Today I got some pretty great news: I have been shortlisted in the regional finals for the Forward Ladies National Awards.
The awards are the “largest celebration of successful women throughout the UK”.
I still – and only just – scrape it into the young female entrepreneur category with a chance to be considered for the winner of the regional heat in Newcastle at the end of September.
This news couldn’t have come at a better time at the end of a difficult week making big, long term decisions for my business. But while I am delighted, there is a part of me that shuns the egotism of award nominations.
Maybe it’s a Scottish thing or is it a female thing, the embarrassment that comes from someone pointing out that you have done something well. A sense of not having earned the spotlight and doubt over worth of the nomination let alone if you were to go on and win it.
I have won a Young Entrepreneur Award at the Edinburgh Council Business Awards, a great taste award for our macarons, and been runner up at the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards and the Association of Scottish Businesswomen awards.
I found all of the above, very awkward and uncomfortable as well as turning up at the events feeling like a total imposter with no right to be there.
Don’t get me wrong, there are great positives about business awards such as:
- Free marketing and PR
- Increased credibility (and therefore sales)
- Employee motivation
- Attract talent
Every awards event should be used as a business development opportunity, even if you haven’t won, your name appeared in a programme or screen at some point and you have people’s attention.
So, how do you switch off Negative Nancy in your head and foster an attitude that says ‘I am deserving of this nomination’ without turning into an ego-centric maniac? Or do you just have to smile on the outside and ignore the nervous, doubting inside?