November 13, 2012


the water's fine
Putting yourself on display helps you overcome the #2 fear which Napoleon Hill identified: the fear of criticism.

During the year, you'll have opportunities to earn recognition for your business and yourself.

There are business excellence awards and speaking opportunities. Even TEDx events may require you to apply.

At the Toronto Small Business Summit,  The Globe and Mail is offering the opportunity to get featured on the Report on Small Business website. Here’s how.

Waiting To Get Chosen

It's nice if someone else nominates you (accept the gesture). Nominating yourself may look a tad underhanded. However, if you don't tell your story, you may find that you get ignored. That's worse.
If you tell your story, you get to use your words.

Good Odds

Entering a competition takes more effort than clicking a Like button. This small effort is big enough to deter entrants. You put the odds on your side just by entering. Answer the qualifying questions well and you're among the elite. You may only face a handful of opponents.

Better Odds

When applying, read the questions carefully and think about your answers before replying. Perhaps draft your replies in a word processor and review them.

The questions are often simple but deep. The Globe and Mail is asking why your business deserves coverage. In particular,
  1. What makes your business unique?
  2. What challenges does it face, and which ones has it overcome?
  3. What can other small businesses take away from your experiences?
Developing answers is a worthwhile exercise for any business and for you personally.


We're always judged but not always fairly. When we evaluate ourselves, we can convince ourselves of greatness that others don’t see.

In a competition, the evaluation is objective. The judges are trained. Attempts are made to reduce biases. The resulting feedback is very valuable.

Improving Your Skills

During the process, you use different communication skills.
  • written: to qualify
  • verbal: if interviewed (at the Small Business Summit, the five finalists pitch to the panel of judges in front of a live audience)
Maybe you feel you're worthy of winning but don't feel you have the skills to express yourself. A free private mentor or paid coach can help. You would likely benefit from Toastmasters if you find the right club. That’s also an ideal place to get lots of feedback and learn by watching other members.

Marketing Strategy

If the award warrants, develop a strategy to market your nomination. The stages might be nominee, finalist and winner. Even if you don't win, you're still among illustrious company. As a minimum, show your placement on LinkedIn.


Regardless of what happens, you're getting known by a larger group, including the judges. You may make valuable connections (though I'd wait until afterwards before connecting on LinkedIn and/or meeting again).

After you go through the process, you'll get a better understanding of how you differ from the winner. Make changes and get ready for the next competition.


PS When did you compete last? When will you compete next?

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