Letter to my younger self - Nick Morgan, The Fair

The Fair's chief executive, Nick Morgan, reflects on risk-taking, being ripped off in business and why his younger self should have bought a mirror.

Nick Morgan, chief executive of The Fair
Nick Morgan, chief executive of The Fair

Dear Nick,

Right now you'll be studying, and probably working in the dizzy heights of the janitorial team at a TV company in Camden. Well, I'm writing this letter to help guide you through some of the obstacles you will face.

You're at the height of your 'rebellious' phase right now, which you should rein in. However, that stubbornness and determination will assist you in dealing with difficult situations to come.

So far in your 18 years, you've done quite a bit of work towards your career. You've already set up an independent mobile car wash, sold art door-to-door in Australia (that lasted a day) and, importantly, you'll have started working on club nights by now. You've always been fascinated by music, and creating, promoting and producing great experiences for people to enjoy in their down time. This will develop into a career in events, and whatever you're working on you'll love the industry, albeit with its challenges.

Remember though, Nick, along with the fun side of your work you need to get going and take risks. Events won't be seen as a profession when you start out, but stick with it - things will change. You'll want to start your own agency as soon as possible, but before you do, get some experience in an established outfit as this will help you become a little less green.

Along the way, you will meet people who become massively important to your career, who give you a chance. You'll thank them in years to come. Dave McCalmont will believe in the agency's work at big festivals; Paul Thandi will become an invaluable mentor to you, and a good friend. And there's Rob Dudley, who will be with you from the student union days onwards. He'll be there when you're building The Fair and your team - especially Alan, Jodie and Louise - who will be your most important asset.

You will also meet a few promoters who ask you to help fund their projects, including one who will owe you a lifetime's money. This will be one of the toughest experiences as you face a horrific year trying to save everything you have worked for. However, listen to me and believe me when I say: once you get over that year, it will end up being one of the best professional experiences you will face. It transforms your view, and your business, because you will become so focused.

Also, as you get older, remember you cannot do the splits after ten pints, and be aware that you will enjoy wearing some decidedly questionable clothing, stating that it's fashion. Buy a mirror.

You may well think you know best, but take it from someone older and wiser: learn, push yourself, be a good friend and remember to take a bit of time off occasionally.

Take care mate, Nick


Nick Morgan is chief executive of The Fair. He has more than 20 years of experience in the sector and regularly speaks at industry events, including the Event Production Show and Imex. He has also given guest lectures on business and events degree courses, as well as for organisations such as UpRising, a youth leadership development charity.

More: Letter to my younger self - Tom Rutter, Slice

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