Over the past two-and-a-half years, I’ve interviewed 163 Successful Entrepreneurs about their biggest business mistake, and how they transformed it into their greatest idea yet. As a new entrepreneur myself, I sought the advice of every business owner I knew, because I had no idea what to do.
Everything scared me. I worried about failing, and setting the wrong prices, and saying the wrong thing. I had a to-do list as long as my arm, but feared each item on it. The thought of making a mistake crippled me. I brimmed with excitement and knew I’d made the right decision, but this didn’t keep the terror at bay.
Maybe you’re going through this right now…
Maybe you remember it oh-so well…
Maybe you’ve overcome the initial struggle, but this horrible fear remains…
I sought the advice of others, because those who had been there and done it would know how I feel. They welcomed me with open arms, too, and shared stories and tips and advice. Only, they didn’t focus on their success stories, rather the times they failed, fell short, and made a mistake.
‘How odd,’ I thought. ‘Why would they share the bad times with me?’
Because they weren’t bad times at all, but important times. They were valuable lessons they needed to go through, and I realised mistakes are often the catalyst to amazing ideas. I thought about my past mistakes, and all those stories about failed inventions that lead to new products and breakthroughs.
The Successful Mistake was born out of curiosity, because I NEEDED to hear the stories from those I admire. A book, where I bring over 150 #GreatMistakes together, wouldn’t only help me, but countless other new entrepreneurs, too. It isn’t just about entertaining and inspiring stories from those who dominate their industries, or the tips and tricks and patterns unearthed along the way, or how they can help YOU avoid the most common mistakes.
Oh no, It’s about understanding mistakes happen, and that if you embrace them, fight them, and are conscious of them, you don’t only overcome them, but transform them into your greatest idea yet.
Of course, this only scratches the surface of a book like this…
ABOUT THE BOOK
LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO A FEW FRIENDS OF MINE:
I’m not sure why I set a minimum target of interviewing 150 successful entrepreneurs, but it seemed like an impressive number at the time. I suppose it comes down to my love for stories, and the thought of connecting with all those inspiring minds with aspiring tales to share.
But I want you to learn from the best, too, because there are books that focus on a handful of uber entrepreneurs who overcame failure, but none that force dozens-upon-dozens to dig deep and share their fears, vulnerabilities, and catastrophes. I also didn’t know how I felt about mistakes myself, but after all those Skype Calls, Coffees, and Conversations, I’ve developed a keen insight into what a mistake is, where the warning signs hide, and how YOU can approach them in a practical, calm, and awesome manner.
This didn’t just happen. It took 150+ stories from people like Chris Brogan, Pamela Slim, AJ Leon, Natalie Sisson, Kate Northrup, Neil Patel, and James Clear. Through their eyes, I’m ready to craft a narrative that ties everything together so you, and all the other entrepreneurs ready to take tomorrow by storm, can transform your mistake into an epic success.
A SMALL SAMPLE OF THOSE INVOLVED:
And here’s everyone else I’ve interviewed over the last two years (this list continues to grow):
INTRODUCING THE SEVEN STAGES OF A #GREATMISTAKE:
After performing a few dozen interviews, I had a sudden moment of panic.
“How the hell am I supposed to bring all these stories together into a seamless book?” I thought, panting and trembling.
Losing myself in the interviews, I lost track of the actual book, and since this moment, I’ve thought long and hard about its structure. I’ve considered lots of possibilities (lots!!), and eventually settled on an adaptation to The Seven Stages of Grief/Change. After all, certain mistakes feel like death, and they all bring upon change.
As you’ll see in the contents page below, each stage holds several sub-stages, but the overall book takes a journey of:
- SHOCK: THAT AWKWARD MOMENT WHEN THE SHIT HITS THE FAN
- PAIN: INTRODUCING MR BEAM, DANIELS & WALKER
- BARGAINING: IT ISN’T ME, IT’S YOU
- DEPRESSION: I’M A USELESS IDIOT. KILL ME NOW, CRUEL WORLD
- TIPPING POINT: WAKING UP ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BED
- RECONSTRUCT: IT’S TIME TO RIGHT A FEW WRONGS
- ACCEPTANCE: TODAY’S TORTURE IS TOMORROW’S HINDSIGHT
What you’ll discover is, no matter how big or small your mistake may be, and however experienced or not you are, this is the process you go through. At first you feel shock, even though there’s nearly always warning signs; and you feel pain, be it emotional, financial, or personal; and begin to blame others, or possibly yourself; and hit a low point, where you think there’s no way out; before rising from this, and seeing the lessons you can learn; which allows you to reconstruct and eventually accept your mistake, and the awesomeness ahead.
Successful people go through this process quicker than the rest of us, and tend to be conscious about where in the process they are. This is ultimately what The Successful Mistake is about, and it’s why we’re adapting the Seven Stages of Grief into The Seven Stages of Your #GreatMistake.
Because we’ve all suffered change and grief and hardship, and we’ve all gone through this process many times before. But through this book, and the 150+ inspiring stories on offer, you’ll stride through it, understand when you’re in it, and appreciate where you are and what you need to do to get through.
A TRUE CROWD-PUBLISHED BOOK:
I didn’t coin the phrase, Crowd-Publishing. Guy Vincent (founder of this very platform) introduced me to it, who I believe got it from Jeremiah Gardner.
I quickly adopted it though, because I don’t 100% agree with the term crowdfunding. I’m not saying money isn’t important, or I don’t need your help to reach the funding goal, because I do. BUT this isn’t about the money. What’s more important is The Crowd (aka: YOU). Plus, when you publish a book like this, it’s never down to a single person.
Take the moment I decided to interview 150+ entrepreneurs, for instance. At this point I started the Crowd-Publishing process, because without their stories and lessons we’d have nothing to write about. Now the interviews are over, we rely on editors, designers, beta readers, proofreaders, bloggers, podcasters, and early-adopting-readers to write, create & share this book.
I play a role, for sure, but it takes a crowd to make an ambitious book like this a reality. This is why it’s a True Crowd-Published Book, and one that goes far beyond the funding goal. I need your help to pass it, but more so, I NEED YOU (your support, feedback, advice, word-of-mouth awesomeness…)
As you’ll see in the Reward Section below, no matter what pledge you make, you become part of This Band of Merry Misfits. Each week you’ll receive behind the scene access to the making of this book, and I don’t mean a few snippets here-and-there. I mean EVERYTHING (the book cover, launch plan, giveaways and goodies, book description, website, deleted chapters, early drafts, exclusive access, and much more…)
This band of awesome individuals is already in full flow and helped build this very campaign. Will you join us & embrace the true nature of Crowd-Publishing?
WHO THIS BOOK IS FOR
NEW ENTREPRENEURS = No matter how young or old, a new entrepreneur is a new entrepreneur, and it’s a world full of obstacles and fast-paced life lessons. Mistakes are part of the ride, and I cannot say how thankful I am to the 150+ entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed, because their stories and advice helped me get through the early days. As a new entrepreneur, this book needs to be part of your world!
ARISTS, WRITERS & CREATIVE FOLK = In today’s society of self-publishing, crowd-funding, Etsy stores, and artisan living, an artist is no longer a mere artist. Whatever your creative craft, you are a business owner… an entrepreneur… a self employed maverick. You’re more than a writer or designer or photographer, and this is your chance to learn from some of the world’s finest business and creative minds.
SOLOPRENEURS = Gone are the days an entrepreneur needs to own a massive company with a large workforce. As a freelancer, virtual assistant, contractor, or consultant, you still need all the tricks an entrepreneur does, and face the same obstacles each day. This book features dozens of one-man bands, and those who’ve built a lifestyle around their passion, travel, and beliefs.
STARTUPS = Every business begins somewhere, and a startup’s lifestyle is one of the fastest-paced, ever-adapting, and most hectic there is. Such a chaotic world breeds mistakes, and as a book featuring some of the planet’s biggest and brightest entrepreneurs, numerous lessons await you and your growing business.
GEN Z = If you’re born after 1993, society considers you an unconventional risk-taker, rabble-rouser, and an impatient go-getter destined to launch your own business at some point in the future. Driven to act now, mistakes are part of your everyday, but so is the opportunity to learn, grow, and evolve. When I first began writing this book, I had tomorrow’s entrepreneur in mind.
WHAT WILL YOU LEARN?
- What some of the most common mistakes today’s entrepreneur faces
- Actionable Tips, Tricks & Hacks to ensure you don’t make the mistakes everyone else does
- Inspiring stories and advice from some of the world’s finest entrepreneurs
- How to spot the warning signs of a mistake, and how to adapt and turn them into success
- What the planet’s brightest did to turn their Great Business Mistake into their Best Idea yet
- How to stay calm, collect, and on top of adversity, mistakes, and everyday obstacles
- What 150+ Successful Entrepreneurs do to continue their growth and success
- A complete insight into The Seven Stages of a Great Mistake (from shock-to-acceptance)
- Lessons from the best-of-the-best, and what they’d do if they could do it all again
- The true value of a Mistake, and with the right mindset, how powerful they are
Super Bonus Level: You’ll learn how to have this positive mindset without having to make a bunch of your own mistakes! How cool is that?!?!?
The following rewards are for early adopters like your fine self who wish to be part of The Successful Mistake’s Journey. Everything below is at a cheaper price than ever offered again, and much of it’s exclusive to this campaign.
As I’m sure you’ll agree, the Value v Price dynamic is rather insane, but I want YOU to get as much out of this adventure as possible. Simply put, you care enough to be part of this from the beginning, so you deserve epic value at a kick-ass price.
If you need more explanation, this section’s for you. BUT before you delve deeper, let me say that no matter how much you pledge, YOU ARE PART OF THIS. Like I said earlier, this is a True Crowd-Published Book where you get to see the writing process in all its glory. Not only will you help finalise things like the cover and blurb and launch plan, but bring actual chapters together.
That’s right, super sneak peek access that writers DO NOT share with others. No matter how much you pledge, you’re part of this misfit adventure. I hope you’re ready for a rollercoaster ride.
$12 Digital Bundle
Get your advanced Digital Book Bundle (Kindle, ePub & PDF) before general release. As an early adopter, you get your book before everyone else, sent direct to your inbox. As well as your advanced copies, you also get access to the website before the the riffraff, and your name appears within the book itself (all versions: Ebook, Paperback & Hardcover). This comes in the form of a unique piece of incredible word-art. (Total Value = $30)
$27 Signed Paperback & Audiobook
You get an advanced copy of the Paperback, fresh from the printers. That means you get access to the first run, the same box of books I reserve for my family. I’ll sign and personalise your copy, plus send you a version of the Audiobook as soon as it’s done. Read by myself and a few select entrepreneurs from the book, it’s an ideal companion for travellers and commuters (+ everything in the Digital Bundle) (Total Value = $67)
$46 Signed Limited Edition Hardcover
Grab a Super Limited and Exclusive Hardcover version of The Successful Mistake. I’m not even sure I’ll do another hardcover version again, but it certainly won’t be like this. I’m talking: Unique Cover Design, a Personal Touch, and a Seal of Quality. I’ll sign and personalise it, and send you a copy of the Audiobook, too. With only 100 in existence, this Hardcover is a soon-to-be collectors item (+ everything in the Digital Bundle) (Total Value = $105)
$78 The No Brainer
This is a no-brainer for a reason, because you get advanced copies of the Digital Bundle, Paperback, Limited Edition Hardcover, Audiobook, AND Beta Access to The Successful Mistake Online Course. I haven’t decided what the price of this course is yet, but it’ll be at least $197! I’ll sign & personalise everything, so this truly is a no-brainer for go-getting entrepreneurs like yourself. (Total Value = $325)
$133 The Best Buddy Bundle
If you like to give and be the coolest friend in the world, this is the package for you. I’ll send you a giant package full of: 3 Digital Bundles, 3 Signed Paperbacks, 3 Audiobooks, 3 Beta Memberships to The Successful Mistake Course, and a Limited Edition Hardcover for your good self. I’ll sign and personalise each book, so you send the names, I’ll do the rest. (Total Value = $852)
$226 The Good Samaritan
Designed for Event Organisers, Business Owners, and General Do-Gooders, this package offers everything from above, but to extreme levels. 8 Digital Bundles, 8 Signed Paperbacks, 8 Audiobooks, 8 Beta Memberships to The Successful Mistake Online Course, and a Limited Edition Hardcover you can enjoy. Again, if you know who you’re giving these books to, I’ll sign and personalise each one. (Total Value = $2,172)
$384 Chapter Sponsorship
I’ve reserved sponsorship for each main chapter (a single stage from the Seven Stages of a #GreatMistake). As well as premium coverage on The Successful Mistake website, and during Launch/Marketing activities, your url appears at the bottom of each page within your chapter (Paperback & Hardcover). I’ll also invite you to write a foreword to begin your chapter, offering an excellent opportunity to market your business, products, and services to an army of new and go-getting entrepreneurs. This is super limited, and once this campaign’s over, I’ll quadruple the price. In other words, don’t miss out! (+ 3x Signed Paperbacks + 1 Limited Edition Hardcover + 10x Audiobooks + 10x Beta Memberships to Online Course + 10x Digital Bundles) (Total Value = $3,743)
$653 3-Month Brand Consultancy
When not writing books, I work with forward-thinking entrepreneurs and innovative businesses on their Brand Story and Marketing. Brand Storytelling gets a lot of hype these days, but I go above and beyond, taking my clients through my unique Discover, Create & Share Process. This package gives you exclusive access to me for 3 months, which includes at least 4 Skype Calls per month, and 24/7 access to my special ‘client email‘ account. Considering I change more than this for a single month of consultancy, you’re about to grab an absolute steal, and opportunity to invigorate your brand in 2015 (+ everything in The No Brainer Package) (Total Value = $2,566)
$1,107 The Successful Mistake Keynote
Equipped with 150+ inspiring stories, I’ll soon transform what I’ve learned into an interactive and engaging Keynote/Workshop. I’ll bring this to your business/conference/event, and tailor it around your needs (time, facility, audience, etc…). I’ll also spent an entire day with your marketing team, and offer my unique Brand Story skill set. But that’s not all, because you also get: 50 Digital Bundles, 10 Signed Paperbacks, 10 Audiobooks, 10 Beta Memberships to The Successful Mistake Online Course, and 1 Limited Edition Hardcover. I plan to make this Keynote/Workshop a huge part of my business, so secure an exclusive slot now – because the price will rise-and-rise-and-rise (travel not included) (Total Value = $4,427)
$3,997 Main Sponsor of The Successful Mistake
This is your chance to be the Main Sponsor of The Successful Mistake, netting you and your business: 150 Digital Bundles, 20 Signed Paperbacks, 20 Audiobooks, 20 Beta Memberships to The Successful Mistake Online Course, 1 Limited Edition Hardcover, Premium Coverage on The Successful Mistake Website, Your Ad & Logo on the Website’s Homepage, Your URL at the bottom of each page within the book (Paperback & Hardcover), 1 Full Page advert on the front-inner page, 1 Full Page advert on the back-inner page, Your Logo on the Front Cover, PLUS you get to welcome each reader with a short introduction (the first few pages of the entire book).
This seriously is a one time deal overflowing with value, and I’ll work with you to provide amazing Successful Mistake Giveaways to your audience. Simply put, the incredible business who grabs this option becomes a true collaborator, and we’ll work together to make something epic (Total Value = $14,887)
I hope this gives you an insight into all the rewards on offer, but if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And a final note on The Successful Mistake Online Course: this is still a work in progress, and although I haven’t decided on the full ins and outs, it’ll include a mixture of Videos, PDFs, Downloadable Resources, Exclusive Interviews, Tools, Guides, Challenges, and a whole heap more.
As a Beta Member of the course, you don’t only get advanced and exclusive access (at a quite ridiculous price), but help turn it from good-to-great.
My name is Matthew Turner, and I’m an Author, Speaker & Brand Storyteller. Looking back, I realise I’ve always loved, valued, and shared stories, but I’ve only worked for myself for the past two-and-half years. During this time, I’ve written a great deal (two novels, lots of short stories, and a couple hundred blog posts) and worked with forward-thinking businesses to ignite their brand through the art of Brand Storytelling.
But among all this, I’ve quietly connected with, and interviewed over 150 successful entrepreneurs, and The Successful Mistake is a project I began in the infancy of my new business. Yes, that’s right, I’ve worked on this bad-boy for nearly three years, and the end’s finally in sight.
I’m excited for 2015, as this is the year I release The Successful Mistake, publish my third novel, take my speaking/workshops to the next level, and work with businesses and fellow creatives to rock the world of Brand Storytelling. Best of all, my son, Kid Turndog, turns two this month, so I have the joy to end all joys of bonding with a happy, healthy, and hell-raising toddler.
Life is sweet, all-in-all, but I still consider myself at the beginning of my journey. Until recently, I didn’t understand what success meant to me, but I think I’m starting to get it. For the last thirty months, I’ve made mistakes, failed, and stuttered and stumbled, and although I’m positive I’ll continue to do so, I’m growing, improving, and building a life of meaning.
I’ve learned so much from The Successful Mistake, and cannot wait to continue this journey with awesome folk like yourself. There’s a ways to go, but I feel better about life right now than I ever have. This is what it’s all about, kid!
Other than this, I Blog/Podcast/Ramble on Turndog.co; drink an awful lot of rich-black coffee in my local town of Halifax (England); and walk, yoga, cuddle The Kid, read, and listen to music as often as I can. I’m not sure if this tells you what you need to know about me, but hopefully it does. If not, get in touch with me (Email, Facebook, Twitter…) and ask a question or two. I happen to love to talk and converse, so don’t be shy.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The following Table of Contents is a work in progress, so certain headings and sub-headings may change over time. But the overall layout and structure (The Seven Stage of Your #GreatMistake) is rather set in stone:
STAGE 1 – SHOCK: THAT AWKWARD MOMENT THE SHIT HITS THE FAN
- THE ATTRIBUTES OF A MISTAKE
- THE WARNING SIGNS
- THE COMMON RESPONSE & REACTIONS
- THE INEVITABLE IGNORANCE OF THE BEGINNING
- TIPS, TRICKS & TASKS
STAGE 2 – PAIN: INTRODUCING MR BEAM, DANIELS & WALKER
- THE VARIOUS TYPES OF PAIN
- TIPS, TRICKS & TASKS
STAGE 3 – BARGAINING: IT ISN’T ME, IT’S YOU
- FACING THE MUSIC
- THE UNNECESSARY BLAME GAME
- CULTURE, CULTURE, CULTURE
- THE FEAR FACTOR
- THINKING V DOING
- TIPS, TRICKS & TASKS
STAGE 4 – DEPRESSION: I’M A USELESS IDIOT. KILL ME NOW
- THE PRESSURE COOKER
- TO FIGHT OR FLEA
- THE IMPORTANCE OF RELATIONSHIPS
- SELF DOUBT
- WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
- TIPS, TRICKS & TASKS
STAGE 5 – TIPPING POINT: WAKING UP ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BED
- LIGHT BULB MOMENTS
- LISTEN – LISTEN – LISTEN
- A NEW PERCEPTION
- BUSINESS MODELS, VISIONS & THE FUTURE
- FOCUS ON YOU
- TIPS, TRICKS & TASKS
STAGE 6 – RECONSTRUCT: IT’S TIME TO RIGHT A FEW WRONGS
- THE BEGINNING OF A GREAT MISTAKE
- TIPS, TRICKS & TASKS
STAGE 7 – ACCEPTANCE: TODAY’S TORTURE, TOMORROW’S HINDSIGHT
- WONDERFUL HINDSIGHT
- PERSONAL GROWTH
- IMPROVED OUTLOOK
- TIPS, TRICKS & TASKS
BONUS STAGE – YOUR SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE: I FORSEE THE FUTURE, AND IT’S FABULOUS
CONCLUSION & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
WHERE THE MONEY GOES
Writing a book costs a rather ridiculous amount. The actual process can be free, but no writer worth their pen would release an unedited book. Saying this, I do plan to launch The Successful Mistake in a somewhat frugal and community-lead way – It seems like the right thing to do, considering the topic, and the fact it’s a True Crowd Published Book.
This is how I came to the Campaign Aim of $7,500, and as you see, meeting this target means I break even:
- Paperback Printing (200) = $1,500
- Hardcover Printing (100) = $1,500
- Editing = $1,000
- Design = $850
- Setup (ISBN, Hosting, Other Boring Online/Misc Costs…) = $400
- Postage Materials = $100
- Postage = $800 (estimate of 100 backers at an average cost of $8)
- Flex Costs (accounting for 10-15% of surprise costs) = $750
- Fees = $600
Total = $7,500
I’ve based costs on my initial research, and from past book projects, and although certain ones may rise, I doubt any will fall. Postage in particular is rather tricky, because depending on where in the world folk like your good self are, these costs could shoot upwards. I’m preparing myself for this, and feel a budget of $800 should leave my pockets somewhat unscathed.
TIME: After two-and-a-half years of interviewing 150+ Successful Entrepreneurs, I’m writing this book! I’ve already started, but the main obstacle is time, because it tends to get the better of us. As such, things may get delayed a tad.
WORLD WAR 3: There are plenty of crazy people in this world, so who knows…
NATURAL DISASTER: Bruce Willis is old, so may not save us this time.
MY OWN SANITY: To say this book has become a labor of love is an understatement. It’s a tricky beast to write, with lots of interviews to pour through (hence why Time could become an issue), so my overall insanity may break free at some point. I’m confident I can keep it together though, at least until Launch Day 🙂
Seen as I’ve spent two-and-a-half years interviewing 150+ successful entrepreneurs, this is the part of the campaign I scratch my chin over. This book is happening, and it’s happening now. But do I have an exact date for launch? Nope, not yet. One of the big aspects of Crowd-Publishing though, is it provides the funds and motivation (and kick up the butt) to get shit done.
So, although creating a timeline is tough and scary, I think the following is both achievable and challenging enough to happen:
FEBRUARY 2015 = Publishizer Campaign
FEBRUARY – MAY 2015 = Finish First Draft
MAY 2015 = EDITING & BOOK DESIGN
JULY 2015 = Advanced Launch (when you get your book)
JULY/AUGUST 2015 = General Launch (when everyone else gets their book)
In the background, I’ll sort the marketing, press, interviews, and launch plan, and those who join this misfit adventure (aka: you) are part of this. I strive to get The Successful Mistake in your hands by June 2015, and I’m confident this will happen (even if it is a beast of a book to write).
Thank you so much for checking out this campaign, and being part of The Successful Mistake’s journey. I truly believe there’s a package for everyone, so I hope you’ll consider becoming an early adopter, and help make this book a reality. It’s been such an important part of my life for 2+ years, and cannot wait to take the next step with you.
But if you can’t pledge for some reason, no worries. You can still help by SHARING THE LOVE.
In true Crowd-Publishing fashion, this is all about building a thriving, inspiring, and most awesome group of folk, but I need your help to reach them. THIS LINK makes your life easier, ensuring you spread the word in under 30 seconds.
Thanks for reading and watching the video, and sharing the love amongst those you adore. Welcome to this Band of Merry Misfits. We’re about to create quite the ruckus.