Entering a business award can be scary, actually down right terrifying! I know because I hear it from my clients every single day.
I have to admit I was feeling so guilty, here I was telling all of these amazing women to enter business awards but guess what? I had never entered one – no, not a single one.
It was so much easier to tell everyone to do what I say and not what I do.
I mean I had every excuse… I’m not good enough, I’m not ready…. I don’t have time to enter a business award.
But this year I knew it was time for me to do something different. If I really wanted to help these women like I said I do, then I had to really understand the roller coaster experience of entering the awards. And the only way to really understand was to put myself out there.
I didn’t expect for my whole perspective on my business to change.
But that’s exactly what happened and this is what I learnt about myself and the business.
1 – I’m exactly where I’m meant to be in my business.
When I first started my business I had high expectations (super high!) and when I didn’t achieve all of those big dreams, I was disappointed. In fact I spent the first couple of years feeling disappointed.
What I hadn’t realised was just some of the things I had experienced in the past two years:
- Had a baby
- Raised two other children
- Supported my husband for his job
- Lost my brother
Never mind the commitment I had shown to my business and community – it was pretty bloody amazing and it made me realise I should be so proud of what I have achieved.
2 – The areas which have been holding me back in business became super clear when writing the submission.
I had been feeling like my messaging is nearly there while my branding was completely off. And as I tried to answer the questions regarding these things…
I did feel a little inadequate but the upside was I knew they were weaknesses and I knew what I needed to do to improve.
I don’t think I realised how much it was holding me back until I got uncomfortable writing about it. For me this means its moved up the urgency of working on these things so I can be on message and brand when I show up. This is really the foundation of my business and what I want people to commit to, so it’s vital I get it right.
3 – One of the questions was asking about goals and I realised I wasn’t clear on my goals.
For the past 5 years I had been writing down goals for a financial goal or an amount of clients to work with. And feeling like a failure because I didn’t reach them. But my dreams and goals were so much more than that. No wonder I wasn’t feeling successful when I was only monitoring a number.
I hadn’t written the other non financial goals down anywhere… until I had to put it in the application. Now I’ve got those goals clearly printed up on my pin up board to keep me on track.
4 – The thought of sharing my financials made me feel physically ill.
I know other business owners feel the same – sometimes it’s enough of a reason for them not to enter awards.
Money will always been an area which can be difficult for us to share and talk about…Money and my relationship to it is an ongoing process. This was probably my biggest stumbling block for having entered business awards before.
So I created this little mantra for myself when writing and speaking about the financials –
“This is just one part of your business, your numbers don’t yet match the success of your business and how you help your clients”.
5 – It can be super easy to push writing the award submission to the last thing on your list.
I’m a great procrastinator and I love working to a deadline (the journo in me gets a total buzz) but anything which makes us feel uncomfortable ( you know outside of our comfort zone), we will always try to push it to the last thing on our to do list… I was busy writing my clients awards but mine was the least important… right??
If you can, get someone to hold you accountable and make sure you actually enter the business award.
It could be a business coach, mentor, client or partner or even someone like me to help guide you.
Want to know who kept me on track when a 1000 times I was ready to say “I won’t worry about it until next year”? – YOU!
I know how important it was for me to have walked in your shoes. And how could I tell you it would all be okay if I couldn’t put my money where my mouth is?
So I finished my submission in the very last hour… before it was due and pressed the send button.
The world didn’t end… I was okay and feeling content in the fact my business and I had come such a huge way, even though at times it didn’t feel like it.
Do I have the perfect business and am I the perfect entrepreneur ? No and no.
Did it make every part of me uncomfortable? Pretty much.
Was it worth it? Yes, I don’t know the outcome yet and to be honest I’m trying not to expect too much.
Do I still think entering a business award is one of the absolute best ways to share your business? NO QUESTION.
How do you feel about entering a business award? Let me know in the comments.