PODCAST

Honey, I Blew Up The Business

Dan Kirby

I’m Dan Kirby and I’ve been a founder since 2001, but in 2017 it all went wrong. I blew up the business. I can laugh about it now but it was no joke at the time, check the trailer. Shame, humiliation, terror. The lot. My business is back on track but I don’t want to blow it up again. So I’m interviewing top entrepreneurs to discover how they turned adversity & failure into growth & success. These stories are like a doctoral degree in applied entrepreneurship, I’m on a mission to help other founders – like you – avoid my self-inflicted-sabotage. Sign up to get each podcast’s best bits emailed to your inbox: honeyiblewupthebusiness.com. Big up to my business The Tech Dept for sponsoring all of this…

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Refusing To Regret with Beta Lucca
15-06-2022
Refusing To Regret with Beta Lucca
Beta Lucca is the Co-Founder & Non-Exec Director of Bossa Studios, a BAFTA-winning video game developer. She’s a multi-creative entrepreneur: YouTuber, keynote speaker, startup investor and frequent media-appearer. But back in 2010, after leaving a successful career in her native Rio de Janeiro, she landed in the UK to… culture shock and depression. How did she turn it around? Listen in and find out! Discover how “everything is overcomeable” as Beta explains how your challenges create your future self. Learn how to keep going regardless of what your emotions tell you. Understand the dark side of being driven. And why - and when - to say “f**k it” and do your thing, regardless of what people might think.
Refusing To Regret with Beta Lucca
15-06-2022
Refusing To Regret with Beta Lucca
Beta Lucca is the Co-Founder & Non-Exec Director of Bossa Studios, a BAFTA-winning video game developer. She’s a multi-creative entrepreneur: YouTuber, keynote speaker, startup investor and frequent media-appearer. But back in 2010, after leaving a successful career in her native Rio de Janeiro, she landed in the UK to… culture shock and depression. How did she turn it around? Listen in and find out! Discover how “everything is overcomeable” as Beta explains how your challenges create your future self. Learn how to keep going regardless of what your emotions tell you. Understand the dark side of being driven. And why - and when - to say “f**k it” and do your thing, regardless of what people might think.
Between Delusion & Reality with Steven Hoffman
01-06-2022
Between Delusion & Reality with Steven Hoffman
Steven Hoffman - a.k.a. Captain Hoff - is the Chairman & CEO of Founders Space, a global innovation hub for entrepreneurs, corporations, and investors based in San Francisco. He’s an investor, multiple time author, prolific podcaster and global public speaker. Plus a serial startup founder with a decades-long career from Silicon Valley to Hollywood. On the podcast we get into a rollercoaster ride story of Steve’s media-tech-startup woe, a rich vein of learning which underpins his book “Surviving a Startup”. But just how did he survive? Listen in and find out! In this episode, you will learn the power of relentlessness, decision-making for your future self, identifying when hope is the enemy, identifying and managing your stressors. Hear tips on understanding human nature, smart pitching, and putting things into perspective. How to see yourself as the hero in your story, and why you should share your unreality.
Running the Marathon Des Sables (with Covid!) with Dan Kirby
18-05-2022
Running the Marathon Des Sables (with Covid!) with Dan Kirby
When our host Dan Kirby - who’s day job is running The Tech Dept - announced his intention to run in the Marathon Des Sables (MDS), everyone thought he was crazy. Yet, on the 25th March 2022, he undertook this legendary survival race, dodging scorpions in sand dunes with all his food and equipment strapped to his back. And he completed it - raising £14,000 for charity KidsOut with his team. The MDS — known as “the toughest foot race in the world” — is a seven-day, 250 kilometre, ultra-marathon across the remote Moroccan Sahara (that’s the equivalent of six marathons). That’s tough - but Dan nearly didn't make the start line because after 18 long months of hardcore trail training, he caught COVID only two weeks out. Somehow he passed the PCR test to fly - but just how do you finish the world’s toughest footrace with a COVID 19-hangover? And what lessons did he learn on this “Sahara Fun Run”? Find out in this special episode - hosted by Joe Pack!
Grace Under Pressure with Nicole Yershon
04-05-2022
Grace Under Pressure with Nicole Yershon
Nicole Yershon has been called “the disruptor’s disruptor” having built the pioneering innovation business: Ogilvy Labs. Now founder & CEO of innovation consultancy The NY Collective, she’s a best selling author and named one of the 25 women who shaped the digital industry in the past 25 years. But what happens when your life of disruptive innovation hits a period of massive disruption? Listen in and find out! In this episode, hear from one of the world’s leading innovation thinkers. Nicole will share how to unlock new ways to change your business - and life - for the better. Discover how leaving with nothing can be the best choice you make. The value of diversity of thinking. Why your emotional intelligence can create better change much faster. And how unexpected levels of freedom can be transformed into a life of purpose.
The Power Of Feedback with Anna Hemmings MBE, OLY
20-04-2022
The Power Of Feedback with Anna Hemmings MBE, OLY
Anna Hemmings is a two-time Olympian, six-times world champion kayaker with 11 World and European medals - nine of them gold. She’s Britain’s most successful ever female kayaker, and was awarded an MBE for services to sport. Now she’s a leader in the psychology of high performance with a specialist consultancy and motivational speaking career. But this illustrious career nearly never happened. At the age of 24 - after competing in the Olympics and 3x world champion - she was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. No-one knew how to fix her. So how did she turn it around? Find out on the podcast! In this episode, you will learn techniques to overcome uncertainty and adversity. and challenges through resilience, hope, and positivity and grow from it. You’ll learn how trust and vulnerability are components of growth and progress. Anna also teaches visualisation as a tool for creative dominance, motivational feedback, and developmental feedback for personal and team growth.
Perfecting Your One-Inch Punch with Matt Lerner
06-04-2022
Perfecting Your One-Inch Punch with Matt Lerner
Matt Lerner spent 15 years in Silicon Valley - including a decade leading the growth of PayPal - before becoming a venture capitalist with legendary investors 500 Startups. He’s now CEO of Startup Core Strengths, which helps early-stage startups boost growth. Listen in as we discover how Matt leverages his addiction to learning - from often painful failure - to create rapid growth in business. In this episode you’ll learn the importance of focusing on one thing and how you get what you measure. Understand what “mentor whiplash” is, and how to avoid it. How growth is everyone’s job. And the power of the “1-inch punch”. Why learning is a journey that never ends and how a startup is - in effect - a race to learn faster than anyone else. So much good stuff!
Picking Your Battles with Jay Bhayani
23-03-2022
Picking Your Battles with Jay Bhayani
Jay Bhayani is the founder and Managing Director of a specialist law firm with offices across the UK. In 2021 she was named as one of Britain’s top 10 HR advisers. But her journey has not been straightforward. Having to deal with a malevolent business partner she went through four years of hell - fighting for her name. Literally for the use of her name. And saving her industry reputation. This came at a price, a legal wrangle which nearly cost her everything. How did she escape from this tangle? And what did she learn? Listen in and find out! In this episode, you will learn about the dark side of human nature, how to navigate bad actors and why to prioritise your battles. Discover how resilience and success are the sweetest revenge. You will hear the importance of empathy, and not losing yourself even in the ugliest circumstances.
Slaying The Dragon with Spencer Gallagher
09-03-2022
Slaying The Dragon with Spencer Gallagher
Spencer Gallagher is an entrepreneur, best-selling author and the UK’s leading creative agency growth expert. Spencer and Dan met five years ago in Austin, Texas - where Dan was wearing a wrestling outfit (listen and find out why!). Spencer has helped boost thousands of the world’s most innovative companies and he walks the walk with them. In this inspiring conversation we learn how this path took him to breaking point - several times - and just how he persevered. In this episode, you’ll learn the three lessons that Spencer learnt from sailing close to the edge. The magic of serendipity and reciprocity. How grit, determination, and resilience might be just the miracle to curing your unlucky. Discover how self-awareness - EQ - is the key to your future. Then take “The Spencer Challenge” to accelerate your business growth. This one is packed with great advice!
Guts Over Fear with Nik Govier
23-02-2022
Guts Over Fear with Nik Govier
Nik Govier is the Founder & CEO of Blurred - a fast global management, communication, and creative consultancy. She is a regular feature in PR Week’s Top 10 Power List and in 2021 was named PR Communicator of the Year. But the last 5 years have been a whirlwind of personal challenges and change. From facing leaving a business with nothing (after building it for 12 years) to facing a cancer scare during the pandemic. Just how did Nik not only survive, but thrive with a new business and sense of mission? Listen and find out! In this episode, discover how to navigate a loss of identity. The importance of no agenda meetings with people you don’t know. The profound power of a coach - for you and your team. How to ask “what next?” to defeat fear. Why a mindfulness practice could be a literal life-saver. The strengths in neurodiversity. And the power of you - and your team - being your truest best selves.
The Tightrope Between Success & Failure with Guy Remond
09-02-2022
The Tightrope Between Success & Failure with Guy Remond
Guy Remond is a transatlantic entrepreneur, investor, adviser and podcaster. Back in 2017 he met our host Dan over a cup of tea in Toronto. In that same year Dan nearly lost his business while Guy sold his… to Disney. Guy’s team went on to build the backbone for the streaming service Disney+. So, what happened?! Dan wanted to know - so on this podcast we find out the true back story - the high-stakes pitches, the cashflow crises, the “torture”. Discover the fine line - the tightrope - Guy walked between success and failure! In this episode you will learn why to focus on what you can control, rather than what you can’t. The power of a positive mindset. And how to examine any advice you get - to look for “badges and scars” - before you take it onboard. And if it goes wrong - how to “deal with it. Listen to Guy talk about his entrepreneurial journey and how he overcame the many obstacles on his journey.
The Substance Of Success with Vikas Shah MBE DL
26-01-2022
The Substance Of Success with Vikas Shah MBE DL
Vikas Shah is the Managing Director & CEO of Swiscot Group, venture investor, philanthropist, author, interviewer, artist, and poet. He is the author of “Thought Economics” & “3650” and has interviewed the likes of Ryan Halliday, Sadhguru, and Hans Zimmer on his own podcast. In 2018, Vikas was awarded an MBE for Services to Business and the Economy in Her Majesty the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List. He is also a Non-Executive Board Member of the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. With the internet at its infancy, Vikas dove into web design and rode the growth of the dot-com bubble. But as this bubble burst overnight, his company was swept away in the crash. With this massive disruption to his life and business, Vikas began to question his identity... In this episode, you will learn how to navigate devastating challenges in life and business AND how introspection and self-reflection can get you through the toughest of times. You will also learn why being vulnerable has immense power and how having emotional resilience can help you cope with stress and protect your mental health. Tune in to hear Vikas share insightful lessons he has learned over the past twenty years of his entrepreneurial journey.
Honey I Blew Up The Band... with Martyn Ware
12-01-2022
Honey I Blew Up The Band... with Martyn Ware
Martyn Ware is an interdisciplinary innovator: musician (with his band Heaven 17), record producer (with Tina Turner, Erasure + many more), 3D soundscape designer, university lecturer and host of the podcast Electronically Yours. Plus he created a sound design business - Sonic ID - with our host Dan! Back in 1978 he founded pioneering electronic act The Human League, and was famously kicked out of his own band. But what really happened behind the scenes of this “massive betrayal”? Find out on the podcast! Learn how to turn anger into creative energy. How you have to believe in yourself and learn the dark arts of your trade. Why to follow your intuition (after modulating it through your experience). How to create brand loyalty by really listening to your audience. The power of randomness and the danger of losing human connection. All this plus much more.
The Moment Of Truth... with Kerstin Robinson
29-12-2021
The Moment Of Truth... with Kerstin Robinson
Kerstin Robinson is the co-founder of Nix & Kix, which was established in 2014 to “banish the boredom and put some healthy excitement back into the world of soft drinks.” At this year’s Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Kerstin emerged a finalist in the “Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the Year” category. Kerstin pursued her MSc in finance from the London School of Economics and then began climbing her career ladder. A few years later, Kerstin’s career unhappiness reached a climax, prompting her to burn bridges with the high-flying banking career. Scared, industry-unenlightened, unrealistic, and naively enthusiastic, Kerstin set out on her entrepreneurial journey… In this episode, you’ll learn how taking a leap can change your life, how much power passion has on your work output, the value of patience, and how to follow your gut when making big, life-changing decisions. Tune in to hear the inspiring story of Kerstin’s ups, downs and how she broke through.
My Roller Coaster Ride From Hell with Margaret Manning OBE
15-12-2021
My Roller Coaster Ride From Hell with Margaret Manning OBE
Margaret Manning is an “unashamed geek”, serial international entrepreneur and winner of multiple awards, including an OBE. In the 90s, when Bill Gates - and the rest of the world - thought the internet was a fad, she gave up a sensible accountancy career to set up an internet business. Everything was on the line. If she messed it up she would lose everything. And while she’s now got her gongs, getting there was a wild ride. Listen in! In this episode, you will learn what it means to be truly innovative “rather than just following this big red rule book.” Discover the hidden dangers of labelling people, the significance of thinking for yourself and getting rid of the fear. How to be confident enough to say “I don’t understand”, and think things through from first principles. Margaret shares her journey of unlearning and reinvention, from her lockdown-residence in Barbados.
The Rebel CEO with Helen O’Donnell
01-12-2021
The Rebel CEO with Helen O’Donnell
Helen O’Donnell is the CEO and Director of Partnerships at Children’s University Trust: “the largest university in the UK after the Open University”. A strong, feisty, outspoken woman who has “never gone about things the way that most normal people would go about things”. A midlife crisis prompted an unexpected career change that horrified Helen’s parents. Turning her back against the status quo, was Helen’s pursuit for social justice worth giving up stability for? In this episode, you’ll learn to take a step out of your comfort zone, outside of which countless opportunities lie. How to just go ahead and do the things you want to do, ignoring the imposter syndrome that can sabotage you. The importance of finding a work-life balance so you don’t miss out on the seemingly mundane but beautiful experiences that make up life.
Breaking Through To The Real You with Katy Howell
17-11-2021
Breaking Through To The Real You with Katy Howell
Katy Howell is CEO of Immediate Future, “one of the UK’s most respected social media agencies”. She was named the fourth most influential social media marketing expert by The Drum, PRovoke’s Innovator 25 EMEA in 2020, and is amongst the Top 100 Asian Tech Entrepreneurs in the UK. After an epic crash during the 2008 financial crisis she experienced a period of rapid growth. But rather than creating a dream business she ended up living a nightmare. A toxic brew of bad hires and weak leadership created what Katy called “a gilded cage”. Just how did she break out? Listen and find out! In this episode you’ll learn you don’t “have to do everything” and “bend yourself severely out of shape” - simply focus on what you’re good at. Find out the importance of strong leadership and clear roles, and how the lack of each sows confusion and chaos. How to simultaneously make a million, then lose it (not a good idea btw). Just how did Katy turn around her business, so today it is both joyful and empowering? It involves overcoming ego and embracing the real you - in all your quirky glory.
My Minor Meltdown with Lisa Leighton
03-11-2021
My Minor Meltdown with Lisa Leighton
Lisa Leighton is a Joint Managing Partner at BHP, one of the UK’s largest independent Accounting firms and ranked the second-best firm to work for. But Lisa is the opposite of the accountant stereotype - she’s fun, creative and joyful. Coming from solidly working class roots she navigated an early personal trauma which could have hobbled her career before it began. But the work ethic which took her to the top had a dark side…creating a “minor meltdown” which forced a major rethink of how to approach work, and life... In this episode you will learn the “art of resilience” which Lisa applies to herself and her team. Discover how to quickly put things in perspective, get over your professional persona and practical ways to separate work and life. The power of a supportive parent and how sometimes you just need to “have a good cry”...or go for a run. This episode is a great down-to-earth examination of how to create more balance in your entrepreneurial life.
Why Mindset Matters with Georgia Kirke
27-10-2021
Why Mindset Matters with Georgia Kirke
Georgia Kirke is the founder of Write Business Results, author, podcaster, public speaker, and winner of The Ultimate Entrepreneur 2021. While we all had a ‘bump’ in 2020, Georgia got the proper job. In January that year she fell off a rock-climbing wall with her foot stuck in it. Resulting in a gruesome - life changing - injury. Stuck immobile in a hospital bed, in severe pain, she was facing the meltdown of her business. But that was the least of it. A consultant told her: get a grip on your mindset...or you’ll never make it out of here. Then the pandemic hit. Less than two years later Georgia’s business is exceeding her plans from even before the accident. But how can that be? Find out in this episode! Learn the power of extreme ownership and unshakeable commitment. How negative self-talk - from deep in your past - can undermine your potential today. And how mindset management can turn that around. The necessity for speed when the time is right, while surrendering what isn’t important. Georgia found that a lack of focus can become a life threatening risk, so listen and learn how to better channel yours.
Embracing Your Battle Scars with Jo Dalton
20-10-2021
Embracing Your Battle Scars with Jo Dalton
Jo Dalton is a founder, investor and trusted advisor to europe’s most exciting startups (aka those fabled “unicorns”). Frustrated by industry ethics during her early career as a headhunter, she decided to take the executive search industry “and blow it up a bit”. But she was a single mother with no office and limited resources - early days she describes as “really dark”. This was while working in the rapidly changing tech sector PLUS trying to disrupt her own industry. How did Jo cope? Tune in and find out... In this episode, you’ll discover the business secrets that Jo only shares with top tech CEOs. Like the importance of battle scars, why your values must be aligned with your work...and the damage of inauthenticity. Jo shares how to unlock your leadership potential with better self awareness. Why to build a team that supports your weaknesses and the secret ingredient of a great top team. Choose great colleagues with “the 8 hour test” and find out why you should never say “I’m gonna”.
A Problem Shared... with Alex Myers
13-10-2021
A Problem Shared... with Alex Myers
Alex Myers is the Founder and CEO of Manifest Group, “the world’s first global small agency”. Manifest has won International Agency Of The Year two years in a row and in 2020 Alex was named Global PR Professional Of The Year. He was a key part of the team that helped Brewdog become a global brand. But one time - at a Simon Sinek talk - Alex bumped into Dan and let slip he’d narrowly missed a business disaster. But what was that disaster? Dan always wondered…and on this podcast we find out. In this episode you’ll learn that “there are people that are always fine, and then people that tell the truth”. How even if your business is growing fast - and is profitable - you can still fail. The importance of systems and the emotional trauma of letting go of friends. Discover why Manifest hires misfits which break their culture and understand that “everyone makes this shit up as they go along”. Listen in on two guys sharing their darkest moments for your entertainment!