WTF? Succeed by giving up? Win by losing? Or is “giving up” really a way to keep from losing?
by Matt McCue
Growing up, I had a Winston Churchill quote on my desk: “Never, never, never give up.” It served as a daily reminder to continue pushing forward, especially when things were rough.
Persevering against all odds certainly helps in the creative industry where you have to convince art directors and brand managers to buy your abstract and experimental ideas and bring them to life in the real world. However, looking back, I realize that the mentality to keep going at all costs can be an inefficient approach to work. In other words, there are merits to giving up.
I’m not saying give in at the first sign of a struggle. But what if we thought of our ideas less as precious commodities (and battles to be won) and more like stocks we can invest in and cut loose depending on how the market –project managers, clients – feel about them at given times? Things we like and feel are promising, but aren’t married to, should our position become weak or we find a more favorable opportunity.
Ideas, though, are treated with far more care. We often apply a “buy and hold” strategy to them, especially the bigger ones, like building a company or developing a new product. I think it’s because our ideas are often tied to our dreams, and what we’re really unwilling to give up on is the dream itself.
We don’t solely judge the idea – we judge it through a lens filled with beat-tired late nights, sacrificed paychecks, and all the other trademarks of building something from scratch….