63 episodes

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

Famous Failures Ozan Varol

    • Business

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

    Neil Pasricha: Ask Me Anything

    Neil Pasricha: Ask Me Anything

    Neil Pasricha is the author of five New York Times bestsellers including: The Book of Awesome, a catalog of simple pleasures based on his 50-million hit, award-winning blog, and The Happiness Equation, a nine-step guidebook to happiness based on new research. 
    His latest book is You Are Awesome: How to Navigate Change, Wrestle with Failure, and Live an Intentional Life. 
    Neil is also one of the most popular TED speakers with his first TED Talk “The 3 A’s of Awesome” ranked as one of the ten most inspiring of all time.
    His work has been featured in hundreds of outlets including CNN, BBC, The Today Show, The Early Show, The Oprah Winfrey Network, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Fortune, and Forbes.
    His new podcast, 3 Books, discusses the most formative books of inspiring individuals from all walks of life.
    Neil graciously offered to hold an ask-me-anything session for the readers of the Weekly Contrarian. In the AMA, Neil answers questions about the relationship between appreciation and happiness; how to expose your true inner, authentic self; how to go from being a glass-half-empty person to a glass-half-full person; and so much more. 
    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). The book was also selected by Adam Grant as his # 1 pick among his top 20 books of 2020. 
    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.

    • 31 min
    Tara Schuster on Rising Up From Rock Bottom

    Tara Schuster on Rising Up From Rock Bottom

    Tara Schuster is an author, playwright, and accomplished entertainment executive, currently serving as the Vice President of Talent and Development at Comedy Central. She was the Executive in Charge of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Key & Peele, the Emmy Award winning @Midnight, and numerous other shows.
    Tara’s first book, Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies: And Other Rituals to Fix Your Life from Someone Who has Been There, will be released on February 18, 2020. The hilarious and relatable self-help/memoir tells the story of Tara’s path to re-parenting herself and becoming a “ninja of self-love.”
    Sign up for Tara’s newsletter to receive weekly self-care tips at: taraschuster.com/subscribe, and find her on Instagram as @taraschuster.
    In this episode Tara and I discuss:
    Why Tara decided not to pursue a career as a New York playwright How Tara’s budding playwriting career pivoted into an internship on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart Why Jon Stewart doesn’t believe in “Big Breaks” How cleaning the Daily Show office coffee machine opened doors to Comedy Central for Tara Why Tara strives to be the best at the worst How Tara hit rock bottom on her 25th birthday The first step Tara took to build a sense of self-awareness Tara’s advice for cultivating new friendships as you grow older How Tara managed to be so honest in her memoir How Tara faces the high risk of failure in the entertainment industry Resources mentioned
    The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron 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.

    • 37 min
    Frans Johansson on Why Diversity Drives Innovation

    Frans Johansson on Why Diversity Drives Innovation

    An entrepreneur, creative thinker, and acclaimed international speaker, Frans Johansson has lived all his life at the intersection. He has started a health-care business, a software company, a hedge fund, and an innovation firm. Frans is the author of The Medici Effect and The Click Moment, and is the founder and CEO of The Medici Group. 
    Reach out and connect with Frans on LinkedIn or Twitter. To learn more about his company The Medici Group, visit their website at https://www.themedicigroup.com/.
    In this episode Frans and I discuss:
    How his early life experiences influenced the work that Frans does today How Frans accidentally ended up attending Harvard Business School The ten-second vision that shaped Frans’s ideas on diversity and innovation Why diversity in the workplace doesn’t work without inclusion How to help diverse teams become more innovative Why Frans thinks that failure and success go hand in hand How people can take away positive lessons from failure What Frans learned from his failed tech start-up 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.

    • 36 min
    Scott Harrison on Transforming Himself and Ending the Water Crisis

    Scott Harrison on Transforming Himself and Ending the Water Crisis

    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.

    • 39 min
    BJ Fogg on How Tiny Habits Can Spark Big Life Changes

    BJ Fogg on How Tiny Habits Can Spark Big Life Changes

    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.

    • 34 min
    Laura Vanderkam on Why You Have More Time Than You Think

    Laura Vanderkam on Why You Have More Time Than You Think

    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.

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

Itzelive ,

Brain food !!

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 !

KMarie65 ,

Best Podcast

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!!

bad mary fan ,

Life-Changing

These podcasts (and the accompanying emails) are saving my life. If you dream big but suffer from doubt and fear of failure, these interviews fill you with camaraderie, good advice, and a renewed sense of energy and confidence.

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