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Be Willing to walk away a winner!

Be Willing to walk away a winner!

My mentor Steve Wynn said “The difference between winners and losers is that a winner is willing to walk away a winner. A loser keeps playing until he has lost.”

You are probably wondering what this has to do with architecture and design...a lot. During my career, I am fortunate to have had more winners than losers, but the losses have generated the greatest lessons in my life. I have failed to listen to the objectives and only addressed my own, I have failed to know when to walk away, and I have designed products I thought were great, but not marketable. There are no spare customers - it is all about the experience.

On our most recent trip to the Bahamas, I decided to study this theory and how it worked. Since 75% of my job is about human design, I thought this was a great time for a refresher course, so off to the casino I went!

The story was always the same. “I was up 500. I was up 5000. I was up 7500. Then I lost it all.” Their story was about how their luck had changed and how the tide had turned, as if their choices had nothing to do with it. It’s no surprise that no one wants to lose, and everybody wants to win.

Winning and losing in business has everything to do with how people see themselves and their place in the world. Some see themselves as winners and are willing to pick up the chips when they are ahead and walk away from the table. Those who feel that they are losers will play until their suspicions are confirmed - and leave empty handed and often in debt.

Most creative people are hard wired to spend a lot of time planning for the worst. We rehearse objections and we have contingency plans. We go over time and time again what to do if things go wrong during our presentations and in our executions. Worst of all, we tend to ignore the possibility that things may go perfectly right.

The “winning” is about knowing the objective, listening to the goal, and solving the problem.

The “losing” is about under preparing, over-preparing, not understanding the goal, not solving the problem, or worst of all not knowing when you need to get up and regroup.

I am not suggesting that things will go right if you simply think positively and act like a winner. I am saying that when things do go right and you get a yes, stop talking and stop selling, get up, shake hands and walk away a winner.

My refresher course in the Bahamas left me believing we all are winners – if we focus on our choices. The hospitality industry is 100% about the client experience and my observation was that even though most people lost money, they were happy. That is winning in the business of hospitality design, people will choose the experience over the money 100% of the time.

My mentor, Steve Wynn was correct then and is still correct today!