In my article Fear (available in the Manuals section), I talk about how fear holds people back. We are afraid to tell a client “no,” for example, even when it is the right thing to do busness-wise, because that may mean not getting or losing that client. It’s scary losing work, but sometimes it’s the best thing that can happen to you.
For example, my husband is an architect. Okay, technically he’s not really an architect because in the state of California you are not permitted to call yourself an architect unless you are licensed and, though he has been working in the industry for many years, he is not yet licensed. Last week he got laid off. Losing one’s job is generally accepted as a bad thing. But in this case, it is most definitely a good thing.
First off, he wasn’t getting to do creative work at that firm, so he wasn’t loving his work. Secondly, and more importantly, he was so wiped out physically and emotionally from that non-creative job that he was having difficulty scheduling the time to study and take his exams (and there are lots of exams to take). Now, because he is no longer working for the firm that didn’t use his best skills or encourage his creativity, he has the time to study and take his tests, thus getting his license much sooner than he had ever hoped. He also has the time to work on his portfolio and be as creative as he wants to be.
After he gets his license he will be more marketable. He can open his own firm or he will be able to get a much better position. And with a more creative portfolio, either choice will be enhanced.
And all this because of a “bad” thing.
Next time you lose a client or a project, think about how you can maximize the positive from that “bad” event.