Quarter Turn's Happy Accident

New monthly guest interviews

I looked out, through the stage lights, at what looked like an ocean of eyeballs.

Every person in the audience, and each of the 5 other panelists on stage, earned far more than me.

But when you’re a tiny leader at the bottom of the corporate totem pole and you get asked to speak at the annual bigwig shindig, there’s only one right answer:

YES. Yes, of course.

It was January of 2018, and I’d been asked weeks before to join a discussion on diversity, after supporting a high-profile project all year.

I’d spent December in vague state of panic.

I wrote my remarks on flashcards and practiced them every day until I could recite the words cold.

During every shower, I gave my 2-minute speech to an audience of imagined suits and jewelry. (I’m a mom—the shower is rare uninterrupted time)

But when I finally got onstage I noticed it:

every one of the other five panelists had note cards in their hands.

I was cardless.

I was the only one who’d memorized what to say.

No one had told me I could have cards. I could have saved my time and blood pressure for a solid month.

But you know what?

I wouldn’t change it.

My preparation was a “happy accident” that proved I was capable of public speaking in a way I’d never have pictured, before.

And even if it did nothing for my career, it did worlds for my confidence.

Quarter Turn is adding something new . . .

Interviews with online writers! Once a month you’ll get an interview right here that won’t be tweeted. Won’t be on Medium.

The Quarter Turn+ interviews will be newsletter exclusives.

For this first special edition, I was lucky to get a “yes” from my friend and author of the “Happy Accidents” newsletter, Dennis Geelen.

Dennis has been hard at work organizing a solopreneur summit with big-name speakers, that’s coming up on September 20th.

Find all the details in this tweet (link to register is in the replies):

  • Joy is not made to be a crumb. Nothing is, that’s worth pursuing.

  • Jay Clouse coins an incredible term. And all you have to do as a writer is refuse to stop putting words together.

  • 4 kinds of luck, from Sahil Bloom.

  • Just think of future you, even one year from now:

  • Want to increase your happy accident surface area? This is the way.

  • The secret you’ve been searching for. This is the only way, in the end.

  • Happy accidents might look like magic, but when you shine a light on them . . . they’re just small pieces, added up.

  • Who would YOU like to see interviewed for Quarter Turn+?

Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.

Winston Churchill (with thanks to Dennis Geelen for tweeting this line)

🧠 and ❤️