My Resume of Failure

I've seen a few posts on here recently about how coming to IH can be depressing as everyone is posting success stories (personally I don't agree with that as I've seen a fair few stories of woe lol).

There was another post I saw today celebrating our biggest fuckup which I thought was great, although I have had so many I couldn't pick just one.

So what dawned on me, was that I have achieved a good position in life. However it hasn't been off the back of success after success after success. No. It's been off the back of failure after failure after failure.

I'll try to be brief.

2002 - 2010-ish

In 2002 I started a band. Lots of people start bands but this band worked. We attained a level of success where gave up our jobs, got a deal and were able to tour internationally. I even filmed a 2 music videos in Hollywood, which is a big deal as I'm from Scotland.

On the surface that sounds cool but it ultimately fizzled out in 2010 or thereabouts and during that time I could have made more money by stacking shelves in a supermarket. I consider that period a huge failure and a waste of time.

2010 - 2013

After that I fumbled around for a few years building websites freelance style. Nothing of any note happened during this period. I made very little money and enhanced my career in no way at all.

2013 - 2016

A combination of the freelance work and my connections from my time in the music industry led me into a founding team (I wasn't a "founder" but I was on the founding team) which went on to raise over £25million in investment and start a music industry / tech startup. That plodded along for 4 years or so. It never really worked but we used our runway and got 4 years out if it. Then - that failed too. Around about 2016-ish

2016 - present day

Whilst at that startup I met a guy at a conference who called me as soon as news got out about the startup going under. He hired me instantly into his company; a multi billion pounds per year enterprise corporation. I'm still there today and I have a great lifestyle because of that place. I love it. It also allows me to self fund my projects, like SongBox and GetFed

So I guess what I'm saying is... failure rocks! It may suck at the time but it's entirely likely that you learned something, or made connections in the process that will make the next thing you do, even better.

  1. 2

    I even filmed a 2 music videos in Hollywood, which is a big deal as I'm from Scotland.

    😂 That made me laugh, but now I want to know the name of the band?

  2. 2

    Great life path and not too dissimilar from my own. I was a failed musician in my 20s and then turned to entrepreneurship. 2 failed startups and then a 3rd that changed my life. Here's hoping the decades to come continue to bring change and fulfillment!

    1. 1

      Excellent! What was the one that changed your life?

      1. 1

        An AI startup I sold 2 years ago. Now working on a new project to try to recapture some of that magic.

  3. 2

    Thank you for the share Mick. Really like the idea of Songbox and best of luck with growing your audience. I think if you ask most people, they would much rather spend a few years in a band then work at a supermarket. Life experiences will be remembered more than a daily job. Sounds like you've had plenty of memorable experiences no matter the end result.

    1. 1

      Yeah I suppose that's one way to look at it. I think you would need to experience it to have the negative view of it that I have.

      Memorable is certainly one word to use lol

  4. 2

    Failure is part of the learning process no matter how much it sucks. It's what you do after that matters the most. Thanks for sharing!

    1. 1

      You're correct! and thank you.

  5. 2

    Wow, what a journey Mick. Inspirational. There will always be loads of ups and downs along the way to reach whatever we define as success (money, career, family).

  6. 2

    @Primer really enjoyed this, especially the message that failure rocks!

    1. 2

      Thanks. The old cliché “what didn’t kill you made you stronger” is totally true.

  7. 2

    Amen. The only path to success is through failure. You have to learn and get pointed in the right direction. Happy you are at a good spot right now.

  8. 1

    Thanks for sharing your story. I agree that reading all the success stories on IH can go from inspiring to depressing very quickly, so it's nice to see some honesty and balance in the discussion.

  9. 1

    Thanks for this mini-autobiography Mick! It was nice to read it!

  10. 1

    Thanks for posting this, Mick.

    I feel like failure is something that should be more embraced as part of a personal life. I know the word "failure" sounds discouraging but it's from failures that we learn from rather than success.

  11. 1

    thanks for posting. failure rocks! should be a new trend. really loved reading it. i find it somehow... motivational https://delicerecipes.com/easy-asparagus-cheese-tart/

    1. 1

      Haha yeah me too in retrospect. Thanks!

  12. 1

    Thank you! A lot of people needed this in my opinion :)

    1. 1

      Thanks! that's nice to hear.

  13. 1

    From starting a band to building websites to running side projects, that is astounding. I like how you have interpreted "failure" in your journey.

    If you don't mind, What instrument did you use to play in the band? :)

    1. 2

      Thank you. I don't really even like to talk about the band years anymore, but it was guitar I played.

  14. 0

    I consider that period a huge failure and a waste of time.

    I'm surprised to hear that honestly.

    Most people who were in music loved it, because it was their true passion.

    And making it as far as you guys did, I'd actually expect you to say that it's the happiest and most transformative period of your life!

    1. 4

      I guess it depends on your definition of “people who were in music”.

      How many people do you know, personally, who made it to a level where it was actually their job? And by that I mean that they actually signed a contract and all that goes with that?

      I know a bunch of people and most come out the other side of the music industry broke and hating it. I even know some people who made millions from the music industry and still hated it.

      I also know loads of folk who just do music under their own steam. They make no money; they gig locally or in tiny venues around the country on tours that they book and run themselves; it’s fun. However it’s generally relatively short lived before they need to get a job again and just “do music” as a side thing.

      Think about the number of musicians who kill themselves or turn heavily to drugs and alcohol.

      I assure you that as soon as you put ink to paper and you are in effect “owned” by an corporation, it ceases to be fun. They say jump and you say how high. Also there is the added pressure of now having a bunch of peoples income rely on you.

      I could go on but it’s generally shit unless you are on the very VERY slim minority of acts that become very big very quickly.

      I guess in many ways it’s similar to stories of venture capital. Everything is fun and exciting; you’re growing, seeing success, the future looks bright and then an organisation comes and puts a lot of money and time into you. They now own you, tell you what to do etc. Change your vision.

      Yeah - a lot of similarities.

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