What To Do: When You Win

Blog_ArtOfWinning_USAOlympicsby Benton Olivares

You’ve got the big job, and Queen’s “We are the Champions” rings in your ear like an echo chamber. There might even be a fist pump in there. However, the prospect of winning that big job can be daunting – there’s so much that could go wrong, right? I’m here to say to younger creators that winning isn’t everything in this industry; there’s a certain attitude and list of next steps that need to be achieved before you can pop the champagne (but, maybe celebrate getting the job with a glass of wine – no harm in that).


Get to Work

Obviously, the next step is to live up to the promise of what you offered. In film, this is when you start pre-production and begin to piece together the entire finished project. At this point, there’s an opportunity to get off on the wrong foot––there was too much celebration, or now you’re frozen in fear.

One of the most fast-acting remedies to celebrating too much and getting hung up in your laurels is to get to work right away. Don’t waste time––start the process to get the wheel turning. If that means making an action list, go ahead and start crossing some stuff. If you hate to-do lists, then tell yourself to get one thing done today, and move forward from there. It works also for when you’re locked in place for fear of screwing up. Get to work right away, and don’t let your mind go to that dark place of no return.


Stay Eager and Humble

There should never be a reason for being boastful or forgetting to be a decent human, after you win the job. Sure, it’s acceptable to be excited for your accomplishment, but it’s important to stay humble and focused on the work.

One of the greatest assets to the creative industry is the fact that it’s so saturated with creators (you may think it’s a bad thing, but that’s your opinion). The exclusivity and excuse to be pompous or braggadocious is going to the wayside simply because there’s someone who can do your job with a better attitude––and you don’t have to look very far. If you’re a great graphic designer but a terror to work with, don’t expect that return business. It’s important to keep things in perspective when you win so that you can keep winning.


Stick the Landing

As you near the end of the project, there’s temptation to burn out and let frustrations that you’ve experienced deter you from finishing the project with a bang. Revolution has always upheld the tenet of putting people first; that’s what has kept us in business for 20 years. Deliver the finished project on time and with the right specifications. Be confident in the fact that you delivered your project to the best of your ability with the best possible attitude.

You should also be looking for the next opportunity. In the creative industry, we bounce from project to project, and that can be a truly rewarding process in which to work. When you win, try and keep that streak going by networking with potential clients and making sure that you’re planning for your future availability. However, don’t let your current project slip through the cracks. Don’t make your client feel unimportant or neglected––be sure to take care of them, first and foremost.


Enjoy the Win

You can enjoy a win without dipping into the dangerous territory of being entitled and horrible. Perhaps the most exhilarating aspect of creation is the fact that someone is paying you to create (when you get to that level). It’s supposed to be fun, first and foremost! When you get bogged down in the details and the hardships of production, always remember the reason why you became a creator.

When people see that you love, respect, and work tirelessly for your craft, they’re going to be returning to you for their next project. We all love to see someone get excited about their process and their end result––it produces better work!


Next week, I’ll talk about the other side of the coin: what to do when you lose. In our industry, there’s always going to be more losses than wins––that’s the nature of the great game. However, I hope that the next time you win that big project (congratulations!) that you’ll remember to fulfill your end, stay eager and humble, and enjoy the victory. You’ve earned it.