Yes. It’s true. I’ve reached the heady heights of being a Finalist in the 2017 Kent Women in Business Awards. It’s taken me a week be able to say that out loud and proud. Is it OK to say it’s taken me a bit of time to get my head around the fact I didn’t win?
Hats off to the winner Lauren Wood and runner up Siobhan Young of WellStyled who were recognised for their outstanding contribution as Woman in Education at the prestigious and hotly contested Awards. Being shortlisted as a Finalist started with being nominated and then having to complete a long entry form – it’s a bit like applying for a job.
I suppose it’s taken me a while to get my head round not being a winner. But I guess I’m not actually a loser …
End of Year Review
On reflection, the timing of the Awards was great in terms of doing a year-end review of my business. Would I have been so thorough in charting my successes and dreams for the future if I didn’t have the lure of adding the phrase ‘multi-Award winning florist’ to my email signature? In my mind I’d like to think yes, of course – but in reality it’s quite possible that something else would have cropped up and taken priority.
Applying for an Award isn’t something to be taken lightly. It took me hours and hours to research, refine and proof read my submission. At the suggestion of a friend I started by reviewing my goals for the previous year and instead of glibly acknowledging I’d succeeded in a few areas I really went into detail about what I’d achieved. And, as it turned out I’ve a lot to congratulate myself about.
I can now say I’m pleased to be recognised as a Finalist after impressing the judges with my drive and passion in running Julie Davies flower workshops and my highly successful and popular #FlowerStart 4-week online flower arranging course.
Here I am with Lucy Baker, Makeup Mastery (Finalist, Mumpreneur); (Me), Julie Davies flower workshops (Finalist, Women in Education), Siobhan Young, Wellstyled (Finalist, Women's Champion and Runner Up, Women in Education), and Caroline, Caroline Bruce Designer Dresses (Finalist, Entrepreneur and Women in the Arts/Creative Awards) - thanks to Jane Mucklow, Jane Mucklow Photography (Finalist in the Women in Retail category, and Runner Up Mumpreneur) for allowing me to share her images here.
Unusually for a florist, I don’t have a shop or do flowers for wedding and funerals. I spend my time teaching – empowering women to do it for themselves. As a way of making flower arranging affordable and accessible I embrace working with supermarket flowers. Why would a florist do that I hear you ask – well I think it’s less intimidating for my ladies if I teach them how to arrange flowers they can easily buy. And, once the bug has bitten, they have more confidence and a better eye for buying direct from their florist.
With the USP of my business firmly in mind, each year I like to set goals so I can measure the pace and scale of development in my business – and in me as a business owner. I’ve made huge strides in my personal development over the last year, which has had a positive impact on my business.
Working on your own can be a lonely old business, without the camaraderie of work colleagues – even if they are bickering over whose turn it is to make the tea! This is something I’ve overcome by networking. You gel with some people and not others – and as a shy girl – I find walking into a room of new people excruciating.
I’m really proud of the fact that I have a network of business friends who are a constant source of inspiration and motivation – as well as providing me with professional services in terms of coaching, bookkeeping, photography, web design, PR and marketing and VA services. Not forgetting the real time networking groups I belong to – Kent Creative and Mums UnLtd in Canterbury.
Many of the women I work with aren’t running conventional 9-5 businesses. In this period between International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day I’d like to give a shout out to these amazing women. Women who deliver top quality support to my business whilst balancing the additional pressures of running a family, working from home – and let’s face it, often having a day job on the side.
The Kent Women in Business 2017 Awards dinner was a humbling event. I was overwhelmed by the high calibre of business women nominated. It was lovely to see so many faces I’ve only seen zoom across my Twitter-feed stepping up to the podium to receive their Awards. Well done ladies.
3 reasons you should apply for an Award
So, my three lessons learnt from not winning an Award (this time):
- Give yourself a year end appraisal – identify what went well and what didn’t go quite so well
- Set goals to assess your progress against next year – write them down and make them specific
- Nurture your support network
And as for next year? I’m planning on making my business even better – empowering women to get creative with flowers to celebrate the special events in their lives, and as being a wellbeing activity to counterbalance the stresses of day to day life.
5-day FREE mini-course
If you're planning to find your happy with flowers this week don’t forget you can amaze your friends with your knowledge about getting your flowers to last longer. Sign up here for access to my FREE five-day mini course and make a start on getting your flowers to last longer.
Until next time, happy flowers!
If your flower arranging skills need a bit of a boost, perhaps you’d like to find out more about my 4-week online flower arranging class - click through to my post on Frequently Asked Questions.