Networking friends having fun together

 

“Help! Can anyone sing?”

That was the post that went out from Stacey Calder, host of the Business Success Network and Magazine Recognition Awards, 48 hours before the event. Why? Because their singer was in hospital having an emergency operation and could no longer be there.

Very few people know I can sing, but she’s one of them, so I gave her a call, asked what she needed and boom! Next thing I know, I’m on stage helping open, and close, the event.

What does this have to do with Business Awards, other than it being part of the entertainment? Well, putting yourself forward for an award or throwing yourself on stage are similar. They’re both about being confident shouting about your skills in a way you don’t normally.

 

Are you keeping a closely guarded secret?

Business Awards are all about sharing your successes. The categories vary, but each one asks what you’ve achieved, how you’ve done it and, often, what you’ve learned from it. Some will ask for details of your profits or your sales, others are interested in specific products, innovations, or technologies. Whatever the details, all of them are looking to understand why you and your business are so fab.

The problem is lots of people feel uncomfortable sharing that. And many more don’t believe they deserve to be in the running in the first place. Maybe you don’t feel you’ve done enough to enter. Perhaps you think only bigger companies win these things. Or maybe you just don’t know how to explain what you’ve achieved and why.

Whichever one is stopping you, there’s only one thing that’s true – if you don’t enter, you’ll never win! So, the first step is backing yourself and putting your achievements out there.

 

How Business Awards help you?

Some people will argue they don’t. They see them as popularity contests which lack credibility. Who needs an award from some random company anyway? Well, if that’s what you think, maybe you aren’t looking at the right awards.

There are some out there which rely on public votes. That really is a popularity contest – the bigger your following, the more likely you are to win. But those aren’t the awards you want to enter.

You want awards which play to your strengths. Ones which focus on team delivery, customer service, or any other skill or value which is important to your business. And, most importantly, you want Awards judged by an independent panel. Experienced business leaders or industry experts who assess the contribution. That’s where the magic happens and those are the awards that carry weight. Because the judges don’t pick you because they like you. They pick you because your achievements are worth celebrating.

 

What if you don’t win?

It doesn’t matter. When I arrived at the #BSNAwards2024 on Saturday, I was listed as a finalist in two categories. I didn’t win either of them. But here’s what I did get out of it:

  • Strengthening relationships with dozens of people I’ve only ever spoken to online before
  • Meeting dozens more new contacts I’ve never spoken to before
  • Presenting the award for Rising Star of the Year 2024 to Isaac Winfield from Friends of Isaac’s Food Bank – an incredible young man who at the age of 12 runs 5 food banks across Redditch (why? Because I was sponsoring the award so look for those opportunities too)
  • Being inspired by stories from 16 businesses who won their category and learning what they do and why they’re award-winning.
  • Singing Queen and Take That on stage in front of 178 business owners and getting so many people commending me later. (Just wow!).

I also bagged Runners Up for Networker of the Year, which was amazing, but in the end, it wasn’t the best part of the night.

Would it have been incredible to win? Of course it would. But there’s always next year and besides, the conversations, experience, and fun I had anyway made the night everything I could have asked for.

 

Sing your heart out (and your achievements)

When you pick the right awards, you meet great people, have a fabulous time, and learn a huge amount about yourself. Just writing your Awards entry is a brilliant way of reminding yourself just how far you’ve come.

And even if you’ve had a tough year, there are awards focused on overcoming those challenges, because being a business owner isn’t easy.

What about when those other opportunities come up? Well, they’re a reminder to grab every moment and do whatever you can with it.

When I walked into the venue on Awards night, I was nervous, and it’s fair to say rehearsals didn’t exactly go brilliantly in the afternoon. Yet, when we stood up for the live event, we smashed it.

I’d never have done that at another Awards event. I just wouldn’t have known the community would have my back. The Business Success Network, however, are my tribe. It’s full of wonderful people who look for the good and support you every step of the way. So, when there was a shout out for help, and it was doing something I loved, I knew it would come good.

I’ll be honest, I also knew it was the only event where I could get away with doing something extra. After all, there aren’t many events where you can shout “Thundercats…..hoooooooooo” without being escorted off stage for ruining the moment!

 

Writing your Awards entry

So, there you have it. All the reasons why Business Awards are great for you and your business.

If you’re now feeling inspired, but are struggling to know what you can write, drop me a message. There are several ways to get you the awards entry you deserve, and the first step is just to have a chat.