I was probably one of those people a few moons ago that when awards were mentioned, I'd roll my eyes and have a distinct dislike of the self-nomination process.
That changed in 2014 when I thought well if everyone's doing it why shouldn't I? Not exactly the moral high ground I was seeking.
However, filling in that initial award application changed my perspective. There was a set number of questions which asked everything from my Social Media Profiles to what qualifications I had.
The key question however was what Continuous Professional Development I had completed. As someone who firmly believes that everyday is a school day, it was clear that this organisation believed the same. Filling that in was an eye-opener. It forced me to look back over the last couple of years and really see how much I had invested my time into learning and progressing. From organised courses to the regular meetings of networking groups where speakers were present, I had learnt an awful lot. It took me on a journey of making me realise how far I had come.
That is the biggest benefit of entering for an award. The system may be skewed that you need to self-nominate most of the time but by filling in the application it's a journey of self-discovery. All too often in business we sail through with very little time to reflect on what has passed before us. Always too busy helping our clients, or spending quality time with our families or friends when do we actually find the time to smell the roses of our own business creation. Award applications provide the opportunity to do so.
As well as seeing how far you've come it assists with the old Imposter Syndrome. Detailing your experience, summing up why you made the decisions you did and accounting for your actions all make you realise how much experience you have. With one form alone I had to explain why I had set up my business, what kept me going and where did I see the business heading. It's was a made to measure Business Plan and let's face it Business Plans aren't always first on the list when it comes to our business administration!
I can guarantee that however small it is there will be a part of you after entering an award, regardless of the outcome will feel amazing. You will feel, actually I've done alright after all and celebrate and revel in that. Take yourself out for dinner or treat yourself to something nice.
That first application was for Scotland VA of the Year Award 2014 with BeMyVA www.bemyva.com/. In 2018 I went on to win that award. I've kept those applications as a diary of my journey. Last week I also won Outstanding VA of the Year 2019, Runner Up with BeMyVA, amongst some tough competition.
I've been very fortunate and ever so slightly shocked to find out that I've recently been shortlisted for two Highland Business Women Awards www.hbw.scot/awards/2019-awards/ Highland Business Woman of the Year 2019 award and a finalist for the Shining Star Award for Most Inspiring Woman in Business.
Ironically it was from filling out the first award application for Highland Business Woman of the Year, it made me realise just how much I have contributed to helping my local community and my fellow business women, something I am truly passionate about. For all the time I give to clients it's always nice to give a bit back to those that surround you. A little thank you if you like.
So next time your eyes roll at the thought of putting yourself forward for an award see it as part of the journey, you may just discover how good you really are!!
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