After finding huge success as a solo artist throughout the eighties and early nineties, Ozzy Osbourne’s popularity had begun to wane. One of the popular festivals at the time was the Lollapalooza tour in America. In a bid to keep Ozzy current, Sharon, his manager and wife attempted to book the Prince of Darkness at the event. She was told, no. When pushed for a reason, the show’s organiser said Ozzy was no longer cool enough.
Now most people in her position would have hurled abuse and left it at that. But not our Sharon. “Well if they don’t want Ozzy, fuck ‘em. We’ll do our own festival”. And from that brush-off, Ozzfest was born. A heavy metal festival that’s occurred practically every year since 1996, featuring some of the biggest acts in the world and grossing over $100 million.
When met with rejection, most of us lower our heads and go back to work. But some have a different approach. They don’t sulk, they act. If a big decision doesn’t go their way, they simply find another way to make it happen. Dealing with bad news is something all industries have to endure but we have an advantage. We work in a creative industry, which means we’re far better equipped to think of a solution. Most of the time, we reserve creativity for the work we produce, when it should run through every decision we make and every problem we face.
Some of our biggest successes are borne out of failure. COVID hit the ad industry hard last year, but look how many start-ups have sprung up on the back of it – companies and opportunities that simply wouldn’t exist under normal circumstances. Sometimes it takes rejection to put us in the right headspace to make transformative decisions. Decisions you’d never consider when things are ticking along nicely.
So, the next time at work something really goes awry, before you hang your head, have a think. It may turn out to be your defining moment.
Crazy Train, Ozzy ’82.