Yesterday, Pawsitively Pets received a lovely, surprise email from Etta Cohen, the fantastic lady at the heart of the Women in Business Awards that runs each year.
Last year I entered the Women in Business Awards in an aim to boost my confidence – I never expected to get through, but in order to enter I had to write why I felt I could win the award which forced me to point out all my successes and my personal attributes that make me a ‘successful business woman’. I was shocked when I was short listed and came second for Young Businesswoman of the Year!
The award ceremony was very fancy, a lot of very important looking people who looked very comfortable in a suit and I was pretty sure they didn't usually dress in leggings and wellies for work as I do! It was a fantastic day and a great experience, and I was quite happy to leave it at that, having had a great day out.
So when Etta’s ‘people’ wrote to me this year to ask me to re-enter the awards, I was quite unsure. I felt like it was something I had done and had to leave alone now but friends encouraged me to go for it.
The email I received yesterday was a congratulatory email informing me that I had been short listed again! This time for ‘Home Based Businesswoman of the Year’ and inviting me to attend the award ceremony in Leeds again this November.
So, how is that I can be shortlisted for an award when I run a business that pays very little money, most people haven’t heard of me or my business and I’m nowhere near as ‘successful’ as those I end up mingling with at these events?
Whilst I do work at making the business bigger and able to pay more, I don’t measure my success solely in what money my company makes, or in how many people have heard of me.
I am a disabled woman who, having tried to work in ‘normal’ roles as an employee, decided to start her own business. I realised that with far too many sick days and struggling to manage even a few hours, let alone a full day, working for someone else was never going to work. My success is measured by the fact that, despite often being ill, and despite several difficulties encountered, including starting up in the middle of a recession, my business is still running after five years and I am still working instead of having to give up work due to my illness.
Okay, so it doesn't pay well, my accounts aren't always up to date because by the time I've done deliveries/training sessions, I’m often too tired to do paperwork, but I’m still going and what’s more, when I contemplated entering the awards, so many people encouraged me to do so – they believed in me, and the recommendations that customers wrote for me to send in were pretty amazing!
Remember – success isn't about what you have or what money you make, it's about jumping hurdles, doing your best and being proud of who you are. Embrace it!
Lottie, Pawsitively Pets