Everyone has a story about failure; even successful people. Listen to frank discussions with artists, executives, entrepreneurs, actors, entertainers, and more, about failures of all sorts and how they turned their failures into successes. AOF provides helpful advice for young people (99 and under) on how to find art in our “failures.” Guests include: William Wegman; Adam Liptak, Kevin Allison (RISK! podcast), Michael Finkel, Beri Smither, Bonin Bough, Christina Sass and Rudy Garcia Tolson, Strauss Zelnick.
Don Wildman: Adventure Guy
Our guest is Don Wildman, the host of many popular shows on the Travel Channel, he is the current host and narrator of Mysteries at the Museum, Beyond the Unknown, Dark Tales with Don Wildman, and Buried Worlds with Don Wildman on the Travel Channel.
Given how successful Don Wildman is, it might surprise you to learn that a while ago he woke up every morning feeling like he was a failure, therapy helped him with that. The interview is full of large and small anecdotes about failures real and perceived, including an attempt at skydiving which Don summarized as such, “I learned I would never skydive again, even as an adventure guy on TV.” Host Steve Friedman and Don have been best friends for a long time so there’s lots of laughter and stories that fans of Don Wildman will have never heard before.
Museum of Failure: Dr. Samuel West
Get a peek into the viral sensation, the Museum of Failure. The museum is a collection of over 100 failed products and services from around the world, items like Colgate Lasagna. What can we learn from these products? The museum's founder Dr. Samuel West said the museum provides a unique insight into the risky business of innovation.
We spoke to Dr. Samuel West, a licensed clinical psychologist and PhD in organizational psychology. He talked about why he started the Museum of Failure, what we can learn from it and his own very personal struggles with failure, which include filing for bankruptcy.
Kwame Onwachi: Grit & Grace to "Overnight" Success
When Kwame Onwuachi was 26 he had already experienced more career highs and lows than chefs twice his age. He worked in the top restaurants, competed on the TV series, “Top Chef,” and opened his own restaurant—The Shaw Bijou when he was 25. The restaurant was one of the most anticipated openings in the country and it closed after 11 weeks. The press roasted the young chef. How did Kwame recover after such a public failure? In his new book, Notes from a Young Black Chef, Kwame talked about how he rebounded from that failure, and delved into his childhood.
After the Shaw Bijou closed Kwame opened 3 more restaurants, Michelin rated, Kith and Kin and two Philly Wing Fry.. On May 6th he won the Rising Star Chef of the Year award by the James Beard Foundation. His book, Notes from a Young Black Chef has received lots of praise, and is available wherever books are sold.
Brian Scudamore: 1-800-GOT-JUNK
When Brian Scudamore was 19 years old he was in a McDonalds parking lot trying to figure out how to pay for college. He saw a dirty pick-up truck advertising a junk removal service. Realizing that he could pay for college by hauling junk, Brian invested $700 in his own junk-removal-service. With that initial investment, he built an unlikely empire: 1-800-Got-Junk. Today 1-800-Got-Junk serves 200 locations across three countries. His story is full of ups and downs. Including dropping out of college, his decision to fire his entire staff early on in his career, to living with depression and ADD.
He's a regular contributor to Forbes and has a new book out, called WTF?! (Willing to Fail): How Failure Can Be Your Key to Success.
In addition to 1-800-Got-Junk, Brian is the founder and CEO of O2E Brands, the parent company behind 4 different home service companies.
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Carlos Dengler: From Rock Star to True Self
We spoke to Carlos Dengler, an actor, writer, musician and a former member of the band Interpol, which was founded in 1997. Interpol is a post punk revival band that has produced several critically acclaimed albums.
Carlos left the band in 2010 and got his MFA in acting from NYU in 2015. Carlos has also written for n+1 and Seven Stories Press He is also working on a forthcoming memoir with Foundry Literary + Media. The memoir will be published in late 2019/early 2020 and will be a series of essays about his youth, his views on culture, and his experience as a “famous rock star turned subsequent acting student.”