This past Monday, StudioPress FM posted their inaugural podcast, The Story of StudioPress Founder Brian Gardner. Reading the transcript was like a walk down memory lane for me—having been a devoted follower and user of Brian’s themes since 2007—but what stood out the most was when Brian told the story of the one client who changed his life:
I was doing a freelance custom design for [the client]. He wanted a real estate blog. I whipped up this design, and I was like, “I’m going to above and beyond,” and created this template that would work as a front page, so it would look more like a website than a blog. Then I sent him a link to the demo, and I said, “What do you think of this?” He wrote back, and he says, “This is great, but it’s not what I need. I need just a blog, and it’s got to be very basic.”
I was crushed. I thought to myself, “This is the greatest thing I’ve ever created. It’s way better than anything else that’s out there,” but he rejected it. He said that it wasn’t that I wasn’t good enough, it was just better than what he needed. It didn’t suit what he was looking for. At that point, I was left with this design, and I wasn’t sure what to do with it.
Does that sound familiar to any of you creatives out there? Have you ever been so over the moon excited about something you created, worked on it at a fevered pace for hours, or days, or weeks, only to be met with…meh? I know I have. Many times. “Crushed” doesn’t begin to describe that gut-punch feeling when that happens.
Want to know a secret? It’s always going to happen, no matter how much experience you have or how good you are. The real trick is how you deal with it. You could easily crawl into a hole and host a pity party of grand proportions that rival Rockin’ New Year’s Eve in Times Square, or, you can step back, finish the job and then figure out what you want to do with that “happy mistake”.
Creativity and failure go hand in hand. Our best work often comes from these kinds of risks. Breaking away from the status quo gives us a moment of unbridled freedom and for a brief moment, we touch the sun. If we don’t explore and play, if we cease taking risks, inspiration and innovation suffers. Brian chose to take that disappointment and turn it into a massive success by stepping back and taking another look at it.
Needless to say, we’ll keep using the Genesis Framework for our clients, passing along the flexibility, solid design, and security we’ve come to love over the years. Stop by StudioPress FM and listen to the full interview, I’m sure you’ll find a little bit of your creative self in there too. The bottom line is, all creatives go through the same experiences. The players and the scenery may change, but at the heart of it, we need to remember we’re not the only ones having these fears, doubts, and moments of “am I good enough”.
Have you ever had a project that changed your life? Share your story with us in the comments, and if you’d like help coping with mindset matters like this, contact us and tell us how we can help.