Recently, I won a bunch of awards for all the work I do. When this happened, someone asked me, “why do you nominate or apply for awards? It’s not like you need recognition to be successful.”
Interesting statement. Let’s break it down. But before we do that, here’s the current awards in my bank:
- DELL Young Hero Entrepreneur of the Year – Winner
- Social Media Influence of the Year – Winner
- Telstra Business Woman of the Year – Finalist
- Australian Esports Person of the Year – Finalist
Okay, good. We got that covered, now onto the statement above.
Firstly, you do not NEED recognition to be successful. The most successful companies in the world don’t need awards that say “best product” or “best design” of X year. For most companies, it’s about the customers and whether they buy the products. Awards don’t make customers buy your product.
Awards and prizes do something different. They recognise the hard work you put in. Whether it’s an individual, a company, a product, or a service. But that’s not why I act on nominations, nor why most people enter awards. Prizes do two key things. Firstly it gives you PR and media. Stories. Customers and clients are always looking for good stories to tell. Winning an award not only gives you a good story to tell, it gives you a platform to springboard from. Many media outlets will run a story if it has a ‘newsy’ piece to it. Prizes can do this.
Secondly, and arguably more importantly, awards recognise people and companies so we have others to look up to. As Australians (and particularly as women) we’re pretty bad at celebrating our success stories. We don’t know what to celebrate most of the time, because there aren’t many people shouting loud and proud about their achievements. Yes, we are getting better at this, but we need to do more to recognise the people in our society how are doing great things. Not only does it give us something to celebrate together, but awards give us role models to look up to. People who we aspire to be like. People who we can learn from, and people who we hopefully want to best in future.
And finally, awards help us to recognise the people around us who have helped get us to where we are. Even individual awards aren’t really all about individuals. Sure, people talk about “self-made” millionaires, and granted these individuals have worked really hard. But we can’t do everything ourselves. Others have helped get us here. They have shown us the way, given us opportunities.
So, with that in mind, I want to thank all the people who have helped me get this far. Not by name, but by who you are to me: mentors, bosses, colleagues, clients, family, friends. You’ve all worked as hard as I have, and you all deserved to be recognised too. Thank you so much and I’m looking forward to celebrating with you all, and working with you all again.