Neil Ackland, CEO Junkee Media shares his biggest career setback and offers insight on how to be better, not bitter, in Margie Hartley’s new podcast series Fast Track.
In the episode, available from Tuesday 12 February on PodcastOne, Hartley and Ackland discuss attitude, perspective and reflection and how to turn significant setbacks into lessons that accelerate your development and career, both agreeing it’s how you react to your setbacks that matters most.
Neil Ackland is one of Australia’s most respected and successful digital leaders and is the CEO and co-founder of Junkee Media, Junkee, Punkee, AWOL and inthemix.
On the podcast, Neil takes listeners through one of his biggest career setbacks, which resulted in him being named The Friday F*%#wit by radio station triple j.
Ten years ago, Neil had an idea to create a ticketing company, called QJump and was able to raise over $1.5m in capital to bring the business to life.
The concept was to revolutionise the online ticketing system, competing with the likes of Ticketek and Ticketmaster and he says, “We were very lucky to be in a situation to have secured one of Australia’s biggest festivals at the time, which was Splendour in the Grass. We secured them as our launch partner, which was pretty big and pretty terrifying.”
On the day tickets went on sale, over 70,000 people went online to purchase one of the 17,500 Splendour in the Grass tickets, and that’s when Neil explained everything went wrong. “The whole system completely crashed. What proceeded to happen from there was absolute chaos.
“The day that followed was one of the worst days of my life, it’s fair to say. That day, triple j made me the Friday Fuckwit on air, which pretty much just topped off the day.”
Neil says it was this failure that made him really question his future and ability to overcome adversity. “I remember thinking, I’m never going to recover from this, my career is done, how am I going to come back from this?”
However, what was the most challenging moment in his career, ended up being a time Neil also remembers very fondly on personal level. After coming home that evening and bursting into tears in front of his wife, Neil shares that it was then that his wife revealed she was pregnant.
He says, “Probably the worst day of my life, ended with this very high moment. And it cut through. It just cut-through everything and I just got straight back to the very core of what is
PodcastOne’s Fast Track with Margie Hartley is available to download for free via Apple Podcasts and on the PodcastOne app and website from 12 February.