Brainfood: If I had to start again

I think I would be able to avoid lots of the pitfalls and mistakes I made. If you're successful, there are always mistakes you make along the way, especially with the business I am in - it's very risky. I follow my heart sometimes rather than my head. Take the Grand Theatre in Clapham, south London. I bought it, restored it and turned it into a fabulous music venue, but it was a disaster - I lost about £2 million on it. The bloody thing didn't work and it took me too long to realise that.

by Vince Power
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

I did a festival in Ireland in 1993, and that was a huge disaster. No-one turned up. We had all the acts: Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Van Morrison, the Pogues, Jerry Lee Lewis - a sort of wishlist of my own. But I did it in the wrong area - in Waterford, where I'm from. Maybe I was trying to prove something to these people who lived in this small town. It was a bit like someone saying to me now: 'Would you do a festival in some obscure place in the UK?' and I'd say: 'You must be mad!'; but that's what I did, because I was ruled by my heart. I lost £1 million on it. I suppose my best decision was going into the festival business with Reading in 1989.

There's a great temptation to change completely again now. I don't know what I'd do - something in mass manufacture. It's not about making the millions - the money doesn't interest me at all; what interests me is the challenge. I know that I could walk out on the street tomorrow with nothing, and still spot something that would make me a living. You're either that way or not. I'm only as good as the next challenge really.

Business-wise, I've got no regrets - I've been really lucky. I think I find things easy to do. As long as you can bounce back, you know it's only money in the end. In my personal life, I'm sure I've got a million regrets, but I think because I come from this world in Ireland - a Catholic upbringing, there were 11 of us, seven survived - my attitude is to do right and to do good.

- Vince Power set up Mean Fiddler Music Group in 1982.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Subscribe

Get your essential reading delivered. Subscribe to Management Today