What To Do: When You Lose

Blog_Losingby Benton Olivares

It’s an awful feeling. I always want to wade into a vat chocolate ice cream, when I lose. Failure, they say, is a part of life––that it’s inevitable (like that’s supposed to make it any better). Nonetheless, you can’t help but feel defeated. When it’s all said and done, much of your self-worth is staked upon your ability to be creative and do a job well done, and when someone doesn’t give you the chance to prove yourself it’s a cocktail of anger, self-doubt, and fear. What do we do when we lose? I’ve learned that there’s a few steps to take when you don’t get the job, and hopefully they help young creators deal with losing the gig.

Allow the Sulk
Let’s face it, feeling the emotions of not getting the gig is inevitable. One philosophy is that you can allow yourself to feel the weight of the defeat, but only for a short amount of time. Take the night, feel bad about yourself, and then let it wash away. Depriving yourself of negative feelings––or feelings, at all––isn’t healthy, and you could dip into holding grudges. Don’t do that. Be ready to turn it around in the morning so you can work towards that next opportunity.

Never Burn Bridges
It’s never okay to tell the person that didn’t give you the job that they’re an idiot, or that they don’t know what they want. This is a business––it’s not personal. When you lose the gig, there are probably several factors that you don’t know about; it could be that the client has postponed the project, or that their budgets for that project weren’t as high as they had intended.

Since you don’t know the particulars, it’s vital that you keep up a relationship with those clients. If you’re a sincere, professional person, then they might come back to you and discuss projects going forward. You might even take it a step further: if you’re adamant about working with that client, send them your updated reels or portfolio in the first quarter. It shows persistence without being annoying. Also, it shows that you’ve been working on your craft, and your style might fit their new campaigns.

Create Something New
One trick that I’ve learned from Revolution’s creative environment is to pour yourself into the next creative project. It doesn’t matter if it’s a paid opportunity or not––there’s always something you could be doing to take that next step towards your ultimate goals. Maybe it’s breaking the story beats in the script that you’re working on; perhaps it’s recutting your reel to send out to clients before the first quarter.

The reason to engage yourself in something entirely new is to counteract the negativity from losing the gig. No matter if you’re a seasoned professional, it always stings to lose. When you’re creating, it does make you feel accomplished when you get something done––even if it’s not for that project you lost. As you’re accomplishing more and creating new things, your self esteem will rise. Plus, you might get something really great out of the experience; something that could get you the next job.


Whether you win or you lose, the important thing is to keep creating (and having fun while doing it). Throughout Revolution’s 20 years, we’ve seen ups and downs, but we’ve excelled at putting people first and telling some awesome stories; otherwise we wouldn’t have lasted this long.