At the gym today, I watched a bunch of preening peacock guys and women. The spandex parade, all neon and muscle-cut. Gathering at the water cooler. Talking- a lot. Doing some light pump-me-ups, and looking at themselves in the mirror.
I’m not like that. I come to the gym to fail. I want to fail at the gym- and often. I don’t come to be seen. I come to work, and to grow, and part of that is failing- over and over. It makes me strong, and it makes me capable in real life, when it counts.
Life is kind of like that. At least in my business. You need to work out, and try new stuff on your own time, and you need to not only accept but embrace failure- or you will not grow. That’s why any good commercial director or corporate filmmaker needs to do their own projects- we need to always reach for something we haven’t ever done before. One needs to grow. One needs to push.
I have grown the most as a filmmaker when I’ve come up with an idea about something that’d be cool, and I make it happen- even if it takes a lot of persistence and redos. It is how we grow. Playing it safe, or not putting your soul into it just does not work for me.
Oh, and it doesn’t matter what you look like when you’re going for it. I don’t do spandex.
Patrick is the founder of Los Angeles and New York City based PatrickOrtman, Inc., a creative video agency that has won a ton of ADDY and Telly awards, worked with 9 Fortune 500s (and tons of startups), and been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Toronto Star, USA Today, and many other print and online publications in the advertising and other industries.