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When Losing Can Make You a Winner -The Story Behind How I Won An Emmy Award

Deep Disappointments Can Lead to Discovery

Have you ever showed up time and time again, disappointed, and wanting to just give up already? Wanting to listen to that inner voice that says “this just isn’t for you.” If I listened to that voice, you wouldn’t be reading this post. What’s on the other side of that nagging inner voice for you?

I’ve been there, it took almost a decade and four nominations before I won an Emmy award. I almost quit and gave up on my dream. It was a struggle, but it was most certainly worth it.

During those years, I experienced the incredible thrill of being nominated and winning other awards, and the deep disappointment of not achieving my dream of winning an Emmy.

Many times I would rightly say “its’ an honor just to be nominated,” but deep inside, I just wanted to win. There’s something about having your work honored by your peers as the best in class that lifts your soul and stirs your creativity onward to even greater work.

Why You Should Never Give Up…Even When It Feels Like You Can’t Win

During a span of nearly 10 years I submitted my work for an Emmy award.

Each time I submitted an entry, I crossed my fingers and then hit the “send” button.

Each time the nominees were announced I held my breath in anticipation of hearing my name. And for the first many years, my anticipation was met with thundering silence.

It was tempting to give up and say Emmy’s were for others, it just wasn’t meant for me. But I knew that wasn’t true deep down inside. I looked at my work side-by-side with winners and thought “hey, this is pretty darn good” and the feedback I’d get kept me trying. In my heart, I knew my work was worthy of an Emmy.

When It’s not working, It’s Time to Shift Gears

That’s when I got serious researching past winners, studying their work and learning from their success. What were they were doing that I wasn’t? I talked to people who had won and asked them lots of questions about what they did.

And each year I gained confidence, until one year I landed two nominations. Elation!! that is until I didn’t win (sigh).

It would be another four years before I was nominated again, this time in two categories. I didn’t make a big deal about it outside my close circle of work colleagues as I didn’t want to face the inevitable conciliatory comments if I lost (again). As a side note: I took a lot of heat from friends for not sharing the news and learned a lot about friendship in the process.

And then, it happened - I won! The feeling of satisfaction is hard to describe and it’s all the sweeter knowing the journey I had been on. The validation of doing the work payed off!

The Big Takeaway?

Winning isn’t so much about the victory itself but about the pathway you take to get there. I knew I had a good product, I just didn’t know how to properly market and present it - so I found people who had gone before me and learned from them. And in the end? Success.

Today, I help people find their story and use it to support their business and brand - it’s the same process. Many of the people I meet have tried many times to find their story and thought they were on the right track, only to find they needed to try again and tweak it some more and learn some more to succeed, myself included.

When you are willing to put in the effort, do the research and learn from those who have gone before, wonderful things can happen - like winning an Emmy!

Val Brown is an Emmy award winning television producer and personal brand coach with more than 30 years experience. She loves to work with business professionals and entrepreneurs to help them find their story to support their brand and prepare to look and feel their best on camera. Schedule your 1:1 Get Camera Ready Coaching Session here

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