On went my Karen Millen dress and statement shoes. I was about to leave the office and attend the West Midland Tech Awards 2019 as a shortlisted candidate for the Woman in Tech Award.
A few hours later and my name was announced. I’d won!
Any of you who have followed my blog for a while might remember that I was shortlisted for this award a year earlier in 2018 – put on a similar dress and shoes – but didn’t win. I was disappointed but soon realised that given this was my first ever shortlisting for an award, I had done well to be considered. It also made me reflect on the impression many entrepreneurs can give, often via their social media accounts, that it’s all a glamorous life of unadulterated success.
Entrepreneurship is often full of difficult decisions, long working hours, compromising elements of your personal life that might make you feel conflicted, moments of self-doubt, and more. The success, in amongst my loss in 2018, was that I only allowed those negative feelings to hang around for a short time before reminding myself of my goals and getting stuck back into the working life that keeps me very busy!
A year on, and I can sit here reflecting on the fact that an award has acknowledged that hard work, in fact in their words, it acknowledges ‘innovation, creativity, talent and contribution to the technology sector.’ I couldn’t be prouder. However, I’m not just bursting with pride because of the award; I’m bursting with pride because I remained resilient. I persevered towards my goal and didn’t let losing deter me from applying again, with another year of experience to discuss.
I think many entrepreneurs have a streak of perfectionism in them, striving to do or be the absolute best, but what I can now see is that behind the ‘success story’ posts on social media are people who have lost at award ceremonies, made mistakes or tried things that didn’t work. The difference is these people picked themselves up, reflected carefully, and continued towards their goal. If you know what you’re aiming for, then with enough persistence, you will get there.
If you’re finding it challenging to keep working towards your goal, here’s my view on three entrepreneurial qualities to hone in on.