When Losing Can Make You A Winner: The story of how I won an Emmy
Have you ever showed up time and time again, working to reach a goal or a dream and been disappointed, and felt like just giving up?
Wanting to listen to that inner voice that says “this just isn’t for you.”
If I listened to that voice, and I almost did, you wouldn’t be reading this post.
Try, try, again
It took nearly a decade and four nominations before I won an Emmy award. Many times in that ten years I almost quit and gave up on my dream. It was years of struggle and learning that in the end led to triumph.
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 “it's 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.
And, it was more than that, I wanted to share what I had learned through hard won knowledge with others in the industry.
Why You Should Never Give Up…Even When It Feels Like You Can’t Win
Each time over the 10 years I looked forward to producing something that was worthy of 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, not for me.
But deep down inside, I knew that wasn't true. I looked at my work side-by-side with winners and thought “hey, this is pretty darn good” and the feedback I’d get on my work kept me trying.
When It’s Not Working, It’s Time to Shift Gears..
After too many disappointments, I decided to get serious.
I started researching past winners, studying their work and learning from their success.
What were they were doing that I wasn’t? I reached out to them and asked them lots of questions.
I asked them to critique my work and tell me what I could do to make it better.
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).
BTW: 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.
What I learned was, 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.
This story would not be complete if I did not acknowledge my amazing teams I worked with over the years who were equally dedicated to excellence. I always like to say, video is a team sport and your team is only as good as each member who shows up to play.
Today, I help people get comfortable on camera so they can communicate their message effectively, with authenticity and authority to build their brand, share their story and grow their business.
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!
What’s on the other side of that nagging inner voice for you?
I hope you’ll think about this story as you reflect on the past year and set a path for the new one.
If I am the guide you are seeking to help you take your communication and on camera skills up to the next level, let's set up a time to talk.
Just fill out the application here, and we can schedule a call to discuss your communication and video goals for the coming year.
Until then, remember, with a little reflection, research and willingness to reach out to a mentor, you can turn your dreams into reality, every time.
Val Brown is an Emmy Award winning television producer, story, visual and personal brand consultant, coach, and speaker. She consults and coaches high performing business professionals and entrepreneurs looking to up their game and increase their confidence and credibility on camera. Val teaches you how to use your story to support your brand in video and photos.
p.s. I’d love to connect on social media and hear your questions and concerns about being in front of the camera.