Success and failure

Perth 13th September 2010

Back in Australia to follow up on some of our project activities. Every time I am back, I really appreciate the climate and lifestyle, such a contrast with busy Shanghai and hot/humid Singapore….

In our business we deal with success and failure. We feel good when things go well, have appreciative clients and receive nice feedback about our work or our company. We feel bad when things don’t go as planned, we have unhappy clients and hear negative talk about it. While we generally have no problems dealing with the happy side of work (though not everyone knows how to deal with success) it is dealing with failure and rejection that is the tougher part.

Today one of my projects got cancelled due to lack of funds. A real shame as I had really poured in all my energy in it as I really liked this project. I know it has nothing to do with me, but somehow we tend to associate these things with a failure by ourselves. My consolation is that the client was really happy with my efforts, and despite the cancelation will pay me for all work done. Some goodwill planted for the future hopefully 🙂

The same happens when we tender for projects and then get rejected or not selected. When we felt good about our submission our first thought often is whether there was something wrong with our bid or proposal? If it is a price issue at least we can accept, but if it is about quality and merits it becomes much harder. I generally enquire about the reasons so we can learn for future submissions… was it perceived lack of experience, no local office, quality of the submission, etc. But often we don’t get even that feedback, we don’t hear anything at all and hear via others that the project was awarded to someone else.

How to deal with it? First of all be confident about yourself. A rejection does not mean that you are not good enough. It just means the client has decided to use someone else. Someone who’s profile and proposal suits the client better. Somebody once said the more rejections the closer you get to being selected for the next job…  There is always another bus around the corner…

13. September 2010 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: lighting and culture, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

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