Back in March I applied for something called the 2015 Young Entrepreneur Award contest put on by the Business Development Bank of Canada. Man, did I work hard on that application. I mean, I’m a hard working guy, but I really went above and beyond for this contest. I don’t normally take time off, but I took time off of work to research, write and re-write. I called 3 of the past winners of the contest. I begged friends and family help proof read and revise. I hired a special business advisor/mentor from Vancouver. I got letters of recommendation from charitable organizations, from our primary customer, from our local MLA. I asked connections from across the globe for help. I totally revamped and updated my company’s website. I learned how to use Facebook and set up a business page. I started a Twitter account for my company. I signed up for LinkedIn. You get it….
And I lost. I didn’t even get selected as a finalist. Ouch.
I was disappointed. I think that’s understandable. I wasn’t embarrassed though because I knew deep down that I really couldn’t have done any better. Maybe the application wasn’t good enough, or didn’t quite “fit” what the contest organizers were looking for. Who knows?
I couldn’t really hide losing, so I sucked it up and e-mailed the news of the loss and a personalized “thank you” to everyone who had a hand in helping me with the application, and left it at that. Lights out. Dark.
I’m proud of that application. Damn proud. And I’m the most proud of the how I answered the last question. The most important question. Because, you see, I didn’t really answer the question. Someone else did it for me. And it’s because of that answer that I know I’m a winning loser:
6. What are the human and entrepreneurial strengths and qualities that make you the best person to win this contest and carry out your project?
I could tell the Business Development Bank of Canada 2015 Young Entrepreneur Award judging panel that the entrepreneurial strengths and qualities that make me, James Flawith, the best person to win this contest and carry out my project, are: honesty, integrity, belief, determination, passion, fiscal responsibility, focus on long term success for all, hardworking, dependable, human-centered leadership, decisive and a creative thinker. Yes, these are qualities and strengths that I possess but I believe the successful candidate of the 2015 YEA must do more than list his or her skills in attempting to answer the question, “Why did the BDC choose me to win the 2015 YEA?” My attempt to answer this question can be found in Chad Smith’s unsolicited Facebook post below, as well as the four supporting documents/references I am providing with my application.
An unsolicited letter from Precision Tree Services Ltd employee Chad Smith, posted February 28th, 2015 (unedited):
“A letter from Chad Smith….
3 years ago. My family and I were in a very tough spot. Trying our best to make things work on the mainland. Fighting against the grain. Nothing seemed to work. I decided to pack what was left of my belongings from a house fire. My son and girlfriend at the time jumped into my old Ford. We jumped on a ferry to live in my parents living room. Just a few bags of clothes and an old bed. Within 2 weeks James Flawith had replied to my resume and offered me a job.
The determined man that James is had spent countless hours doing everything in his power to keep me busy. Giving me every opportunity to move forward with my skills and move up in the ranks.
Today I am extremly happy. Along with my family. My son is 7 years old and my girlfriend is now my fiancée. We have gone from broke in my parents living room to buying our own home in beautiful Comox. All of which wouldnt have been possible if James wasn’t the hard working, determined man he is today.
The award we are trying to win will set up Precision Tree Services Ltd to buy a new boom truck so I can again move up in the ranks and trim trees. Which allows the great guys we have to also keep moving up the ranks.
If I could please ask everyone who knows me to help us succeed in winning this award. When we are in the finals (Canada wide) there will be a video posted publicly on the BDC website. That is where we will need to get votes from the public (You) to win the award.I will keep posting any updates or news. follow us and vote for Precision Tree Services.
PS – I bought a boom truck for Chad to trim trees anyway. He deserves it.