I'm officially beside myself with excitement! I've been shortlisted for not one, but TWO South Yorkshire Biz Awards! If I am lucky enough to win either of these awards, it will be the first I will have ever won. Unless you count an Easter Bonnet competition circa 1972, which I believe I may have won as a tactic to stop me crying after falling over and grazing my knee, or my Silver Jubilee Christmas Hat win in 1977 (I soooo deserved that one - my hat was AWESOME!). Can you see a theme here? This time though it has nothing to do with head gear.
A bit of recognition is hugely powerful. This is what I've been telling my clients for, well for ever. I set up this business 3½ years ago and I've been developing my entrepreneurial spirit from Day 1. By definition, being entrepreneurial means willing to take financial risks in the hope of making a profit. This, however, applies to anybody setting up their own business. I believe that to succeed in business there is more to it than this; you have to develop your entrepreneurial spirit. I never had a real Master Plan but I built up my business from nothing; daring to have goals (like not instantly heading into financial ruin) and pushing myself to achieve them, spotting opportunities, taking calculated risks, looking for ways to improve, taking the knocks but remaining optimistic about the possibilities, and - perhaps most importantly - believing in myself.
I also believe that all entrepreneurs deserve to be recognised and celebrated. Setting up on your own, taking that risk and putting all your efforts into following your dream takes courage and determination. I've received some fabulous testimonials from clients, some who even hint that they enjoyed working with me (wow!). I treasure these because they are great motivators, especially in those moments that we all get when fear and self-doubt take over - albeit temporarily - and we need some reassurance. I am truly grateful for my single-mindedness and fearlessness (not my words) - traits which got me into all sorts of trouble growing up but which have helped to keep me on track.
Since learning of becoming a finalist, I've been mentally preparing my Gwyneth-Platrow-style tearful acceptance speech (if I do actually win my incredulity will be genuinely sincere!) and perfecting my "Oh I couldn't be happier that you won and not me" face, along with obsessing about what to wear at the Awards Dinner.
I'm up against some mean competition though so, for now at least, being shortlisted is exciting enough. Really. Honest! Although I could always try falling over and grazing my knee........