Back2Work: Dealing with death

You came up with this awesome idea. You loved it so much you sat staring at it in awe for a few minutes.

You came up with 5 ideas, but this one right here, this one's a gem. It's definitely the One. Everyone is going to love it. They're going to look at all your great ideas and their eyes will fill with tears of envy. And then you'll unveil the Gem. If they thought that was great, wait til they see this! Then you pause for effect. And drop the mic triumphantly, waiting for the applause. 

Butt your partner just doesn't get it.

And your CD doesn't like one of your other ideas.

Another team presented practically the same thing you had, but a bit better.

And the the account team kills another one.

And the client kills the last one.

And at the end of it all, you're left disappointed and disillusioned.  

*cue violin solo and sepia-toned sad walk home montage* 

There's a lot of killing in advertising. Good ideas die left and right. Bad ideas are taken outside and shot, execution style, by a four man shooting squad. 

This happens to everybody. Every agency. Every project. Every day. Maybe I should've saved this for a Friday Reality Check, but it's just an everyday truth. You will always encounter disappointments and failures in this line of work. (I warned you here)

* Get over it.  You'll here no more often that you hear yes and people will sooner point out where you're wrong than what's right. Get used to it. You can't get too attached to an idea. Nine times out of 10, it will die or get transformed into something unrecognisable or get watered down into something you hate. And just like in the movies, they always kill the one you love the most.

* Come up with 3 times more ideas. The more ideas (or headlines or thumbnails) you go in with, the more you have to left over when the massacre ends. Plus it shows that you're thinking and you're trying.

*  Save it. If you really love an idea, hold on to it. Ask others for feedback and try to fine tune the idea to make it work. Sometimes it's not that it's a bad idea, maybe it needs more thought or a different way in, or maybe it would be better for another campaign or another client. Save it and see what you can make happen.

* Start over. Seriously. Just shake off that disappointment and go at it again. Come up with 5 new ideas. And 5 more. Every time you hear no, take notes and start again. Sometimes that great idea is a merger of two or three dead ideas. Or maybe it comes from something someone said about why one of your other ideas didn't work. Or maybe it was right there waiting for you all along but you were too busy looking at the newer, flashier ideas.

There will always be disappointments. But always be ready to get back up and start over.
And remember, there's no crying in advertising. 

Get to work!