Recently, Nils broke his thumb. Which is really bad news for a professional pianist.
He had shows to do. Commitments to fulfill. Projects to complete. And now a much needed thumb was broken and in a cast.
So for a few days he felt pathetic. He spent a couple more days of feeling sorry for himself. He had the right to be down in the dumps about this whole situation.
But Nils decided to do something unexpected … he began to write some piano songs. Against his Doctors orders, Nils composed 9 beautiful piano solos with his 9 working fingers. Minus the broken thumb of course. (You can listen to what he created here. It’s awesome!)
The lesson for us all: Take what you got (even if it’s broke) and make something beautiful.
This same lesson applies in agency life. If you're banking on getting to do great work once you win that next piece of new business, you're going to be continually frustrated. You can't do work for clients you don't have. Not only that, but that new biz client you're hoping to win will take into account your most recent work on the clients you do have to predict what kind of work they'll get from you.
Does your current portfolio reflect the kind of work you're hoping to do?
If not, stop hoping for great work from clients you don't have and put that energy into getting your current clients to do better work. They're the best opportunity you have. Find a way to make something beautiful for them.
I know it can be hard, but if you fill your creative presentations with passion, optimism and a healthy amount of support for why the work will work, you'll get them there. Maybe not right away, but you will. Just keep fighting the good fight.