My own antifragile journey

AntFragile lessons – August 2020

Well, the past week has certainly been an eventful one for me and my team! You may have seen me talking about my first book – Becoming AntiFragile – that was due to launch on 28th July. And it did. Then it didn’t. And then it was possibly available for some people depending on location.

It was frustrating to say the least! (And a big thank you to anyone who did manage to buy the book, or send me kind words when things started to unravel, I really appreciate it!)

The perfect storm

Launch 1.0 was a flop, a fail or whatever other word you might use to describe it. It was a perfect storm of issues, unknown delays, errors and unforeseen circumstances that meant that when I announced on Tuesday 28th July that my first book was launching that day – people either were unable to purchase it, or they were shown a version of the book that cost more than twice the original price, plus shipping would take up to two months. Total madness!

And just so you know, and maybe feel somewhat reassured by this – I most definitely felt fragile – amongst other things!

Initially I couldn’t find any positives in the situation at all. All our hard work had resulted in…. absolutely nothing. And I felt deflated.

I got about doing the necessary things, almost on autopilot – updating people, talking to my publisher, retracting updates etc.

But then, when the dust began to settle a little, I took my own advice and I started to really think about how could I emerge from this stronger? What lessons could I learn?

Lessons learnt from my book launch ‘failure’

1. Tell the right stories. Naturally the reactive story I told myself was riddled with doubt, fear, anger etc. But now I’ve had the chance to reflect, I’m telling myself stories that sound more like – “In the big scheme of things, this is just a minor blip, it will all be ok.”

2. Operate in reality. When I had exhausted all options of ‘fixing’ the issue, I had to stand back and realise that this was just something that was beyond my control. And I had to be ok with that.

3. Seek collective wisdom. This wasn’t just all for me to fix or resolve, I had to leverage the people around me to help in all sorts of ways (from practical help in resolving the Amazon issues, to a walk in the fresh air with a friend as a sounding board).

4. Tackle the infinite game. It’s not over yet (because we haven’t launched yet), and that’s ok. I’ll keep moving forward and learning as I go. (When I launch a book in the future, I will have so many lessons in the vault!)

So, while I would have preferred this hadn’t happened, I am coming through this ‘blip’ even stronger now and looking forward to the official launch of my book next week. And, as a bonus, I’ve learnt that my own ROBUST principles (you may notice four of them are above), really work! So, for me, that’s the biggest positive I’m taking out of all of this.

Thank you to everyone who supported me in so many ways.

The good news is that now the book will officially launch (again) on Tuesday 11th August. And I’m assured it will all go perfectly this time!

Dr Paige Williams

Dr Paige Williams

International Speaker, Author, Mentor


Determined to help leaders move beyond just the need for resilience, Paige provides practical, evidence-based strategies for leaders to become antifragile, lead themselves and their teams to thrive and succeed in the Decade of Disruption.

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