Nov 02 2010
One of the more frustrating aspects of being a “creative” in the business of helping other businesses succeed is that projects don’t always turn out the way you’d like.
That brochure you labored over for months, the strategy you devised so brilliantly, the presentation you lost sleep over, the website that went through two dozen iterations…something happened between your great idea and the final product that meant it just didn’t live up to your vision or your standards. All that work and you don’t even want it in your portfolio.
Did you fail?
Maybe. But probably not.
Were you proud of the effort you put into it? Were your ideas solid and well presented? Did you push for what you believed was the best approach? Did you work in the client’s best interest? Did you try to make it work, despite constraints or odd requests or downright bad decisions? Most of all, was the client satisfied?
If so, you did your job. You earned your paycheck.
Whether or not the project met your creative standards is beside the point. You weren’t doing it for yourself; you were doing it for a client. On their dime. They had the right to manhandle your words, insist on ugly colors, ignore your advice, rework what you did while you slept. It never feels good when it happens, but it does happen from time to time.
Let it go.
The client is the ultimate owner of the project, and it’s more important they feel proud of it. You made that happen.
Soothe your ego by doing something creative that you absolutely control. And keep pushing on every client project. It won’t always turn out to your liking, but imagine the results if you hadn’t been involved at all?
# # #
A customer is the most important visitor on our premises,
he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him.
He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it.
He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it.
We are not doing him a favor by serving him.
He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
Christine Hollinger (aka WordPlay) helps all kinds of people in all kinds of businesses and non-profits explain what they do. You can visit Chris online, on LinkedIn, and on Twitter (as WordPlayatWork).
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