into 10 languages, a podcast, and is being adapted for television.

Her writing has appeared in Newsweek, where she began her career; Time, where she was a columnist; as well as Vogue, Cosmopolitan, the Washington Post and The New York Times.

Jessica has spoken about sexism and gender bias at a variety of institutions, including the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Harvard Business School, Facebook, Google, Thomson Reuters and others.

Yes, she's in a real-life feminist fight club.

You can keep in touch with Jessica by signing up for her newsletter, The Gender Letter, at nytimes.com/genderletter.

In the interview, we talk about a wide array of topics: Jessica’s decision to write a major New York Times piece on failure on university campuses; why minorities disproportionately suffer from the imposter syndrome (and what to do about it); how she quickly bounced back after being laid off from Tumblr; how she ended up as the first gender editor of the New York Times; her writing process and failures in writing; and so much more.

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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. 

Jul 17 2018

36mins

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Rank #18: Rob Walker on the Art of Noticing

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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:

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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. 

May 07 2019

37mins

Play

Rank #19: Christine Carter on the Science of Happiness and Escaping the "Busy" Trap

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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!

Aug 13 2019

38mins

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Rank #20: Sahil Lavingia on Failing to Build a Billion-Dollar Company

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Sahil Lavingia is the founder and CEO of Gumroad, a web platform where creators can sell products directly to consumers with quick, simple links. Sahil was the second-ever employee at Pinterest before starting Gumroad with the goal of making it a billion-dollar company. Gumroad got off to an explosive start, but it eventually imploded. Sahil managed to keep the company afloat and made it independent, healthy, and profitable. Although Gumroad isn’t the billion-dollar company Sahil originally imagined it would be, it has created tremendous value for creators who’ve generated nearly $190 million from selling their creations on the website.

You can say hello to Sahil on Twitter and read his viral article on his failure to build a billion-dollar company at this link.

Sahil and I discuss:

  • Why he dropped out of college only after a semester
  • What it was like to be the second-ever employee at Pinterest
  • The critical difference between one-way and two-way decisions
  • Why Silicon Valley is far less risky than people assume
  • How he ended up with $8 million in his bank account as a 19-year-old founder of Gumroad
  • Why Gumroad eventually imploded after an explosive start
  • What it was like for Sahil to navigate this public failure and what advice he would have given himself
  • How Sahil finally turned the company around
  • Why he believes his definition of success as building a billion-dollar company was flawed from the very beginning
  • Why you should start a company if you’re thinking about it.

Apr 09 2019

41mins

Play