I started a big debate in the office a few weeks ago after seeing a Linkedin post about an organisation that entered the business awards for ‘best newcomer’ and didn’t win; by the way if you are reading this, I really do think you should have won, as the concept of your business is genius and the marketing video took me back to my youth, I absolutely loved ‘Swap Shop’.
The post however said something along the lines of ‘well never mind it’s the taking part that counts’. Is this really the case? How many of us enter a competition or spend several weeks pulling together the ‘best’ application or tender or run a race without ‘playing to win’. I’m a firm believer that if you do something you give a 100%; as I always play to win, both in business and in life.
I’m really not a good loser and anyone who knows me, will know I don’t even let my children win even if playing a game of Monopoly! It drives me mad when schools turn ‘Sports Day’ into an event that’s about the taking part not about winning. Whilst I’m aware that all children have differing abilities, we need to teach our children to ‘play to win and learn to lose’; as one of life’s big lessons is learning to lose. Nobody likes to lose we don't like to accept defeat. Losing is a sore topic not to be mentioned, hence the phrase ‘it’s the taking part that counts’ but why? And yes, it sucks! Losing hurts. It breaks confidence. It shatters dreams. Self-esteem diminishes and our dreams and goals are reconsidered. It happens all the time. But you cannot have wins without losses. And that is OK.
I have had my fair share of losses, second places on bids, losing candidates to a competitor, not getting deals across the line (and at nearly 47 I have never won a running race yet and I don’t ever think that will change). And to be honest, while the losses stung and the moments hurt, I wouldn't change them for anything. It’s when we lose that our strength is tested, our passions are pushed, and the confidence we have in ourselves is challenged. These are the moments where it is easy to say, "never again".
But being in business you have to learn to push past the time where it hurts and try again and again until you get that win. I have been chatting with a number of individuals over the past few weeks who have been made redundant and have struggled to find work and keep getting rejected. The best advice I can give is, to keep trying until you get the win you want. At DBC we have lots of good times and bad times, like most businesses; that has made us really resilient and more determined to move forward and win.
You can read more about us being shortlisted as Finalists at the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2020 here.