Focus on the project, not awards

It’s my opinion that creatives in the ad industry are focussed on the wrong things and they’ve lost site of the experience you go through actually working on projects. Too often I hear people start a project with statements like, “we need an award winning idea”, “this is an award winning campaign” and “this is the agencies Cannes entry” and honestly while it makes sense to keep your eye on the prize, let’s not forget the journey, so to speak.

I guess however, I can only really talk for myself. So I’ll try and explain things as I see them. I enjoy being recognized by my peers, the industry and even our clients. I love my FWA certificate, my Pixel Award etc. it’s good for my career, good for my reputation, my ego even. Most importantly, awards are good for business.

But I enjoy making stuff even more. I’m a journey guy, I appreciate what I and the team I work with go through on a day to day process as we craft our project. Sure there’s a lot of headaches in between, but getting us through that shows the kind of metal we’re made from. Each iteration we go through, every step we go through, brings us another step closer and sometimes further from our end goal, passionately pushing around pixels, debating ideas and figuring out the code. It’s this sort of stuff that makes me excited to do what I do every day.

Of course if you know me, although I see work as play, it’s not all work, I’m a clown, I always have time to laugh, to make an ass of myself, pull pranks and to do midnight food runs. We play together and we hurt together, but we’re in it together and those bonds are the lasting ones.

So I’d be so brave as to suggest you put on your big boy pants, you roll up your sleeves to get the job done and forget about your shiny shoes and monkey suit. Enjoy your work, stop focussing purely on the end reward, if you do great work that should be reward enough, and besides when you do great work, more often than not, you will get the recognition you deserve.