Win or Learn


Last week, I was proud to be chosen as the voice for a group of five automotive dealers. The gig is everything a voice talent could want: high-profile, recurring work, in a segment in which I’ve wanted to expand, with two production houses with which I hadn’t yet worked.

It was a dream gig.

Until it wasn’t.

At the last minute, they decided to go with a female voice.

If I told you I wasn’t crushed, I’d be lying. I’m highly competitive and I hate to lose. I hate to lose even more after having seemingly won.

But here’s the fact: it was the right creative choice.

The footage that was shot, the way it was shot, the tone, look, feel, and I suspect a female-skewing target audience all pointed toward a female voice.

And she crushed it.

Yes, I lost a gig. A great one. But did I lose?

Someone smarter than me said, “I never lose. I either win, or I learn.”

win or learn.jpg

Here’s how I won:

  • Two production houses and a creative agency I hadn’t worked with listened to my audition and liked it enough to trust me with their clients’ work. It ultimately didn’t go down that way, but the fact is they were quite comfortable with moving forward with me. The creative process takes turns and twists, and sometimes you need to change horses mid-stream.

  • One of those production companies liked my stuff enough to introduce me to a neighboring recording studio, who immediately brought me in for another audition for another client with an even higher profile. I got to be seen and heard by them and likely by the creative agency on that account.

  • I met and began relationships with a total of four new people at three companies who have the ability to have me audition or book me in the future.

  • The client got a better product. This was absolutely the right creative choice for this end client (the dealer group) and their target audience. As long as that continues to happen, clients will continue the best work from the best and best-matched voice talent, and the industry will continue to thrive. There’s more than enough work to go around for bookable talent.

So, did I lose? No. I learned to look for the good in not winning a particular gig.

Onto the next adventure.

PS: I’m not positive the quote is attributable to Nelson Mandela, but if you like the plaque in the photo, apparently you can purchase it at