TPS #009: 4 Ways to Weaponize Failure

Author: Andre Mullen - 4 min Read

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In today’s newsletter, I want to share with you how I turned one of my failures as an artist manager into a weapon that caused me to create a system of follow-up and reminders.

We oftentimes look at failures as officially “the end” of any endeavor.

I’m here to tell you that that is far from the truth.

I learned a lot from my mishaps as an artist manager – so much so that I don’t think that I would be the person that I am today.

I want to present to you the option of knowing what to do when you miss the target.

This will help you with your artist clients and how you temper your expectations.

Hopefully, my experience will resonate with you and empower you to take control of your failures.

Unfortunately, so many people don’t and it causes them to be stagnant due to fear of making the same mistake.

"Failure isn’t terminal.”

We’ve all experienced failure in some way, shape, or form. However, many of us look at failure as terminal. There are 4 steps that are necessary to turn failure into a weapon to fight against fear.

  1. Acknowledging and acceptance
  2. Evaluate the situation
  3. Learn from the mistake(s)
  4. Make a plan for improvement


I’m going to talk about one of my failures as an artist manager. We’ll use that to plan the work.

Now let’s plan the work and create the weapon together, step by step:

Step 1: Acknowledging and Acceptance

The first step in overcoming failure as an artist manager is to acknowledge and accept that it has happened.

I was managing an international artist and there was a lot of buzz surrounding her upcoming 4th album. There were several high-profile features on the album. I worked with my client to put together a 15-city tour across the US and Canada.

I was responsible for reaching out to a list of venues in the respective cities, securing them with a deposit, and paying them for ticket sales.

The venues were strategically chosen because of the travel route the tour bus would have to take. The budget was tight and every dollar was accounted for.

This was my first time putting together a tour. I was a little nervous, but still confident.

I reached out to the list of venues. I spoke to 8 of the 15 venue managers and secured those venues. I made a mental note to follow up with the remaining 7 over the course of a few days.

I didn’t follow up with the remaining 7 venues until 3 weeks later.

When I called each venue, they all had the dates intended for the tour booked.

Without those dates, the tour dates and stops were ping-ponging across cities and states.

I messed up. And I messed up bad.

I called my client and told her what I didn’t do and how it happened.

Needless to say, she and the rest of the team was VERY upset.

I was determined to make this right and fast.

Step 2: Evaluate the Situation

Once you acknowledge that you failed, evaluate the situation. What went wrong? What factors contributed to the failure?

I knew what went wrong. I was multi-tasking and didn’t set a reminder to follow up with the venues.

I’ll admit, I was wearing a lot of hats for this client.

However, that doesn’t excuse the fact that I failed. The tour couldn’t happen because I didn’t do something as simple as creating a reminder to follow up about the venues.

This was serious because I didn’t have a system in place to remind me at all.

Which means that if I don’t, I’m doomed to repeat it.

Multi-tasking isn’t a “cool trait” – especially when due to it, you make a serious mistake.

Dial all the way into your tasks to avoid mistakes that could cost time, money…

…and your client a failed tour.

Step 3: Learn from the Mistake(s)

Failure can be a valuable learning experience. Analyze the situation and identify what could have been done differently.

Use this knowledge to improve your approach and decision-making in the future.

I knew that there was a lot to learn from this mistake. Here are a few things:

  1. Focus and give 100% to tasks that have other dependent moving parts.

  2. Schedule sufficient time to complete the task.

  3. Use schedulers and reminders.


These helped me turn my mistake into a hard, but valuable learning experience.

When I looked at my mistake as a learning step instead of being afraid I would repeat it, that’s when I regained my confidence.

That’s when I turned my failure into a weapon against fear.

Step 4: Make a Plan for Improvement

I always say: Plan the work. Work the plan. This is the step where you “fashion your weapon”.

I used my failure to put the system and framework in place to put together my follow-up procedure.

I created the following simple framework (that ultimately morphed into a CRM) for all follow ups:

Document date of initial contact

  1. if contacted – document information

    a. who did I speak to?

    b. what is their title?

    c. direct contact information (i.e. phone/email)

  2. if not contacted – schedule follow-up reminder in Google calendar

With this simple framework in place, I kept track of all of my follow-up work.

So, I know you’re asking what happened with the tour.

Well, the tour didn’t happen, but we were able to take advantage of the 8 dates as spot dates to support the release of the album.

After 4 of the 8 dates sold out, we added another 3 spot dates and sold out of all of those.

So, in the end, we didn’t have a tour, but we did have some successful dates.

And that’s a wrap.


You can turn your failure into a weapon against fear by:

  1. Acknowledging and accepting you failed

  2. Evaluating the situation

  3. Learning from the mistake

  4. Making a plan for improvement

Whenever you’re ready, here are two ways I can help you:

1. I’m offering a Growth Strategy Session. Let’s put together a growth strategy for your and/or your client’s business for FREE.

2. I’m also conducting a FREE Systems Audit to see what systems you are using and optimize them.

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