How To Lose Like a Champ

August 3, 2022

Second place. In the Olympics, it means you won silver. In the A/E/C world, it means you lost. In the words of the immortal Ricky Bobby of Talladega Nights: the Legend of Ricky Bobby, “If you’re not first, you’re last.” All the work you put into finding the lead, chasing the project, research, and writing—perhaps you even had the in-person interview. The chances are good that you gave up your nights and your weekends. You cranked out extra work, you went the extra mile, you did everything you could think of to win this project. The stars were aligned. You left it all on the table. The mic drop was perfect.

But after the excruciating waiting period, the award letter comes … you open it. No. It’s not your firm’s name at the top of the list. Reality sinks in: you lost the project. That revenue you were counting on: gone. That project that would keep your staff afloat: missing. That celebration dinner at your favorite restaurant: canceled.

So much of what we read about A/E/C marketing is about being a winner. But the truth is, losing also comes with the job. In fact, most of us lose about twice as often as we win. The natural reaction is to move on as quickly as possible and charge ahead. However, putting the hard losses behind you too quickly can hurt your long game. What if instead of moving past it quickly, you stayed with that loss for a while, really dealt with it and got to know it? What might you learn?

 

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Article, written by Katherine Wood, CPSM, first appeared in the May/June 2022 issue of Marketer.