In 1997 we took ENTECH to Melbourne, and had an excellent event despite much organisational chaos. We were full of ourselves, Caroline and I. Having the big guy from PLASA visit the show, wanting to buy it. Swimming in money. Upgrading the BMW. Buying the second house up the road to use as our global HQ. It was too much, too soon, and we started behaving badly.
At the Melbourne show I had a couple of seminar sessions focussed on the music biz, amongst 30 others that covered lighting, sound, video, stage safety and anything else we could find with people to present. The guy co-ordinating the music industry sessions pulled his own contact list and lined up a couple of major music industry managers. We flew them down from Sydney, and checked them into a crappy $110 hotel - the bottom choice on our list of five.
Naturally enough they rejected this and checked into the Novotel. Just before the seminar, my guy rushed up and requested some beers. "We don't do beers for seminars", I barked.
I think this is the worst I've done, but I'm sure there are plenty more from those days of wealth (1985 - 1988 and 1996 - 2000). Both times I checked myself often, feeling a strange disconnect, unsettled and unhappy. We had no higher purpose other than driving our venture, expanding our footprint, building our power. One time I faxed a client to advise that we would no longer deal with his General Manager. I think we were the problem, I sure do know I was a problem.
Realising all this came to me as I struggled through the college decade, setback after setback, year after year. I yearned for that 'winning' feeling when you make great deals, when you know you're building things. The drought was so lengthy, the struggle so real. When the college shut in 2010, I think I rebuilt myself and now ten years on, I know I'm the best version of me that I can be - for now.