Paper Laundry

Musings From the Washroom

The misadventures of two creatives starting a small business.

Becoming Legit

Everyone who starts a company has a certain amount of confidence that they know what they’re doing and have the basic skills needed to be successful. But man, does it feel good to have confirmation from the outside world. It’s like having your mom put your latest fingerpaint masterpiece on the fridge—I’ve arrived. Multiply that feeling of excitement and pride by about a thousand and you’ll understand how we felt when the One Club for Creativity Denver called our name at the annual show. And how we felt the second time it happened. And the third. It was a night of blushing, saying things like, “we just can’t believe this!” and staring at those dang awards. It was a night to remember. Then morning came...and, well, nothing had changed. We still had a bunch of work to do. The constant drive to find new clients. Hoping to get projects completed and billed. It was the same hustle but with better bling sitting on our desks.

I’ve worked at agencies who absolutely lived for award season. And those who insisted that entering shows was a waste of agency time and money. Honestly, I fall somewhere in between. Yes, awards are amazing to get and they make us feel like we’re on top of the world—we’re darn proud of the work we do. However, at the end of the day what really matters is whether our work helps our clients and is increasing their success. If they’re killing it so are we. Don’t get me wrong, we’ll keep entering and, hopefully, we’ll keep bringing home that hardware. But it’s not what keeps us cranking along every day.

So enter those award shows, cook-offs, and contests. It’s good for your company morale and a nice benchmark of how your work stacks up. But, if you don’t walk away with the gold, remember that your client’s success is more meaningful than any statue.

Now I have to go polish these pencils.  


Small BizCara MoyleComment