Misha Segal is an award-winning film composer, recording artist, songwriter, producer, pilot, cook, world traveler, and author of a new book. He has worked on projects such as Phantom of the Opera and The New Adventures of Pipi Longstockings, where he created, composed, and conducted the musical scores. He also is involved in raising awareness about lung cancer and cooks and samples wine in his spare time.
Here is our interview with the native Israeli:
PTP: What is your culture’s attitude toward business failure? Is it discouraged? Is it a way to learn? Can you be proud of it? Do you hide it?
MS: “My view has always been that there aren’t really ‘failures’. At worst, they are stepping stones that ultimately lead to the final goal. My view point has always been that the only failure is considering failure. One sets a goal and one does not consider that it “won’t happen”. Any focus on “what could go wrong” is the essence of failure. There are far too many opportunities in life to stop and consider failures.”
PTP: Are you afraid of failure?
MS: “As I answered above, failing is a point of view. Success is an attitude. As long as one says ‘I am successful’ rather than ‘I will be successful’, one cannot fail. After all, what is failure, a deal that did not go through? A cancelled performance? A bounced check? Of course not. Failure is a point of view. Some people who are extremely successful sometimes speak of a ‘failure’. I am always surprised by that. I think the only real failure is death!”
PTP: What is the key business skill that enables you as an entrepreneur to come back from failure? Can you give us a specific business story?
MS: “Well, about 2 years ago I tried marketing my CD called Female in a particular market. It didn’t work out for one reason or another. I approached it again, right away, in a different market called Direct Response. I contacted QVC as my first step and they liked the concept and invited me to do a show. Had I considered the first round a “failure” I might have never taken a different approach.”
PTP: How does a person gain true business confidence?
MS: “The answer to this question, in my opinion, is based on 2 factors:
1. Knowledge. One has to be thoroughly knowledgeable in the area one attempts to go into because the more you know the more you can control. 2. Erasing the word “failure” from one’s dictionary and always looking at the next opportunity, never back on what didn’t work. I believe that what you focus on the most is what you are going to get.”
PTP: What propels you as an entrepreneur?
MS: “My ideas, my creations, my products as they relate to my goals in life! If the goal is to create something, the exchange for that product will come. If the goal is money, regardless of the actual product, that is a very uninspiring goal and eventually, in my opinion, loses the fuel. What propels me the most is what I create and making sure that what I create can be helpful to others in some way.”
PTP: Do you know any one hit wonders? That is, a person that had one successful business than failed the rest of their life? What happened to that person?
MS: “There are many stories like that. And it is interesting that the final question is that question. All my other answers contain the basic idea for why one would “fail” after one hit. A: Setting no new goals and B: Being propelled by ventures that are not connected to any goals or purposes. Giving failure and success way too much importance.”
You can learn more about Misha Segal by visiting his website at MishaSegal.com