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Want to win an EVA? 5 Must-do Mindset Steps to Getting on that Stage

Think strictly vibes and glitterball fun but in a room FILLED with inspirational women trailblazing, innovating and doing utterly groundbreaking things. It’s hard to reflect back on the event without it bringing an almighty grin to my face. 😄

If you’re a woman in business, the EVAs are an event that definitely should be on your calendar. But, even as I write this, I know that some of you have already thought… I could never win that.

I’d be far too intimidated among those women.

No one would nominate me and there is NO chance I’m nominating myself.

It’s all way too big and WAY too scary to even dream of.”

Well, stop that negative self-talk right now.

I want you to see the EVAs for the impactful, valuable and credible awards they are.

I want to help you understand why you ABSOLUTELY deserve to enter.

And I want to get you in the right frame of mind to do so.

The Enterprise Vision Awards

Let’s start by introducing you to the EVAs…

The Enterprise Vision Awards are the largest awards ceremony solely for business women in the UK (wow) and they highlight the ladies who are leading the way when it comes to doing business with ethics, passion and commitment. The ceremony takes place in Blackpool every September and is a fantastic spectacle.

Award entries and nominations open each year on International Women's Day (add the 8th March 2024 to your diary right now, ladies) with the deadline for entries typically late spring.

The Dream

While at the event this year (cheering on 5 current and former clients who were finalists - yay!) I found myself looking around the room in awe and thinking how every one of us in that room most likely wants a place on that stage next year. And I felt even greater motivation and commitment for what I do.

Because I know I can help some of those women realise that very dream. ⬇

Me with some winning clients - the wonderful Maria Fogg Family Law.

The Biggest Hurdle to Award Success

Chatting to the women on my table, it was unanimous that the journey to winning an EVA (or even being shortlisted) is very often not a straightforward one. But the biggest hurdle? You guessed it…

Mindset, my lovelies. Mindset.

So let’s talk about your attitude when it comes to entering the EVA’s (especially if you’ve entered before) and how it can make a huge difference to both the entry and follow up processes.

My 5 must-do mindset steps: 1 - Think Strategy

When things are hard to do, you have two choices:

a) Don’t do it. Stay exactly the same as you are.


b) Do it the very best you can.

Entering an EVA can feel hard. You only have to look at the winners from this year to feel in awe and possibly completely inadequate. So base it on more than emotion and make it part of your business strategy. It can be part of your growth focus or marketing plan. That way, when you make a decision about entering an EVA or completing your nomination form, you’re coming at it from a strategic place and not purely reactive.

2 - Persevere

One of the wonderful winners this year told me that she had actually been shortlisted FIVE times previously. And she still kept coming back. A good job too, as 2023 proved to be her year.

This is perseverance. And resilience. Incidentally, the exact qualities judges want to see.

Now, it would’ve been easy for this finalist to give up after one, let alone 5 misses. But she focused on the positive of making the shortlist, which itself is a huge achievement that should be celebrated. And she focused on her long-term goals. She saw the impact that shortlisting had on her business and she wanted more of that. So she kept trying: applying on time, self-nominating if she wasn’t nominated and making sure she never deviated from her goal rather than allowing her mind monkeys to get the better of her and knock her off path.

And it paid off. In spades.

3 - Learn from setbacks I never lose. I either win or learn.”

Not my words but Nelson Mandela’s. But this has never been more true than when it comes to award entries. It’s all too easy to enter, not win, not get shortlisted even, and then tick it off your to-do list thinking “Ahh well, I tried”. But that’s not going to get you that amazing business growth and name in lights, is it?

So, make peace RIGHT NOW with the cold hard fact that you’re not going to win (or be shortlisted for) every award you enter.

If available, ask for feedback. If not, focus on the areas you KNEW were a bit lacking. Not done much in your community? Reach out to some local organisations right now. Winged it through the interview and presentation? Make sure you prepare better next time. Whatever your USP is, double down on it right now and come back even better next year. Not only will you improve your award chances, but you’ll massively improve your business too.


4 - Give Yourself Time There is nothing like a bit of (often self-inflicted) pressure to bring self-sabotage and procrastination out in force. And that’s a perfect recipe for leaving your entry to the last minute, NOT having the evidence to hand to portray yourself at your best, or simply not entering at all.

Because last-minute entries are an ABSOLUTE ballache.

You’re much more likely to feel positive about an entry if you’ve spent plenty of time on it and been able to gather great evidence than if you’ve scribbled down (ok - typed) an entry in 15 minutes and clicked send minutes before the deadline. So leave yourself plenty of time to gather the right kind of evidence and to reflect on what you’re written. Then edit, edit, edit.

Instead of the award entry being an unwanted headache clogging your to-do list, it becomes an enlightening experience that enables you to reflect on your successes.

5 - All or Nothing? No. The benefits of awards are well documented. Credibility and prestige, brand awareness and marketing pizzazz, and let’s not forget the effects on employee morale. And when leveraged effectively, these benefits invariably lead to a massively more appealing bottom line.

But what so few female business owners realise is that 90% of these benefits are accessible purely from being shortlisted. Awards are not an all or nothing game.

So, if you’ve been shortlisted and not won, don’t make the mistake of writing the whole sorry episode off as a horrible mistake, hiding under the nearest rock, berating yourself for being foolish enough to enter in the first place, and assuming the only news worth sharing is when you go home holding aloft the trophy.

Instead: Write a blog about the final ceremony. Congratulate the winners on social media. Keep up relations with your fellow finalists – who knows where that may lead… And yes, you CAN put the finalist logo on your email signature and website. That’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Being shortlisted is a huge achievement. Be proud of that!

One of my clients on her very 1st award entry:

" I have never put myself forward for any award due to the terror of writing an application. Debbie was direct, fast at responding and professional. A pleasure to work with and helped massively to produce an application which I went on to be shortlisted as a finalist. Thanks again Debbie."

- Ali Holmes, founder of V12 Bar

All in all, I know it’s scary. But isn’t everything that's worth doing? I’m drafting some more articles around the EVA’s so look out for tips on the entry and nominations process, how to use your awards in your marketing and of course, 9 reasons why you should enter the EVA’s in 2024. And if you’re planning to make 2024 go with a bang, I’m running an Award Strategy workshop on Tuesday November 21st. You’ll learn everything you can be doing right now in the run-up to awards opening in 2024. Sign up here and let’s make 2024 YOUR year. Or jump on board here to stay in touch and get awards deadlines, award entry tips and blog notifications.


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