Failures: Experience 3/6

A combination of attending live music, promoting live music, and then selling tickets to live music had been a developing interest from very early in life. So, when all of these and a little extra entrepreneurship spark all came together, the fire ignited. This is the story.

As a group of friends made our way down to Galveston Bay to do some sand bar fishing, we began talking generally about our current and past involvement in the music event promotion scene in Dallas. It was again that round about conversation returning to doing our own thing instead of promoting for other organizers in the area. And then all of a sudden, we jumped off the cliff… saying that the new goal was to organize and promote a show of our own. Jumping off the cliff in business terms refers to the idea of committing to pursuing a business venture with little else than sheer motivation and grind. Basically you jump off the cliff and build the plane on the way down…or you hit various naturistic obstacles like rocks, trees, or false landings. Again, in business terms this means roadblocks or obstacles. So from that moment in the car a commitment was made that no matter what we would turn into organizers instead of promoters. The event would be awesome…oh yeah and the event was going to be organized in 2 weeks because it was the “the perfect time to do it”. This would later help sink the potential to succeed.

Fast forward the tape to after fishing weekend and the work began. An LLC was created, special event insurance bought, a promotion team built, flyers and tickets designed, artist booked and flown in, venue reserved, security hired, and night planned…all in under two weeks. Everything you need to host an event was done in such a short period of time except doing it right.

This experience taught the lesson of planning, forethought, and meticulous strategy. How is a business supposed to do that, and all from scratch, on a two-week time frame? The answer is it’s very likely to succeed. Although we were able to promote well enough to get about 500 or so attendees and sell $9,000 worth of tickets, the event ended up still being in the negative. Technically speaking the numbers were at $13,000 in revenue and $9,000 in costs equaling a $4,000 loss, but until just now it didn’t occur to me that it can be counted as a $2,000 loss. And this is where the lesson appears.

One of the expenses was a $2,000 entity creation. At the time, I didn’t realize and entity could be created so cheaply so a top notch lawyer did one for me. Mistake 1/100 on that particular venture. But in relation to costs it would reduce the loss by 50% which is very important to understand. This particular entity had been kept alive for five years without being used, because I knew that eventually it would be put back into play. Now it represents my personal business interest directly, but moreover is a symbol for never giving up on an idea or a dream.