How I bounced back when my book went off piste

As we sprint towards the finishing line of getting “Nudge Your Way To Happiness” published in just 10 days time, I’m fortunate to have my brother Geoff working alongside me.

In fact Geoff will board a plane in London this coming Monday to join me in California, so we can share the final week’s work.

I love my family, including Geoff of course, and over the years we’ve worked together a lot.

I value his support enormously, but also depend hugely on his diplomatic but straightforward honesty.


If your work truly sucks (and as mine does sometimes, it may), you need someone to tell you, but to do so in a way that leaves you motivated to try again rather than inconsolably despondent.

And as far as I’m concerned, Geoff pulls this off in admirable style for me.

I was proud of the first version of the book I showed Geoff.

I’d even typeset my rough text, printed it out in colour, hand sewn the pages together, and glued on a hardback cover.

Unfortunately I’d spent too much time making the book and not enough time thinking about it.

It was down to Geoff to let me know that, well, it wasn’t working.

He did so by suggesting it might work better in the style of another book we both love, called “Change The World For A Fiver” – you might know it.

It helped me see I needed to up my game.

It’s always hard to hear that someone thinks your output isn’t up to scratch, and despite Geoff’s thoughtful diplomacy I was temporarily disheartened.

All that work.

All that sewing.

What helped me, however, and maybe it can help you too if you’re in a similar situation, was remembering how I’d “bounced back” from previous misfires.

Instead of giving up and going home, I tried to think of my dilemma as a challenge rather than a problem.

I knew I could find a better solution.

I knew, bluntly, that I could try harder.

Now that’s especially hard to accept if your mood already happens to be in the toilet, but trying harder doesn’t mean going all the way at once.

It just means having a quiet determination to make tomorrow better than today, even if only to a modest degree.

So what’s helped you bounce back in the past?

And what could work again?

2 thoughts on “How I bounced back when my book went off piste

  1. Taking a little time to digest failure and then try again is something I remember from my youth. When did Failure is Not Acceptable begin? At the same time as Losing is Not an Option? Patience is a virtue has gone out of the window too, how many people do you know who simply cannot wait patiently in our modern world of NOW. I am looking forward to your book Jon and if it was titled Slowly Nudging Your Way to Happiness I would buy it too!

  2. thanks for your encouraging article its inspiring to see you taking risks, taking feedback you don’t want to hear and carrying on. Its a lesson im trying to learn, that its ok to make mistakes and what we think is failure can be looked at many different ways, its not the end of the story

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