23 Jul


Why Glastonbury is like running a business


Adjusting from the euphoria of the Glastonbury Festival back into the world of running a business should be difficult, but really, they’re both very similar. Here’s why.

Hands up, who went to Glastonbury this year? I did, and it was one of the best weekends of my life, an experience I’ll never forget. It had everything; great acts, perfect weather (for once) and an atmosphere like no other. The last few weeks at work after getting back have been a struggle, but as I started to think about it more deeply, there are a lot of similarities between Glastonbury and running a business. Let me explain.

1 – Anything can happen

We were lucky at Glastonbury this year in that the weather was superb. In fact, it was too hot at points! Many times at Glastonbury and other festivals, it can be the exact opposite. I know someone who went to Glastonbury in 2007 where it rained from the second he got there till the second he left! The trick is to grit your teeth and smile through it. When you’re determined to have a good time, you will.

The same is true in business. Unforeseen events happen all the time. It shakes your faith in yourself and your business, but you have to stay true to your vision. You can’t let things get you down. You have to accept and move on. Control what you can control.

2 – You need a strong team

Glastonbury is hectic. There are hundreds of thousands of people there, with thousands of things going on at any one time. It can be overwhelming, an overload on your senses. So, you need good people around you to take it all on together. Your festival teammates have to be up for a laugh and they have to be able to deal with adversity (and rain). You will rely on each other at times.

Of course, it’s exactly the same in business. You need to build a team that can withstand the battering you take when you’re trying to grow a company. You need people you can rely on, who will look after you when you need it and you would do the same for them. Perhaps most importantly, you need a team of people that you can happily spend five days a week with.

3 – You meet new people

There’s nowhere like Glastonbury for meeting new people. Even with a strong team around you, you will still end up in a field somewhere, at some absurd hour of the morning, talking nonsense to someone you’ve never met before! There may be funny hats involved too. New people bring new experiences, so approach it with an open mind. You have to try to understand where they’re coming from, even if it is really difficult sometimes.

Running a business is the same (do you see a pattern emerging?). You never know who is going to be on the end of a phone or who your next meeting will be with. Your job is to find the connection that allows you to solve their problem, as well as creating a favourable outcome for yourself. You cannot be judgemental. Also, you must always be nice. You never know when you might see someone again!

4 – Sometimes you have to throw away the plan

The great thing about festivals, especially ones on the scale of Glastonbury, is that there is always something you don’t know about going on. So many times it’s happened; you plan to go over to one of the big stages to see a band, but you never get there because you see something else you’d rather do on the way. The trick is not to plan too much. When new opportunities for fun come along, spot them and take advantage of them.

In business, of course, you need a strong plan to get where you want to go. However, you cannot be too rigid. As your business grows, you need to have your eyes open to spot opportunities to serve more customers. Perhaps there are other niches you can expand into, or new products or services you can add to your offering.

For example, at Venatrix, we started as specialists in placing SDRs into fast-growing tech companies. That’s terrific, but we saw we could help our customers on a deeper level if we could introduce them to salespeople with more experience too. That’s why we set up our Experienced Division, placing AEs and CSMs. If we had just stuck to one path, we would’ve missed this opportunity.

How about you?

So, that’s why Glastonbury is like running a business. If you’re going to Glastonbury next year, I hope to see you there. The party’s in my tent!

On the business side of things, if you’re a SaaS organisation looking to recruit new SDRs, Account Execs or Customer Success Managers to your sales team, let’s have a chat.

Call 0203 805 3350 or visit www.venatrixuk.com.