Canadian Journalist & Author Mike Ulmer Learned From a Conflict With a Colleague

Canadian Journalist & Author Mike Ulmer Learned From a Conflict With a Colleague


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My guest for Episode #176 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Mike Ulmer. While he specializes in helping business people write their books, he has written 13 books with a total of nearly $1 million in total sales revenue.

His latest book (March 2022) is Show and Tell Writing: A Great Short Business Book About How To Write A Great Short Business Book.

His other recent titles are Drop The Mic Marketing with Jason Hunt (2022), The 50-Year-Old Millennial: The Leadership Gap Exposed By Millennials And How To Close it with Marc Petitpas (2021) and The 40 Ways of The Fox (2021) with Ron Foxcroft.

He worked as the in-house storyteller for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Raptors and TFC as the senior writer at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

He has written for The Toronto Star, National Post, Southam News Bureau as well as news organizations across Canada.

Interesting fact — With 170,000 in sales, his book, M is for Maple is the bestselling alphabet book in Canadian publishing history.

Check out his website.

In this episode, Mike tells his favorite mistake story about striking a journalist colleague while in flight on a plane. Why did his sense of “grandiosity and recklessness” lead to this moment that changed his life? Why was this a “favorite mistake”? How did this moment make Mike realize that he needed help so he could now lead a better life?

We also talk about questions and topics including:

  • As a cancer survivor, why is it a mistake to use the phrase “battle with cancer?”
  • Why should people write a business book? You say in your book “everyone should” — why is that?
  • Even if you’re not a writer?
  • Credibility… Mistake to assume you can also speak?
  • Mistake to write with the audience in mind?
  • “Have to take a contrarian stance”
  • Publishing mistakes?
  • Predatory people in the publishing system?
  • “When I see the term best seller… bullshit”

Scroll down to find:

  • Video of the episode
  • Quotes
  • How to subscribe
  • Full transcript

Find Mike on social media:

Watch the Full Episode:


"I was absolutely at the apex of a career that I've been building for 25 years. And that moment I just blew it up. But that was the moment that I realized I needed help."
"If you wrote the book you meant to write, you wrote the wrong book."
"When I see the word 'bestseller,' I automatically think b*llsh*t, you know, because it's really easy to be... there is no standard for 'best seller,' right?"

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.