Pursuing an Acting Career After His MBA: Matthew E. May’s Favorite Mistake

Pursuing an Acting Career After His MBA: Matthew E. May’s Favorite Mistake

My guest for Episode #39 of “the My Favorite Mistake” podcast is my friend Matt May, he's a multi-best-selling author and he's Chief Strategist with his firm Stratechia.

I've known Matt for a long time as a former University of Toyota educator, a Wharton graduate, and an amazing author. I've interviewed him many times before. I didn't know that he was formerly a theatre and television actor (including a stint on a soap opera — I don't have video clips of that).

Today, we talk about a few of his favorite mistakes:

  • Not taking the traditional high-paying job after completing his MBA
  • Leaving New York City for Los Angeles in the pursuit of his acting career

Matt and I also talk about mistakes more generally — when are they “happy mistakes?” Were there any acting gigs that were mistakes? How should we think about mistakes, as individuals and as organizations?

You can listen to or watch the episode below. A transcript also follows lower on this page. Please subscribe, rate, and review via Apple Podcasts or Podchaser! This podcast is part of the Lean Communicators network.

Podcast Audio:

Check out all episodes on the My Favorite Mistake main page.

Video Podcast:


"Everyone that I knew, my parents, my grandparents, my classmates, recruiters, you name it, told me that I was making the biggest mistake of my career.

"In the [Toyota] sales and marketing world, there wasn't that embrace of failure. The old 'fail fast and learn' mentality was not there."

Subscribe, Support, Rate, and Review!

Please subscribe, rate, and review the podcast — that helps others find this content and you'll be sure to get future episodes as they are released weekly.

Automated Transcript (May Contain 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.