Jon Campbell, 2014, Up Shit Creek

I recently failed. It’s important to share our failures, and to learn from them, and to recognise their impact. It also sucks.

I took on a new client. A great client. A team of amazing women doing amazing work. They were open to ideas and upfront about their expectations and limitations. I was excited! I had a million ideas running through my head from the very first meeting, all of them creatively on song, challenging and new in terms of marketing.

And it turns out, none of them achievable.

I didn’t think I was being grandiose, I thought I was ready for the hard graft. I was confident that others would be as excited as I was about the potential for original content and brand impact.

I was wrong. And being wrong about your own abilities hurts.

A woman I used to work with would often say “no ballerina’s died today” as a way of putting into perspective when work took a bad turn. It’s a reality check, a breaker of tension and negative thought patterns. But it doesn’t make you feel less hurt.

I’m sure that this won’t be my last failure. I’m sure that in three years I won’t be still nursing my bruised ego. I’m also fairly sure that the people I let down on this occasion will still be happy to work with me in another capacity. I’m certain that I now have another piece of information as to which parts of this freelancing life are my strengths.