What would you do if you were stuck in bed for two years?
This is the question Tom Giles faced in 2002 when he decided to undergo a series of highly experimental procedures to regrow bone and cartilage in his hip, which he discovered had collapsed as the result of complications from a broken leg he sustained five years earlier in a sledding accident.
Now imagine that you’re a competitive gymnast (as in you’ve competed with the Hamm brothers) and an accomplished singer (as in you’ve performed at Carnegie Hall as part of the National Choir twice). Yeah, the thought of not leaving your bedroom for a couple trips around the sun is rather grim.
To say that Tom made the most of his recovery time would be a gross understatement.
By the time Tom got out of bed, he had founded StageBloc, a direct to fan platform for artists to manage their fanbase and digital commerce. It wasn’t long before artists like Metallica, Bon Iver, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers started using StageBloc to engage with their fans, and in 2015 StageBloc was acquired by Fullscreen and rebranded to Fullscreen Direct.
A shortlist of other things Tom accomplished during the eight total years he spent in and out of hip surgery: completing an undergrad degree in biology, becoming a certified middle and high school science teacher, teaching himself to code, designing websites for artists like Eminem and Trent Reznor, and helping manage multi-platinum recording artist G4.
You get it. Tom Giles is, to say the least, a very impressive dude.
Tom shares 5 lessons he’s learned as a musician and an athlete that he applies as a CEO:
1. Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.
2. Don’t accept failure. Many of those who succeed are simply those who didn’t give up.
3. Relentless resourcefulness. Turn any obstacle into an opportunity.
4. To do lists are amazing. I write one every night before bed.
5. Escape the echo chamber. You can’t think differently if you’re always surrounded with likeminded thinkers.