4 ways to keep motivated if you’ve just lost a juicy project

Posted on: April 30th, 2012

There’s nothing more dispiriting when you work for yourself than to be told you haven’t won that interesting (and lucrative) new project you were going for.

No matter what the reason was (you were too expensive, someone else had more relevant experience, we chose someone local), it still rankles to know you have just missed out on a rather nice slice of much-needed new business.

And, if you’re not careful, it can dent your confidence a bit. (It shouldn’t do, because you’re just as great at what you do today as you were yesterday before you got the news.)

Here are four things you can do to help ensure your confidence remains high and to help motivate you to find your next new project.

1. Keep a log of every compliment your clients send to you

Every time a client emails me to say ‘Great job – thanks so much’ or whatever it may be, I copy and paste it into a Word document, along with their name and the date they sent it. Reading several pages of praise is bound to help your confidence come back. So go back over your filed emails and start keeping that ‘praise’ document. It works for me.

2. Reread the recommendations you’ve received on LinkedIn

And, if you have a testimonials page on your website, reread those as well. This should have much the same effect on you as Point 1 above, in case you don’t already have a ‘praise’ document.

3. Take a look at your vision board

I wrote about this a few months ago.  Essentially, it’s about creating a vision board for your ambition. So, if your goal is to earn £150,000 a year, cut out images of what you could buy, places you could visit, and things you could do once you have more money in the bank.

Then, stick your board in a prominent place where you’ll see it often. Here’s the image board I created for myself.

achieve ambition goal

If you focus your thoughts on what you want to achieve, then hopefully any negative or demotivating thoughts brought about by losing out on that project will soon evaporate.

 4. Make a list of the ten clients you’d most like to work for

Imagine what it would be like working with these ideal clients and the kind of freelance projects you would be doing for them.

Next do a Google search for all ten and find out the most relevant person for you to contact within each organisation.

I once read that David Ogilvy made a similar list (but it was a much longer list) and within ten years his ad agency had each one of those companies as clients. If it worked for him, then it can work for us, right?

If you’re not sure exactly who would most like to work for, take a look at this post I did last year: How to Pinpoint Your ideal Client.

What do you to keep motivated when you suffer a temporary set back? Let me know in the comments below.


2 Responses to “4 ways to keep motivated if you’ve just lost a juicy project”

  1. Matthew
    April 30th, 2012

    When this happens it for a reason – usually so you can take on an even better project which v often shows up soon after :)

  2. Carole Seawert
    May 1st, 2012

    Hi Matthew

    That’s so true! Has happened to me many a time.

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