Wednesday, 15 June 2016

How to be a winner (when you're not winning)

“But how do you stay positive when you’re not winning?”

It’s a common question, but the first thing to remember is that no one wins all the time. Even world-class compers have dry spells. I suspect their droughts are shorter, but everything is relative. The important thing is maintaining a positive outlook.

That, of course, is easier said than done. And what works for one person may not work for another. For instance, some people have a portfolio of motivational mantras. That’s not really my bag, though I would agree that:
  • the dictionary is the only place where quitting comes before winning; and
  • winners are just losers who don’t give up.
Some folks, meanwhile, put great stock in karma. Dismiss this as hokey superstition if you will, but first take a moment to dress it differently. Call it community. Invest in it and there will be dividends. Find yourself some comping buddies. If you see comps local to them, or with prizes you know they want, or effort-based comps that play to their strengths, then let them know. The favours will be returned. Support will be reciprocated. Karma by any other name would smell so sweet.

But what if you need something more empirical? When I need to feel lucky, I just remind myself that I *am* lucky. I’ve a number of ways of doing this, but mostly they boil down to the same thing: celebrating previous wins.

Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to dig out the spreadsheet. You have a spreadsheet, right? (If not, stop reading NOW and don’t come back till you’ve read everything Di Coke has to say on the matter.)

There are two ways of considering this data: frequency and bottom line.

Bottom line is great. In the UK, at the very least, that’s your tax-free haul. Cool stuff you haven’t paid for. If you’ve had a few big-ticket wins, it makes even better reading.

My bottom line isn’t outstanding. That’s not to say I’m unhappy with it - on the contrary, it’s a very reasonable conversion rate given how much less effort than some people I put into comping. But what really works for me is my win frequency. I like it when people who don’t know me from Adam call me up or e-mail me just to say Hey! You! The winner over there! My kids don’t do that. My friends don’t do that. And I certainly can’t imagine ever having a job where my boss would do that. It’s validation that civilian life just doesn’t offer.

Of course, all this is just numbers. A more tactile way to feel lucky is to get your hands on those prizes right now! Last year I won a watch. Every day when I put it on I think, “that’s my lucky watch”. It’s the perfect piece to accessorise my lucky tee-shirt and my lucky hoodie. Heck, I’ve even got lucky pants, for when things really get tough. In short, dress lucky. It doesn’t matter if those wins don’t coordinate, or if it means wearing three dressing gowns to go down the Co-op, because you are literally dressed like a winner.

Lucky pants
I guess I should have ironed them. Sorry.

While you’re at it, dig out any vouchers you’ve won but not yet redeemed. No doubt there’s a reason why you’ve not yet spent them, but if you’re feeling like luck is running dry, make time to remember the good times. Get yourself a baby sitter and enjoy the fruits of your labours!

Last, but certainly not least, take a minute or two to reflect on your game. Don’t sulk about what you haven’t won - that’s not remotely helpful. But do ask yourself if you could do better. Again, I won’t dwell on this because Di Coke has covered it already. And besides, it’s really hard to type in these lucky mittens.

Now, begone and be lucky!

Have you got any tips for weathering the dry spells? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. great tips! I love that you dress in your lucky stuff. I tried desperately to win a watch but didn't manage it. But i used to love it when I told people about my hobby and see their faces in amazement when they asked 'well what do you win?' and I pointed out that the pram my baby is in was a prize, so was the designer changing bag, and the chewing / teether necklace I was wearing - in fact many of the items I had on me were prizes and that was before I even mentioned that we'd won at least one holiday a year for around the past 5 years. It is a great hobby - yes there are dry spells but it is great to reflect back on past wins.

    1. I'm yet to win a holiday (never mind five!) but hope springs eternal :D Of course, it's harder when so many promoters won't let you take prize holidays in term time - I'm not sure what my wife would say if I were to jet off with a mate during term time ... But never say never, right?!

    2. We can't go term time anymore either since my son started secondary but there are still ways of doing it - we've been lucky with holiday vouchers for example which could be used anytime. I have to admit that it is annoying when they exclude certain dates but I think more and more promoters are realising that families often need to go in school hols. X

    3. I confess I do get grousey when I see "win a family holiday" only to find it can't be taken during school holidays! Winning vouchers is a good alternative though - I'll have to try harder with these!

  2. Love this post so much, I had to take a break from comping for a couple of weeks (I blame lack of WiFi)so am needing some inspiration!

    1. :D You won some footwear on Instagram yesterday didn't you? Make them your lucky shoes!

  3. Loving the lucky pants i want some πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚