Awards Ceremonies: to enter, or not to enter, that is the question?
It is that time of year again. The annual Kent Women In Business awards are upon us once more and, as on previous occasions, I discovered recently that I had been nominated in the Women In PR & Marketing category. Having previously been both a finalist and runner-up, I found myself wondering if I should step aside this time and make way for ‘fresh blood’. After all, I had my moment in the sun two years running, would it not be a little greedy to go for the hat-trick?
Just a one-man band
And then, of course, there is the anxiety, the self-doubt and the soul-searching. Who am I to think I can win this accolade? It’s just me, a consultant and a couple of wonderful associates. How can I compete with the agencies, with their bigger budgets and multi-faceted personnel? But then I listened to the wise voice of my husband. “Your clients have chosen to work with you for a reason,” he said. “They respect you for your honesty, your empathy and your authenticity. You don’t farm your work out to account execs. Clients know that when they hire you, that’s exactly what they will be getting – your knowledge, your expertise, your skills. There’s no substitute for that personal connection, the warmth and depth of understanding a one-on-one relationship can bring.”
Time to stop spiralling
Hearing what my nominator wrote about me, was truly humbling. So, I filled in my forms and submitted my entry. A few days ago, I learned that I have been shortlisted again as a finalist. So maybe my husband is right. Perhaps, as a consultant, I am able to deliver a more personal approach for my clients which is sometimes lacking with the bigger agencies. Maybe I need to cast aside the self-doubt and realise that it’s not about me trying to take on the agencies toe-to-toe. There will always be agencies. But that’s okay because there will always be a place for specialist consultants like myself. At the end of the day, it’s not about how big you are, how big your budget is, or how many members of staff you have. It’s about what you can do for your clients, how well you understand their needs and what expertise you can bring to the table.
So, I’m going to celebrate being shortlisted for this award, and accept it as recognition by others that I’m good at what I do. After all, that’s what awards are there to do: to acknowledge achievement, talent and success.”