A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to this year’s 2014 NLOWE Award Winners!! You know who you are and have managed to keep it under your hat that you have been selected as this year’s Newfoundland & Labrador’s leading female entrepreneurs. It is only a day away until the rest of us will find out who the 2014 Award Winners are. We are all so excited! This night is about celebrating female entrepreneurship in our province, and, in particular, to recognize this year’s accomplished award winners.
It is no small feat to be a successful female entrepreneur. Statistics Canada reports that less than 16% of all small businesses in Canada are solely or majority owned by women. That number drops by half when applied to mid-size firms. However, we know from a 2013 McKinsey & Company Report that firms with female leadership deliver 47% more return on equity and generate 55% more earnings than those that don’t have women in the boardroom. The researchers behind this study assert that the leadership behaviours associated with women entrepreneurs—including a heightened focus on staff development, and clear communication of expectations and rewards—can be attributed to what causes organizations to succeed in today’s economy. This is WHY it is so important that you attend the 2014 NLOWE Entrepreneur Awards Gala. We want to encourage and increase the percentage of female entrepreneurship in our province. It is clear that the economic prosperity of our province directly benefits from having female entrepreneurs. It is something you must simply support; and kudos to the corporate sponsors who step up and support supplier diversity.
The excitement and anticipation of this big event may be causing this year’s award winners to wonder…what am I going to say when I have to accept this award?…how will this benefit me and my business?…what dress will I wear?…and will I actually enjoy this night? These questions certainly went through my head last year when I was recognized in the category of Start-Up; so I thought I would share with you some suggestions of how you can take back your night; and really ENJOY IT.
My advice to this year’s award winners is to really just that…ENJOY YOUR NIGHT. Make it your main focus to make this an evening of celebration…we are all there for the same reason… to celebrate your entrepreneurial success. There is a reason you have been selected to receive this award. Enjoy your night….really, how often do you get to walk the red carpet? Make sure you take a moment to stop and reflect on the significance of your entrepreneurial success to get you to this point; and give yourself permission to genuinely be proud and enjoy your moment in the spotlight.
Suggestions on Making the Most of Your Night:
- Make sure that your close friends and family attend this event; and have them sit at your table. It will calm your nerves; and absolutely they should be there with you, cheering you on. Having the faces of friends and loved ones nearby will help you relax and enjoy your evening.
- Take time to pamper yourself the afternoon of the event. Why not get your hair and make-up done, get a massage, or just take some quiet time out for you to recharge that afternoon.
- Write your speech (short is better, in my opinion!); and get a close friend or mentor to confidentially read it for you and give you candid feedback. A ten minute speech is totally unnecessary…the audience appreciates brevity for acceptance speeches….just my opinion. A video is already there to introduce you…two minutes tops for an acceptance speech is ample.
- When you are on stage, enjoy your moment in the spotlight. You have earned this moment; and it is up to you to soak it up and appreciate your recognition. Don’t shy away from the limelight.
After the night is over, and you get back to business, think about how you are going to leverage this “free marketing” to maximize the value of winning this award. Let’s face it…marketing is EXPENSIVE; and what phenomenal marketing is it to be recognized and win this award.
Some ideas on how to leverage your award to get the most benefit from it.
- Post your video on your website or social media sites.
- Retweet NLOWE’s posts and use social media to capture the moment.
- Repost the professional pictures you will receive from NLOWE showing you as an award winner.
- Include mention of your award in your bio when you apply for proposals and on your profile on your website; and in your other marketing material.
- Recognize the other award winners. Once you are back in the office, call them to say congratulations. Who knows, perhaps the two of you can do business together as female WBEs.
It is an extraordinary accomplishment to win an NLOWE Entrepreneur Award. NLOWE receives hundreds of applications for their awards and the competition is intense. Congratulations to all this year’s award winners!! If you have not done so already, purchase your ticket for this evening’s event and show your support for female entrepreneurship and the continued economic prosperity of our beautiful Province.
Susan Power, MBA, CHRP, is the Principal at Higher Talent Inc. and winner of NLOWE’s 2013 Start-up Award. Higher Talent Inc. is a boutique human resources firm offering professional human resource management consulting. Their focus is to build happier, more productive workplaces. For more information about Higher Talent visit www.highertalent.ca or call 709.739.1953. You can also find Higher Talent Inc. on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn.