Why does Matthew Turner believe your first book should be “a selfish endeavor”?

You might say it’s because he lived the tale of his own first book, The Successful Mistake: How 163 of The World’s Greatest Entrepreneurs Transform Failure & Adversity Into Success.

The initial idea to capture 163 interviews with entrepreneurs and creators turned into a four-year endeavor.

Turner almost quit after the first 100 interviews, even before he even began the actual process of writing.

In this interview, originally recorded for the (now-defunct) Literati Writers Group, we’ll dive into the 7 steps that Matthew says every human being endures in periods of change and struggle.

We discuss pathways to overcoming failure, and you’ll hear Turner’s advice on how to shorten the “recovery time” after missteps and mistakes. Plus, Matthew opens up to admit some of his own failures in writing a book about failure.

The interview free to stream, so tune in to listen below!

Listen: How to Make Successful Mistakes

As You Listen…

  1. Think back to one of your own mistakes or failures. How long did it take you to “recover” that mistake? How did you ultimately do it?
  2. What is some of the “selfish art” that you love to create? Is making it “for you” enough to feel satisfied with creating it? Or do you ultimately desire to share it, teach, contribute, create a conversation, or help others?
  3. Is there a “mistake” from the recent or distant past that you can turn into your own Successful Mistake?

Listening Guide

02:24 – Introducing Matthew Turner
09:33 – Writing a novel for your ex-, and writing as a form of breakup therapy
10:13 – Finally deciding to “do it or not” and get on with life
11:52 – Quitting his job 4 years ago this month. “I would have done things massively different.”
13:25 – Freezing on Day 1 of self-employment. “Who am I to do this?”
14:23 – How best outside advice for making it revolved around mistakes
16:55 – “This book is a selfish endeavor. I wrote this book for me.”
17:43 – Why selfish art is good
18:29 – Dave’s first book failures, as featured in The Successful Mistake
32:42 – The more mistakes you make, you speed things up
37:37 – The new, scary challenge of piecing together an enormous nonfiction book
43:23 – How to break down a huge project into manageable parts